Iran and Hungary: Culture as a Bridge

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Hadi Taghipour Ardeshiry: R. David Lankes, Professor and Dean’s Scholar for New Librarianship in Syracuse University’s School of Information Studies, writes “Bad libraries build collections, good libraries build services, and great libraries build communities”.

Based on that, one could saylibrariesshapecultures, or at least help intellectuals to helptheir communitiesto know the world. Throughout its long history, Iran (Persia) libraries have been always important. As such, Iranian regard their country as a cradle of civilization and culture. Iranians are wellknown for being hospitable to visitors. There is an adage in Persian language which says “a guest is a friend of God”. Also,dozens of sayings by the Prophet Mohamad adviseMuslimsto welcome guests and be hospitable to them. The visit of the National Library and Archives of Iran by Professor Istvan Monok, Director General of the Library of the Hungarian Academy of Science, included signing a MOU, launching an exhibition of library and archival materials, and a meeting with The Iranian Library and Information Science Association (ILISA) members.

The delegation was welcomed by the officials of the National Library and the library of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Professor Monok pas s ionately talked about cultural closeness between Iran and Hungary. He also informed the audience about academic endeavors currently underway in Hungary and the great number of libraries throughout that country.

The members of the delegation spoke of research projects at the Center of Academy of Science and Universities in Budapest and the way Hungry values culture in their activities. Our Hungarian guests were delighted for visiting numerous monuments, libraries, and art galleries. They also admired the attention placed on culture and books in Iran. They admired the government policy for paying subsidies to publishers to lower book prices, in order to make books affordable for lower income people.

The delegation opened the exhibition of photos and documents showing cultural relations between Hungry and Iran. “For us it is a special experience to be here in Tehran. We are at the center of a great civilization”, said Orbán, the Prime Minister of Hungary in his visit to Tehranin 2015, who remarked that the first records of the history of the Hungarian people come Persian and Arabic sources. “We came here in the name of the culture of respect. Hungary stands on the ground of the politics of national sovereignty.

We are certain that this region’s highly complex affairs cannot be resolved, and the region cannot be stabilized, without Iran”, the Prime Minister pointed out. The statement depicts that through culture and books people can understand each other better. So, culture is an understandable language for all people in the all walks of life. Professor Monok’s assistant, Ms. Dora Kalydy talked about commonalities between Iran and Hungary. As an example, she pointed to a number of Persian words in the Hungarian language and Vis versa. Ms. Kalydy said “We found both countries as cradles of civilization.

We respect the people of the world through culture.” From the statements exchanged between the Iranian and Hungarian side, it could be concluded that peace, calamity, unity, knowledge, science, real collective society, better universal life, and relief are found well within the cultural relations if the will exists.

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