Razavi Khorasan Province: Shamkhal Valley

Shamkhal Valley
 
(from irpedia.com) – Somewhere not far from the border between Iran and Turkmenistan there is a huge and unbelievably beautiful valley called Shamkhal. The name comes from a village near that. It is located in west northern of Quchan. It is about 18 km long; going through many springs and falls within rocky walls which in some parts are 200 meters high.
Razavi Khorasan, Iran - Quchan, Shamkhal Valley 01

Shamkhal Valley near Quchan, Razavi Khorasan Province

Razavi Khorasan, Iran - Quchan, Shamkhal Valley 04

Razavi Khorasan, Iran - Quchan, Shamkhal Valley 05 Razavi Khorasan, Iran - Quchan, Shamkhal Valley 07 Razavi Khorasan, Iran - Quchan, Shamkhal Valley 10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You can find more Shamkhal Valley pictures at: http://www.irpedia.com/iran-photos/420/

Kambiz Derambakhsh is Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters

Kambiz Derambakhsh at the French Embassy in Tehran on Sunday, 26th of October 2014

Kambiz Derambakhsh at the French Embassy in Tehran on Sunday, 26th of October 2014

Tehran (by Tehran Times) —
Iranian cartoonist Kambiz Derambakhsh received the Chevalier of the Legion of Honor Medal during a ceremony held at the Embassy of France in Tehran on Sunday evening.

The medal, which is the highest decoration awarded by the French government, was presented to Derambakhsh by French Ambassador Bruno Foucher during a ceremony at his residence in Tehran.

Derambakhsh is the first Iranian visual artist to have received the award, the Persian service of Honaronline, a Persian news website, announced on Monday.

Iranian scientist Mahmoud Hessaby, filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, stage director Pari Saberi, mythologist Jalal Sattari, poet Mohammad Sepanlu, vocalists Shahram Nazeri and Mohammareza Shajarian, and actress Leila Hatami previously received the honor.

Derambakhsh, 72, has previously held many exhibits across the world and his works are on display in many museums, including the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Istanbul’s Museum of Cartoon and Comic, and the Cartoonmuseum Basel in Switzerland.

More about Kambiz Derambakhsh:
http://iranianroots.com/2014/10/29/kambiz-derambakhsh-graphic-designer-cartoonist-illustrator/

Kambiz Derambakhsh - Cartoonist 03

Sources:
http://www.tehrantimes.com/arts-and-culture/119123-kambiz-derambakhsh-receives-frances-chevalier-of-legion-of-honor
https://twitter.com/FranceenIran/status/526639356023681024/photo/1https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kambiz-Derambakhsh/239668689418006?sk=timeline

 

Kashan – Fin Garden Series

Fin Garden in Kashan, Esfahan Province, Iran

Fin Garden in Kashan, Esfahan Province

Fin Garden, or Bagh-e Fin, located in Kashan, Iran, is a historical Persian garden. It contains Kashan’s Fin Bath, where the reformist Qajarid chancellor, Amir Kabir, was murdered by an assassin sent by King Nasereddin Shah in 1852. Completed in 1590, the Fin Garden is the oldest extant garden in Iran. Unesco declared the garden a World Heritage Site.

The origins of the garden may be anterior to the Safavid period but the settlements of the garden in its present form were built under the reign of Abbas I of Persia (1571-1629), as a traditional bagh near the village of Fin, located a few miles southwest of Kashan.

The garden covers 2.3 hectares with a main yard surrounded by ramparts with four circular towers. In keeping with many of the Persian gardens of this era, the Fin Garden employs many water features.

These were fed from a spring on a hillside behind the garden, and the water pressure was such that a large number of circulating pools and fountains could be constructed without the need for mechanical pumps.

The garden contains numerous cypress trees and combines architectural features of the Safavid, Zandiyeh and Qajar periods.

