Photo gallery: Zayanderud River in Iran’s Isfahan Province

Iran Isfahan Esfahan MapThe Zayanderud River, as largest river in the central plateau of Iran, starts in the Zagros Mountains and flows 400 kilometres eastward before ending in the Gavkhouni swamp, a seasonal salt lake, southeast of Isfahan city.

Sources: Tasnim News | Photos, wikipedia | Isfahan

Iran sabre team comes 8th in Fencing World Cup, Mojtaba Abedini being Iran’s most successful fencer

Abedini+Shormasti+Mojtara+Fencing+Iran+London+Olympic

Iran’s Mojtaba Abedini Shormasti made history by taking the 8th place

Iran sabre team finished in eighth place in the Fencing World Cup held in Warsaw, Poland on Sunday.

Iran started the campaign with a 45-20 victory over Chile in the Round of 32. Iran beat the U.S. 45-39 in Round of 16 but lost to Italy 45-39 in the quarter-final.

France won the title after beating Korea 45-43. Bronze medal went to Russia fencing team.

Iran’s Mojtaba Abedini Shormasti made history by taking the 8th place. Abedini is the the first Iranian who wins a place in the last eight. Abedini defeated Russian Alexander Trushakov 15-12 in round of 64 and then beat Alexey Yakimenko also from Russia 15-14 and advanced to Round of 16. The Iranian fencer beat Woo Young Won from South Korea 15-10 and qualified for Round of 8 and in this stage he lost to Romanian Tiberiu Dolniceanu 15-14.

Overall Rankings:
1- France 64 points
2- Korea 52 points
3- Russia 40 points
4- Italy 36 points
5- Romania 32 points
6- Germany 30 points
7- Belarus 28 points
8- Iran 26 points

Mojtaba Abedini Shormasti (born 11 August 1984) is an Iranian sabre fencer. He qualified to the men’s sabre event of the 2012 Summer Olympics through the zone tournament held in Wakayama City, becoming the first Iranian fencer to compete at the Olympics. He was defeated in the first round by Romania’s Florin Zalomir

Sources: Payvand News of Iran, wikipedia | Mojtaba Abedini, zimbio.com,

Ten-year-old Iranian girl Fatemeh Mahallati honored at Japanese drawing competition

15th International Environmental Children's Drawing Contest - First Prize - International Section - by 10-year-old Fatemeh Mahallati  from Iran

by 10-year-old Fatemeh Mahallati from Iran

Ten-year-old Iranian girl Fatemeh Mahallati has won one of 45 first prizes in the international section of the 14th International Environmental Children’s Drawing Contest in Japan. Her work depicts a number of people working on a farm.

“In my painting, I drew animals, flowers and people who are working on a farm and they are happy as they are living in nature,” Fatemeh told the Persian service of ISNA on Sunday.

“What I drew in my painting were the things I have previously seen in my visits to farms and green areas,” she added. “The environment and nature are important and we should protect the things concerning nature,” she stated.

Fatemeh has been a member of the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults (IIDCYA) in Raine, a town near the southern Iranian city of Kerman, since 2009.

In a message sent to Fatemeh last week, the director of Iran’s Department of Environment, Masoumeh Ebtekar, congratulated her for achievement at the competition.

Iranian successes in the previous 14 years (click on the pictures to see them in full size with age of the kid and prize that was won):

The contest was organized the Japan Quality Assurance Organization (JQA), the International Certification Network (IQNet) and the Tokyo branch of UNICEF.

The 6-year-old Japanese child, Kusaka Nana, won the Environmental Best Prize, which is the top honor of the contest.

The best prize of the international section was presented to the 12-year-old Ukrainian boy, Oleksiy Rakoma, and the UNICEF special prize went to the 7-year-old Bangladeshi boy, Raihan Fairooz Tarannum.

About the contest:
Since 1999, Japan Quality Assurance Organization (JQA) and International Certification Organization Network (IQNet) have been hosting the International Environmental Children’s Drawing Contest for children aged 7 to 15 years old from around the world, supported by UNICEF Tokyo Office.
So far, the contest has been held 15 times with over 21,000 entries that this year we’ve had entries from a record breaking 81 countries. In total, we have received more than 220,000 drawings up to now.
Full of imagination and artistic sensitivity, children drew pictures about nature and animals, their families and the surrounding area. The pictures also contain the message towards global environment, beyond borders and difference in their background cultures and languages.

