Laleh Seddigh – Iranian female racing driver

Remarkable people with Iranian roots

A PhD student from Tehran, she has been nicknamed “a little Schumacher” after the German Formula One champion. She has been given the title of Iran’s best female racing driver. The story is featured in a BBC TV documentary called “Girl Racer”.

The documentary can be viewed here:

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She earned international fame by fending off a host of male competitors to become Iran’s national rally champion in 2005.

More infos:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Laleh_Seddigh
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/05/14/international/middleeast/14seddigh.html?_r=2&pagewanted=all

The best posts on Iranian women:
http://theotheriran.com/tag/women/

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Abdol Hossein Sardari – The Iranian Muslim that saved the lives of thousands of Jews from the Nazis

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Abdol Hossein Sardari: Iranian Schindler

An Iranian official risking his life to save Jews? This scenario, while implausible nowadays, actually happened during the Holocaust. Meet Abdol Hossein Sardari, a diplomat at the Iranian mission in Paris during the 1940s. Known as the “Iranian Schindler,” he helped thousands of Jews escape certain death – by turning the Nazi race ideology on its head. […] Born into a privileged Iranian family, Sardari was a junior diplomat at the Paris embassy who enjoyed fine dining and the company of pretty women. After the Germans invaded France and the Iranian ambassador left the capital and went to Vichy to reconstitute the embassy there, Sardari was put in charge of consular affairs in Paris. When the Nazis started implementing anti-Jewish decrees in occupied France, Sardari made it his mission to protect his fellow Iranians in the region, regardless of their religion. […] Writing on the letterhead of the Imperial Consulate of Iran, Sardari tried to convince the authorities that according to “an ethnographic and historical study,” the members of the Jewish communities of Persia and central Asia were not Semitic but rather Aryan, like the Germans themselves. […] Sardari’s plan actually worked. When Jews were forced to wear the yellow Star of David, a directive was issued that Iranian Jews should be exempt. In addition, Sardari gave out between 500 and 1,000 Iranian passports, without the consent of his superiors. This saved 2,000 to 3,000 Jewish lives, as passports were issued for entire families.

Sardari never took any credit for what he did. When Yad Vashem asked him in 1978, three years before he died a poor exile in London, about his wartime activities, he responded: “As you may know, I had the pleasure of being the Iranian consul in Paris during the German occupation of France, and as such it was my duty to save all Iranians, including Iranian Jews.” The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles and other Jewish institutions have posthumously honored Sardari for his actions. Read more: Beating the Nazis at their own game | The Times of Israel
The BBC adds:
When Britain and Russia invaded Iran in September 1941, Sardari’s humanitarian task become more perilous. Iran signed a treaty with the Allies and Sardari was ordered by Tehran to return home as soon as possible. But despite being stripped of his diplomatic immunity and status, Sardari resolved to remain in France and carry on helping the Iranian Jews, at considerable risk to his own safety, using money from his inheritance to keep his office going. […] Fariborz Mokhtari, the author of “In the Lion’s Shadow: The Iranian Schindler and his homeland in the Second World War,” a new biography about Sardari states: “Here you have a Muslim Iranian who goes out of his way, risks his life, certainly risks his career and property and everything else, to save fellow Iranians,” he says. “There is no distinction ‘I am Muslim, he is Jew’ or whatever.”

Reza Mirkarimi: Awarded Iranian film director

Reza Mirkarimi (Persian: رضا میرکریمی ‎, born 1966 in Tehran) is an Iranian film writer and director. He graduated from Fine Arts University in Graphic Arts. His cinema activities began in 1987 with a series of shorts followed by two TV series aimed at young people.

His 1999 first feature, ‘The Child and The Soldier’, has won several national and international awards. In 2000 his second feature ‘Under the Moonlight’, dealing with social and religious issues won the Best Feature Award at the 40th Critics’ Week at the 2001 Cannes International Film Festival.

Three of his films have been presented by Iran for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar: ‘ So Close, So Far’, ‘A Cube of Sugar’ and his current feature, ‘Today’ Reza Mirkarimi has also sat on several international film festival juries.

Filmography (as director)
– 2000: Koodak va Sarbaz (The Child And The Soldier)
– 2001: Zir-e Noor-e Maah (Under The Moonlight)
– 2002: Inja Cheraghi Roshan Ast (Here Is A Shining Light)
– 2005: Kheili Dour, Kheili Nazdik (So Close, So Far)
– 2008: Be Hamin Sadegi (A Simple as That)
– 2011: Yek Habe Ghand (A Cube of Sugar)
– 2014: Emrooz (Today)

Short Films, Documentary and TV Series
– For Him (Short / 1987)
– A Rainy Day (Short / 1987)
– Rooster (Short / 1987)
– The Adventures of Mrs. Aziz (TV Series / 1996)
– Hemmat School Kids (TV Series 1997)
– Iranian Carpet (Documentary / 2006)

