The death of Iran’s legendary classical singer and composer Mohammad Reza Shajarian has sparked massive reactions among Afghans with some describing him as ‘common heritage of the Persian culture’ in the region and beyond.
The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) on Saturday expressed its condolences to Persian speakers in the region and the world and described Shajarian's death a major loss.
Abdullah Abdullah, the head of High Council of National Reconciliation issued a statement and recalled the famed singer as the ‘common heritage’ of the regional nations.
“The death of Shajarian left millions of people in the world in shock, particularly in the regional countries and Persian speakers,” Abdullah said in a statement.
“Mohammad Reza Shajarian was a common cultural heritage of the regional countries and he introduced the poems of great Persian poets such as Hafiz, Saadi, Ferdawsi and Rumi,” read the statement.
Ahmad Sarmast, founder of Afghanistan National Institute of Music (ANIM) said Shajarian's death is a major loss for Persian music.
“The world of music lost another of its benefactors, the voice of the Iranian people, Shajarian. The memory of this great man of world music and his memories with the lovers of Iranian traditional music will last forever," Sarmast said.
“Shajarian, one of the greatest musicians in the past 100 years returned to his lord. He took the hearts of millions of people to the party of love, unity and affection,” Afghanistan famed pop singer Farhad Darya said.
“Master Shajarian, the protector of arts and Iran’s culture closed his eyes from this world. He vibrantly protected the real music of our ancestors and contributed to it. He crossed the Iranian and regional borders through his art and made our music global. His glorious place is empty for us and Khorasan is mourning,” tweeted Abdul Latif Pedram, chairman of National Congress Party of Afghanistan.
“Shajarian is a lasting icon of art and music in the field of Persian language and Persian civilization. We are a pride generation to lived in his era,” said Sayed Qasim Akhzarati, a writer.
Regarded as a great Ustad -- or master -- of classical Persian music, Shajarian was adored by fans across Iran and around the world.
Born in Mashhad in 1940, Shajarian started singing at the age of five under the supervision of his father, and at the age of 12 began studying traditional classical music styles, according to his official biography.
He received many awards including the UNESCO's Picasso Medal for outstanding contribution to the arts in 1999; the Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mérite, the highest distinction in France, in 2014; and the Patron's Award by the Agha Khan Foundation, in recognition of his enduring contribution to the musical heritage of humanity, in 2019.
Shajarian died of kidney disease on Thursday.