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Tehran Times - Iran's Leading International Daily

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    TEHRAN – The historical house of Allameh Jafar Feizi in the central Iranian city of Kashan has been converted into a museum of Persian dolls and toys. 

    A collection of 110 dolls and 100 toys has been put on display in the museum, owner and designer of the museum Amir Sohrabi told the Persian service of ISNA on Monday.
    “The dolls and toys are selected from different regions of the country including Azarbaijan, Gilan, Kordestan and Sistan-Baluchestan,” he explained.
    On choosing Kashan and the historical house, he said, “I am extremely interested in this city and its historical buildings. Last year, I purchased the house of Allameh Feizi, a cleric and poet from the Qajar era, and renovated the building.
    “The oldest dolls, selected from the towns of Naiin and Zavareh in Isfahan Province, belong to the Qajar-era and are puppets used in kheimeh shab-bazi, a kind of Persian traditional musical puppet show,” he explained.
    Sohrabi who began his research on dolls and toys in 2008, said that his studies on dolls and toys still continues, and he might add more to the collection in the museum.
    The license to establish the museum was issued by Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization (CHTHO) last week, he added.

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    TEHRAN -- An archaeological team, which has been assigned to reconstruct the ancient society of the 5200-year-old Burnt City in a new research project, have found several bizarre burials.

    “From 1200 graves, which have been discovered in the Burnt City since 1975 during various archaeological excavations, there are several burials which are very odd and mysterious,” team director Seyyed Mansur Sajjadi told the Persian service of CHN on Monday.
    Located 57 kilometers from the Iranian town of Zabol in Sistan-Baluchestan Province, the Burnt City was excavated for the first time by the Istituto Italiano per l’Africa e l’Oriente (IsIAO) team led by Maurizio Tosi in 1967. The team conducted nine seasons of excavations until 1978.
    “One of the odd burials is in Grave 1003, which had been excavated by our Italian colleagues,” Sajjadi said.
    The skeleton of 45-year-old man is located in the center of the circle-shaped grave and skulls of two dogs are placed above his head. In addition, 12 human skulls were placed on the north side of the grave, he stated, adding that to date, no other example of such a burial has been discovered in the Burnt City.
    Due to the structure of the grave, Sajjadi stated, “The grave undoubtedly belongs one of the peoples who had migrated from the Central Asia to the Iranian Plateau. This kind of burial indicates strong relations between the people of the region and Central Asia.”
    The archaeologists say that the grave may date back to a period before the advent of Zoroastrianism or it may belong to the people who were living in the region before the Iranian people settled in the area.
    According to Sajjadi, Grave 2810 features another strange burial in the Burnt City.
    “This grave belongs to a man who died sometime between the ages of 25 and 30. The head of the man was buried in the lower part of his right side and two daggers or cutting tools were also placed on his right side,” he stated.  
    The archaeologists surmise that the man was beheaded with the cutting tools.
    “In the grave, there are some pottery bowls and vases, which were used during formal funerals in ancient times. Therefore, we surmise that the man was executed for some offense, but due to the evidence of the formal funeral that was held for the man, he must have been a respected member of the community,” Sajjadi said.
    Another odd burial was discovered in Grave 609.
    The grave contains six skulls with a large number of long human bones, Sajjadi said.
    “All these burials raise a number of questions: Why were the men buried in such styles during the third millennium? Were the men buried in these styles by accident or on purpose? Were the men buried in such ways to save ground in the graveyard? Or are there other reasons behind these burial styles and we are unaware of them,” he asked.
    Iranian and foreign archaeologists have conducted 31 seasons of excavations in the Burnt City, which was registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in June.
    A 10-centimeter ruler with an accuracy of half a millimeter, an artificial eyeball, an earthenware bowl bearing the world’s oldest example of animation and many other artifacts have been discovered among the ruins of the city in the course of the 22 seasons of archaeological excavations conducted by Iranian teams.