Sources: Tehran Times , The International Environmental Children’s Drawing Contest

Hossein Alizadeh: Iranian Grammy Award nominee tours Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Italy starting Feb 27

Iranian tar virtuoso Hossein Alizadeh is scheduled to tour Europe to perform a series of concerts entitled “The Art of Improvisation”.

Kamancheh player Saba, who is Alizadeh’s son, and tombak virtuoso Behnam Samani will accompany him during the tour, which will begin at the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra in Gothenburg, Sweden on February 27.

The group will then perform at the Hvidovre Main Library in Copenhagen, the most populated city in Denmark.

Cosmopolite Scene in Oslo, Norway, will be the next stop for the ensemble on March 1 and then the group will leave for Venice to perform at the Centro Culturale Candiani on March 6.

The tour will come to an end at San Luigi Guanella, a major theater in Rome, on March 7.

The concerts will offer an attractive combination of traditional Persian music with an amalgam of percussion and stringed indigenous Iranian instruments.

About Hossein Alizadeh:
Hossein Alizâdeh , is an Iranian composer, radif-preserver, researcher, teacher, and tar and setar instrumentalist and improviser, described by Allmusic as a leading Iranian classical composer and musician.

He has made numerous recording with prominent musicians including Shajarian, Nazeri, Madjid Khaladj, and Gasparyan, and is a member of the Musical group, Masters of Persian Music.

Alizadeh was born in 1951 in Tehran to Azeri and Persian parents. He graduated from the music conservatory in 1975 and entered the school of fine arts in the University of Tehran where he studied composition and Persian music. He continued his education at the Berlin University of the Arts in composition and musicology. He studied with various masters of Traditional Persian Music such as Houshang Zarif, Ali Akbar Shahnazi, Nur-Ali Borumand, Mahmoud Karimi, Abdollah Davami, Yusef Forutan, and Sa’id Hormozi. From these masters he learned the radif of Persian classical music.

Alizadeh has performed extensively throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia and has appeared on many radio and television programs, including Radio France, RIAS in Berlin, WDR in Cologne, the BBC, KCRW in Los Angeles, and KPFA in Berkeley. Some of Alizadeh’s most noted compositions are, The Nava Improvisations (1976), Riders of the Plains of Hope (1977), Hesar (1977), Revolt (1983) for harp, string orchestra, and percussion, NeyNava (1983), Dream (1986) for harp and flute, Torkaman (1986), Raz-O-Niaz (1986), and Song of Compassion (1991).

He has been nominated for the 2007 Grammy Award along with Armenian musician, Djivan Gasparyan, for their collaboration album, The Endless Vision. In 2008, he was voted as “Iran’s most distinguished musician of the year”.

Listen to his music on last.fm: http://www.last.fm/music/Hossein+Alizadeh

Sources: Tehran Times , Wikipedia | Hossein Alizadeh , Iran Chamber

Chinese New Year Festival in Tehran, Iran

More than 1,000 people took part in “Happy Chinese New Year in Iran” celebration in Tehran ahead of the date by enjoying Chinese food and martial arts performance.

The event, organized by the Chinese Embassy, was a chance for the participants to learn about Chinese traditions, such as Chinese medicine with a doctor from the University of Tehran showing the practice of acupuncture. The doctor said the Chinese medical clinic set up by the university receives dozens of patients every day as Chinese medicine has been gaining popularity in Iran in recent years.

Red Dragon, directed by Ahmad Rastgou, and co-produced by Iran and China was displayed at the event and a children’s workshop brought together Iranian and Chinese children through Chinese national games and entertainments. A charity shop presented Chinese traditional handicrafts including calligraphy and Chinese miniature along with fireworks entertained the guests.

Performers from a local martial arts club wowed the crowd with their stunning acts and lion dances. A treat to traditional Chinese snacks such as dumplings and noodles also attracted a long queue.

“This is my first time to join Chinese Spring Festival celebration. I think it’s very interesting. Spring Festival is the most important festival in China. I saw lion dances just now. It’s fantastic,” said a student studying Chinese language at university.

