Marking the beginning of Iconic Week being organized by Jammu and Kashmir Tourism department, Mayor Srinagar, Junaid Azim Mattu, today inaugurated “Spirits of J&K” a sufi festival at SKICC Srinagar.

Secretary, Tourism and Culture, Sarmad Hafeez, Deputy Commissioner, Srinagar, Mohammad Ajaz Assad, Director Tourism Kashmir, Dr G N Itoo were present on the occasion.

On the occasion, programme “Aghaaz-e-Nishast”, a discourse on mysticism, was organized in collaboration with Academy of Art Cultural and Languages. Also, a mystic gallery was set up where traditional artifacts and manuscripts and rare copies of Quran and Bhagwat Gita besides rich Sufi literature, 19th century copper, brass ware and musical instruments were showcased.

Speaking as the chief guest, Mattu stressed on preservation of both physical and cultural heritage of J&K collectively for the posterity adding that “success of nation depends on what we inherit from ancestors and what we pass on to our next generations.”He said that J&K has rich cultural treasure and there is no parallel to it in the entire world adding that there is need to understand the importance of valuing our heritage and make it part of day to day life.

Deliberating on importance of such events, Mayor emphasized on holding more fiestas like sufi festivals on poets, sufi culture and literature in Srinagar.

Sarmad Hafeez, who presented vote of thanks, said that the Iconic Week is being organized to promote J&K as all season tourist destination. He said that during the weeklong celebrations a variety of programmes showcasing our art, culture, food, artifacts, manuscript and religious tourism shall be held at various tourist destinations across J&K. He added that the government shall also organize sufi festivals at 75 virgin tourist destinations for tourism promotion.

During the festival, panelists including Dr Darakshan Andrabi, Chairman Waqf Development Committee, Dr Afaq Aziz, Dr Ghulam Nabi Haleem and Dolly Tikoo presented a sufi talk lecture on mysticism/ sufism.

Vusat Iqbal and Satish Vimal moderated the programme.

“Peer- Waer” a documentary on “A journey through Mystic Kashmir” was also presented on the occasion.

Later, the panelist and other guests were felicitated and presented mementos.

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