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    TEHRAN -- Iranian vocalist Mohammad Motamedi and Spanish flamenco singer Rosario La Tremendita will give a performance at Glatt & Verkehrt, Austria’s largest festival for traditional music, in Krems.
    They will perform today at the festival, which started on July 4.
    Guitarist Salvador Gutiérrez, percussionists Oruco Palmas and Luis Amador, double bassist Jordi Gaspar from Spain, kemancheh player Sina Jahanabadi and daf virtuoso Habib Meftah Bushehri will accompany them during the performance.
    They gave the same performance, entitled “Qasida” at the 9th Suma Flamenca, a flamenco music festival held in Madrid in early July.

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  • 07/22/14--08:13: Art news in brief
  • Iran’s Center for Strategic Research revising plan for cinema development 
    TEHRAN -- The Center for Strategic Research (CSR) has been assigned the task to review the Plan for Organizing and Development of Iranian Cinema.
    The plan must obtain the approval of the High Council for Cultural Revolution after it is revised, Hessameddin Ashena, the cultural advisor of President Hassan Rouhani, said during a meeting at the CSR on Tuesday.
    The plan was made during the second term of Mahmoud Ahmandinejad’s administration. 
    Iranian theater scholar to discuss Shakespeare’s tragedies
    TEHRAN -- Theater scholar and translator Reza Sarvar will hold a series of review sessions on Shakespeare’s tragedies at the Rudaki Foundation from July 26.
    Narration in Shakespeare’s works, characters of Shakespeare’s plays, Hamlet studies and the effects of Hamlet on contemporary drama are among the topics to be discussed during ten sessions, which will be held on Saturday evenings at the foundation.
    Further information is available on
    Book on Iranian attractions published in Bosnian
    TEHRAN – The Cultural attaché’s office in Sarajevo has published a book on Iran’s tourist attractions.
    The book has been released in theBosnian language and introduces tourist sites as well as art and handicrafts of Iran.
    Another Persian translation of “And the Mountains Echoed” hits bookstores 
    TEHRAN -- The novel “And the Mountains Echoed” written by American author Khaled Hosseini was translated into Persian for the tenth time.
    Ziba Ganji and Parisa Soleymanzadeh translated the book, which was released by Morvarid Publications.
    “And the Mountains Echoed”  was translated into Persian by Mohsen Oqbaii, Mahguneh Ghahreman, Mansureh Hakami, Maryam Meftahi, Mansureh Vahdatizadeh, Bita Kazemi, Mehdi Ghabraei, Shanbam Saadati and Nastaran Zoheiri.
    Photos of Gaza tragedy on display at Tehran museum 
    TEHRAN – An exhibition of photos on the Gaza tragedy will be held at Tehran’s Palestine Museum of Contemporary Arts from today.
    Entitled “Bloody Rain in Gaza”, the exhibition features 40 photos depicting the oppressed people of Gaza.
    Over 600 people, including women and children, have been killed by Israeli bombardments of Gaza over the past weeks.
    The exhibition runs until August 11 at the museum located on Baradaran Mozaffar St, off Taleqani Ave., near Felestin Sq.
    “Melbourne” to go on screen at Venice filmfest
    TEHRAN – The Iranian drama “Melbourne” directed by Nima Javidi will go on screen at the 71st Venice International Film Festival, which will be held from August 27 to September 6.
    The film is the opening film of Critic’s Week, during which eight other films will go on screen at the festival. 

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    TEHRAN -- The Azadi Cinema Complex in Tehran announced on Tuesday that henceforth, its theaters will offer free admission every day for the first screening.

    The decision has been made to encourage people to watch films at theaters, complex director Reza Saeidi told the Persian service of MNA. 
    “Other institutions and organizations should get on board with some promotional activities to draw people into theaters,” he added. 
    He said that the culture of going to see movies should be restored to provide economic benefits for the cinema industry. 
    “There were 500 theaters in Iran before the victory of the Islamic Revolution and people used to line up in front of the theaters to watch films. But today, only 200 theaters are active in Iran and people seldom go to see films at theaters,” Saeidi stated.  
    Iranian institutions concerned with cinema have conducted many promotional activities get people to return to theaters.
    Factors such as easy access to free download of the latest Iranian and foreign films and TV series from Internet, the severe depression in the society, and weak domestic productions have stifled movie attendance in Iran over the past five years.     

