Shiraz: Eternal City
.سامي، علي. شیراز: شهر جاویدان. شیراز: انتشارات لوكس (نوید)، ۱۳۶۳، چاپ سوم، ٨۸٨ص

Sami, ʻAli. Shiraz: Shahr-i Javidan. Shiraz: Intisharat-i Lux, 1984, 3rd ed., 888pp.


Shiraz: Eternal City

شیراز: شهر جاویدان

‘Ali Sami states that his main motivation for compiling this book is to familiarise others with the positive aspects of his native city. This is one of the first books to have been exclusively written about Shiraz. The author of Shiraz: Shahr-i Javidan considers Shiraz as a land that has cultivated literature; the book is an anthology of the author’s works and that of others describing the city of Shiraz as one of Iran’s cultural hubs. 

The first edition of this book was published in 1958. Although new material has been added in the subsequent two editions, the tone and style from earlier years persist.

This book does not really address political events in Shiraz. It is mostly devoted to covering the works of Shirazi poets and other great figures as well as to discussing those who have in some way been influenced by Shiraz. Only about 250 pages are allotted to considering various works of Saadi and Hafiz. In the rest of the book, the author’s attachment to poetry and literature is very evident. The accounts of European travellers and writers about Shiraz have also been given a lot of weight. 

The book does not address the customs of the town nor does it speak of the Shirazi accent. The author’s only linguistic concern is limited to the etymology of the word “Shiraz.” Throughout the book, there is not much by way of maps or discussions of architecture, and only a few of the city’s important buildings such as the Vakil Bazaar and the Karimkhany Citadel are examined. Even in these cases, the descriptions are brief. 

A big portion of the book consists of segments from articles by other writers. These are presented in no particular order or format. One can say that Shiraz: Shahr-i Javidan is a book without a frame. 

Overall the book is a good resource for finding other works about the city of Shiraz and its people. However, the work itself suffers from an ethnocentric approach. 

Iradj Esmailpour Ghouchani
Translated by Niki Akhavan
Esmailpour Ghouchani, Iradj. “English abstract of 'Shiraz: Eternal City'". Translated by Niki Akhavan. In Cities as Built and Lived Environments: Scholarship from Muslim Contexts, 1875 to 2011, by Aptin Khanbaghi, 119. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
Muslim Civilisations Abstracts - The Aga Khan University
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