Autumn snow in northern and central Iran (Photos)

Sources: IRNA 1, IRNA 2, ISNA 1, ISNA 2, ISNA 3, ISNA 4, Mehr News Agency (MNA 1), MNA 2, MNA 3, MNA 4, MNA 5, MNA 6, Tasnim News Agency (TNA) 1, TNA 2, TNA 3, TNA 4, TNA 5, Young Journalists Club

Photo Series: Autumn in Iran – Hamedan Province (Part 3)

Hamedan Province is one of the most ancient regions of Iran. The city of Hamedan laid on the Silk Road. The Province lies on the Zagros mountain range. Hamedan enjoys temperate warm summers and relatively cold winters.

According to local Jewish traditions, Hamedan is mentioned in the Book of Esther as the capital of Ancient Persia in the days of King Ahasuerus. It was then known as Shushan. The Tombs of Mordecai and Esther are located in modern-day Hamedan.

Related articles:
The other Iran | Autumn in Iran
The other Iran | Hamedan Province

Sources: Mehr News 1, ISNA 1, ISNA 2, Tasnim News, Wikipedia | Hamedan, Mehr News 2

Iranian movie ‘Inversion’ wins Best Film Award at MedFilm Festival in Italy

inversion-film-by-behnam-behzadi-varoonegi-poster‘Inversion’, directed and written by Behnam Behzadi, won the Best Film Award at the 21st edition of MedFilm Festival, held in Rome.

Nine films were competing for the “Amore & Psyche” Prize in the official section, ten documentaries for the “Open Eyes” Prize and twenty short films for the “Methexis” Prize. A total of eleven Iranian films, five feature and six short films, were screend in the section “New Iranian Cinema: Beyond Words”.

Inversion is Behnam Behzadi’s fourth directed feature film. It has previously participated in ‘Un Certain Regard’ section at Cannes and received a positive review. The title is a reference to thermal inversion, a meteorological condition causing air pollution. The drama centers around a woman, Niloufar (acted by Sahar Dolatshahi), who decides to take charge and find ways to better express herself in the smog-teeming metropolis of Tehran.

MedFilm Festival is the oldest international film festival in Rome and the first festival in Italy dedicated to the promotion of Mediterranean and European cinema. MedFilm Festival was established in 1995 on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of Cinema and the Barcelona Declaration. Based on the conviction that Diversity is a Value, it encourages relations, cooperation and the development of the film industry between neighbouring countries.

behzradi-behnam-iranian-film-directorABOUT BEHNAM BEHZADI
Behzadi was born in 1972 in Boroujen, Iran. He obtained a master’s degree in filmmaking in Tehran and directed over 20 feature films, short works, tv movies and documentaries. He has also written scripts, worked in editing and collaborated with various scriptwriters including Bahman Ghobadi with whom he was co-script writer for the film ‘Nive mang/Half Moon’.

His first short film ‘Retaliation gained an international success, winning the second prize of FIPA 2000 in France. In 2008 his first feature film ‘Before the Burial’ was awarded in several international festivals. In 2013 ‘Bending the rules’ won the special jury prize at the Tokyo Film Festival, the audience award at Nantes and the Special Prize at Mannheim. Behzadi teaches cinema at Tehran University of Art.

Sources: Mehr News Agency, MedFilm Festival | About, MedFilm Festival | Brochure (“Beyond Words”: p. 9-10 ), MedFilm Festival | Inversion, Persian Film Festival in Australia | B. Behzadi

4th Christian-Muslim Summit in Iran: A dialogue against fanaticism and violence

Delegations of Anglican / Episcopal and the Roman Catholic Church, Shia and Sunni Islam,  gathered in Tehran from November 6th to November 9th for the fourth Christian-Muslim Summit of Religious Leaders to reflect and share ideas around the theme of “Respect for human dignity: the foundation for peace and security”.

The summits began in 2007 when former Iranian President Muhammad Khatami spoke at Washington National Cathedral in the US. He called for a gathering of religious and cultural leaders from eastern and western perspectives. The first summit took place at Washington National Cathedral in 2010 and subsequent summits were held in Beirut in 2012 and in Rome in 2014.

At the closing ceremony, the participants issued a ‘Call of Action’ (full text here), in which they underlined the importance that Sacred Texts attach to love, kindness and compassion for fellow human beings, warning against misinterpreting these texts to wrongly justify violence, persecution, intimidation and hate. They called for a “re-reading, renewed comprehension and accurate teaching of our religious beliefs, values and principles, respectful of every human person, of human dignity, and of human rights and responsibilities”, adding that “the willingness to be self-critical can constitute a significant way to counteract fanaticism.”

The statement also condemned desecration of religious sanctities and committed themselves to “promote a culture of non-violence” and to “protect freedom of human thought, belief, and religious practice, by respecting human dignity of all persons.” It also included protection of religious minorities, stating that “the concepts of believer/non-believer, should not affect citizens’ rights and social relationships” and underlined the need for inclusion of women in inter-religious dialogue, promoting the culture of peace, and defending freedom of thought and religion.

The Call to Action was signed on behalf of the four delegations by Ayatollah Professor Sayyed Mostafa Mohaghegh Damad, director of Islamic studies at the Iran Academy of Sciences (Head of Shia delegation); Shaikh Dr Mahdi al-Sumaidaei, the Grand Mufti of Sunni Muslims in Iraq (Head of Sunni delegation); Cardinal John Onaiyekan, Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Abuja in Nigeria (Head of Catholic Delegation); and Bishop John Chane, senior advisor on inter-religious dialogue to Washington National Cathedral in the US (Head of Anglican/Episcopal Delegation).

Sources: Anglican Communion News Service (ACNS) I, ACNS 2, AsiaNews.it, IQNA, Mehr News Agency, Tehran Times, ISNA

Photo Series: Autumn in Iran – Arasbaran

Arasbaran is a mountainous area in the north of East Azerbaijan Province in northwest of Iran. This region is famous for the unique and intact nature. Since 1976 UNESCO has registered 72.460 hectares of Arasbaran as biosphere reserve. Enjoy the photo gallery!

Other Arasbaran photo galleries: The other Iran | Arasbaran
More information about Arasbaran: The other Iran | Spring in Arasbaran

Sources: ISNA, Mehr News Agency, Wikipedia | Arasbaran

Photo series: Autumn in Iran – First snow in Tabriz

Tabriz, capital of East Azerbaijan Province, is one of the most populous cities in Iran. Located at 1,350 meters above sea level, it has cold winters and mild summers.

As one of the historical capitals of Iran, the city has a long and turbulent history. Its oldest civilization sites date back to 1,500 B.C. The transition of the different Iranian architecture styles is still visible on its buildings although repeated devastating earthquakes and several invasions have damaged many of its historical monuments. The Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex was inscribed as a World Heritage Site in 2010.

Sources: IRNA, Young Journalists Club, Fars News Agency, Wikipedia | Tabriz

Photo Series: Autumn in Iran – Mashhad

Mashhad is the second most populous city in Iran and is the capital of Razavi Khorasan Province. It is located in the north east of the country close to the borders of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. Its population is 3,131,586. It was a major oasis along the ancient Silk Road connecting with Merv in the East.

Mashhad is also known as the city of Ferdowsi, the Iranian poet of Shahnameh, which is considered to be the national epic of Iran. The city is also well-known and respected for housing the tomb of Imam Reza, the eighth Shia Imam.

Sources: Tasnim News, Wikipedia | Mashhad