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Friday March 01, 2024

Book on Persian Empire to be launched tomorrow

By News Desk
May 27, 2023

ENT surgeon Dr Iftikhar Salahuddin who did not let his career in medicine wane his passion for photography and history will be launching his third book at the Mohatta Palace tomorrow (Sunday)

The coffee table book titled Persia - Land of Emperors and Kings is a photographic feast through the Persian Empire – one of the world’s oldest civilisations that once stretched from the Aegean Sea to the shores of the River Indus.

Dr Salahuddin’s camera honed in on ancient sites in Iran, Turkey and Central Asian countries that depicted the lasting historical and cultural influence of the Persian Empire. In Isfahan, he photographed the splendid Safavid mosques in Naqsh-e-Jehan Square, the Chahar Bagh Gardens, Chehel Sotun and Hasht Behesht.

He also travelled to Nishapur to observe the sprawling gardens where poet Omar Khayyam is buried, the mausoleum of Firdawsi in Toos, and Konya in eastern Turkey to visit the complex of Jalaluddin Roomi.

The far-reaching influence of the Persian Empire took him to Central Asian cities like Bukhara, where Avicenna and al-Biruni once discussed the growing perils of orthodoxy. The author travelled to the elegant gardens in Magog Attari mosque in Bukhara to capture the site where Imam Bukhari received inspiration to collate the hadith and compile what is known today as Sahih Bukhari.

In Samarkand, he photographed the famous city square, Registan, where locals flocked in the evenings to get a reprieve from the oppressive heat. This was the home of Tamerlane, who enslaved artisans from the lands he conquered so that they would embellish his favourite city.

The book launch ceremony will start at the Mohatta Palace at 6pm on Sunday. It will be moderated by ophthalmologist and musicologist Mahnaz Naveed Shah. Art historian Fakir S Aijazuddin and poet Zehra Nigah have been invited as the guest speakers.