Photos: Women’s cross country competition in Shiraz, Iran

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The other Iran

Athletes in adults and youth categories competed in Shiraz, Fars Province to qualify for a place in Iran’s national team.

Sources: Young Journalists Club (YJC) 1, YJC 2, IRNA 1, IRNA 2, ISNA, iribnews.ir, Mehr News Agency, Borna News

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Italy’s former ambassador to Iran to US American audience: No, Iranians don’t hate you

Roberto Toscano - Italy’s ambassador to Iran, 2003-2008

Roberto Toscano – Italy’s ambassador to Iran, 2003-2008

In 2004, when I was Italy’s ambassador to Iran, I had the occasion to tour the country together with a couple of American friends, at the beginning rather hesitant to come and visit, but then overwhelmed by the hospitality and politeness that are so typically Iranian and even more by the “extra” of both hospitality and politeness that came out when people realized that they were American.

One episode has remained marked in their memory (and in mine too): at the end of a visit to the tomb of the poet Saadi in Shiraz a mullah, who had been listening to the English translation of our guide, and had asked him where those tourists were from, went up to my friend, shook his hand, said (in English) “God bless you” and left.

most people who have seen the recent movie Argo … are convinced that what they see is contemporary Iran: still hostile, still radical, still violently and massively anti-American.
The truth is rather different. Certainly the regime finds in anti-Americanism a sort of marker of identity …What is interesting, however, is that anti-American rhetoric is not focused on what America is, but on what America does. … the 1953 Anglo-American coup against Mossadeq or the support given to Saddam in its 1980 aggression against Iran.
The fact is, however, that this regime narrative, and the hostility toward the U.S., is not really shared by the majority of Iranians.

Iran — and this will surprise the average American — is not a closed country, and its citizens can travel abroad, if they get the necessary entry visas, of course. In the second place, educated Iranians (not a narrow minority, differently from other countries in the area) have access to reliable information about the world and also about the U.S., in spite of the attempts of the regime to filter “subversive” material in both TV programs and internet traffic.

Actually, I found that in Iran there is a lot of admiration for America: not necessarily for its policy, but for its economy and for its culture, wildly popular especially among Iranian youth.

A strong proof of the fact that America is not hated by Iranians came with September 11, when thousands of Iranians went spontaneously to the streets for a candlelight vigil in homage and solidarity to the victims of the attack on the Twin Towers.

The lack in Iran of the generalized and often virulent anti-Americanism that characterizes Middle Eastern populations is something that Americans traveling in Iran, even in the present tense political situation, can testify. Not only is there no hostility toward American citizens, but instead we see curiosity and friendship at the same time, though often combined with criticism for specific U.S. policies and behavior.

Definitely crowds chanting ‘marg bar Amrika’ (death to America) are today both very rare and not very much convinced: they tend to be formed by activists bused to the demonstrations.

Many, if not most Iranians, may be fed up with the regime, especially in its present incarnation in President Ahmadinejad, but they are a proud, patriotic people. They have problems with their leaders, but not with their country, especially in the event of an external attack.

The full article: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/roberto-toscano/no-iranians-dont-hate-you_b_2972677.html

3rd International Bayan Programming Contest in Tehran, Iran

A total of 10,266 computer programmers from 103 countries participated in the competitions hosted by Bayan knowledge-based company.

After a qualification round held online during October 9-12, 2014 and an elimination round that took place online on October 19, sixty contestants from the top 20 countries advanced to the finals.

The finals took place in Tehran on May 1st, 2014. Evgenii Kapun from Russia, Ali Haghani from Iran and Nikola Djokic from Switzerland stood first to third respectively. Full scoreboard here: contest.bayan.ir | Final scoreboard

A total of 4,910 contestants from 54 countries participated in the contest during 2012-13.

About the contest
Talented programmers compete in solving problems inspired by real-world scenarios. Contestants are free to choose their programming language, which is not limited because of the output-only nature of problems. All accommodation expenses are covered by the company, while the flight expenses of the top ten participants will be met by the organizers.

