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Who can lay claim to Rumi, the Sufi mystic who is one of the world's most beloved poets? A bid by Iran and Turkey to do so has exasperated Afghanistan, country of his birth eight centuries ago. Tehran and Ankara asked to list the work of Jalal al-Din Muhammad Rumi as their joint heritage on the U.N.'s "Memory of the World" register in May. The young Rumi and his family fled to Turkey, where he spent most of his life, dying in the city of Konya in 1273 .Khaleeq has big plans for Balkh – especially since Oscar-winning star DiCaprio was tipped to play Rumi in the new Hollywood film.A large portrait of Rumi already greets visitors arriving in Balkh.President Ashraf Ghani, who in mid-June hosted Turkey's foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, has been carefully diplomatic, with a statement saying Rumi is "a shared pride of the two countries".Clues to what Rumi himself might have made of the dispute may lay in his writings.
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