Awards
Film: Koodak va Sarbaz (The Child And The Soldier)
Honor Diploma for Best Director – Fajr International Film Festival 2000
Silver Baloon – Three Continents Festival 2000
Golden Shoe – Zlín Film Festival 2001

Film: Zir-e Noor-e Maah (Under The Moonlight)
Best Director Award tied with Gjergj Xhuvani for Slogans – Tokyo International Film Festival 2001
Special Jury Prize – Beirut International Film Festival 2001
Special Jury Prize – Tokyo International Film Festival 2001
Special Jury Award – Fajr International Film Festival 2001
Critics Week Grand Prize – Cannes Film Festival 2001
Silver Peacock Special Prize of Jury – Delhi International Film Festival 2002

Film: Inja Cheraghi Roshan Ast (Here Is A Shining Light)
Best Screenplay – Asia-Pacific Film Festival 2002
Crystal Simorgh Best Director – Fajr International Film Festival 2003
Special Jury Prize – Bali International Film Festival 2004

Film: Kheili Dour, Kheili Nazdik (So Close, So Far)
Crystal Simorgh Best Film – National Competition, Fajr International Film Festival 2005
Best Film Award – Celebration House of Cinema 2005

Film: Be Hamin Sadegi (A Simple as That)
Golden St. George – 30th Moscow International Film Festival 2008
Russian Guild of Film Critics Award – International Competition, Moscow International Film Festival 2008
Crystal Simorgh Best Director – Fajr International Film Festival 2008
Crystal Simorgh Best Screenplay with Shadmehr Rastin – Competition of Asian Cinema, Fajr International Film Festival 2008
Crystal Simorgh Best Director – Competition of Asian Cinema, Fajr International Film Festival 2008
Crystal Simorgh Best Director – National Competition, Fajr International Film Festival 2008

Film: Yek Habe Ghand (A Cube of Sugar)
Special Jury Prize – Kazan International Festival of Muslim Cinema 2012
Best Film – Kazan International Festival of Muslim Cinema 2013

Film: Emrooz (Today)
Best Film Award Rabat International Film Festival 2014

Sources: Wikipedia | Reza Mirkarimi, Internet Movie Data Base | Reza Mirkarimi

Reza Attaran: Awarded Iranian actor, director, screenwriter and singer

Reza Attaran (born 1968 in Mashhad) is an Iranian actor, director, screenwriter and singer. He won in 2008 the Best Actor Award at the Gol Agha Comedy Festival and is regarded as one of the most creative and prolific Iranian comedy actors.

He graduated from high school in Mashhad majoring in Economy and moved to Tehran to study Industrial Design at the University of Tehran. Despite enjoying his field of study he turned to acting. In 1980s he started playing theatre under Hassan Hamed, portraying non comic roles until 1992 when Hamed passed away.

Attaran made his television debut playing his first comedy role as Reza back in 1994 in the TV Series Happy Hour (Saate Khosh) directed by Mehran Modiri alongside actors like Reza Shafii Jam, Nasrollah Radesh, Arzhang Amirfazli and Nader Soleimani.

In 1994 he married Farideh Faramarzi, a film editor and actress. She played with her husband in the movie Absolute Rest (Esterahate Motlagh) directed by Abdolreza Kahani.

Between 1997 and 2003 he started directing his own TV series where he achieved great recognition and fame for his singing skills. At that time he formed a music band called Dampaei (Slippers) together with Youssef Teimouri and other artists. Since then he has become the most successful comedy series maker in Iranian TV.

Attaran made his debut as a film director in 2011 with I feel sleepy (Khabam Miad). In 2013 he directed and acted in Red Carpet (Farshe Ghermez); Attaran’s sarcastic take on film festivals, fame and stars.

He was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role at the 30th, 31st and 32nd Fajr International Film Festival: In 2012 for I feel sleepy (Khabam Miad), in 2013 for The Corridor (Dehliz) and in 2014 for Sensitive floor (Tabagheye Hasas).

TV shows
Happy Hour (Saate Khosh, as Reza, comedy, 1995-96)
Acacia Alley (as Faramaz, director: Reza Attaran, comedy, 2002-03)
Vagabond (as Ahmad, director: Reza Attaran, comedy, 2004)
The Accused Fled (as Ramin, director: Reza Attaran, comedy, 2005)
Shirin-va-Torsh (as Naser, director: Reza Attaran, comedy, 2007)
Turning Point (as Nader, director: Reza Attaran, comedy, 2008)
Ghalbe Yakhi (as Esfandiar, crime/drama, 2012)