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    TEHRAN -- Iranian artists will come together this evening at the Art Bureau in Tehran for a meeting entitled “Gaza Is Not Alone” to express their solidarity with the people of Gaza, which have been a prime target for Israeli airstrikes over the past weeks.

    “Taking action against Israeli crimes in Gaza in every corner of the world would have its own political, social and cultural impact,” Morteza Gudarzi, the director of the Art Bureau’s Visual Arts Center, which is the organizer of the gathering, said in a press release on Tuesday.
    “We expect artists and people across the world to take action against these inhumane Israeli acts, however minor it may be, and also to be sensitive to the human tragedy unfolding in the region,” he added.
    A large group of Iranian cineastes has also announced that they would gather at Tehran’s Shafaq Cultural Center this evening at 6 pm to protest against Israeli crimes in Gaza.
    There was widespread condemnation of Israeli crimes by Iranian cultural organizations and artists over the past week.
    The Islamic Culture and Relations Organization, the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults, the Iranian House of Cinema and several other institutes censured the Israeli crimes in separate statements.  
    In addition, the Oscar-nominated Iranian filmmaker Majid Majidi strongly criticized international human rights organizations’ silence over the human catastrophe in Gaza in a statement published last week.
    In a statement published on Tuesday, Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati called on Iranian artists to attend the International Quds Day rallies on the last Friday of Ramadan to express solidarity with the Palestinian people.
    Over 600 people, including women and children, have been killed in Israeli bombardments of Gaza so far.

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    TEHRAN -- The cultural advisor of President Hassan Rouhani has said that the Association of Iranian Journalists will reopen with a new name.
    “The fact that the community of journalists of Iran has the right to have a strong professional organization has been recognized by this government,” Hessameddin Ashena told the Persian service of ISNA on Tuesday.
    “Backing the plan to establish a professional press system is the top priority of the Press Office of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance,” he added. 
    In his presidential campaign, Rouhani had promised to reopen the Association of Iranian Journalists, which was closed down by the government under former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in August 2009.
    The association was established in 1997 at the onset of the presidency of reformist Mohammad Khatami to protect the professional rights of Iranian journalists. In 2008, it had about 4000 members.
    The association faced systematic harassment from government authorities under Ahmadinejad’s administration.
    Ashena said that the Press Office is currently revising the law of the media and professional press system.
    “The process of revision is expected to end in the first half of the (Iranian calendar) year,” he stated and added concerning the revisions, “The outcome must be approved by the Majlis. 

