Photos: The 28th International Book Fair kicked off in Tehran!

The event started on Wednesday May 6, in a 120,000 square meter venue at Tehran’s Grand Mosalla, and will continue until May 16, 2015.

Over 2800 publishers from Iran and 65 other countries have presented their latest publications at the fair. 300,000 Iranian books and 160,000 non-Iranian books were presented this year. The foreign publishers substantially offer their materials in English or Arabic however titles in French, German, Chinese, Korean or Japanese are also available.

Millions of visitors inspect the fair every year, including thousands of university students, scholars and families. It is currently the most significant cultural event in Iran as well as one of the most significant events of its kind in Asia and the Middle East. Heads of international book fairs from Oman, this year’s special guest, Paris, Bologna, Moscow, and other places are attending the 28th edition of TIBF.

Hundreds of cultural projects are carried out during the event as sidelines activities, including book review sessions, face-to-face meetings with Iranian authors, lecture sessions, and writing workshops.

Monday May 11, 2015 has been designated as Day of Africa  at the 28th TIBF. To mark the day, African exhibitors will hold an array of cultural programs. As part of the programs, a panel discussion will be staged in the TIBF section of Men of Letters’ House on existing cultural exchanges between Iran and African nations, sponsored by friendship associations established among Iran and a number of African nations, namely Nigeria, Tunisia, Uganda, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Comoros.

The works of illustrators participating at the 52nd Bologna International Children Book Fair will be displayed in an exhibition titled “Tehran-Bologna 2015”. According to IBNA (Iran’s Book News Agency), the illustrations which participated in the latest Bologna Children Book Fair as well as the illustrations by Roger Mellow, the winner of 2014 Hans Christian Anderson Award, will be showcased. Moreover, the works of the Iranian illustrators whose works have participated in the editions of Bologna Fair during the last 10 years are going to be put on public display in this event.

Tehran Metro and the public bus service boosted their cooperation during the 28th TIBF to facilitate the transportation of the visitors. Extra trains are being used and the arrival times of the trains is also reduced to 5 minutes at the weekends. The subway is deploying its maximum manpower particularly at the Beheshti and Mosalla stations, said Mohsen Nayebi, Head of Tehran urban and suburban Railway Operation Company. Public buses, dedicated particularly to transportation of the Book Fair visitors, are plying between the venue and the city’s main squares.

Sources: TIBF on Instagram, TIBF Official Site | News 1, TIBF Official Site | News 2, Tasnim News Agency| Tehran International Book Fair, Press TV | Tehran International Book Fair, irib.ir | Photogalleries, Tehran Municipality | News 1, Tehran Municipality | News 2,Expo Road | Tehran International Book Fair, Mehr News Agency | Photos by H. Razaqnejad , Tasnim News | Photos by M. Hassanzadeh, IRNA | Photos 1IRNA | Photos 2, ISNA | Photos by A. Khosroshahi

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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

Photos: International Equestrian Tournament for teenage jockeys was held in Chitgar Park in Tehran, Iran

Thirty eight jockeys competed in the 1st International Equestrian Tournament for Juniors (jockeys aged between 14 and 18) organized by the Equestrian Federation of Iran.

The tournament took place from April 23 to April 24 in Chitgar Park, Tehran. Embassadors from Belgium, Belarus, Spain and Turkmenistan visited the event. The first place went to Sobhan Youssefi riding Fouravar, Arshia Tassafi riding Butterfly took the second place and Amir Azsalan Tambakoukar riding Jalisco the third.

The restults on Thursday were:
1st place: Salar Golestanian riding Anora,
2nd place: Mehrdad Ameri riding Karbeh and
3rd place: Sobhan Yousefi riding Fouravar

Sources: International Equestrian Federation | Calendar , IRNA | Photos, Equestrian Federation of Iran | News

 

 

Video: Impressions of US musician Bob Belden on Iran

The audience members in Tehran’s Vahdat concert hall rose from their seats, clapping wildly as the frontman Bob Belden, a fun-loving New Yorker with a predilection for loud shirts, rested his soprano saxophone on a nearby stand.

