Shiraz selected as Islamic countries’ youth capital

IRNA – The historical city of Shiraz in south of Iran will be officially inaugurated as the Youth Capital of the Islamic world 2017 on January 9 during a ceremony to be attended by 20 foreign guests.

The flag commemorating the designation will be hoisted opposite the mausoleum of the world known Iranian poet Hafiz for one year.

The city was picked up as the next Youth Capital of Muslim countries during the final session of the 3rd ministerial meeting of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) in Istanbul, Turkey, Oct 6, 2016.

The organization considers certain elements to be present in a city when deciding about the OIC Youth Capital which includes good climate, trained staff for hosting international events, numerous educational and research institutions and good infra-structures in related areas, rich cultural and religious background and good numbers of big names in various areas such as science, arts, culture and religion.

Shiraz was one of the four candidate cities to host the OIC Youth Capital 2017, along with Putrajaya (Malaysia), Bandung (Indonesia) and Fez (Morocco).

During the Monday ceremony, a group of young people from Istanbul will hand the key of the Youth Capital to the representatives of Shiraz young people.

The designation of the city as the OIC Youth Capital provides a good chance for Iran to introduce its capacities to the nations of 56 OIC member states.

According to a local official, the city will host seven international events in 2017.

OIC Youth Capital was initiated by Islamic Conference Youth Forum for Dialogue and Cooperation (ICYF-DC) in its 2nd General Assembly held on October, 2014.

OIC region has almost 1.5 billion Muslims and one third of it is constituted by youth. Carrying a considerable importance and reserving a huge portion of the Muslim population of the region, youth had to have a unique organization uniting them with the sense of solidarity and strengthening brotherly ties in a certain city of OIC member countries each year.

This idea led to establishing an OIC Youth Capital under which certain activities, conferences, conventions, festivals and other special events would be held according to the interests and benefits of Muslim youth all year long.

The delegation of the ICYF-DC Secretariat representing the OIC Youth Capital Selection Committee visited Shiraz (IRI) – the candidate city for the OIC Youth Capital 2017 on 28-30 August 2016.

In the framework of the visit, the delegation held working meetings with the representatives of the Fars Province and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of the Islamic Republic of Iran and examined the facilities of the city for hosting the OIC Youth Capital Program in 2017.

Governor General of the province Mohammad Ali Afshani received the delegation on 29 August and reiterated full readiness of the city for hosting such an important international program serving development and unity of youth of the OIC geography.

The ICYF-DC Director General Elmaddin Mehdiyev conveyed the satisfaction of the delegation with high interest towards the program and facilities of the city.

The visit ended up with signing of the Protocol containing the commitment of the city of Shiraz to host the program in 2017 and defining the roles and responsibilities of the parties.