The Chinese ambassador, Mr. Pang Sen and the chairman of the Iran-China Friendship Society officially opened the New Year by painting the eyes of the dragon as a symbol of resurrection of the dragon. Mr. Sen accompanied guests in visiting pavilions designed to introduce Chinese culture and traditions.

China’s Ambassador to Tehran expressed gratitude for the guests and dignitaries in the ceremony and congratulated them on Chinese New Year; “Chinese New Year, like that of Iranians, is the spring and renewal of the life on earth, and is one of the greatest traditional festivities, which is widely celebrated across China with magnificent events,” he told the participants.

Wikipedia on the origins of Sino-Iranian relations:
The Parthians were apparently very intent on maintaining good relations with China and also sent their own embassies, starting around 110 BC: “When the Han envoy first visited the kingdom of Anxi (Parthia), the king of Anxi dispatched a party of 20,000 horsemen to meet them on the eastern border of the kingdom… When the Han envoys set out again to return to China, the king of Anxi dispatched envoys of his own to accompany them… The emperor was delighted at this.” (Shiji, 123, trans. Burton Watson).

In this link you can find a video of this year’s Chinese New Year Festival (with Chinese speaking Iranians): CCTV News Content

Here is a video report of last year’s Chinese New Year celebrations in Tehran (in English):

Sources: IRNA | Photos, wikipedia, Mehr News Agency, CCTV News Content

 

US American saxophonist and Grammy Award winner Bob Belden: “I will never forget Iran”

American saxophonist Bob Belden, who gave performances with his band Animation in Tehran, says he will never forget Iran.

Trumpeter Pete Clagett, keyboardist Roberto Verastegui, drummer Matt Young, and bassist Jair-Rohm Parker Wells are other members of ‘Animation’ who accompanied Belden in the Tehran performances.

In his short speech before the concert, he expressed his happiness to have been visiting Iran, adding that he and his companions found love and happiness in the presence of the Iranian audience. The musician also referred to their trips to the historical cities of Isfahan and Shiraz and added that they were delighted to see the cities and meet their good people.

In addition, Belden said that during their trips, they met several young Iranian musicians who were very talented. He asserted that he liked Iran and its people very much and especially enjoyed Persian kebab.

He called music the common language among all nations and said that he has found many friends through music in different countries. His speech was followed by performances of several pieces, some of which were from his Grammy nominee compositions.

Speaking of his interest in visiting Iran again, he said that he would download their performance in Tehran on internet sites to let other people watch and see where the concert was performed.

The 30th edition of Fajr International Music Festival ran from February 13 to 20 in different venues across the Iranian capital Tehran.

About Bob Belden:
James Robert Belden (born October 31, 1956) is an American saxophonist, arranger, composer, bandleader and producer. He is noted for his Grammy Award winning jazz orchestral recording titled The Black Dahlia. He is also a past head of A & R for Blue Note Records.

Sources: Payvand News of Iran, Wikipedia | Bob Belden

Photo series: Winter in Iran – Snowfall in Tabriz

Iran, Tabriz MapTabriz is one of the historical capitals of Iran, and the present capital of East Azerbaijan Province. Tabriz is located at an elevation of 1,350 meters above sea level in the Quru River valley between the long ridge of the volcanic cone of Sahand and Eynali mountain. The valley opens up into a plain that gently slopes down to the eastern shores of Lake Urmia, 60 kilometres (37 miles) to the west. With cold winters and temperate summers, the city is considered a summer resort.

The city has a long and turbulent history with its oldest civilization sites dated back to 1,500 B.C. It contains many historical monuments representing the transition of Iranian architecture in its long historical timelines.

The predominant language spoken in Tabriz is Azerbaijani language. The language has a strong Iranian substrata since it has for many centuries been in close contact with Persian. Like every other part of Iran the lingua franca is Persian. For the first time, an academic program on Azeri opened in Tabriz University in 1999.

Tabriz was a house for numerous Iranian writers, poets, and illumination movements. In old times the city notables, supported poets and writers by organizing periodical meetings. Within its long history it was a residence for many well known Iranian writers and poets. The list can start from the old time Rumi, Qatran, Khaqani to recent years Samad Behrangi, Gholam-Hossein Sa’edi, Parvin E’tesami.

Sources: Mehr News Agency | Photos, ISNA | Photos, wikipedia | Tabriz