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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.
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.
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
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.
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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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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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.
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