Films
– 2015: Sperm whale (shooting, as Arjang, director: Saman Moghadam)
– 2015: Absolute Rest (Esterahate Motlagh, as Davoud, director: Abdolreza Kahani)
– 2014: Bar Bad Rafteh (Director: Reza Attaran)
– 2013: The Corridor (Dehliz, as Behzad, Director: Behrouz Shoaibi)
– 2013: Red Carpet (Farshe Ghermez, director: Reza Attaran)
– 2013: Sensitive Floor (Tabagheye Hasas, as Kamali, director: Kamal Tabrizi)
– 2013: Kalashnikov (Director: Kamal Tabrizi)
– 2012: By no reason (Bikhod & Bijahat, director: Abdolreza Kahani)
– 2011: I feel sleepy (Khabam Miad, as Reza, Director: Reza Attaran)
– 2010: Whatever God Wants (Harchi Khoda Bekhad, director: Navid Mihandoost)
– 2010: No men allowed (Voroode Aghayan Mamnoo, as Vahid Jebelli, director: Rambod Javan)
– 2010: Absolutely tame is a horse (Asb Heivane Najibi Ast, as Behruz Shakiba, director: Abdolreza Kahani)
– 2009: Az Ma Behtaroon (Director: Mehrdad Farid)
– 2009: Nish O Zanboor (Director: HR Slahmnd)
– 2009: Khoros Jangi (Director: Masood Atyabi)
– 2009: Bad Az Zohre Saghie Saghi
– 2008: Aghaye Haft Rang (Director: Shahram Shah-Hosseini)
– 2008: Empty chair (Sandali Khalli, director: Saman Astrky)
– 2007: Token (Neshani, director: Fereydoun Hassanpour)
– 2007: Tasvie Hesab (Director: Tamineh Milani)
– 2007: Tofighe Ejbari (as Ata, director: Mohammad Hossein Latifi)
– 2007: Quarantine (Gharantineh, director: Manouchehr Hadi)
– 2006: A hat for the rain Kolahi Baraye Baran (Director: Masood Navabi)
– 2006: Tigh Zan (Director: Alireza Davoodinejad)
– 2005: Havoo (Director: Alireza Davoudinejad)
– 2002: Kolah Ghermezi Va Sarvenaz (Director: Iraj Tahmasb)
– 2000: Cinderella (Director: Bijan Birang)
– 1997: Sarzamine Sabz (Director: Bijan Birang)

Awards
Best Actor Award at the 2008 Gol Agha Comedy Festival
Crystal Simorgh for Best Director in the New Vision section at the 30th International Fajr Film Festival for I feel sleepy (Khabam Miad), 2012
Statuette for Best Actor at the 15th House of Cinema Awards for Absolutely tame is a horse (Asb Heivane Najibi Ast)
Statuette of Golden Smile for Best Comedy Actor in the 2nd Sun’s Smile Awards for both Absolutely tame is a horse (Asb Heivane Najibi Ast) & No men allowed (Voroode Aghayan Mamnoo)
Diploma of Honor for Best Actor at the 6th Critics & Writers Guild’s Awards for By no reason (Bikhod & Bijahat), 2012

Sources: Wikipedia | Reza Attaran, Reza Attaran | Biography, picbazi.com | The legendary Attaran, Iran Novin Film | Red Carpet – Director’s Biography

Mehdi Fakhimi: Awarded Iranian architect

Iranian architect Mahdi FakhimiBorn on September 13, 1980, in Iran, Mohammad Mahdi Fakhimi got a Master’s degree in Architectural Engineering from Azad University in 2006.

He founded his first company named “Ideh-Pardazan Akad Group” in 2008 and continued his professional activity in three focused on three domains of architecture: urban planning, graphic interior design.

At that time his first book “Interior Design─From Architecture to Interior Decoration” was published.

He started teaching at Tehran Soore University as well as at Kish International Campus; the international branch of Tehran University located in Kish Island. His second book “Architecture & Urban Tele-democratic”, derived from his master thesis, was published in 2011.

Fakhimi resigned from teaching in 2013, working only as a supervisor and adviser for students who were looking forward to benefit from his knowledge for their theses.

Awards
Silver A Design Award in A’Design Award & Competition 2014-2015
Honorable Mention in 8th annual International Design Awards (IDA)
Jury Award of the Architecture and Urban Design Contest /2007
Winner of the 5th overall Architectural Photography Contest /2007

Sources: www.mahdifakhimi.com, A’ Design Award & Competition | Face Top Clinic

Kamran Heidari: Iranian film director and photographer

Born in 1977, in Gachsaran, close to the old city of Shiraz, Heidari directs documentaries and films about the lives of the people who come from his region. In 2012, Heidari directed his very first full-length documentary about the life of the eccentric and touching figure of Negahdar Jamali from Shiraz.

In 2013, Heidari directed another documentary, also on the life of an eccentric and touching person with a dream; Hamid Saeed, one of the best-known Iranian musicians with African roots.