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fin_Garden

Fin Garden (or Bagh-e Fin) in Kashan, Esfahan Province, Iran

Fin Garden (or Bagh-e Fin) in Kashan, Esfahan Province

Fin Garden in Kashan, Esfahan Province

Fin Garden in Kashan, Esfahan Province

 

Iran beat China to lift U-20 Asian volleyball crown

2014 Asian U20 Men Volleyball Championship in Bahrain - Gold Medal Match - Iran 3 - China 0_01

The Iranian team wearing their gold medals

Manama, Bahrain, October 25,  2014 — Iran has pulled off a stunning straight-sets victory over China to take gold at the 17th Asian U20 Men’s Volleyball Championships in Bahrain.

A match billed as a clash of the Asian junior titans became a volleyball clinic, with Iran strolling to its fifth Asian U20 title, all achieved in the past nine championships.

With the exception of the first five points of the match, which China won, Iran was in total control. The seeds were sown in the sixth point of the opening set, when Rahman Taghizadeh rose to block a Runtao Xia spike.

That block not only stopped the Chinese momentum, it also signaled a change in direction for his teammates.

Suddenly Iran were the aggressors; at the net, block after block thwarted the previously untouchable Chinese attack.

Taghizadeh was the central brick in a wall as strong as the great Chinese Wall itself. On 15 occasions Iran scored from blocks, seven of those from the tentacle-like arms of Taghizadeh.

Captain Mohammadjavad Manavinezhad smashed two spikes so hard into the Chinese floor it was almost as if the ball was made of concrete – suddenly the score was six-all.

Manavinezhad, later named the tournament’s most valuable player, was inspiring. In a contest full of outstanding players, he stood the tallest.

It wasn’t just that he dominated the scoring, finishing with 16 points, it was when he dominated; whenever his team wavered ever so slightly, whenever China threatened to muscle its way back into the contest.

All this from a team that played almost all its pool matches with just ten players, after visa problems left two of its players cooling their heels in Tehran.

“I promised you before that at the end of the competition it must be the best volleyball that wins,” an elated Iran coach, Nafarzadeh Farhad said.

“They worked very hard for this, working, working, working, step-by-step. Today the players showed they were one team and they were the best in the competition.”

No-one seemed more surprised by the unfamiliar surroundings the Chinese side found themselves in than the Chinese.

Players who had wreaked havoc on opponents all week had no answers to the Iranian dominance.

Zhejia Zhang, the Chinese blocking machine later named the tournament’s best middle blocker, managed just one for the night.

Runtao Xia, later to be named best outside spiker, was restricted to just seven points.

It was a powerful display by Iran, and guarantees Asia will be well served at next year’s U23 World Championships in Mexico.

“In 2007 I was with the Iran youth team when we won the gold medal, and I hope next year we can repeat history and win another gold medal,” coach Farhad said.

Final result: Iran vs. China 3-0 (25-19, 25-18, 25-19)

Final standings
1. IRAN
2. CHINA
3. KOREA
4. BAHRAIN
5. JAPAN
6. CHINESE TAIPEI
7. QATAR
8. THAILAND
9. INDIA
10. KAZAKHSTAN
11. SRI LANKA
12. SAUDI ARABIA
13. TURKMENISTAN
14. NEW ZEALAND
15. MALDIVES
16. UZBEKISTAN
17. HONG KONG
18. KUWAIT

Individual awards
Best setter: Yu Yaochen (China)
Best outside spiker: Valaei Akbar (Iran)
Best outside spiker: Xia Runtao (China)
Best middle blocker: Alla Verdian Sahand (Iran)
Best middle blocker: Zhang Zhejia (China)
Best libero: Lee Sanguk (Korea)
Best opposite spiker: Mohamed Anan (Bahrain)
Most valuable player: Mohammadjavad Manavinezhad (Iran)

http://www.asianvolleyball.org/news/detail/id/3010/category/Volleyball+News/navf

Iranian team members celebrate their victory

iranian defensive wall

Iranian defensive wall

2014 Asian U20 Men Volleyball Championship in Bahrain - Iranian supporters

Iranian supporters in Manama, Bahrein, at the 2014 Asian junior men’s volleyball championship

 

Iran finishes 4th in 2014 Asian Para Games

2014 Asian Para Games - Athletes

 

 

 

 

 

 

INCHEON, South Korea
(by Masoud Hossein for TehranTimes)

Iran came fourth in the 2nd edition of the Asian Para Games held in Incheon, South Korea.

