From the Daily Times
Guest in town: ‘Lahore and Isfahan share same cultural soul’
* Isfahan mayor says city government of Isfahan spends $300m yearly on cleanlinessBy Ali Usman
LAHORE: Lahore and Isfahan share the same cultural soul and the two cities should strengthen cultural relations, whatever their political relations, said mayor of Isfahan, Iran, Dr Saghaeian Nejad.
Dr Nejad was talking to Daily Times on Saturday. His recent visit to Lahore aims at giving practical shape to the cultural agreements signed three years ago between the city governments of Isfahan and Lahore, when Lahore District Nazim Amer Mahmood visited Isfahan.
Dr Nejad said, “Political relations change with the changing times, but the cultural relations bind the nations. Both Lahore and Isfahan have great cultural diversity, historical background and hospitality. There is an old adage that Isfahan is the half world, but I must say Lahore and Isfahan together make the whole jahan (world).”
He said Lahore and Isfahan bore a great resemblance, as both had been the capitals during Ghazni and Mughal dynasties. Jamia Masjid (Isfahan) and Badshahi Masjid (Lahore) look alike in terms of architecture, he said. He said both the cities had shared sisterly relations and the city governments of the both cities had agreed to name their streets after each other’s names.
“We have also discussed municipality staff exchange to benefit from each other’s experience. The city government of Isfahan spends $300 million each year to keep the city clean.”
To further strengthen the relations, he said, they were planning to have the Urdu chair in the University of Isfahan.
He said the Punjab University already had Persian Department. He said when the people of both the countries would learn each other’s languages, it would help promote cultural relations.
Talking about the common things of the two cities, Nejad said, “I and mayor of Lahore, Amer Mahmood, have an important thing in common. Both of us have an educationist background. I served as vice-chancellor of a university, while Amer runs a chain of colleges.”
He said Lahori food was delicious and he enjoyed the hospitality of Lahoris. He said Consulate General of Iran Saeid Kharazi was helping Lahoris in getting visa related and other information. He said cultural centres of both the countries should educate their citizens about their respective cultures.