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Tehran Times - Iran's Leading International Daily

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    TEHRAN -- Iranian expert Abdolmajid Arfaei has been assigned to decipher inscriptions in Susa, the capital of ancient Elam in the southwestern Iranian province of Khuzestan.

    Deciphering the ancient inscriptions is part of the obligations Iran must fulfill to convince UNESCO to register the site on its World Heritage List, Khuzestan Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Department Director Afshin Heidari told the Persian service of IRNA on Wednesday.
    A group of UNESCO experts is scheduled to visit Susa during July to access the site for registration on the list, he added.
    Heidari said that brick and stone inscriptions along with their translations and a collection of other artifacts will be put on display in an exhibition at the site in July.
    A graduate of the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago Arfaei, 75, is an expert on the Avestan, Pahlavi and Elamite languages.
    He is the author of “The Decree of Cyrus the Great”, a book giving a unique elucidation of the Cyrus the Great Cylinder, which is inscribed with what is considered to be the world’s first charter of human rights.
    Susa is composed of the Haft-Tappeh site, Chogha Zanbil Ziggurat, the Shush Castle and several other sites.
    The Shush Castle was constructed in the late nineteenth century by the French civil engineer, geologist and archaeologist Jacques Jean-Marie de Morgan (1857-1924), who had come to Iran to carry out excavations in the region.
    De Morgan managed to convince the French government of the time of the necessity of sponsoring the construction of the stronghold, which was used as a safe haven for his team and as a place to carry out their studies.
    Bricks dating back to various historical eras, which had been scattered at the Susa region’s ancient sites of Haft-Tappeh and Chogha Zanbil, were used in building the castle.
    The Code of Hammurabi, a stele bearing the most complete and perfect extant collection of Babylonian laws developed during the reign of Hammurabi (1792–1750 BC), was discovered near the castle in 1901 by French Orientalist Jean-Vincent Scheil. It is now preserved in the Louvre.

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    TEHRAN -- An Iranian theater troupe, which will be directed by Milad Shajareh, will perform “Dialogue with Escapees” at the Babel Arts Festival in Romania next week.
    The play written by Mohammad Zarei on people who have a restless dissatisfaction with the status quo, will be staged at the Sala Mica Hall in Targoviste on June 19.   
    Shajareh, Reza Behbudi and Sara Sakamuri are main members of the cast for the play.
    The festival will be held from June 16 to 21. 

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    TEHRAN -- Another Persian translation of “A Tour of Iran” (“Voyage end Perse”), an illustrated travelogue of Iran by French painter Eugène Flandin, has recently been published.

    The book has been translated into Persian by Abbas Agahi and was published by Mana Publications in Tehran. 
    According to the Encyclopaedia Iranica, in 1839, Flandin was, along with his fellow architect Pascal Coste, made a laureate of the Institut de France, and they both joined the embassy of the Comte de Sercey to Persia (1839-41).
    After parting from de Sercey’s mission, they left Isfahan on May 31, 1841 with very limited financial means and retinue. 
    They pursued their periplus towards Hamadan, Kangavar, Bisotun, Shiraz, Bushehr, Tehran, Kashan and several other cities to record Persia’s ancient and Islamic monuments.
    His paintings had not brought him the success he expected, at least not enough to get him out of financial troubles, and his career shifted to archeology and administrative work.
    Despite its many predecessors, Flandin’s “Voyage en Perse” remains a model of its kind and an important source, particularly on early Qajar Persia, due to both its text and its illustrations. 
    It provides many valuable observations on history, archeology, arts, architecture, geography, social and court life, royal and provincial administration, military organization, etc. Itineraries are carefully noted.
    Although the account of their Persian travel was written by Flandin, Coste provided very precise observations in his “Notes”, notably about their hardships, their shortage of money, the persons they met en route, etc. 
    Soon after their return in February 1842, they divided their respective tasks to publish their drawings.

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    TEHRAN -- Iranian director Majidreza Mostafavi’s debut film “Unripe Pomegranates” will be competing at the 36th Moscow International Film Festival, which will run from June 19 to 28.