About Bayan
Bayan is a privately held Information Technology and consulting company specializing in large-scale web applications. Bayan has developed many products and services since its establishment, including Blog.ir (hosted blog service), Hod.ir (web-mail service), BayanBox.ir (file hosting service), Sana (smart cloud storage system) and Salam.ir (meta search engine, focusing on retrieving relevant results for Persian search queries).
Awards: Best Iranian Software Company, Outstanding Iranian Brand in Information Technology, Organizational Excellency Award

Sources: Press TV, Iran Daily, Bayan | Contest, bayan.blog.ir, codeforces.com | Egor, codeforces.com | BYN, ISNA | Photos

Video: Awarded Iranian American Chef Ariana Bundy’s beautiful introduction to Persian cuisine on TV at Nat Geo People on May 8th

Ariana Bundy, an award winning Iranian-American chef and cookbook author of ‘Pomegranates & Roses’, visits the vast and fascinating country of Iran to re-discover her heritage. From the lush green mountains of the Caspian sea, to the golden deserts of Yazd, Ariana eats her way through Persian delicacies in Bazaars, pastry shops, restaurants, and people’s homes.

Cooking alongside local women in palatial homes, countryside and in villages. She meets chefs, bazaar traders, farmers, food bloggers and home cooks and recreates the recipes she picks up along the way in her home in Dubai, by using common ingredients and short cuts to create exotic feasts.

About Ariana Bundy
TV Chef and cookbook author Ariana Bundy was brought up in New York, London, Switzerland and Paris. She inherited her love of food and cooking from her grandparents – who grew cherries, plums, apricots, apples, wheat and barley, bred sheep and goats for dairy, and had beautiful vineyards producing prized grapes – and from her father, who owned the first fine-dining French restaurant in Iran and later in Beverly Hills.

Ariana was Head Pastry Chef for the Mondrian Hotel in LA. Graduate of Le Cordon Bleu and Le Notre in Paris, she trained at Fauchon Patisserie and attended the European Business School in London. She has cooked for celebrities such as Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, President Clinton, Brad Pitt and Madonna to name a few.

Sources: Payvand News of Iran, Tehran Times

Iranian Armenians rally in Tehran to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide

The other Iran

Thousands of Iranian Armenians rallied in Tehran on Friday, protesting in front of the Turkish Embassy to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide.

Many in the crowd, who marched from the Armenian Church in Tehran to the Turkish Embassy, held signs in Farsi and English asking the international community to recognize the genocide, while others chanted slogans calling for justice and the downfall of the Turkish government.

“What Armenians demand now is that the Turkish government recognize [the massacre] as genocide and accept its legal consequences,” Karen Khanlari told Iran’s Press TV during the protests.

There were different events organized to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide on April 23 and April 24. In Tehran were the religious ceremonies held at the St. Sarkis Cathedral.

Following sovereign countries have officially recognized the Armenian Genocide:
Argentina (2003) , Austria (2015), Belgium (1998), Bolivia (2014), Canada (1996), Chile…

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Iran’s Christians celebrate Christmas (Text & Photos)

The other Iran

As Christians around the world celebrate Christmas, the holiday season is also observed in Iran, a predominantly Muslim nation where Christians make up less than 1% of the country’s approximate population of 77.5 million.

Christmas trees decorated with red, green and gold gift boxes placed behind shop windows or at the entrances of different shopping malls and hotels can be seen, especially in the Christian neighborhoods of Tehran.

Decorated trees, along with Nativity scenes of the Virgin Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus, can also be seen in shops along Mirza Shirazi Avenue and Ostaad Nejatollahi (Villa Avenue) and its surrounding neighborhoods in central Tehran, where many Iranian Christians reside.

Shermin, an Iranian Christian, told Al-Monitor, “Like other Christians in the world, we celebrate Christmas at home along with our family and friends, exchange gifts and party.” She added, “There are a lot of good things to eat at this joyful…

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Series American couple in Iran: A Poem to the People

Iranian Hospitality on Train from Iran

Iranian Hospitality on Train from Iran

My heart sank as I watched the news from Iran this morning, scenes of the British Embassy being charged by an angry mob in Tehran. It saddens me – angers me, really – that narrow groups like this who define the world’s perception of Iran and the Iranian people are in reality such a small percentage of the country’s population.

My experience tells me they are the outliers, yet circumstances conspire to convince us on the outside to see them as the norm.

I thought back to all the people we met across Iran, from families in small mountain villages to shopkeepers on the busy streets of Tehran, virtually all of them welcoming us Americans – the supposed enemy — almost always with open arms and quite often bearing gifts. I remembered our conversations with Iranian people of all ages who longed for engagement — not only with us, but with the rest of the world.

I felt like yet another door closed on them today.