“We love you Bob!” someone shouted in English from the balcony after Mr. Belden, 58, finished his third song of the night. A Grammy Award-winning producer, composer and jazz performer, he smiled broadly. “It is an utter honor to be here in Iran,” Mr. Belden said, drawing even more cheers.

The concert last Friday was the first by an American musician in Iran since the 1979 revolution.

View Bob’s impressions on Video (Playlist: 4 short videos – keep on watching):

Officials from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance sat in the front row, nodding their heads to renditions of tunes by Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Mr. Belden’s own compositions. The Iranians who filled the 1,200-seat theater clapped and cheered. They recorded video with their mobile phones of Mr. Belden and his four bandmates, who did little to suppress their own enthusiasm, waving, smiling and taking their own pictures of the audience.

The Tehran gig was the end of a short, wild tour through a country that officially considers the United States its enemy, but where people go out of their way to please guests, especially when they are American.

“This guy comes up to me, an Iranian; asks me where I’m from. I say, ‘America!’ He says, ‘I love you!’ ”

Mr. Belden said before Friday’s concert. “I tell him I’m a jazz musician. He says, ‘I love jazz!’ ”. “Everybody is nice to us here,” he added.

Source: The New York Times | Rebirth of the cool: American music makes a return to Iran

Nowruz – The Iranian New Year

Nowruz (meaning Now=new and ruz=day “The New Day”) is the name of the Iranian New Year. It marks the first day of spring or Equinox and the beginning of the year in the Persian calendar and is officially registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Nowruz is celebrated by people from diverse ethnic communities and religious backgrounds for thousands of years. It is a secular holiday for most celebrants that is enjoyed by people of several different faiths, but remains a holy day for Zoroastrians. It originated in Persia in one of the capitals of the Achaemenid empire in Persis in Iran and is also celebrated by the cultural region that came under Iranian influence.

Countries that have Nowruz as a public holiday include the following: Afghanistan, Albania, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, India, Iran, Iraq (Iraqi Kurdistan), Kazakhstan, Mongolia (regional state holiday only), Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.

Nowruz traditions
Spring cleaning
, or Khouneh Tekouni (literally means ‘shaking the house’) or ‘complete cleaning of the house’ is commonly performed before Nowruz. Persians and Kurdish and Lure Kurdish, Azerbaijanis, and start preparing for the Nowruz with a major spring-cleaning of their houses, the purchase of new clothes to wear for the new year and the purchase of flowers (in particular the hyacinth and the tulip are popular and conspicuous).

In association with the “rebirth of nature”, extensive spring-cleaning is a national tradition observed by almost every household in Iran. This is also extended to personal attire, and it is customary to buy at least one set of new clothes. On the New Year’s Day, families dress in their new clothes and start the twelve-day celebrations by visiting the elders of their family, then the rest of their family and finally their friends. On the thirteenth day families leave their homes and picnic outdoors, as part of the Sizdah Be-dar ceremony.

During the Nowruz holidays, people are expected to visit one another (mostly limited to families, friends and neighbors) in the form of short house visits, which are usually reciprocated. Typically, on the first day of Nowruz, family members gather around the table, with the Haft Sīn on the table or set next to it, and await the exact moment of the arrival of the spring. At that time gifts are exchanged. Later in the day, the first house visits are paid to the most senior family members. Typically, the youth will visit the elders first, and the elders return their visit later. When in previous year, a family member is deceased, the tradition is to visit that family first (among the elders). The visits naturally have to be relatively short, otherwise one will not be able to visit everybody on their list. A typical visit is around 30 minutes, where you often run into other visiting relatives and friends who happen to be paying a visit to the same house at that time. Because of the house visits, you make sure you have a sufficient supply of pastry, cookies, fresh and dried fruits and special nuts on hand, as you typically serve your visitors with these items with tea or sherbet.