    The movie tells the story of a couple living in a suburb of Tehran. The wife takes care of an elderly woman suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and the husband is a welder in a skyscraper. However, an accident causes new problems for the family.
    Fifteen other films from other countries will also be screened in the competition section of the event, the organizers of the festival have announced. 
    “White Yagel” by Vladimir Tumayev from Russia, “Hardcore Disco” by Krzysztof Skonieczny from Poland, “Brothers” by Victoria Trofimenko from Ukraine, “The Sentimentalists” by Nicholas Triandafyllidis from Greece and “Reporter” by Thijs Gloger from the Netherlands are among the movies in the competition section.
    Internationally-acclaimed Russian filmmaker Gleb Anatolyevich will preside over the jury. 

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    TEHRAN -- The Iranian Artists Forum (IAF) has organized a master class on melody and rhythm in Indian classical music, which will be held on June 22.
    Iranian sitar virtuoso Fakhreddin Ghaffari and Indian table virtuoso Darshan Anand will hold the master class, the IAF announced on Saturday.
    The IAF has organized the master class in collaboration with the Indian Cultural Center in Iran.

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    TEHRAN – The Iranian documentary “Profession: Documentarist” has won the Tim Hetherington Award of the 21st Sheffield Doc/Fest, the organizers announced on Thursday.
    “Profession: Documentarist” is directed by seven female documentarians Shirin Barqnavard, Firuzeh Khosrovani, Farahnaz Sharifi, Mina Keshavarz, Sepideh Abtahi, Sahar Salahshur and Nahid Rezaii.
    In this absorbing film, seven independent documentary makers take the viewers into their personal and professional world.
    Sheffield Doc/Fest brings the international documentary family together in June to celebrate the art and business of documentary making. 
    The Tim Hetherington Award celebrates the life and legacy of British-American photojournalist and humanitarian Tim Hetherington (1970-2011).
    The festival was held from June 7 to 12.

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    TEHRAN – The 31st Tehran International Short Film Festival has received submissions from 74 foreign countries, the organizers announced on Monday.
    The secretariat of the festival so far has received 1,186 films from countries around the world, the Young Cinema Society announce in a press release on Monday.
    Most of the submissions are from France. The organizers have registered 245 short films by French filmmakers.
    Productions are also coming in from Italy, Greece, Belgium, Romania, Germany, Portugal, Austria, Denmark, Taiwan, Bahrain, Turkey, Armenia, Brazil, Mexico and Egypt. 
    The organizers plan to promote the festival and introduce its activities to the world through increased interactions with the world short film markets and filmmakers.
    The festival is a good chance for young Iranian filmmakers to learn more from international filmmakers.
    The festival will be running from October 14 to 20.

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    TEHRAN – The National Library and Archives of Iran (NLAI) and the National Library of China signed a memorandum of understanding on Sunday.
    The MOU was signed in Tehran by NLAI Deputy Director for Research, Programming and Technology Farbiroz Khosravi and the Deputy Director of the National Library of China Chen Li, the NLAI announced in a press release on Monday.
    “Iran and China are the heirs of two great civilizations in which writing and paper were invented,” Khosravi said during the meeting.
    He said that signing the MOU will boost cultural cooperation between China and Iran.
    Afterward, Chen Li talked about the affinities between the Iranian and Chinese civilizations and said that many symbols of the Persian culture exist in the Chinese civilization.
    Over 2000 Persian books and rare manuscripts are kept at the Chinese library, he added.
    Plans for exchanging information and experiences, documents and experts, holding educational courses, workshops, book fairs and conferences, and conducting joint research projects have been discussed in the MOU.

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    TEHRAN – Several Iranian and Georgian actresses are scheduled to join together for a group performance of the play “Foggy Season” in Tehran in late June.
    Tamta Navrozashvili, Salome Mikadze and Nutsa Khvedelidze from the Georgian Republic, and Mina Dorudian and Donya Nasr from Iran will perform the play from June 27 to 29, producer Nureddin Heidari-Maher told the Persian service of MNA on Monday.
    The joint performances, which will be directed by Diana Fat’hi, have been organized in collaboration with the Iliauni Theatre in Georgia, he said.
    Heidari-Maher did not mention the name of the hall in which the play will go on stage.
    Written by Diana Fat’hi, the play is about five women who share common experiences on the concept of war.

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    TEHRAN – The outstanding Russian pianist Arcadi Volodos has postponed his concerts in Tehran in order to arrange better concerts for September in the city, the organizer has announced.

