Shahnameh millennium accepted for UNESCO 2010 calendar of events

TEHRAN, May 18 (MNA) -- UNESCO has initially agreed to Iran’s proposal for registration of the Shahnameh millennium programs on its calendar of events in 2010.

The organization asked Iran to provide details on its programs for the event in a letter sent to the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO in Tehran, general secretary of Iran’s Ferdowsi Foundation Yaser Movahhedfar told the Persian service of Fars on Monday.


The proposal was put forward by the foundation early last March and the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO submitted it to UNESCO headquarters in Paris.


The Ferdowsi Foundation is currently preparing the details of the program, which is scheduled to be discussed during the 35th UNESCO General Conference that will be held in Paris from October 6 to 23, 2009.


Shahnameh, which is known as the “Book of Kings” in English, is the celebrated work of the epic poet Ferdowsi, in which the Persian national epic found its final and enduring form. It was completed in 1010.


It was written for Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna. However, he didn’t welcome it because of the Shia religion of Ferdowsi.


According some historical sources on Persian literature, Ferdowsi spent 30 years writing the Shahnameh, which is comprised of nearly 60,000 verses.


Known as “Book of Kings” in English, Shahnameh is based mainly on the Khwatay-namak, a history of the kings of Persia in Pahlavi (Middle Persian) from mythical times down to the 7th century.


For nearly 1000 years, Shahnameh has remained one of the most popular works in the Persian-speaking world.





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