A total of 4,500 athletes competed in 23 sports. The 2nd Asian Para Games opened on October 18 and closed on October 24 following 6 days of competition.

Iran finished in fourth place winning 120 medals, including 37 gold, 52 silver and 31 bronze medals. Iran was just one gold medal short of third place Japan whose silver and bronze medals were less than Persians.

[...]

http://www.tehrantimes.com/sports/119034-iran-finishes-4th-in-2014-asian-para-games

2014 Asian Para Games - Final Medal Count

2014 Asian Para Games – Final Medal Count

2014 Asian Para Games - Athletes returning from Incheon at Tehran Airport

2014 Asian Para Games – Athletes at Tehran Airport returning from Incheon, South Korea

2014 Asian Para Games - Iran Women Volleyball Team

Iran Women Volleyball Team in Incheon, South Korea at the 4th Asian Para Games

2014 Asian Para Games - Iran's sports delegation at the opening ceremony

Iran’s sports delegation at the opening ceremony of the 4th Asian Para Games in Incheon, South Korea

 

Cycling 2000 kilometers through Iran and some practical considerations

Iran, Gonbad-e Sultanieh, a spectacular 14th century domed mausoleum

Iran, Gonbad-e Sultanieh, a spectacular 14th century domed mausoleum

Probably if I were to sum up my experience in Iran in couple of words it would be exactly like this day has been, great people but a lot of traffic.

After a quick search and a phone call I’m able to finally find Hashem’s house and what follows is an evening filled with the incredible hospitality the Iranian people are known for. Dinner with the family and with the neighboring relatives, with traditional dishes and with the crusty rice which I haven’t encountered before or after Iran, and most of all with genuine curiosity about how life is in other countries and in other parts of the world.

Before travelling through Iran I read stories about the Iranian hospitality and after almost a month of travelling through Iran I can only confirm it. The Iranians are also over polite between themselves, and it’s customary to refuse something 3 times just to be sure that an offer is genuine, but somehow when foreigners are involved this is combined with a genuine curiosity and with trying to somehow mend the bad image Iran has at a personal level. I have been asked countless times by locals what I think about Iran and about Iranians after travelling through the country and just as many times I’ve answered that I think that the Iranians are more or less incredible. There have been countless situations when complete strangers spent time and/or money to help with whatever problems I was facing. This of course doesn’t mean that everything is rose and perfect but the percentage of people doing seems to be way higher than in other countries.

Temperature wise in April it really changed a lot and there was a cold spell which brought temperatures way bellow freezing in the area around Tabriz only to encounter summer like temperatures in the the desert after Teheran. On the other hand I wouldn’t chose another time to cross it as I’m not a big fan of the 40 degree temperatures which define the summer in Iran.

And now for some more practical informations

1. Visas (Iran and onward travel)

Probably the easiest place to obtain the Iranian Visa is Trabzon in Turkey, but for more information the caravanistan section is also very helpful. From Iran I picked up visas for Uzbekistan and for Turkmenistan (in that order). The Uzbek visa took 1 day with a letter of invitation and for the Turkem visa I applied for it in Teheran and I picked it up one week later in Mashad.