    “For arranging a better program, the concerts have been postponed until September at the request of Mr. Arcadi Volodos,” the Nay-o-Ney Art Institute announced on Friday in a banner set up in front of the Milad Hall, which was scheduled to host Volodos’ performances on June 13 and 14, the Persian service of ISNA reported on Monday.
    Meanwhile, the director of the Music Office of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance said that the organizer has announced that the institute has had enough time to arrange the concerts and the delaying of these concerts is not financially justified. 
    “The Iranian companies, which are active in organizing concerts, are not very familiar with the necessary arrangements for international concerts,” Piruz Arajmand told ISNA.
    “Volodos is a world renowned pianist of genius and consequently, one of world’s highest-paid musicians. Due to the fact that his wages must be paid in dollars, the institute has run into trouble,” he added.
    Volodos was scheduled to perform several compositions by Schubert, Schumann, Mozart and Rachmaninoff, and several other renowned composers of the world.

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    TEHRAN – The first volume of the Encyclopedia of the Iranian Press was unveiled during a ceremony Monday at the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance in Tehran.

    Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ali Jannati, Deputy Culture Minister for Press Affairs Hossein Entezami, director of research for the Encyclopedia Mohammad-Jafar Mohammadzadeh and a number of scholars involved in compiling the encyclopedia attended the ceremony.
    Speaking at the event, Mohammadzadeh regarded compiling the encyclopedia a great need of society and said the book was essential for the history of the Iranian press.
    “The very first sessions on compilation of the encyclopedia were attended by the father of Iran’s communication sciences Kazem Motamednejad (1934-2013) and we will remember his name in all the volumes,” he added.
    “The encyclopedia will consist of 10 volumes covering four major concepts, the first of which will be the Persian press. 
    “The second will be Persian periodicals published outside the country, the third will focus on those who had major roles in the history of Iranian press, and the fourth concept will cover articles written about press and media,” he added.
    Jannati also made a brief speech and said that Iran was missing an encyclopedia of the press, “it would be good if the book would go online so as to be accessible for researchers and all users.”

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    TEHRAN -- A collection of Iranian book cover designs will go on display in an exhibition at the Momayyez Gallery of the Iranian Artists Forum (IAF) from June 19 to 27.

    The exhibition is organized by the graphic designers Parisa Tashakkori and Majid Kashani.

    The exhibition will run under the title of “A Selection of 35 years of Contemporary Iranian Books and a Review on Iranian Book Cover Designs History”.

    Tashakkori and Kashani collected 534 book designs published in different parts of Iran over the past 35 years and 100 designs were selected for the exhibition.

    The works, which will go on display during the exhibition, were picked by renowned graphic designers Qobad Shiva, Ebrahim Haqiqi and Saed Meshki.
    All the cover designs are published in a book entitled “Iranian Book Cover Designs History”, which will be introduced at the exhibition on Thursday.

    The bilingual book is released by the Mirdashti Publication and Honar-e No Publication in Persian and English.

    The first part of the book is dedicated to academic articles on the art of book cover design by renowned artists like Aidin Aghdashlu, Ebrahim Haqiqi and Bijan Seifuri.

    A collection of book cover designs from the past 35 years are included in the second part of the book.

    The Iranian Artists Forum is located on Musavi St., off Taleqani Av.


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    TEHRAN -- The U.S. Library of Congress is hosting an exhibition of rare Persian manuscript books in Washington D.C.

    Entitled “A Thousand Years of the Persian Book”, the showcase features the library’s unique collections, which are among the most important in the world today outside of Iran.

    The exhibition focuses on Iran but also includes items from the greater Persian-speaking lands of Afghanistan and Tajikistan, as well as from Central and South Asia and the Caucasus, illustrating the international nature of the Persian language.

    In addition to examining the diversity of literary styles, the exhibition demonstrates the continuity of the written word as a unifying cultural force in Persian-speaking lands.

    Three manuscripts of Shahnameh, along with classic books in the realm religion, Science and Technology, history and literature are on display at the exhibition.

    The showcase runs until September 20 at the South Gallery of the congress.


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    RASHT -- Young artist Homayun Taheri is showcasing his talent with his new embossed artworks that he calls “drawing on metal”, revealing the fascination he felt as a teenager during visits to his uncle’s house where he discovered thin sheets of metal.

    Taheri, known for his series of embossing artworks featuring animal and floral motifs, tells of the source of his inspiration.