Click a photo and browse to the gallery to see the different elements of the Haft-Sin and their symbolic meaning:

Haft Sīn (Haft=seven Sin=S “The seven ‘S’s”) is a major traditional table setting of Nowruz. The Haft Sīn items are:

  • Sabzeh – wheat, barley or lentil sprouts growing in a dish – symbolizing green environment, happiness and rebirth.
  • Samanu – a sweet pudding made from germinated wheat – symbolizing affluence.
  • Senjed – the dried fruit of the oleaster tree – symbolizing firmness and tolerance.
  • Sīr – garlic – symbolizing health.
  • Sīb – apples – symbolizing beauty and love.
  • Somaq – sumac berries –symbolizing patience.
  • Serkeh – vinegar – symbolizing development and evolution.

Other symbolic items can be:

  • Sekkeh – Coins – representing wealth
  • Lit candles – enlightenment and sunrise.
  • a Mirror – symbolizing cleanliness and honesty
  • Decorated eggs, sometimes one for each member of the family – fertility
  • A bowl of water with goldfish – life within life, and the sign of Pisces which the sun is leaving. As an essential object of the Nowruz table, the goldfish is also “very ancient and meaningful” and with Zoroastrian connection.
  • Rosewater – purity and cleanness.
  • The national colours – for a patriotic touch
  • A holy book (e.g., the Avesta, Qur’an or Kitáb-i-Aqdas) and/or a poetry book (almost always either the Shahnameh or the Divan of Hafiz)

Sources: wikipedia | Nowruz, Tumeric & Saffron 1, 2

Photo gallery: Iran Fajr Music Festival 2015 – Summary, Winners & Closing Ceremony

Fajr International Music Festival is Iran’s most prestigious Music Festival founded in 1986. The festival is affiliated with UNESCO and includes national and international competition sections.

Since its establishment, many musicians from several countries like Austria, Germany, France participated in the event. The festival have enjoyed a strong presence of Asian countries as well.

This year ten foreign groups performed 15 concerts. The groups were from USA, Germany, Austria, the Netherlands, Italy, Switzerland, Estonia, Armenia, Tunisia and Iraq:

[Click the names of the artists to see the according posts and photo galleries on this blog]
US American saxophonist and Grammy Award winner Bob Belden and his band Animation
Austria-based German clarinet virtuoso Ulrich Drechsler.
Italian jazz pianist Stefano Battaglia.
Italian quartet Maurice led by violinist it Georgia Privera. Laura Bertolino, Francesco Vernero and Aline Privitera are the other members of the quartet.
The Iraqi National Symphony Orchestra.
German Jazz-pianist and composer Johan Wendt, also known as Joja Wendt.
A string orchestra from Estonia, two duets from Armenia and musicians from Austria and Tunisia.
Dutch quartet composed of tenor and soprano saxophonist Yuri Honing, pianist Wolfert Brederode, double bassist Ruben Samama and drummer Joost Lijbaart.

In the National Music section, Mohammad Reza Amou-Javadi was selected as the best composer. While, Kourosh Matin, Keyvan A’laei, Massoud Najafi and Hassan Soleimani were honored.

Houman Rofrof and Mohammad Hadi Ayanbod were jointly awarded as best composers in the non-Iranian Classical Music section. Ali Afshari was also honored. The Hamnavazan ensemble topped the Iranian Classical Music section.

Amir Hossein Ramezani and Maryam Sharifzadeh topped the Music Theses section, while Pirouzan Kouhi was honored.

The Ava-ye Mahan Choir, conducted by Nima Fatehi, was honored as the best vocal.

Sources: wikipedia | Fajr International Music Festival, Tehran Times, Iran Daily, IRNA | Photos, IRIB | Galleries, Tasnim News | Photos

30th Fajr International Music Festival in Iran – Photo gallery (part 2)

Some of the performers shown in the photo gallery below were covered earlier in this blog. To get some back ground and more photos or videos, please click:
http://theotheriran.com/tag/music/

Click on a photo to open in original size, and navigate through the gallery.

Sources:
IRNA| Photos 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
ISNA | Photos 1, 2, 3
Tasnim News | Photos 1, 2