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Tehran Times - Iran's Leading International Daily

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    TEHRAN -- Two Iranian short films will be screened at the 5th Damah Film Festival, which will open in Hiroshima, Japan tomorrow.
     
    “The Buried” by Ahmad Hayati and “Deep Blue” by Marjan Ashrafizadeh will be competing with nine other films from Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. 
     
    “The Buried” is about a boy who catches a warplane in a helmet in his imagination and later buries it in the graveyard for old planes.
     
    “Deep Blue” tells the story of a newly-married couple sailing a boat on a river in southern Iran, which was stricken by the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war, where the wife’s ring drops in the river. The man jumps into the river to find the ring, but instead he finds an unexploded mine.
     
    In addition, the Iranian filmmaker Sirus Hassanpur will be among the guests of honor at the three-day festival. 
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- A documentary about the life story of contemporary Iranian poet and translator Mohammad-Ali Sepanlu was screened at the cinematheque of the Iranian Artists Forum on Tuesday evening.

     
    Sepanlu, Abbas Kiarostami, Soheil Mahmudi, Simin Behbahani, Shams Langerudi, Shahram Nazeri and a large number of other cultural figures attended the screening of “Sailing across Tehran”, which was directed by Salaheddin Karimzadeh.
     
    The screening program was organized to commemorate Sepanlu’s 73rd birthday.
     
    “I was informed of this film from the beginning of the shooting and I am glad to see that it has been completed,” Tehran City Council Chairman Ahmad Masjed-Jamei said in a short speech.
     
    “He has pursued careers in writing, translation, journalism and so on in his life and was successful in all these fields,” he added.
     
    “Unfortunately, Tehran has been described as terrible in modern Persian literature; a city that is not culture-oriented,” Masjed-Jamei stated.
     
    “However, Sepanlu introduces Tehran well, giving back the city its lost self-confidence. He became the poet of Tehran… this city has the potential to convince a poet to defend the collective identity of Iranians and this is what Sepanlu did,” he added.
     
    Other participants also delivered short speeches after the screening of the documentary.
     
    “Sepanlu is an oral history that adds something new to my world every day,” Karimzadeh said.
     
    “Sepanlu belongs to a generation that lived with writing,” poet Shahriar Vaqfipur stated.
     
    “Every word of his poetry waxes poetic. We could never find a poet who has used such eloquent words and phrases to the extent that Sepanlu has in his poetry. He uses them in their most beautiful and inspiring forms,” poet Behbahani said.
     
    The session came to an end with Sepanlu’s speech.
     
    “This film is a token of appreciation for me that has been expressed by the younger generation,” Sepanlu said.
     
    “By this film I realized that I have not wasted my life. I wanted the generation to talk about us in this film,” he added.
     
    The title of the documentary refers to a Sepanlu’s collection by the same name.
     
    He has composed 15 collections of poems including “Earth”, “Sidewalks”, “The Absent Sinbad”, “Invasion”, “Streets, Deserts”, “Exiled in Homeland” and “Sailing across Tehran”.
     
    He is also the author of “Men”, a short story collection, “Remaking the Reality”, a compilation of short stories by various Iranian writers, “The Avant-garde Writers of Iran”, about the history of novel, short story and play writing in modern Persian literature.       
     
    In addition, he has translated Graham Greene’s “The Comedians”, Jean-Paul Sartre’s “The Childhood of a Leader”, Albert Camus’ “The Just Assassins” and several works by other writers.
     
    MMS/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN – The celebrated Iranian poet and children’s author Ahmadreza Ahmadi is trying his hand at writing a novel.
     
    Entitled “Apartment, Sea”, the book was released by the Nika Publication, the Persian service of ISNA reported on Monday.
     
    Asked about the subject of the novel, he said, “Go and read it. I wrote the book and I have done my work, now it is turn of the readers.”
     
    “I Will Tell You One Day”, “It Was Ten in the Morning”, “My Dear”, “We Are on the Earth”, “Glass Newspaper” and “I Only Cried a White Horse” are among his poem collections.
     
    Ahmadi, 73, was nominated for the Hans Christian Andersen Award in 2010.
     
    SB/YAW
    END
     

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    TEHRAN -- An Iranian filmmaker has recently completed a documentary in which a number of students of Abbad Kiarostami talk about the world renowned auteur.
     
    Over 70 students, who previously attended one of the many workshops held by Kiarostami, comment on his cinema in the documentary entitled “Long Shot”, director Mohsen Sharafinia said in a press release on Monday.
     