2. Money (what the hell is a tumen?)

Iran can be a confusing country and the subject of money is no exception. The first thing you become when you enter Iran is a millionaire as in 2014 the exchange rate was around one dollar to 30000 Rial. The best place to exchange money I think is at exchange booths at bazars, banks will exchange at the official rate which is considerably lower. But then when you start spending it you discover that almost everthing is handled in tumens, 1 tumen beeing equal to 10 Rial. It takes a bit to get used to it especially when you add in consideration the fact that all the prices are written using Arabic characters.

3. Prices.

When comming from Turkey Iran is a pretty cheap country and when you get over the fact that paper notes just keep flying away (keep in mind that they still have a 500 Rial note which is worth around 0.016 dollars) and when you consider that you do get invited a lot Iran has been quite cheap to travel through. Food seemed to be almost half of what it was in Turkey, with restaurant meals starting at 2-3 dollars and alternatively buying food for one day from a shop for a bit more than that. On the other hand there isn’t much diversity regarding things you buy in small shops. A night in a cheap guesthouse / hotel was a bit less than 10 dollars.

4. People.

 As I’ve said before the people are incredibly warm, curios and welcoming and they would be the main reason why I would visit this country once again. Just as an example, after being stopped by the police for a checkup after leaving Hashem’s house he came to the police station with me and tried to help as a translator, spending quite a bit of time in the process. Somehow the Iranians didn’t seem to be as conservative as the Turkish people (at least in the eastern part of Turkey), and even though religion is important there is quite a bit of difference between the laws and what the people think about them.

5. Mobile and Internet.

Yes there is internet, yes all social media is officially banned but everyone still has access to them using vpn’s. While in Iran I bought a cheapish sim card for my phone from Hamrah-e-Avvall, after trying an Irancell sim card which didn’t work and which seemed to be restricted for phones manufactured for Iran. I haven’t tried internet cafes but when I had access to an internet connection is was generally pretty slow.

5. Places.

Iran’s culture and history is amazing and my only regret is that I didn’t have enough time to take a detour in the southern and central part of the country. But from the places which I did see one there were a couple of places and moments which became stuck in my mind. Riding my bicycle through the narrow alleyways of the Tabriz bazar after all the shops were closed was one of them, and the entire place seemed to be taken from the tales of the “One thousand and one nights”. The huge dome of Soltanyeh on a crisp spring day was another one, together with the old caravan-sarais from the barren desert east of Teheran.

And now in short, 2200 kilometers in photos.

Heading towards the stormy border of Iran.

Heading towards the stormy border of Iran.

The first morning in Iran.

The first morning in Iran.

Winter on the iranian plateau

Winter on the Iranian plateau

Endless wheat fields in the middle of the desert.

Endless wheat fields in the middle of the desert.

After 230 kilometers through the desert with almost no villages in between.

After 230 kilometers through the desert with almost no villages in between.

One of the restored caravan-serais.

One of the restored caravan-serais.

Semna ale primaveri.

Semna ale primaveri.

The pilgrimage complex from Mashad, one of Iran's religious centers.

The pilgrimage complex from Mashad, one of Iran’s religious centers.

About the Author: http://www.diaconescuradu.com/en/about-me

http://www.diaconescuradu.com/en/cycling-2000-kilometers-iran-practical-considerations

Mozart Medal holder Shajarian and Shahnaz ensemble to perform in London’s Appolo Hammersmith on October 26.

Mohammad Reza Shajarian

The world-renowned musician ensemble, Shahnaz, started its music tour at the Malmo Arena in Sweden on September 27.

Composer and tar virtuoso Majid Derakhshani, kamancheh virtuoso Saeed Farajpouri and several other musicians are accompanying Shajarian on this tour.

Shajarian is known as Iran’s contemporary traditional music legendary who has invented new string instruments dubbed Bam Sorahi, Saghar and Kereshmeh, designed for traditional Persian music.

The maestro, Shajarian, was honored with UNESCO’s Mozart Medal in 2006 and the 1999 prestigious Golden Picasso Medal.

http://iranfrontpage.com/news/cultures/music/2014/10/shahnaz-music-ensemble-go-stage-germany/