Iran wins bronze at Indoor Hockey World Cup

The Asian Champions won the Bronze Medal match 5:0 against Australia, and became the first non-European team to win a podium position at the Indoor Hockey World Cup, held in Berlin, Germany. Sasan Hatami Nejad won the Best Goalkeeper Award and Reza Norouzzadeh ended as the third highest scorer of the tournament.

Navid Taherirad netted Iran’s opener nearly a quarter into the game; and Reza Norouzzadeh doubled Iran’s lead in the 19th minute. After Hamid Nooranian jabbed the team’s third goal, Norouzzadeh was on target twice again, completing a hat trick in the span of just 21 minutes.

Austria beat Germany 3-2 in the penalty shoot-out and shattered the hosts’ championship hopes, after both teams were tied 3-3 at full time. The Netherlands were the reigning champions, but did not qualify to defend their title.

Ranked currently 7th in the world, Iran lost one match (the semi final against Germany, world number 1), out of a total of 8 matches played at the event. They drew against Austria (world number 2 and Indoor Hockey World Cup 2018 Champions), won against Russia (world number 4), and against Czech Republic (world number 6).

Iranian squad
Behdad Biranvand, Yaghoub Bahrami, Abbas Aruei, Amir Aruei, Hamid Nouraniyan, Alireza Chezani Sharahi, Behnam Fardi, Mohsen Bohlouli, Mohammad Asnaashari, Reza Norouzzadeh, Sasan Hataminejad and Navid Taherirad. Head coach: Esfandiar Safaei

Sources: Payvand News of Iran, International Hockey Federation, Asian Hockey Federation, Wikipedia

Photo Series: Autumn in Iran

Sources: ISNA I, ISNA II, ISNA III, IRNA I, IRNA II, IRNA III, Tasnim News Agency (TNA) I, TNA II, TNA III, TNA IV, TNA V, TNA VI, TNA VII, TNA VIII, TNA IX, Azad News Agency, Mehr News Agency (MNA) I, MNA II, MNA III, MNA IV, MNA V, asangardi.com, Fars News Agency

Iranian illustrator Hoda Hadadi wins gold at the Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards

Hoda Haddadi won the award for her illustrations for Drummer Girl, a book written by Pakistani-Canadian author Hiba Masood and published by Daybreak Press in the United States. The Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards are designed to bring increased recognition to exemplary children’s books and their creators, and to support childhood literacy and life-long reading. The contest is open to authors, illustrators, and publishers of children’s books written in English or Spanish for the North American market.

About Hoda Hadadi
Hadadi is an Iranian illustrator, poet and writer born in February 1977 in Tehran. She graduated with a M.A. in Graphic Design from Art University, Tehran. She teaches at the Association of Iranian Illustrators.

In 1998 Hoda Hadadi started writing and publishing her illustrations for magazines. Her first book as an illustrator was published in 1999 and her first book as a writer (My cloudy day -Shab Aviz) was published in 2000. Since then, she has illustrated more than fifty books published in Iran and around the world; in English i.e. Deep in the Sahara (Penguin Random House, 2013), Drummer Girl (Daybreak Press, 2016), A Rainbow in My Pocket (Tiny Owl, 2016) and forthcoming Just like me! (Tiny Owl, 2017).

Hadadi creates unique collages, balancing delicate materials and textures; she layers gauze papers, stitches, pencil and paint to create beautiful images. Depending on the text they take a more abstract or descriptive form. A Rainbow in My pocket, e.g., was a poem and required a more conceptual style.

In 2003 she directed and animated How is a good girl?, a 4-minute animation. The UNESCO calendar printed her art work in 2004. She has hold more than ten group exhibitions in Iran, India, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Russia, along solo exhibitions in Belgrade, Serbia (2009) and in Tehran (2007).

Other awards
New Horizons of Bologna (2010, Italy)
3rd Prize Teatrio Festival (2008, Italy)
Noma Encouragement Prize (2002 & 2008, Japan)
Defa-e Moghaddas Special Prize (2008, Tehran, Iran)
Grand Prix of Belgrade (2007, Serbia)
Golden Plaque of BIB (2007, Biennial of Illustration Bratislava, Slovakia)
1st Prize of Kanoon Book Festival (2005, Tehran, Iran)
2nd Prize KATHA (2005, India)

Sources: Moonbean Awards, Tehran Times, Tiny Owl Children’s Book Publisher, Wonderland Illustration Group, Saatchi Art, Facebook @hodihadadi, Twitter @hoda_hadadi, Instagram @ludlowgallery

Photo Series: Autumn in Iran – Isfahan

Isfahan was once one of the largest cities in the world. It flourished from 1050 to 1722, particularly in the 16th century under the Safavid dynasty. Even today, the city retains much of its past glory. It is famous for its Persian–Islamic architecture, with many beautiful boulevards, covered bridges, palaces, mosques, and minarets. This led to the Persian proverb “Esfahān nesf-e- jahān ast” (Isfahan is half of the world).

The Naghsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan is one of the largest city squares in the world and an outstanding example of Iranian and Islamic architecture. It has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The city also has a wide variety of historic monuments and is known for the paintings, history and architecture.

Photo gallery: Beautiful pictures of Isfahan in autumn

Today Isfahan is the capital of Isfahan Province and with a population of 1,755,382 inhabitants is also Iran’s third largest city after Tehran and Mashhad. The city is located 340 kilometres south of Tehran, in the lush plain of the Zayanderud River, at the foothills of the Zagros mountain range.