Continue to read the whole story here:

http://uncorneredmarket.com/iranian-people-poem/

Video: World class US and European Skateboarders skating in Iran

While skateboarding has a firm footing across major cities of the world, Iran certainly isn’t a name you’d associate with skating. Bridging an in-depth skateboarding video with documentary film, Thrasher Magazine and producer Patrik Wallner venture into Iran for an episode of “Visualtraveling.” Here, they meet MJ, skateboard enthusiast and skate deck craftsman who takes the crew through the country. Running into their fair share of challenges, the crew of skaters find out first hand what it’s like to skate in the Persian region. Clocking in at just under 30 minutes, the film is a mind-expanding piece that’s definitely worth your while.

Other USA – Iran related articles:
http://theotheriran.com/tag/usa/

Source:
http://hypebeast.com/2014/3/thrasher-magazine-travels-to-iran-for-visualtraveling-the-persian-version

Harvard Business Review: What It’s Like Being a Business Traveler in Iran

With a sense that a new dialogue may be happening between this remarkable culture and the West, about a dozen CEOs from the U.S., U.K., and Canada with extensive experience in emerging markets persevered to take a closer look.

Throughout our ten days this month in Tehran, the religious center of Qom and historic Kashan, Isfahan, and Shiraz, little of what we experienced was expected.

We almost immediately learned that Iran is an astoundingly lovely place, with very little of the deep poverty one sees intertwined into the societies of most emerging markets. We visited some of the greatest historic and cultural centers we have ever seen. There is an excellent education system – their engineering, in particular, is globally competitive. We didn’t see a fraction of the religious tension we expected. Everywhere we went, people (especially young people) came up to us even on the streets, tourist spots and restaurants to say hello, to thank us for being there, to express affection.

Coke and Pepsi were everywhere.

Today, in a country of roughly 70 million, there is well over 100% mobile penetration – meaning many people have more than one “dumb” phone – but 3G is coming and their over 60% Internet penetration is rising (albeit service speed is slow by western standards.)

And despite the sanctions and difficulty in buying apps, we were told that there are some 6.5 million iPhones in the country. Despite government restrictions for access to social networks, every young person we saw has found works-arounds to access Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more.

The new generations were born after the taking of our Embassy, so it’s not part of their world-view. They have little interest in their parents’ politics or religion, and in being told what to do.

Read the complete post here:

http://blogs.hbr.org/2014/05/what-its-like-being-a-business-traveler-in-iran/

Other must read articles: http://theotheriran.com/tag/usa/

International Conference on Shakespeare Studies held in Tehran, Iran

Prof. Stephen Greenblatt: “I never thought that Shakespeare would become my magic carpet to the land of Persia”

The First International Conference on Shakespeare Studies was held on November 26 to 27, 2014 in Iran.

The conference, organized by the Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures from the University of Tehran, explored themes such as ‘Shakespeare and Political Discourse’, ‘Shakespeare under the Iranian Eye’, ‘Shakespeare and Adaptation’, ‘Radical Shakespeare’, ‘Shakespeare and Mysticism’ and ‘Shakespeare and Popular Culture’.

Tehran, Iran - University of Tehran, Conference on Shakespeare Studies 2014 - 00Professor Stephen Greenblatt took part in the conference and delivered a keynote speak focused on Shakespeare and the human condition on November 26. He is one of the world’s most celebrated Shakespearean scholars and best known for Shakespeare biography titled Will in the World: How Shakespeare became Shakespeare, which was on the New York Times Best Seller List for nine weeks. In 2012 he won the Pulitzer Prize for his book, The Swerve: How the World Became Modern.

“I never thought that Shakespeare would become my magic carpet to the land of Persia” said Harvard scholar Prof. Greenblatt when he expressed his enthusiasm for Iran and Persian cultural and historical heritage during the conference.

Prof. Mark Burnett from Queen’s University in Belfast, was another keynote speaker whose discussion focused on cinematic representations of Shakespeare in Iran. He talked about an Iranian adaptation of Shakespeare’s Hamlet entitled Doubt (Tardid), a 2009 Iranian Crystal Simorgh-winning film directed by Varuzh Karim Masihi.

Iranian scholar Hossein Elahi Ghomshei, author and lecturer on literature, art and mysticism, also spoke at the conference.

The event was organized by Dr. Ismail Salami and Dr. Maryam Soltan Beyad, professors at the University of Tehran.

Source
Iran Front Page

Other interesting posts:

http://theotheriran.com/tag/top-posts/