    “I was interested in painting and sculpture when I was a child. I was about 18 when I saw several pieces of thin sheets of copper and brass at my uncles’ house, and that was the time I began to work with metal”, the 34-year old artist told the Tehran Times in an interview.

    “Later, I was able to invent a new and unique style of my own to create embossed patterns without making use of any complex tools. All I need is several pieces of simple materials”, Taheri added.

    He gave more details about the tools he uses in his works and how his work has developed over the years.

    “Part of my work, which is large, is embossed by applying pressure with the bottom of thick brushes, while the small patterns are created by applying pressure with the bottom of thin brushes.

    “Very delicate lines are also made with inkless felt-tipped pens,” he explained.

    “And now after years of practicing, I have made changes in my tools and my style of work, and have added more patterns. For example, pieces of scrap paper and glue are good media with which to fill in an empty space,” he said.

    “The pressure of the palm is sometimes used to make peaks and valleys on the surface of my work,” he added.

    Taheri, who is a graduate of graphic designs, said that he is highly interested in decorative shapes in order to convey visual pleasure to the viewers.

    Asked about the elements and styles used in his compositions, Taheri said, “I am not restricted to any special methods. Iranian and European elements are seen in my works, I sometimes make use of arabesque designs in my works, as well.”

    Taheri was born in Rasht, Gilan Province, a green region in northern Iran covered with forests and rice fields, and the major source of inspiration for his high interest in nature. “Nature is the source of my inspiration. I also make use of natural objects in my works, such a as animals’ horns and tree branches, and I mix them with the metals.”

    Asked about the difference between his style of works and embossing, he replied, “Different thin and delicate sheets of aluminum, copper and brass are used in this style of mine, while the embossed artworks are produced on thick sheets of copper and brass with the metal points and hammers.

    “Another difference is that I can cut the embossed patterns created on metal and paste them on wood, ceramic or glass, while this is not possible in embossing,” he explained.

    He added that he calls his type of work drawing on metal, since he makes the patterns and lines with simple tools such as brushes or pens.

    Taheri has so far held several exhibits to sell his works in Tehran and his hometown of Rasht.

    On his recent activities, he said that he is making his best efforts to register his technique with the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. He also has plans to hold an exhibition in Tehran in the upcoming months.


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    TEHRAN – Iranian Quran reciter Hamed Valizadeh is participating in the 56th International Al-Quran Recital and Memorization Assembly, underway at Putra World Trade Center in Kuala Lumpur.

    Malaysia’s king Sultan Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah, Malaysia’s Prime Minister Najib Razak, Iranian cultural attaché in Malaysia Ali-Akbar Ziaii and a group of Iranians attended the opening ceremony on Monday, the Persian service of IRNA reported on Tuesday.

    Over 70 male and female participants from 57 countries are in Malaysia from June 16 to 21 to take part in the competition.

    Two Muslim students from the U.S are taking part in the contest, the first-ever participation from the United States in the Al-Quran recital event in Malaysia.

    The first prize winner will receive a cash prize of $13,000, the second $10,000 and the third $6,800.

    Iranian reciter Ahmad Mashmul was second in the Malaysian competition last year.


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    TEHRAN -- A group of South Korean poets has traveled to Iran to join Iranian literati to offer their encouragement to the Iranian and South Korean national football teams at the 2014 World Cup.

    The group held a meeting with a number of Iranian literati at the Iranian Poets’ Society in Tehran on Monday, the persian service of ISNA reported on Tuesday.

    The Korean poets, including Shin Dalja, Chung Ho-Seung and Jun-Sik Kim, along with Iranian poets delivered speeches and recited poetry during the meeting.

    Among the Iranian poets were Moshfeq Kashani, Fatemeh Rakei, Saed Baqeri, Soheil Mahmudi and Afshin Ala.

    Korean Ambassador Sung Wung-Yeub and Korean cultural attaché Kim Jung-Sik also attended the meeting.

    The meeting continued with the signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Iranian Poets’ Society and the Society of Korean Poets.

    They also watched an Iran-Nigeria football match, which was broadcast from IRIB’s Channel 3 at 11:30.

    In addition, they are scheduled to watch other Iranian and South Korean games with other teams during the 2014 World Cup.

    The Korean poets and the Iranian literati are scheduled to play a friendly match on Tehran’s Saadatabad football field on June 22.