    “This documentary wants to attract the attention of universities and educational centers for cinema to Kiarostami’s method of filmmaking,” he stated.
     
    “It shows the easy ways to make film within limits, with less gear, and moreover without any independence,” he added.
     
    “The students believe that in his workshops, he teaches how to live with cinema rather than filmmaking, and this characteristic makes his workshops -- like his films -- different from the cliché courses,” he said.
     
    Sharafinia is a director of over 20 short films. He made his debut with the feature “The Season of Pomegranate” in 2012.
     
    MMS/YAW
    END
     

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    TEHRAN – Two Iranian films will be screened in the competition section of the 18th International Film Festival of Kerala, which will be running in Kerala, India from December 6 to 13.
     
    “Parviz” by Majid Barzegar and “Taj Mahal” by Danesh Eqbashavi are the two Iranian entries, organizers of the festival have announced on its website.
     
    They will be competing with 12 more films coming from different countries including Japan, Mexico, Argentina, Brazil, and Portugal. 
     
    “Parviz” is about a man in his fifties who has lived his entire life in his father’s home and has never had a job. His quiet routine suddenly comes apart when his father decides to remarry and tells him to move out.
     
    “Taj Mahal” is the story 60-year old Hossein, who lives in the southern Iranian city of Abadan. He finds himself caught between his job and his beliefs when he has to fire some of his co-workers in the shipbuilding plant. 
     
    The movies will be competing for the Golden Crow Pheasant Award with a cash prize of approximately 30,000 U.S. dollars to be given to the best feature film to be shared equally between the director and the producer.
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- Iranian artist Alireza Khaqani is currently working on a series of life-sized silicon statues of national heroes.
     
    He plans to display the collection in a permanent exhibition at Tehran’s Milad Tower, as he told the Persian service of MNA on Tuesday.
     
    Amir Kabir (1807-1852), the chief minister of the Qajar king Nasser ad-Din Shah, Ali Shariati (1933-1977), an Iranian revolutionary and scholar, and Mohammad Mosaddeq, the prime minister of Iran from 1951 until 1953, are among the figures.
     
    Khaqani’s collection comprised of statues of a number of contemporary Iranian luminaries was showcased in an exhibition at the Iranian Artists Forum in summer.
     
    This collection will also be displayed in the paramagnet show at Milad Tower.
     
    Both collections, which have been purchased by the officials of Milad Tower, will be transferred to the permanent exhibition that will open on December 10.
     
    Khaqani, who has long worked on making silicon prostheses, says that he has found silicon to be a material which can be made to have a texture similar to the human skin.
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- Professor Fazlollah Reza was made an honorary member of the Academy of Persian Language and Literature during a meeting in Tehran on Monday.

     
    “Professor Reza is an excellent role model for gifted and patriotic youth who are studying in technical and engineering fields,” academy director Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel said during the meeting.
     
    He praised Reza’s love for Persian poetry and prose   and added, “By his thought and pen, he teaches the youth that they are able to be an expert in technical and engineering fields and at the same time to be interested in Iranian culture.”
     
    As a professor, he has taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, McGill University, Concordia University in Montreal, University of Tehran, and many other international academic centers.
     
    “The Iranian youth who leave the country to study at Western universities should know that they are deeply indebted to their homeland,” Reza said after receiving the membership of the academy.
     
    “The youth should maintain their national identity of which the Persian language is a part, because this brings the country independence,” he stated.
     
    Reza, 98, has previously served as the Chancellor of Sharif University of Technology and University of Tehran. 
     
    He is the Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in New York City and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
     
    MMS/YAW
    END
     

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    TEHRAN -- “Che” producer Mehdi Karimi has recently submitted the film to the 32nd Fajr International Film Festival, a number of Persian media announced on Tuesday.

     
    The film, which is about the Iranian veteran Mostafa Chamran, has been directed by Ebrahim Hatamikia who is mostly known for his war dramas.
     
    “Che” depicts 48 hours of Chamran’s life on August 16 and 17, 1979 when he was sent to command several military operations in the civil war in the Kordestan region.
     
    The 32nd Fajr International Film Festival will be held in Tehran in February.
     
    Hatamikia’s works have previously received accolades at the festival, which is Iran’s most prestigious event in the motion picture industry.
     
    “The Scout”, which is his second feature, won the jury special prize in 1989.
     
    He also won a Crystal Simorghs for best director and best screenplay for “The Glass Agency” in 1998.
     
