|The Persian-language poet and philosopher Mawlana Jalal-ud-Din Balkhi-Rumi (Mevlana Celaleddin Belhī Rūmī) was born in 1207 in Balkh, now Afghanistan. He lived most of his life in Konya, in today’s Turkey, where he died in 1273. Author of the renowned Mathnawi or “Rhyming Couplets”, he is considered to be one of the greatest Sufi masters, a peer of the well known Ibn Arabi and Shams-e Tabrizi. During his lifetime, Mawlana enjoyed especially good relations with people of diverse social, cultural and religious backgrounds. He addressed humanity as a whole: “I do not distinguish between the relative and the stranger.”In collaboration with Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran and Turkey, UNESCO celebrated the 800th anniversary of Mawlana’s birth at its Paris headquarters. The Director-General, Koïchiro Matsuura, inaugurated a day-long programme of cultural events on 6 September 2007, highlighted by the launching of a commemorative medal. Struck by the Paris Mint, the medal’s obverse side bears a portrait of the poet. The reverse features the UNESCO logo.
Available in gold, silver and bronze.
Photo © UNESCO/D. Bijeljac