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: The other Iran | Tag | USA

Source:
HYPEBEAST | Thrasher Magazine travels to Iran for “Visualtraveling: The Persian Version”

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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

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

Women are at the forefront of Iran’s Startup boom

Techly published this article by Mitra Bahrami about women in Iran’s startups:

Last July, the Iranian startup community opened itself up to the Economist to introduce three of its largest internet companies to the world. Less than two months later, Techcrunch highlighted Iran as the next startup ecosystem to emerge. And in the middle of it all, the Iranian-born-and-educated Maryam Mirzakhani became the first female recipient of the Fields Medal, the most prestigious award in mathematics.

Having spent a good part of this past year in Iran and some of it working at MAPS, a relatively young but highly promising and inspiring startup incubator, what surprises me is not so much that this is finally happening, but rather that it took so long for it to happen. Just consider some of these statistics. Iran has one of the youngest and most educated populations anywhere in the Middle East. More than 70% of Iranians are younger than 35, and Iran’s literacy rate stands at 85% (OECD/WorldBank), a number that increases to 97% among young adults (aged between 15 and 24), without any gender discrepancy and well ahead of the regional average of 62%. Iran’s rigorous education system and college entrance exams filter the best and brightest for its leading institutions of higher learning, where only 10% make it to the highly selective public universities. Maryam Mirzakhani was the product of this system, and her Alma Mater, Sharif University, continues to inch upwards in the rankings among the world’s very best.

Another secret that is gradually bubbling to the surface is that women are at the forefront of this technological breakthrough.

https://i1.wp.com/techly.co/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/SWWomen.png

60% percent of college graduates in Iran are women, many of them trailblazers in their own right. Satratech, a MAPS startup, is a predominantly female-run operation having 8 of its 12 engineers as well as its co-founder all women. Shafajoo, its health and medical application, received top honors at the 6th annual Iranian web show in 2014, AND the software gained its 100,000th user within 6 months of its launch. Just this past month, Iran held its first startup weekend for women, one of a handful of countries to ever do so.

There are of course many challenges facing the high-tech community in Iran, challenges such as the US-imposed sanctions, the internal censors, and the continuing brain drain. But these have been a part of life in the country for a long time now, and the Iranians have managed to make their headways despite these problems. In many ways, these challenges have made them more resilient, more resourceful, more creative. Despite the sanctions for instance, you can find any high-tech consumer item you wish in Iran as a visit to Payetakht will attest to. The internal censors have made it inconvenient, and at times difficult to access many sites or to connect to the outside world, but by one account up to 70% or Iranians bypass government filters, a realization that may finally be encouraging the government to ease up the restrictions. And even though the brain drain must be felt on many levels in Iran, it hasn’t stopped the country from embracing internet banking, mobile bill-pay, and the spread and wide use of technology in a host of areas. In fact Iran has one of highest numbers of internet users in the world, ranking 13 when those numbers are taken as a percentage of population, well above, China, Russia, India, Brazil and Turkey.

Outside the country Iranians have cemented their reputation as pioneers in science and technology and by the looks of it, they are doing the same inside. Yes, the road inside has been more challenging with many more ups and downs, but Iranians seem to be overcoming them one by one. Iran is coming online as a high-tech powerhouse. The big question is, how far will it go, and how fast.

Mitra is an independent Communications Coach based in Silicon Valley, specializing in business writing and cultural aspects of communication. She is the founder of the Writing Academy in Palo Alto and has worked closely with Stanford University on a variety of writing and communications courses geared towards their international graduate students and visiting scholars. Prior to her teaching career Mitra was a producer at KRON TV in San Francisco where she was nominated for an Emmy (2007). Mitra started her career in Silicon Valley in 1980 as a technical writer and trainer in the high-tech industry (Cromemco, ASK Computers, Visicorp, SPC, Intuit). She has a BA in Linguistics and Sociology from University of York, UK (1980).

Source: techly – Iran Tech & Startup Scene News | Iranian Startups, Unveiled

German animation “Virtuoso Virtual” wins in Tehran International Animation Festival 2015

The 9th Tehran International Animation Festival was held from March 8 to 12. Over 130 works from across the globe were screened at the event.

German animation “Virtuoso Virtual” directed by Thomas Stellmach and Maja Oschmann has won the top prize in the International section of the 9th Tehran International Animation Festival, the organizers announced on Thursday.

“Virtuoso Virtual” shows some modest drawings that seem to come from nowhere. Following a secret choreography, they take on characteristics and moods of the music and narrate a story that appears to be laid out in the music.

The second prize went “All the Winters I Haven’t Seen”, Iranian animator Omid Khoshnazar’s acclaimed anti-war animation.

It tells the story of a pregnant woman in New York City who discovers that her fetus suffers severe physical defects. Totally unaware of the problem, the mother finds that she has been exposed to chemical weapons, a matter entirely absent from her medical records.

“Coda” directed by Irish animator Alan Holly received the third prize. “Coda” is about the afterlife. It shows some exotic experiences and the possibility of forgiveness.

Iranian animator and writer Mehdi Alibeygi was presented with the special jury award for his surreal short film “Changeover”.

“My Mom Is an Airplane” directed by Yulia Aronova from Russia was crowned best film in the About Children Section.

Award Title Winner Country
1 Golden Statue for the best animation Virtuoso Virtual Thomas Stellmach and Maja Oschmann Germany
2 Silver Statue for the second animation All winters that I haven’t seen Omid Khoshnazar Iran
3 Bronze Statue for the third animation Coda Alan Holly Ireland
4 Golden Statue for the best animation on the theme of children and young adults My Mum Is an Airplane Yulia Aronova Russia
5 Golden Statue for the best student animation Carn Jeff Le Bars France
6 Golden Statue for the best TV production Kung Fu Bunny (Kitchen War) Zhiyong Li China
7 Golden Statue for the best commercial animation Venice / Massi Simone Icaro Massi Italy
8 Special Statue of the jury Change over Mahdi Alibeigi Iran
9 Special Statue of the director of the festival —- Alexander Petrov Russia
10 Honorary diploma Green Fields Benjamin Vedrenne France
11 Honorary diploma Indah Citra Pierre-Antoine Naline, Sarah Feruglio, Maxime Orhnial, Anthony Oliveira France

Sources: Payvand News, Tehran International Animation Festival, TIAF | Photos

Video: The look of Iranian women from 1910 to 2010

Iranian Woman 2010

Iranian Woman 2010

In 1910, women sported monobrows and had pared-down make-up, with a close-fitting hijab.
A decade later, the hijab becomes looser and softer around the crown of the head, reflecting social changes – the Iranian social movement for women began.
In the 1930s, the Shah of Iran Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi implemented big changes – starting with the name of the country from Persia to Iran, and banned the hijab.
We can see hair getting more elaborate, make-up becoming heavier and looks that reflect Western trends.
Then the revolution occurs in 1979 and is evident in the sober, black hijab and face devoid of make-up.
But, while these were dark times for many Iranians, hope flourished again with the Green Movement, which sought to bring about political change after the 2009 presidential election.
While the hijab – now mandatory – remains until the 2010 look, it becomes more colourful and once again, a bit looser.

Source: The Huffington Post UK | How Iranian beauty has changed over 100 years