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  • 07/23/14--08:15: Art news in brief
  • Malek library opens Russian section
    TEHRAN – Tehran’s Malek Museum and Library has recently opened a new section for books in the Russian language.
    The section contains over 150 books, about half of which have been donated to the library by Reza Fazel Hamedani.
    Located at Mashq Square, which is home to several Qajar era monuments in downtown Tehran, the Malek Museum and Library was inaugurated in 1927.
    Ingo Schulze’s “Cell Phone” now in Persian 
    TEHRAN – A Persian translation of “Cell Phone”, a collection of short stories by German author Ingo Schulze, has been published in Iran.
    Mahmud Hosseinizad translated the book, which was published by Ofoq Publications.
    “Cell Phone” contains 13 stories, including “Not Literature, or, Epiphany on a Sunday Evening”, “Berlin Bolero”, “Milva, When She Was Still Quite Young” and “Calcutta”.
    Iranian musicians to perform at German festival in October
    TEHRAN – Iranian percussionist Pejman Haddadi and pianist Nima Farahmand will perform a duet at the Tubingen Jazz and Classic Days (Tubingen Jazz und Klassik Tage), which will run Germany from October 18 to 26.
    Their performance will be held in Zimmertheater hall in Tubingen.
    “A Separation” composer works for “Babul Murad”
    TEHRAN – Iranian musician Sattar Uraki, the composer of the music for the Oscar-winning film “A Separation”, has been collaborating with Syrian director Fahd Miri’s TV project “Babul Murad”.
    Currently being filmed in Iran, “Babul Murad” is a biopic on Imam Muhammad Taqi al-Jawad (AS), the son of Imam Reza (AS) and the ninth Imam of the Shia.
    Written by Syrian screenwriter Mahmoud Abdul Karim, “Babul Murad” involves six countries in its production: Iran, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Kuwait and Bahrain.
    Book on life of French novelist Jean Genet published in Persian  
    TEHRAN – “Jean Genet et L'Architecture Du Vide”, a book reviewing the literary life of French novelist Jean Genet (1910-1986) has recently been published by Ney Publications.
    Iranian scholar Mahtab Boluki is the author of the book, which was translated into Persian by Abolfazl Allahdadi.
    22nd International Holy Quran Exhibition wraps up 
    TEHRAN -- The 22nd International Holy Quran Exhibition, which annually takes place during the Holy Month of Ramadan in Tehran, was concluded on Tuesday. 
    Artists from Spain, Russia, Kuwait, Palestine, Algeria, Tunisia, Malaysia, India, Pakistan, Turkey and several other countries displayed a variety of their works at the exhibit this year, which was held at the Sacred Defense Garden Museum.

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    TEHRAN – Iranian actress-cum-director Niki Karimi has expressed her criticism over the world’s silence on the ongoing Israeli crimes in Gaza.

    “It is very strange to me that in today’s world of instant communication such a tragedy can be occurring, and yet everyone still does as he pleases, and nothing is done to stop it,” she told the Persian service of ISNA on Wednesday.
    “The issue of Palestine is not something new for us; we have been hearing about this savage killing (of the Palestinians) since we have opened our eyes (to this world). We are not political and know nothing about the details, but what I notice as a citizen are the photos I see from the brutal attacks, especially against the children. I believe this is a universal catastrophe,” she added.
    Karimi who presided over the Edinburgh Film Festival jury in June continued, “The main thing for every individual is the right to live, but who is safegusrding human rights and where are they now? Why don’t they take action,” she added.
    “Years ago during World War II, many were killed and many were prosecuted, and (people) still talk about it, but now in the year 2014, with all these media and the (news) reflection, we witness such a savage massacre and unfortunately nothing happens,” she explained.
    There has been widespread condemnation of Israeli crimes by Iranian cultural organizations and artists over the past week.
    Iranian artists gathered yesterday at the Art Bureau in Tehran for a meeting entitled “Gaza Is Not Alone” to express their solidarity with the people of Gaza.
    A large group of Iranian cineastes also gathered at Tehran’s Shafaq Cultural Center yesterday to protest against Israeli crimes in Gaza.
    Moreover, Iran Cinema Organization (ICO) Director Hojjatollah Ayyubi has called on Iranian artists and cineastes to turn out in large numbers for the International Qods Day rallies, which will be held on Friday, to show stronger support for the oppressed Palestinian people.

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    TEHRAN – Iran’s Documentary and Experimental Film Center (DEFC) plans to hold an Indian documentary film festival in Tehran from August 3 to 6.

    Seven Indian documentaries will go on screen during the festival, which will be held at the DEFC Cinéma Vérité Hall.
    “The Women in Blue Berets” directed by Farida Pacha, “Mayong: Myth/Reality” by Utpal Borpujari, and “Powerless” by Deepti Kakkar and Fahad Mustafa are in the lineup for the festival.
    The other films are “Dhananjay Kulkarni Chandragupt” by Rrivu Laha, “The Sound of Old Rooms” by Sandeep Ray, “Director Painter Shri Baburao Laad Saheb” by Richa Hushing and “Bahadur: The Accidental Brave” by Aditya Seth.
    The DEFC is located at 15 Shahid Qandi Sq., North Sohrevardi Ave.

