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    Abolqasem Ferdowsi: The Poet Who Rescued Iran

    / 10th Century
    Khorasan-e Razavi - Abolqasem Ferdowsi: The Poet Who Rescued Iran


    • Works: Shahname
    • Birthplace: Tous, Iran

    Abu ʾl-Qasim Ferdowsi Tusi, or Ferdowsi was a Persian poet and the author of Shahnameh, which is the world's longest epic poem created by a single poet, and the national epic of Greater Iran. 

    Ferdowsi was born in 935 AD in a small village named Paj near Tous in Khorasan near the holy city of Mashhad. The son of a wealthy land owner, and a dedicated Muslim, when he was just 23-years old, he found a "Shāhnāmeh" written by Abu-Mansour al-Moammari. It was not, however, in poetic form. It consisted of older versions ordered by Abu-Mansour ibn Abdur-Razzaq. The discovery would be a fateful moment in the life of the poet.

    Ferdowsi started his composition of the Shahnameh in poetic form during the Samanid era. During Ferdowsi's lifetime the Samanid dynasty was conquered by the Ghaznavid Turks, who were also patrons of Persian language. After 30 years of hard work, he finished the book and went to Ghazni, to present it to Sultan Mahmoud. There are various stories in medieval texts about the event.

    According to historians, Mahmoud had promised Ferdowsi a dinar for every distich written in the Shahnameh, but on finding that the work contained 60,000 distiches, he retracted and presented him with a mere 20,000 dirhams, which were at that time much less valuable than dinars, since every 100 dirhams was worth 1 dinar. Some think it was the jealousy of other poets working at the king's court that led to this treachery. Moreover, Ferdowsi was a follower of the Prophet and his Ahl al-Bayt, which enemies at the king's court conspire against him. Ferdowsi rejected the money and returned broken hearted. He died in 1020 and was buried in his own house, where his mausoleum now stands.

    Ferdowsi is one of the undisputed giants of Persian literature. After Ferdowsi's Shāhnāmeh a number of other works similar in nature surfaced over the centuries within the cultural sphere of the Persian language. Without exception, all such works were based in style and method on Ferdowsi's Shāhnāmeh, but none of them could quite achieve the same degree of fame and popularity as Ferdowsi's masterpiece. Ferdowsi has a unique place in Persian history because of the strides he made in reviving and regenerating the Persian language and cultural traditions. In short, the 'Shahnameh' is more interesting than the Greek epics, Iliad and Odyssey. 
    The following is a quatrain of Ferdowsi:

    The world's a scale where men are weighed -
    The worse they are the more they boast;
    But that's the way that scales are made -
    The emptier pan's the uppermost.   

    About Us

    The word Persia gives the image of a magical and mysterious land of far away and long ago, of ancient monuments and beautiful works of art – carpets, tiles, fine ceramics and miniatures. It also reminds us of legendary and tragic love stories and epic poems about great wars. And Persia is indeed a world ancient and contemporary, a bridge between heaven and earth. We want to show you around. Discover things to do on your next trip to Iran and plan a trip of your lifetime. Yes, it is that easy! This website gives you the tools to plan your trip to Iran: detailed information on destinations; inspiring ideas on what to see and do in each city; where to stay; where to eat; travel guides and let’s say everything you need so you can dream up a trip to Iran.


    This workshop is designed according to the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme in order to give young people a chance to voice their concerns and to become involved in the protection of our common cultural and natural heritage. It seeks to encourage and enable tomorrow’s decision-makers to participate in heritage conservation and to respond to the continuing threats facing our World Heritage. The idea of involving young people in World Heritage preservation and promotion came as a response to Article 27 of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention). Furthermore, Patrimonito means 'small heritage' in Spanish and the character represents a young heritage guardian. Patrimonito has been widely adopted as the international mascot of the World Heritage Education Programme.
    Date: 29th December
    Number of trainees: 7
    Duration: 3 hours

    The workshop of "Patrimonito" was held on 29th of December. Participants arrived around 10:30 and they were welcomed by hot chocolate and Persian cup cakes. After a little introduction by trainers and trainees, the process started by making two groups and letting them choose a name for their group, each group was accompanied by a mentor then each group was given some images of world heritage sites in Iran and some descriptions, each group was asked to match images and descriptions, the mentor was guiding them throughout the activity. All trainees were participating actively and trying to remember their experiences about their travels to these places. When they were done with the activity, the mentors started giving the answers and a brief explanation about each site; mentors were using trainees’ ideas and experiences to complete their tasks.

    Shortly after that, the second part started which was a presentation done by two of mentors. The aim of this presentation was to define the value of these world heritage sites and duties of each person as a "Patrimonito", and what happens if there is no "Patrimonito" and nobody cares about our tangible or intangible heritage. In this part trainees started questioning and understanding the whole concept of being a "Patrimonito", they also added their own suggestions on how to protect our heritage and by the end of this part, they were completely aware about their role as a "Patrimonito".
    Now it was a best time to have a short break, during the break trainees were introduced to some of intangible heritages as they were served by traditional food and snacks and even they way of serving was according to traditions and everyone had this opportunity to discuss about intangible heritage while enjoying some traditional food and snacks.
    When the break was done, everyone was asked to choose a heritage either tangible or intangible and they had to introduce their chosen heritage to a tourist by making a postcard using what they have learnt. They were given all of necessary tools such as color papers, color pencils, glue, scissors, images of heritage and a mentor was with them in order to help them completing the task.

    When they were done, they handed out their postcards and with the mentors they sat together and spent a few minutes asking and answering about what they have learnt. Then they were told to say their vows for protecting their heritage and caring about it, the mentor said the vow and the trainees repeated after her and they officially became a "Patrimonito".

    The last but the best part was when they were given the certificates, and they were told that since they are aware of the value of the heritage and they know how to protect it, they are chosen as "Patrimonito" and they should continue their mission by introducing the value of heritage to others. They were granted certificates and labels and the workshop of "Patrimonito" was finished by taking some memorial photos.