Popularity of Imam Reza (A.S.) Festival is Increasing but Takes Time Says the head of Headquarters for Ten Days of Munificence Public Celebrations

Popularity of Imam Reza (A.S.) Festival is Increasing but Takes Time  Says the head of Headquarters for Ten Days of Munificence Public Celebrations
“The international Imam Reza festival has had a considerable growth during these years, and the public’s participation which has always been the goal in these celebrations cannot happen immediately, and is a gradual and is a slow process” said the head of Headquarters for Ten Days of Munificence Public Celebrations.

Hujjat al-Islam Hamidreza Arbab Soleimani, the councilor to minister of culture and Islamic guidance and the head to the office of public celebrations of the Ten Days of Munificence is one of the old members of Imam Reza Festival who has served as the head of the celebrations of the Ten Days of Munificence from the early periods of the festival. He has increased the role and the presence of people in the festival due to his role. He was also present in the closing ceremony of the 15th Imam Reza festival and interviewed with Imam Reza International foundation correspondent.

Q: You have been one of the members of Imam Reza festival for years. When did you join this festival?

-         In 2005.

Q: So you have been active in the festival for 11 years. What changes and transformations have you witnessed in the festival all through these years?

The international Imam Reza festival was a flimsy little flower in the beginning, since it was something new intending to establish its place within the ministry of culture and Islamic guidance. But now, thank God, it has turned into a strong tree with lots of branches and flowers which is influential not only in Iran, but also abroad.

Beside the movement that began in the Iranian ministry of culture and Islamic guidance, a coordinating council for the celebration of the Ten Days of Munificence was also created and from 2005, gradually organizations accompanied this council, and now 34 organization and institutions work together in the international Imam Reza festival and public Razavi celebrations section is both held inside and outside the country and we witness the cooperation and participation of the lovers and fans of Razavi culture from 77 countries. Therefore, it seems that, from the very beginning until the point we are at right now, we witness a considerable growth and we hope that later on, we can see similar growth as well.

Q: Popularizing Imam Reza festival and bringing about eagerness and excitement among people on the occasion of the birth of the 8th Imam is a lengthy discussion. It has always been said that a festival should be popular, go among the people; people have the main roles in Razavi celebrations and … you are in the popular office of the celebrations of the Ten Days of Munificence. Do you think that the festival has really become popular?

Q: The popularization of a movement requires time and the right schedules from all the aspects. It is not a phenomenon that can happen overnight. For instance, during the Moharram decade you see how people forget about everything because of Imam Hussein (A.S.). This culture has been created during more than one thousand years and this process is continuously speeding up. For this reason, when it comes to Imam Reza Festival or the public celebrations of the Ten Days of Munificence, we should first take into account the fact that this is a gradual issue which should be created in the society step by step, so that finally people can become active and play roles independently with respect to the Razavi culture and the Ten Days of Munificence. Secondly, we should identify the popular stations very well and invest in them. For example, if we use our resources, including 92000 religious groups, or 80000 mosques and 40000 Basij Centers or 23000 cultural and artistic centers in mosques (which constitutes a huge network across Iran), well enough, we will definitely see the buds of public support. We started the movement with such an outlook and we are making developments. We can see that public and private sectors coming to pay their share to Imam Reza (A.S.). Although they used to come as pilgrims and expressed their respect and kindness for Imam Reza, now they come systematically to participate in work and spend all the energies, time and assets available to their organizations, institutions or company in this field.These are signs that give us hope with respect to this movement and its gradual inclination toward the public. For example, on the day of decorating the holy shrine of Imam Reza (A.S.) with flowers which is done in the first day of the Ten Days by women of Mashhad, you can see what a great population from all walks of life participate in the ceremony. For the same ceremony, we witness an independent popular movement on the eve of Lady Masoumeh (peace be upon her) in Qom. After all, in order to popularize such events, we have to move toward creating the right culture. Creating the right culture means internalizing a cultural issue. And it requires time. It can’t happen overnight. We should make use of all the resources and tools, use the division of duties and coordination and have consistency. Definitely, in near future we will see how the Ten Days of Munificence will cover all the cities and villages and all the people will express their love for Imam Reza (A.S.) more than ever.

Oct 21, 2017 11:36

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