    The Korean group’s visit, which has been organized with the help of the Iranology Foundation, LG Electronics, and several other institutes, will end on June 23.


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    TEHRAN – A large group of Iranian literati, artists and cineastes has condemned the terrorist acts committed by the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in a statement published by some Persian news agencies on Tuesday.
    They also asked international organizations and communities to stand against any type of terrorist attacks in the world
    Theatrical figures Hossein Mosafer-Astaneh and Hossein Parsaii, calligraphers Jalil Qasemi and Davud Vakili, photographers Yusef Gerami and Majid Nagahi, filmmakers Jamal Shurjeh and Rahbar Qanabri, musicians Piruz Arjmand and Hushang Javid, and poets Hossein Esrafili and Jalal Mohammadi are among the those who signed the statement.
    The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which has taken over large swathes of territory in Iraq since launching a massive offensive last week, is encroaching on the Iraqi capital of Baghdad.

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    TEHRAN – The University of Novi Sad in Serbia has hosted a literary night entitled “From Tus to Neyshabur” introducing Persian poets of the Khorasan region Ferdowsi (940-1020), Omar Khayyam (1048-1131) and Attar Neyshaburi (1142-1220).
    Organized by Iran’s Cultural Office in Belgrade, the program was attended by the university’s Vice Rector for International Relations and Science Professor Pavle Sekerus, and several Iranian and Serbian literati, the office reported in a press release on Tuesday.
    Speaking at the ceremony, Sekerus said that Iran’s cultural programs at the University of Novi Sad help expand cultural relations between the two countries.
    The professor also talked about the great interest of Serbian youth in learning the Persian language, for which a course has been launched at the University of Novi Sad.
    Iran’s cultural attaché Mahmud Shaluii, also attending the ceremony, introduced Iran and its great poets, and made a brief speech about the poets.
    He expressed hope that cultural programs help to better introduce the Persian language and culture.
    The ceremony was brought to an end with the recitation of a selection of poetry by Ferdowsi, Khayyam and Attar by several Serbian students studying Persian at the University of Novi Sad.

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    TEHRAN – The Iranian director Hossein Parsaii plans to stage the Broadway classic comedy “Arsenic and Old Lace” at Tehran’s Iranhshahr Theater Complex this summer.
    The play will be rewritten by Amir-Reza Kuhestani, and renowned scriptwriter and director Peyman Qasemkhani will be the assistant director for the performance of the play, Parsaii told the Persian service of MNA.
    “The name of the play will be changed for the performances,” he added.
    Bahareh Rahnama, Bijan Banfshekhah, Pejman Jamshidi, Farnaz Rahnama, Fahimeh Amnzadeh, Sepand Amir-Soleymani, Ramin Sayyardashti and Ardeshir Kazemi will star in the play, he announced.
    Written by the American playwright Joseph Kesselring in 1939, it went on stage on Broadway from June 26, 1986, to January 3, 1987, at the 46th Street Theatre in New York. 
    The play is about a drama critic who must deal with his eccentric family, including two sweet aunts who cheerfully poison the elderly men who have recently promised to marry the woman he loves.

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    TEHRAN -- The restored version of the acclaimed Iranian drama “The Cow” will go on screen at the Niavaran Cultural Center tomorrow.

    Produced in 1969, the film was recently restored by Iran’s National Film Archive and the Farabi Cinema Foundation for presentation at the Reflet Médicis, which screens works from the world cinema in the original languages and also organized debates and meetings with the film crews on June 4.
    Director Dariush Mehrjuii was in Paris last week to attend the premiere of the tragic comedy film at the Reflet Médicis.
    Mehrjuii made “The Cow” based on one of the stories from celebrated Iranian writer Gholamhossein Saedi’s short story collection “The Mourners of Bayal”.
    The film is about Masht Hassan, who owns the only cow in a remote, desolate village. While he is away, his cow, whom he treats like his own child, dies. Knowing the relationship between Masht Hassan and his cow, the villagers hastily dispose of the corpse, and when Masht Hassan returns, they tell him that his cow ran away. Devastated by the news, Masht Hassan starts to spend all his time in the barn eating hay and slowly begins to believe that he has become the cow.
    “The Cow” won the International Critics Prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1971. It was the first award the Iranian motion picture industry ever received at an international event. 
    The screening will be followed by a review session at the center.

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