What is International Imam Reza Festival?
International Imam Reza (a.s.) Festival is the unrivalled grand festival held by the Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance at the national and international levels during the first ten days of the Hegira month of Dhi al-Qa'de known as Karamat Days or “the Ten Days of Generosity”. The 1st day of this month is the birthday of Hazrat Ma'soomeh, Imam Reza's sister nicknamed as “the Generous Lady of the Ahl al-Bayt” (a.s.), and the 11th day of the month is the birthday of Imam Reza (a.s.) known the agnomen or “the Knowledgeable man of the Ahl al-Bayt”.
The national section of the festival is held and administered by thirty provincial offices of the Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance throughout Iran. The International section of the festival is held with the help of Iran cultural counselors abroad.
1) The first festival commenced in the Khorassan province in 2003 in eight sections centering upon cultural activities. It was confined within the state of Khorasan.
2) The second festival was held in 2004 in the same manner as the 1st festival, with the exception that it was held in four provinces: khorassan, Fars, Yazd and Qom.
3) The third festival was held in 2005 with the participation of 10 provinces, namely those that were en route of the historical journey of Imam Reza’s caravan from Medina to Merv. Moreover, the provinces of Qom, Fars, Yazd, Khuzestan, Esfahan, Semnan, Kerman, South Khorasan, North Khorasan, Razavi Khorasan participated in the festival voluntarily.
4) The fourth Festival was held in 2006 with the participation of 24 provinces. It embraced 28 programs including 26 national and 2 international programs.
5) The fifth festival was held in 2007 with the participation of all the thirty provinces in Iran. It included 36 programs out of which 15 were international.
6) The sixth festival was held in 2008 with more than 75 conventions, congresses, festivals, ceremonies, exhibitions and competitions in different fields including science and research, religion; culture, art, literature and information technology (IT). Over four thousand humble servants of Razavi Culture in thirty provinces of Iran and 15 foreign countries cooperated in this festival. About 27,000 original works of art were presented inside and outside of Iran; it provoked an enormous wave of glee and passion inspired by the teachings of Razavi Culture, among Iranians inside and outside Iran, and all Muslims and followers of the Imam.
The overall number of works produced during the years of running this festival has exceeded 80.000.
Who can participate in this festival?
Considering the broad extent of the festival with regard to the diversity of subjects as well as the countries where it is held, it can be said that almost people from all walks of life ranging from university professors to scholars, students, pupils, and even the children along with physicians, researchers, writers, artists, poets and bloggers can participate in this festival. Their participation and cooperation in the programs, especially “special programs”, plays a pivotal role in spreading the pure culture and brilliant teachings of Imam Reza around the world.
1) Download and read completely the main call for paper / presentation / participation which includes the detailed list of programs. (www.shamstoos.com
2) Select one or more programs and get the specific call for the section. As you can see in the original list of calls, there is at least one program in most areas. Another point is that the specific calls are being distributed by the provincial secretariats and administrative organizations in local and national newspapers as well as in their homepage, and also in homepage of Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance.
3) Produce works of interest based on your specialization according to the criteria specified in the call for each specific program such as the conditions, deadline, how to send works, etc. The works sent are refereed and the owners or the selected works will be invited to take part in the award-giving ceremony.
It is worth answering some FAQs here.
A) That one or more programs will be run in one particular province does not mean that participation in that certain program is confined to the local people. This division has been made to capitalize on the executive power of all the provinces based on their relative advantages and due to task sharing considerations. Thus, in every part of Iran or around the world where the festival is held, anyone interested in the subject, irrespective of his/her religion, can participate in one or more programs even though the program of interest is not held where the would-be participant is living.
B) Iranian compatriots residing abroad and every devotee, all Muslim followers of Imam Reza from all around the world, can send the works of their interest to the Office of the Cultural Counselor or the Iran Cultural Attaché.
Obviously, culture Attaché or counselors, functioning as the foreign secretariat of the festival, would deliver, review and judge the works and finally introduce the selected works through the Islamic Culture and Relations Organization.
C) The permanent secretariat of the festival in located in Mashhad, managing and supervising all national and international programs. Thus, no work should be sent directly to the permanent secretariat in Mashhad or to the homepage of the festival. Works must be sent exclusively to the executive secretariat of the province where the program of interest to the applicant is held or to the Iranian cultural counselor.
D) There is no limitation in terms of the number of programs each applicant can participate in. People with varied potentialities in diverse fields of interest should not confine themselves to producing one piece of work.
We hope that the festival promotes and disseminates divine rituals, the teachings of the Prophet’s school of thought and pure Razavi culture in Islamic Iran and spread its influence both in the Islamic and non-Islamic parts of the world in light of the redemptive teachings of Islam and the graces of Imam Zaman, Imam of the Age, and special grace of Imam Ali ibn Musa al-Reza.
International Imam Reza Festival