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    TEHRAN -- Four new films have premiered in Iranian theaters a week early to better brighten up Eid al-Fitr, the celebration marking the end of the month of Ramadan, which falls on July 29 this year.
    “Today” by Reza Mirkarimi, “Kalashnikov” by Saeid Soheili, “Azar, Shahdokht, Parviz and Others” by Behruz Afkhami, and “Angels Descend Together” by Hamed Mohammadi are the four new films which hit the theaters on Wednesday.
    “Today” is about Yunes, an aging taxi driver, who takes a young woman to the hospital at the end of his working day, not knowing what awaits him there. 
    Parviz Parastuii, Soheila Golestani, Ruzbeh Hesari, Ashkan Jenabi and Shabnam Moqaddami starred in the movie.
    “Kalashnikov” tells the story of a little girl who has been raped and her brother kills the rapist. They escape and go around the city with a Kalashnikov.
    “Azar, Shahdokht, Parviz and Others” is a family drama based on a story by Afkhami’s wife Marjan Shirmohammadi, who also stars in the film.
    It features the story of a housewife, who plays a role in a movie with her famous actor husband, drawing the attention of the film critics, and raising jealousy in her husband.
    “Angels Descend Together” is about the difficulties of a young cleric and his wife who are confronted with the birth of triplets.
    Reza Attaran’s “Red Carpet”, which has also been on screen for a few weeks, is still the highlight of the cinema and has drawn thousands of moviegoers to theaters despite Ramadan, the month in which the number of moviegoers usually drops. 
    “Red Carpet” was shot during the 66th Cannes Film Festival in May 2013. The film spotlights the contrast between those celebrities who are excessively concerned about their costume designs, and those people whose main concern is only cinema, when they step on the red carpet at the prestigious film gala. 

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    TEHRAN -- The senior advisor of the Iran Cinema Organization (ICO), Alireza Rezadad, has been selected by the organization to arbitrate in disputes over financial issues and ownership of “Laleh”, the controversial film project about the first Iranian female race car driver, Laleh Seddiq.  

    Rezadad was appointed by ICO Director Hojjatollah Ayyubi, the Persian service of ISNA reported on Friday.
    The disputes have arisen between director Esmaeil Niknejad and producer Parvaneh Partov, and the Documentary and Experimental Film Center (DEFC) after management changes in Iranian cinema under President Hassan Rouhani’s administration.
    The project, which was being supported by former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and its affiliated organizations, began in March 2013, just a few months before Ahmadinejad left office, under the auspices and ownership of the DEFC.
    After the victory of Rouhani in the presidential election, Mohammad-Mehdi Tabatabainejad was appointed director of the DEFC. Afterward, Tabatabainejad said that the former DEFC director contravened the legal duties of the center about the project. Based on the DEFC charter, the center is allowed only to support experimental productions or debut films. “Laleh” is classified in neither of these categories.
    Consequently, the project was brought to a halt after over 60 billion rials (about $2 million) had been spent on it.

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    TEHRAN – Theater scholar, dramatist and director Ardeshir Salehpur has been appointed as the secretary of the 33rd Fajr International Theater Festival.

    The appointment was announced Thursday in a press release issued by the director of the Dramatic Arts Center of the Culture Ministry, Hossein Taheri.
    Salehpur, 57, is the author of “Bride and Sparrow”, “Daughter of Pomegranate”, "Mah-Titi”, “Drama and Gramophone” and three other plays. He has also directed eleven documentaries, most of which are on anthropological issues. 
    The 33rd Fajr International Theater Festival will be held in Tehran in February 2015.

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    TEHRAN – Iranian director Rakhshan Bani-Etemad’s drama “Tales” will compete for a Golden Lion at the 71st Venice International Film Festival.