    He also won a Crystal Simorgh for best director and for “The Red Ribbon” in 1999.
     
    It is expected to be one of the main entries that will be contending for a Crystal Simorgh as postproduction stage will soon be completed.  
     
    His “In the Name of the Father” was crowned best film in 2005 and “In the Color of Purple”, a romantic political drama, brought him a best director award in 2006.
     
    However, “In the Color of Purple” was banned for several years due its subject.
     
    He made the social drama “Invitation” in 2008. Certain groups were disgruntled by his shift. Despite the strong criticism, he made “The Report of a Party”, which took a critical look at Iran’s June 2009 presidential election. 
     
    Formers officials of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance refused to authorize the premiere of “The Report of a Party”.
     
    MMS/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- Ezzatollah Entezami’s doctor has said that he must leave Tehran because of the past few days of shockingly bad air pollution in the capital.
     
    “Due to the air pollution in Tehran and its negative impact on Mr. Entezami’s health, he must leave the capital to settle in a city in the northern Iranian provinces, which enjoy clean air,” Sami’ian told the Persian service of IRNA on Tuesday.
     
    The 89-year-old Iranian actor was admitted to the CCU of the Farmanieh Hospital last week on Thursday due to respiratory problems.
     
    State Welfare Organization of Iran Director Homayun Hashemi, the Tehran City Council’s Health Committee Director Rahmatollah Hafezi, and a number of his colleagues, visited Entezami at the hospital.
     
    “The air pollution in Tehran has been turned into a big problem,” Entezami told the visitors.
     
    He called on the high ranking officials to find a solution for the problem.
     
    Hafezi said that, based on an official figure, 2700 people die annually of air pollution in Tehran.
     
    Air Quality Control Company Managing Director Yusef Rashidi said in a TV program in October that Tehran citizens breathed clean air only two days since the beginning of this Iranian year on March 21.
     
    In addition, Tehran City Council member Masud Solatanifar previously said that, based on a survey carried out by the organization in charge of Tehran’s main cemetery, Behesht Zahra Cemetery, the death rate of people suffering from respiratory and heart diseases shows a dramatic increase during days with high pollution levels.
     
    Iran’s Transport and Fuel Management Office Director Mohammad Royanian said on November 9 that the number of vehicles has doubled over the past four years.
     
    He said that over three million vehicles and about two million motorcycles are currently active in Tehran.
     
    MMS/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN – A large number of Iranian films will be screened in various sections at the 6th Sofia Menar Film Festival, which will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria from January 15 to February 2, 2014, organizers have announced. 
     
    “Kissing the Moon-Like Face” directed by Homayun Asadian, “The Last Winter” by Salem Salavati , “The Painting Pool” by Maziar Miri, “The Sealed Secret” by Hadi Moqaddamdust and “Wet Letters” by Marjan Ashrafizadeh will compete in the feature section.
     
    “Moving Up” by Loqman Khaledi is the only Iranian documentary in the festival. 
     
    In addition, “A Friend for My Friend” by Sarkaot Mohammadi, “A Rose for Majnun” by Ahad Ebadi, “Beyond the Deadend” by Puria Heidari Oureh, “First Night of the Winter” by Arash Rafiei, “Motherly” by Navid Nikkhah-Azad, “Pomegranate Is the Fruit of Paradise” by Teimur Qaderi, “The Wind Will Tell Something” by Ali Mardomi and “Travelling” Mashallah Mohammadi have been selected for the short film section.
     
    The festival presents the best cinema productions from the Middle East and North Africa.
     
    More than 70 films from various countries including Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar and Yemen will go on screen at this edition of the festival. 
     
    The festival has been organized to make Bulgarian audiences familiar with the culture and traditions of the Islamic world. 
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN – The celebrated Iranian cartoonist Kambiz Derambakhsh will be showing the new works he has added to his Clowns series in an exhibition, which will open at Seyhun Gallery tomorrow.

     
    A collection of 47 works drawn with pastels will go on display in an exhibition entitled “Pantomime on Paper”, Derambakhsh told the Persian service of ISNA on Wednesday.
     
    “I have been working on Clowns for 30 years. The major theme of the works is clowns, the soft and colorful clowns who try to convey messages of happiness to the visitors. They are the messengers of smiles and happiness in the society,” he added.
     
    “We all lack happiness in our society.  People need to have good feelings more than anything else, and artists can transfer these good feelings to people through their art to have a share in their happiness,” he explained.
     
