Category Archives: environment & climate

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

Tooma Art Group Exhibition at Iranian Artists Forum in Tehran

Tooma Art Group was formed by a number of Iranian artists concerned about environmental issues. The exhibition, that will run through May 5, features paintings, sculptures, drawings, photographs and tapestries with focus on Iran’s wildlife. Part of the event’s revenue will go towards environmental projects such as wildlife water holes and facilities for treatment of animals.

Participating artists include illustrators Negin Ehtesabian and Pejman Rahimizadeh, Ilgar Rahimi, Saeedeh Rezaee Badr, Saba Arabshahi, Mahnaz Saadatkia, Anis Soltani, Mahnaz Soleymannejad, Pedram Kazerooni as well as Afsaneh Khorramshahi and Alireza Owji. Nazanin Tahaee, Maryam Tahmasbi, Somayeh Alipour, Moslem Alamzadeh, Nastaran Anbari, Fereshteh Jafarimand and Mohanna Fazli are among others attending the event.

The current exhibition also features works by painters Asal Hazeqi and Leyla Refahi, as well as by graphic artist and photographer Homa Rostami, children’s book illustrator Mojgan Saeedian, graphic journalist Kamal Tabatabai, animator and caricaturist Sara Tayebzadeh and photographer Arezou Amidi.

Sources: Tavoos Online, instagram @tooma_art_group, instagram #tooma_art_group, Iranian Illustrators Society (in Persian)

Tehran’s Niavaran Residential Complex – Keeping trees close to people (Photos)

Designed by Iranian architect Mohammad Reza Nikbakht, Niavaran Residential Complex is located in Tehrans, Shemiran area. Shemiran, being spread along Alborz Mountains slope, used to be a summer resort of Tehran until 40 years ago due to its numerous gardens. Unfortunately, many gardens with old trees in the area have been destroyed by urbanization projects over the last century.

The parcel of land allocated to this project accommodates a number of these old trees too, whose conservation has been considered as the first priority in designing this complex. Mohammed Reza Nikbahkt took a different approach by building around existing trees in order to preserve them.

The 6 story building in Niavaran, northern Tehran, has been designed in 5 levels, each accommodating 6 residential appartments, and 3 lower floors for common facilities. The ground floor includes the entrance lobby, building managers office, ceremonies and gatherings hall. The first basement is mainly for a parking lot and store rooms, while the second basement, in addition to a parking lot, includes central heating room, swimming pool, Spa and the gym.

Niavaran Residential Complex by Mohammad Reza Nikbakht won the World Architecture Award (WA Award – Cycle 12).

Sources: Contemporary Architecture of Iran (more photos), greenprophet.com, worldarchitecture.org

Photos: Earth Hour 2016 across Iran

Tehran and other major cities like Rasht, Shiraz, Kerman, Ahvaz, Urmia, and Isfahan celebrated Earth Hour 2016. Iran has taken part of this universal movement, switching of the lights of important elements all over the country since 2011.

Earth Hour is a worldwide movement for the planet organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The event is held annually encouraging individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. towards the end of March, as a symbol for their commitment to the planet. It was famously started as a lights-off event in Sydney, Australia in 2007. Since then it has grown to engage more than 7000 cities and towns worldwide.

Related article: Photos: Earth Hour 2014 in Iran

Sources: earthhour.orgWikipedia | Earth Hour, IRNA 1, IRNA 2, IRNA 3earth-hour.ir, pgnews.ir, kojaro.com

Windcatchers: Ancient and environment friendly Iranian cooling system (Photos)

A  windcatcher or bâdgir (in Persian: bâd “wind” and gir “catcher”) is a traditional Persian architectural element to create natural ventilation in buildings. They have remained present in many countries and can be found in traditional Persian-influenced architecture throughout the Middle East, including in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf (mostly Bahrain and Dubai), Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

Most windcatchers belong to old residential houses, mosques and urban reservoirs, e.g. in Persian architecture they were used as a refrigerating device at traditional water reservoirs (ab anbars) to store water near freezing temperatures in summer. Regardless of its utility, the height and adornments of these windcatchers used to represent the owner’s distinction and social standing.

Recently the windcatcher approach has been adopted in Western architecture, such as in the visitor center at Zion National Park, Utah and at Kensington Oval cricket ground in Barbados.

Below windcatchers in the cities of Yazd and Kashan (Yazd and Isfahan Provinces) by Hamid Najafi for Tasnim News and by Hoda Asghari for Mehr News.

