Shahidi Cultural Foundation

Munira Shahidi

Munira Shahidi

Munira Shahidi – the founder of the first International Intercultural Foundation (ZSHICF) after her father, outstanding composer Ziyodullo Shahidi. It is based on the Z. Shahidi Museum of Musical Culture. The aim of the Foundation, registrated in 1992 as NGO, was integration of peacebuilding potencial of Tajikistan into the world peacebuilding movement via music and arts. Established by musicians, poets and scholars to resist the raising clash of contradicting powers in the country after collapse of SU, it intended to preserve intercultural relations of the actors of cultures regionally, opening new perspectives for local/global interactivity of nowadays world. Although the civil war of 1992-1997 in Tajikistan strongly contained actualization of the project, the museum and the Foundation was the only place for providing gatherings, seminars, conferences and even international musical festivals during the last two decades.  The activity of the Foundation has been met locally, regionally and globally. ZSHICF is a member of Public Counsil near the President of RT, a member of the number of international organization and dr.Munira Shahidi has a fellowship of the Swedish Institute (1996), Parliament of Cultures, Maison de Science L’Homme (2004) and ESSES (2005).

After graduating faculty of foreign languages of Pedagogical University of Dushanbe, Munira Shahidi worked as a translator in “Intourist” for a while and after as a director of an International Youth Travel commete at Central Commetee of Comsomol of Tajikistan.

Her academic carriere started in 1968 after her journey as a member of government delegation to India. Charmed by that great country, she started to study the place of Tajik-Persian literature in modern world. She started as an assistant at the Institute of Oriental Studies and then post-graduater and then as an academic principle, of that institute of AS of Tajikistan (1968-2001). She is an author of the number of books on comparative literary studies of East and West, such as ‘The impact of the E.G.Brown’s Literary History of Persia’ on internatianalisation of Tajik-Persian Literature’, “Art and Thought of Muhammad Iqbal’ by Said Abdul Vahid from English into Russian with commentaries and glossary, ‘Ibn Sina and Dante’, two volumes of the qazals of Jelaluddin Rumi and more then hundred articles, published in different journals of the world. She is a chief-editor of the journal ‘Fonus’-international, intercultural study for peace and development. Under her supervision two volumes of the songs of Ziyodullo Shahidi and a broshura with the CD in tree languages: Tajik, Russian and English has been published recently. Dr.Shahidi participated a number of the congresses of orientalists ( Pakistan, 1984, Mocsow, 1985, Hamburg, 1985, Canada, 1991, Japan, 1991, Great Britain, USA, Turkey and many other countries.

Munira Shahidi’s scholarly interest is in intercultural study of Tajik-Persian literature and its impact on formation of modern arts in Central Asia. Studying diversity of images and symbols of different cultures in Tajik-Persian literature, she identifies its impact on British literature of Victorian epoch of Great Britain. Dr. Munira Shahidi is really developing cross-cultural relations of contemporary world in both: her writings and activity.

Dialogue of cultures between Islam and Christianity is the main idea of the monograph of Munira Shahidi “Ibni Sino and Dante” (“Donish”,1986). Researching the links and sense creativity of that dialogue, she shows irrefutable evidences about the inner literary links of Islamic and Christian cultures. For example, appreciation by Dante the main idea of Poetics of Ibn Sino about “love-intellect”, as a generator of the idea of the magnum opus of Dante Aligiery’s ‘Divina Comedy’.  But her own discovery is comparative study of the short novel of Ibn Sino: ‘Hayy Ibn Yaqzan’ and panoramic ‘Divina Comedy’.

The collection of articles by Munira Shahidi under the title: ‘Peace, identity and tolerance as the core of Tajik-Persian Literature’ demonstrates her deep concern in Central Asian literatures in their integrative potential in globalizing world.


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