    The veteran cartoonist has participated in many international events in Canada, Bulgaria, Turkey, Italy, Belgium and Brazil over the past four decades.
     
    He won the grand prize at Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun competition in 1998, the grand prize of a contest in Sao Paulo, Brazil, in 1998, the bronze medal for third place in a South Korean contest in 1998, and the grand prize in a Polish anti-war caricature contest in 2002.
     
    The exhibit will run until December 11 at the gallery, which can be found at Fourth Alley, off Vozara St.
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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    Tehran -- Danish filmmaker Berit Madsen has directed a documentary about Sepideh Hushyar, a young Iranian woman who dares to plan for her future as an astronaut.  

     
    The documentary entitled “Sepideh” was screened at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) on Monday. It was filmed by Iranian cameraman Mohammadreza Jahanpanah.
     
    At night, Sepideh, who lives in Saadatshahr in the southern Iranian province of Fars, stares up at the universe, and she is taking lessons from a space devotee who teaches schoolchildren about astronomy. 
     
    At home, filled with hope and longing, she watches films of Iran’s first female astronaut, Anousheh Ansari. So it is possible!
     
    When her father died suddenly six years ago, Sepideh discovered that she could feel closer to him by watching the stars. And so her dream was born, but not everyone appreciates her boundless ambition. 
     
    After all, becoming an astronaut is not exactly a normal goal for a young woman in Iran, particularly because she has no money to pay for university and beyond. 
     
    Her mother and uncle are worried about the emancipated young woman. She doesn’t want to learn to cook, hardly ever visits her family and doesn’t seem to be thinking about marriage at all.
     
    The documentary follows this brave young Iranian woman as she watches the stars, as well as at school, in the mosque and at home, where tensions steadily rise. 
     
    It also explores just how much at odds her dreams are with her current reality and the expectations of those around her. Fortunately, Sepideh is able to express all her thoughts, dreams and cares in the letters she writes to her hero, Albert Einstein.
     
    MMS/YAW
    END

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    TERHAN -- Iranian Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati and Qatari Minister of Culture, Arts and Heritage Hamad bin Abdul Aziz al-Kuwari discussed cultural collaboration during a meeting in Doha, Qatar on Thursday.
     
    Jannati at the head of an Iranian delegation arrived in Doha on Thursday and held talks with his Qatari counterpart, Persian news agencies reported on Friday.
     
    Both sides agreed to activate cultural cooperation including organizing a cultural festival of Qatar in Tehran and an Iranian cultural festival in Doha in the coming year.
     
    They also agreed to establish two committees to select Arabic books for Persian translations and Persian books to be translated into Arabic. 
     
    Participation of Qatar in Iranian cultural events such as films, music and theater festivals was also discussed.
     
    Moreover, Iran has plans to hold exhibitions of paintings, calligraphy and sculptures in Doha.
     
    Iran’s Ambassador to Qatar Mohammad-Javad Asayesh was also accompanying Jannati in his visit.
     
    Jannati invited al-Kuwari to visit Iran.
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- Iran has selected 14 plays from among many submissions from foreign troupes for the 32nd edition of the Fajr International Theater Festival.
     
    Most of the works are from European troupes, festival secretary Esmaeil Alizadeh announced in press release on Thursday. However, he gave no list of the plays.
     
    The 14 works will be performed by troupes from France, Italy, Norway, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Poland, Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania.
     
    In addition, troupes from India, Tunisia, Iraq and South Korea will be participating in the event.
     
    Alizadeh said that plays from Georgia and Tajikistan may be added to the lineup of the international section of the festival, which will be held in February 2014 in Tehran, Shiraz, Kish and two other Iranian cities.
     
    The works have been selected from among 90 submissions from foreign troupes across the world.
     
    Several Iranian plays will also be performed in the international competition section of the event.
     
    MMS/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- Iranian director Shahram Mokri’s acclaimed psychodrama “Fish and Cat” will be competing in two more international events in December.

     
    The film will be screened at the 10th Dubai International Film Festival in a section dedicated to movies by Asian and African filmmakers.
     
    Executives and members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences including Vicangelo Bulluck, Ellen Harrington, Ava DuVernay and Shekhar Kapur will attend the festival, which will be held from December 6 to 14.  
     
    “Fish and Cat” has also been nominated for best director award at the 7th Asia Pacific Screen Awards. The APSA ceremony will be held in Brisbane on December 12.
     
    The film tells the story of a group of students, who travel to a remote region to participate in a kite-flying event. Next to their camp by the lakeside, they find a restaurant with cooks that treat the students with suspicion. Bizarre events lead to a complicated situation, from which the students cannot escape.
     