One day while I was taking photos in Shiraz’s old neighborhood near the bazaar where century-old houses were falling into ruin I saw some beautiful writing on a wall which said “don’t know”.

I took a picture of the wall. As I was editing the photo and looking again at the writing it made me wonder about the person who wrote it? Did he or she write the words in a good mood or were they in a philosophical state of mind?

Rumi, the great Persian poet and philosopher wrote that “I” is a euphoric state — “What I know, what I know”. This “I” is what I think about when I take photos — it has become my overall concept for the Shiraz Street Photos series.

These old neighbourhoods serve as my photo workshop, the walls are my interior design and I carry my studio on my back. The subjects of these portraits stand in front of walls scrawlled with text — text full of sadness, happiness, pleasure, love, but also full of hope for life.

Apart from text, these walls incorporate other elements such as telephone and electrical cables, heater vents, and cracks, which make this environment even more attractive to me. These people represent the “don’t know” text on the walls. One can view them from an anthropological perspective — the geographic sections of the city of Shiraz become the backdrops for its’ inhabitants. In all of the photos the subjects look somewhat surreal. Kamran Heidari’s on Shiraz Street Photo Series

EXHIBITION
2014: “Good News from Iran”, Pasinger Fabrik, Munich Germany (Isfahan Gate Series and Shiraz Street Photos Series) – Curators: Stefan-Maria Mittendorf and Mojgan Endjavi-Barbé

FILMOGRAPHY
2004: “Dash Akol” (Documentary, 18min)
2006: Mohammad Bahman Beigi (Documentary, 40min)
2006: The Big Red (Short film, 14min)
2007: Comfortably Numb (Feature, 85min)
2008: At the End of Perfect day (Documentary, 50min)
2010: The Dead Sea (Documentary, 30min)
2011: Mola Sadra (Documentary, 30min)
2012: My name is Negahdar Jamali and I make westerns (Documentary, 65min)
2014: Dingomaro – Iran’s Black South (Documentary, 45min)

Sources: The Culture Trip | Kamran Heidari’s universal cinema beauty and humanity from Iran, Endjavi-Barbé Art Projects | Kamran Heidari, Kamran Heidari Official Site

Iranian architect Mahdi Fakhimi from AKAD Design winner of a Silver A’ Design Award in Italy

The design of Face Top by Mahdi Fakhimi from AKAD Design won the notable Silver A’ Design Award at Interior Space and Exhibition Design Competition in 2014-2015

The design, construction and execution contract of this project entitled Face Top Clinic, was concluded in summer 2011 for a cosmetic surgery consultation clinic in Tehran, Iran. Farzaneh Moghadasi, Sara Savar, Masoumeh Chakeri, Elham Sabetghadam, Mohammad Razaghdoust and Tahmineh Vesal are, alongside Mahdi Fakhimi, the team that was involved in this project.

Fakhimi, Mahdi - AKAD Design Group 1

The team from AKAD Design (Mahdi Fakhimi, 4th from right)

“The key point in the design of this project was the utilization of continuous surface style which is different from most of the works which have been done up to now, the continuous surface style requires soft surfaces and avoidance of sharp and angular lines, to create a flow” said Mahdi Fakhimi about the design.

It is not the first time that this team receives a design award for Face Top. It had already won bronze at the 7th Annual International Design Awards in 2014 in the category “Interior Design – Renovation”.

Hormoz Luxury Restaurant in Tehran, a runner-up in the Luxury Design Category in the same competition, is also a project by Mahdi Fakhimi along with Farzaneh Moghadasi, Sara Savar, Masoumeh Chakeri, Elham Sabetghadam and Hamid Ghorbani. It started in spring 2013 and finished by end of 2013.

About A’ Design Award and Competitions
The designs are judged by a panel of three different jury which is composed of Academic, Professional and Focus Group Members. A’ Design Award & Competitions, aims to highlight the excellent qualifications of best designs, design concepts and design oriented products. A’ Design Award & Competitions are organized and awarded annually and internationally in multiple categories to reach a wide, design-oriented audience. The Platinum A’ Design Award is given to the top 1% runner-up candidates (N° 1: 1st place, N° 2: 2nd and N° 3: 3rd place), the Golden A’ Design Award is given to top 3% candidates, the Silver A’ Design Award to top 5%, the Bronze A’ Design Award to top 10% and the A’ Design Award to top 20% runner-up candidates.

About AKAD Design Group
In 2002 a group of students beginning their careers started to work in teams using their knowledge from different fields. By 2008 AKAD Design Group was founded focusing on architecture, interior and graphic design.

Sources: A’ Design Award & Competition | Press release 36434, A’ Design Award & Competition | Mohammad Mahdi Fakhimi, AKAD Design | About, Mahdi Fakhimi | Projects, International Design Awards (iDA) 2014 | Renovation