The nearest mountain is Mount Soffeh (Kuh-e Soffeh) which is situated just south of Isfahan, at 1,590 metres (5,217 ft) above sea level on the eastern side of the Zagros Mountains. Isfahan has an arid climate but despite its altitude, the city remains hot during the summer. However, with low humidity and moderate temperatures at night, the climate can be very pleasant.

Source: Wikipedia | Isfahan, ISNA I, ISNA II, ISNA III, Borna News I, Borna News II

Iran’s Fars Province: Wildlife refuge at Neyriz Lakes & Kamjan Marshes (Photos)

The site lies in the eastern Zagros Mountains, 50-160 km east of Shiraz, and includes two very large salt-lakes -Tashk and Bakhtegan- and a large area of permanent freshwater marshes and seasonally flooded plains along the lower Kur river to the west (Kamjan Marshes). The two lakes are normally separated by narrow strips of land but may be joined during very wet winters to form a single expanse of water covering up to 136.500 ha.

Supporting more than 20.000 waterfowl, up to 50.000 flamingos and other species (e.g. ducks, geese, swans and cranes), the lakes are extremely important for breeding of a wide variety of species.

Kamjan Marshes formerly comprised ca. 10.000 ha of permanent and seasonal freshwater marshes. Although the marshes have been extensively modified by the drainage canals, 5.250 ha of wetland remains, including expanses of wet mudflats. Some irrigation canals are already silting up, and parts of the drained land are reverting to marsh. In addition, new marshes have developed at the mouths of the three main drainage canals where they enter the western ends of Lake Tashk and Lake Bakhtegan.

The two lakes, their delta and spring-fed marshes are designated as Wetlands of International Importance by the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. The Ramsar Convention on Wetlands is an inter-governmental treaty established in 1971, establishing a framework for the stewardship and preservation of wetlands.

Sources: birdlife.org, ramsar.org, Wikipedia | Bakhtegan Lake, irandeserts.org (in Persian), MEHR News Agency, Tasnim News Agency I, Tasnim News Agency II, tishineh.com

Iran’s Kerman Province: Beautiful yardang landscape near Shahdad (Photos)

Shahdad Desert, on the western edge of Lut Desert, is home to unique natural structures called kalut (sand castles) by locals. The area is regarded as an archeological site of Kerman Province with graveyards, forts, and caravanserais which date back to the fourth millennium B.C.

The Lut Desert is a large salt desert located in the provinces of Kerman and Sistan and Baluchestan, Iran. It was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 2016. The hottest part of Dasht-e Lut is Gandom Beryan, an approximately 480km² (190 sq mi) large plateau covered in dark lava, 80 km north of Shahdad city. According to a local legend, Gandom Beryan (toasted wheat) originates from an accident where a load of wheat was left in the desert which was then scorched by the heat in a few days. The surface of its sand has been measured at temperatures as high as 70 °C (159 °F), making it one of the world’s driest and hottest places.

These impressive formations which are scattered over 11.000km² across the desert are called yardangs. They form by erosion in environments where water is scarce and the prevailing winds are strong, uni-directional, and carry an abrasive sediment load.

Sources: Wikipedia | Lut Desert, Wikipedia | Yardang, Iran Front Page, BORNA News, wikimedia.org, irandeserts.com (in Persian), untoldiran.com, Mehr News Agency, 500px.com, panoramio.com

Undefeated Iran is Youth Volleyball World Champion 2017

Iran succeeded in their gold medal hunt as they defeated Russia 3-1, winning its second title in the FIVB Volleyball Boys’ U19 World Championship. Japan defeated South Korea for the bronze medal. Amir Hossein Esfandiar from Iran was elected the MVP and Amir Hossein Toukhteh was selected in the tournament’s dream team.

Porya Yali, Morteza Sharifi and Amirhossein Esfandiar dominated in offence as they combined for 54 of Iran’s 59 attacks. Yali led Iran in scoring with 29 points, Sharifi charted 19 points and was Iran’s most efficient hitter, while Esfandiar played consistently across all skill sets. Maksim Sapozhkov, who came off the bench in the second set, top scored for Russia with 16 points.

RESULTS (Iran)
Iran 3 : 2 Italy (25-16, 23-25, 23-25, 25-19, 15-12) – Pool D
Iran 3 : 0 Mexico (25-19, 25-12, 25-18) – Pool D
Iran 3 : 0 China (25-23, 25-18, 25-21) – Pool D
Iran 3 : 0 Czech Republic (25-22, 25-12, 25-19) – Pool D
Iran 3 : 0 Turkey (25-18, 25-21, 25-13) – Round of 16
Iran 3 : 0 Brazil (25-21, 25-20, 25-15) – Quarterfinals
Iran 3 : 0 South Korea (25-23, 25-20, 25-18) – Semifinals
Russia 1 : 3 Iran (20-25, 23-25, 25-21, 20-25) – Final

DREAM TEAM
Most Valuable Player: Amirhosseini Esfandiar (Iran)
Best Outside Spikers: Amirhosseini Esfandiar (Iran), Pavel Tetyukhin (Russia)
Best Middle Blockers: Artem Melnikov (Russia), Amir Hossein Toukhteh (Iran)
Best Setter: Shunsuke Nakamura (Japan)
Best Opposite Spiker: Im Donghyeok (South Korea)
Best Libero: Kenta Ichikawa (Japan)

The 2017 FIVB Volleyball Boys’ U19 World Championship was the fifteenth edition of the world championship for men’s national teams under the age of 19. The tournament was hosted by Bahrain in Riffa from 18 to 27 August 2017. 20 teams from the 5 confederations competed in the tournament.

Sources: FIVB | U19 Boys 2017 (News), Wikipedia | 2017 FIVB Boys’ U19 World Championship, Young Journalists Club, Borna News, IRNA