A delegation from the Iraqi Ministry of Culture and Antiquities visited the al-Abbas's (p) Holy Shrine. The delegation was headed by the Minister of Culture and Antiquities of Iraq, Dr. Abdul Amir Al-Hamdani, who was received by the Deputy Secretary-General of the al-Abbas's (p) Holy Shrine; Eng. Abbas Musa and members of the Board.
The delegation had the honor to perform the Ziyarat of the Master Aba al-Fadl al-Abbas (peace be upon him) and then to go on a tour in the corridors of the holy shrine to see the urban aspects and the development witnessed in it. The delegation also visited the al-Kafeel museum of the treasures and the library and house of Holy Shrine.
For his part, the Minister of Culture and Antiquities, Dr. Abdul Amir Al-Hamdani, said: "We were honored to visit the al-Abbas's (p) Holy Shrine and we have seen the craft and the advanced work in the field of restoration of manuscripts in ways that are the newest in the world, and this only exists in this holy place."
He said: "Through witnessing its accomplishments on the architectural, intellectual and cultural levels, the al-Abbas's (p) holy shrine has been a clear pioneer, especially as it is looking to enter the field of documentary and cinematic film production after experiencing its first experience, which was a success in the global film industry."
He concluded by saying: "All appreciation and thanks to the al-Abbas's (p) Holy Shrine and to those who supervise these projects, which elevate the country to the ranks of the developed countries, and we are ready to cooperate and open channels of communication with them in various cultural fields."
The Minister had also a meeting with the Senior Official of the al-Abbas's (p) Holy Shrine; Sayed Ahmad al-Safi, after which he stated: "I was honored today to meet His Eminence Sayed Al-Safi and we listened to his good directions regarding the Iraqi cultural affairs and the affirmation of the national identity. We agreed to open channels of cooperation and coordination between the Ministry of Culture and Antiquities and the Holy Shrine in the field of museums and manuscripts and in the field of cinema and film production.
Adding: "The vision of Sayed al-Safi was clear and good in preserving the heritage and the Iraqi monuments and in the coming days, God willing, we will witness a movement of cooperation complementary to what it was in the past and look forward to cooperate with the holy shrine in all fields in terms of cultural development and museum movement."
Indicating: "We are happy to see the care given by the al-Abbas's (p) Holy shrine to the cultural, heritage and museum fields and it is not surprising that the holy shrines are interested in the subject of archiving the Iraqi heritage and the manuscripts, which is certainly an Iraqi national heritage."
Al-Hamdani recalled during his conversation with Sayed. Al-Safi, the positions of the supreme religious authority when he was the director of the monuments of Dhi Qar Governorate in 2003. He said that there was a meeting between him and His Eminence Sayed Ali Husseini al-Sistani (July 2003) when there was the campaign of looting of the heritage of Iraq as the thieves were mediatizing that these monuments are idols, and do not have any relationship with Islam. His Eminence Sayed Ali al-Sistani issued a clear fatwa stating that there is no difference between Islamic and non-Islamic monuments in terms of sanctity, as well as forbidding getting the monuments and heritage in illegal ways, and he also forbade the exhumation. This fatwa was a clear answer to those claiming belonging to the Islamic religion and do not care about the heritage.
Thousands of copies of this fatwa were distributed to the southern and central Euphrates regions, prompting people to stop stealing the antiquities and exhuming. Not only that, but they have returned thousands of artifacts thanks to this fatwa. I also translated the fatwa into English and published it in an article published around the world. Then I also published a book on the fatwa, which highlighted the role of the supreme religious authority in preserving the monuments and other properties of the country.