    The film is composed of seven short episodes, in which Bani-Etemad reveals the fate of some of the main characters in her previous films like “The Blue-Veiled”, “Under the Skin of the City” and “Mainline”.
    In addition, Iranian director Nima Javidi’s debut “Melbourne” will be the opening film of the festival’s 29th Critics’ Week. 
    “99 Homes” by the U.S.-based Iranian director Ramin Bahrani will also be screened at the festival, which will be held from August 27 to September 6.
    The festival will open on August 27 with the premiere of Mexican director Alejandro Inarritu’s “Birdman or the Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance”. 
    Hong Kong filmmaker Ann Hui’s “The Golden Era” on Japanese imperialism in China will be shown on the closing day of the event on September 6.

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    TEHRAN – A large group of Iranian cineastes attended the International Quds Day demonstration in Tehran on Friday to show their solidarity with the oppressed people of Palestine.

    Actors Atila Pesyani, Amin Taroklh, Fariborz Arabnia, Mahumd Pakniyat, and filmmakers Reza Mirkarimi, Maziar Miri and Kamal Tabrizi were seen in the group, which was organized by the Iranian House of Cinema. 
    International Quds Day is an annual event held on the last Friday of Ramadan that was initiated by the Islamic Republic of Iran in 1979 to express solidarity with the Palestinian people and to oppose Zionism and Israel’s control of Jerusalem. 
    Iran Cinema Organization (ICO) Director Hojjatollah Ayyubi had called on Iranian artists and cineastes to turn out in large numbers for the International Quds Day rallies.
    “The cineastes have always shown that they have not forgotten their roles on special occasions, and today is one of those special days,” Director of the Iranian House of Cinema Mohammad-Mehdi Asgarpur told the participants.
    He expressed his criticism over the world’s silence on the ongoing Israeli crimes in Gaza.
    Ziaeddin Dorri, famous for his TV series “The English Bag”, was among the demonstrators. He condemned the savage massacre of the Palestinian children and called International Quds Day a chance for the world to see the crimes.
    Producer Fereshteh Taerpur said she is attending the rally to show her objection to the mass murder of innocent women and children.
    “How can an individual see these painful scenes and the crimes happening in Gaza and still keeps silent?” actress Merila Zarei asked.
    The cineastes have always been with the people, and besides that they can play in films on this issue and show their support in this way, she added.
    Filmmaker Kamal Tabrizi said that anybody who sees the pictures of the massacre in Gaza and keeps silent is not a human being. “We are here to prove cineastes will not remain silent over the crimes happening in Gaza,” he added.
    This year’s ceremony coincided with Israel’s military assault on Gaza, which has killed many people, nearly a fifth of whom have been children.
    Iranian artists gathered at the Art Bureau in Tehran on Wednesday for a meeting entitled “Gaza Is Not Alone” to express their solidarity with the people of Gaza.
    A large group of Iranian cineastes also gathered last week at Tehran’s Shafaq Cultural Center to protest against Israeli crimes in Gaza.

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    TEHRAN – Tehran is getting tuned up for the hot summer days bringing a big surprise for music lovers with over 10 different concerts ranging from traditional to pop and classic.
    Young pianist Arman Fahimi will be giving a piano recital in Rudaki Hall on August 1.
    Vahdat Hall will be hosting the band “Arshavir”, playing regional music from Kordestan and Lorestan provinces accompanied with ritual performances on August 3.
    Vocalist Homayun Shajarian and a group of musicians led by composer and string instrumentalist Tahmures Purnazari will give concerts at the Grand Hall of the Ministry of Interior in Tehran from August 7 to 9.
    Songs from their latest album “Neither Angel nor Devil Am I” will be performed during the concerts.
    Great fans of the pop star and music composer Sirvan Khosravi will be able to meet him in the Milad Hall of the Tehran Permanent International Fairgrounds on August 7, 8 and 11.
    On August 10 and 11, Rudaki Hall will host a group of dervishes from Konya to perform sama, the Sufi ecstatic dance, during the concerts.
    A number of Iranian musicians led by Amir-Hossein Hassaninia will accompany the group.
    Milad Hall of the Tehran Permanent International Fairgrounds will host Ali Lohrasbi on August 14 and pop star Benyamin Bahadori on August 15.
    The hall will also host concerts by pop singer Hamid Asgari on August 20 and Reza Yazdani on August 25.