    “Fish and Cat” has received accolades at several international events.
     
    It won the best film award at the 13th Lisbon and Estoril Film Festival in Portugal on November 18.
     
    The 70th Venice International Film Festival honored the film with the Special Orizzonti Award for Innovative Content in September.
     
    MMS/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN – Works by a number of Iranian calligraphers will be showcased in an exhibition at the Islamic Arts Museum in Malaysia.

     
    The exhibition, which will open on December 10, will put works by over 30 other artists from 8 countries on display.
     
    The museum has announced that the exhibit will run until May 10, 2014.
     
    Veteran calligraphers Nasrollah Afjeii, Karamali Shirazi, Mohammad Bozorgi and Ahmad Mostafa are among the Iranian artists whose works will be displayed, said Art Advisor of the museum Farah Hakemi.
     
    The museum has been looking for commonalities between modern art and old Islamic art, and the result has become a collection of a variety of artworks, she added.
     
    The museum is home to a valuable treasure of Islamic art collected from the Middle East, East Asia and the Indian Subcontinent.
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN -- Jila Mehrjuii, the set designer of the acclaimed films “Smell of Camphor, Fragrance of Jasmine” and “A House Built on Water”, died at the age of 68 on Friday.
     
    Mehrjuii was suffering from heart disease. She underwent surgery at a Tehran hospital, but she died as a result of low blood pressure, Persian media announced.
     
    Jila was the sister of the celebrated filmmaker Dariush Mehrjuii.
     
    She began her career in cinema as a set secretary for “The Stream” directed by Arbi Avanessain in 1971.
     
    She also worked with his brother in “The Cycle”, “The Tenants”, “Hamun”, “Banu”, “Sara” and “Leila”.
     
    She also collaborated with director Ahmad Amini in “This Woman Doesn’t Speak” Saeid Soheili in “Tara and Strawberry Fever” and Mehdi Sabbaghzadeh in “Breakfast for Two”.
     
    Mehrjuii was honored with two Crystal Simorghs for her work in Bahman Farmanara’s acclaimed films “Smell of Camphor, Fragrance of Jasmine” in 1999 and “A House Built on Water” in 2002.
     
    She was buried in the main cemetery of Taleqan, a town located about 135 kilometers northwest of Tehran.
     
    MMS/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN – “Tehran Dual”, an album that features classical compositions by Iranian musician Alireza Mashayekhi, has recently come out.
     
    The Mahoor Institute of Culture and Art, a major Iranian recording studio, released the album on November 26.
     
    The National Symphony Orchestra of Ukraine conducted by Vladimir Sirenko and the Iranian Orchestra for New Music conducted by Mashayekhi performed the compositions, Mahoor has announced.
     
    Mashayekhi is a notable Iranian musician, composer and conductor.
     
    RM/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN – A Persian translation of “Plot & Structure” by award-winning American author James Scott Bell is now ready for publication.

     
    “Plot & Structure”, one of the bestselling books on the craft of fiction writing, has been translated into Persian by Mohsen Soleimani and will be published by Sure-Mehr Publications.
     
    According to Soleimani, the author believes there is no instinctive novelist and that every individual can learn how to write a novel with a new and attractive structure.
     
    From story idea to strong plot line, “Plot & Structure” will show you how to write a solid novel, every time out. You will never have a structural weakness again. These principles will free you to add your talent and voice in the most successful form possible, Amazon writes about the book on its website.
     
    A former trial lawyer, James Scott Bell is the award-winning author of numerous thrillers, including the “Ty Buchanan” series (Try Dying, Try Darkness, Try Fear). He is also the author of two other popular writing books “Revision & Self-Editing” and “The Art of War for Writers”. A frequent teacher and keynoter at writing conferences, he resides in Los Angeles.

     
    RM/YAW
    END

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    TEHRAN – An Iranian theater troupe plans to perform “Socrates”, a play on the life story of the Athenian philosopher Socrates, at Tehran’s Vahdat Hall on December 12.

     
    Hamidreza Naeimi has written the play and will also direct it.
     
    The play explores the life story of Socrates in Athens until his trial and death, Naeimi previously told in an interview.
     
    Farhad Ayiish, Ladan Mostofi, Ayyub Aqakhani, Behnaz Nazi, Kataneh Afsharinejad and Siavash Cheraqipur will star in the play, which will be on stage until January 17, 2014.
     
    SB/YAW
    END

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