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  • 07/26/14--08:31: What’s in art galleries
  • Painting
    * The Tarrahan-e Azad Gallery is currently playing host to an exhibition of paintings by Morteza Asadi.
    The exhibition runs until July 30 at the gallery located at 41 Salmas Square, off Fatemi St.
    * Works by a group of painters are currently on display in an exhibition entitled “The Creation” at the Gorjani Gallery.
    The showcase runs until August 4 at the gallery, which can be found at 4 Khayyam Alley, off Vali-e Asr Ave., near the Parkway Intersection.

    * An exhibition of photos by Raufeh Rostami is currently underway at the Shirin Gallery.
    The exhibit runs until July 30 at the gallery located at No. 9, 18th St. in the Velenjak neighborhood.
    * Works by a group of photographers are currently on display in an exhibition at the Mah-e Mehr Gallery.
    The photographers are Elnaz Khoshdel, Mina Majidi, Mojgan Sheikhi, Yasaman Alipur and Nazfar Forqani.
    The showcase runs until August 4 at the gallery located at 7 Nilufar St., off Africa Ave. 

    * Drawings by Kiarash Alimi are on display at the Dastan Basement Gallery.
    The gallery can be found at 6 Bidar St., off Fereshteh Ave.

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    TEHRAN – The Iranian kamancheh virtuoso and vocalist Sohrab Purnazeri has joined a group of Arab musicians in the Austrian city of Krems to perform a concert today at the Glatt & Verkehrt, the country’s largest festival for traditional music.
    The Arab musicians are from Iraq and Syria.
    Ertan Takin on zorna, balaban and duduck; Hussein Zahawy on percussions and vocal; Goran Kamil on oud and vocal; Leila Renault on double-bass; Robin Vassy on percussions and vocal; and vocalist Maryam Ebrahimpur are the members of the band. 
    Iranian vocalist Mohammad Motamedi and Spanish flamenco singer Rosario La Tremendita gave a joint performance at the festival, which ends today.

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    TEHRAN – The director of the Islamic Ideology Dissemination Organization (IIDO) has lamented about the wide gap that exists between Iranian society and the ideals of the Islamic Revolution.

    “The Islamic Revolution began with the idea of promoting the pure culture of Islam in society,” Hojjatoleslam Seyyed Mehdi Khamushi told the Persian service of MNA on Saturday.
    “However, there is still a large gap between the Iranian society and the pure culture of Islam,” he added.
    “We are constructing a civilization, and if the arrogant powers did not hinder, and the war and the sanctions were not imposed on the country, more activities could be carried out,” he added.
    To bridge the gap, he said young revolutionaries should be employed in the cultural management of the country.   

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    TEHRAN -- President Hassan Rouhani has called on Iranian artists and literati to prove Iran’s genuine belief in pacifism to the world by means of art and culture.

    Speaking during a meeting with Iranian artists and cultural figures on Friday evening in Tehran, he said, “Iranian people have always been against violence and extremism.”
    “If there is someone or a small group, which goes a different way, you the culture lovers should tell the entire world through the creation of the most beautiful poems, films and artworks that the Iranian people are a nation of peace, friendship and brotherhood,” he added.
    A large group of Iranian artists, musicians, cineastes and literati attended the meeting, which was organized by the presidential office. 
    Elsewhere, he said, “There has often been a struggle between artists and literati on one side, and the government on the other side, to steal the limelight in the society.”
    He considered that to be a big mistake made by the artists and the government and said, “All of us should be at the people’s service and show that both the artists and the government are their servants.”
    Representatives of the artists in each field also delivered short speeches about their problems at the meeting.
    President Rouhani also hosted the artists and literati for iftar, the evening meal for breaking the dawn-to-dusk fast during the holy month of Ramadan.

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