Windcatchers come in various designs: uni-directional, bi-directional, and multi-directional and work pretty much like modern air conditioning system. At the top of the windcatcher are several directional ports – usually four open towards four direction. When the port facing the prevailing wind is opened, air is pushed down the shaft and into the building. At the base of the tower is a pool of water provided by aqueducts called karez (or qanat), over which the air is allowed to pass. As the warm air passes over the surface of the water, the air cools through evaporative cooling. At night, cold air is sucked into the house thereby cooling it naturally.

Windcatchers can also act in reverse. By closing all ports but the one facing away from the incoming wind, air is drawn upwards using a combination of Bernoulli’s Principle and Coanda effect. The negative pressure pulls hot air down into the karez tunnel and is cooled by coming into contact with the cool earth and cold water running through it. At this point, the cooled air is introduced into the building. By facing windcatchers away from the wind, dust and sand blowing in from the desert can also be kept away from buildings.

The evaporative cooling effect is strongest in the driest climates, such as on the Iranian plateau, leading to the ubiquitous use of windcatchers in drier areas such as Yazd, Kerman, Kashan, Sirjan, Nain, and Bam.

Shish-khans (small windcatchers) can still be seen on top of water reservoirs in Qazvin and other northern cities in Iran. These seem to function more as ventilators than as the temperature regulators seen in the central deserts of Iran.

Sources: Tasnim News (Yazd), Mehr News (Kashan), Wikipedia, Historical Iran, Amusing Planet

Photo series: Winter in Iran – Dizin Ski resort

Dizin is one of the larger Iranian ski resorts in the Alborz mountain range, near Tehran (43 miles north of the capital city) and also near the city of Karaj. It was established in 1969.

The ski season in Dizin lasts longer than in European ski resorts, from December to May, because of the resort’s high altitude. The highest ski lift reaches 3,600 m (11,800 ft), making it one of the 40 highest ski resorts in the world.

The lowest point of the region is 2650m, while its highest point is 3600m, (which equates to 11,811 feet above the sea level). The snow quality at Dizin is fantastic powder and rivals that of many European and Rocky Mountain snow areas.

The Dizin ski complex is the first ski and winter sport resort in Iran which has been officially recognized and granted the title by the International Ski Federation (FIS) for its capability in administrating official and international competitions. At the present, the Dizin ski region is administered by Iran Ski Federation. The FIS Grass Skiing World Cup is also organized in Dizin since 2012.

Sources: Wikipedia | Dizin, Mehr News Agency | Photos 1, Mehr News Agency | Photos 2

More info on: TripAdvisor | Attraction Review | Dizin

Iran’s Fars Province: Tarom Waterfall near Neyriz

Tarom waterfall is located in the Fars province five kilometers south of the city of Neyriz. Tarom waterfall is about 115 meters high, and thus is the highest waterfall in the Middle East.

Iran, Neyriz mapNeyriz (also Romanized as Neyrīz and Nīrīz) is the capital city of Neyriz County, Fars Province, Iran. It has a population of 45,000 inhabitants (2006).

 

 

Sources: ISNA | Photos, Wikipedia | Neyriz, Tishnieh.com (Farsi)

Iran’s Chaharmahal & Bakhtiari Province: Helen Protected Area

Helen Protected Area is located in the central Zagros Mountains, in Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiari Province. With approximately 30,000 hectares of oak trees, the area is home to a wide variety of species, including brown bears, leopards, wildcats and eagles.

This region derives its name from Helen’s Mountain, a 3,136m mountain peak named in honor of Helen Jeffreys Bakhtiar of Boise, Idaho, in commemoration of her work as a public health nurse in Iran in the 1950’s. She was a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy and traveled to Iran to serve as a public health nurse as part of President Truman’s Point Four Program. The rural improvement project sent American experts in agriculture, health and education to work in villages in less-developed countries.

Related articles:
Payvand News of Iran | Mountain in Iran Named for American Nurse,
NPR | A Monument to an American’s Selflessness in Iran

Sources: IRNA | Photos, Tishineh | Helen Protected Area (in Persian), Iranian.com | Helen’s Mountain

Photo gallery: Alvares Ski Resort in Iran’s Ardabil Province

Iran Sareyn Sarein MapAlvares is a ski resort in Iran’s northern province of Ardabil. It is the second standard ski resort in Iran and is situated in the village of Alvares which is located 24 kilometers away from the city of Sareyn.

Sources: TASNIM | Photos, Wikipedia | Sareyn

Mahlagha Mallah: 96 year old Iranian environmental activist

Mahlagha Mallah, 96, is an environmental activist who has not produced any waste over the past 60 years.

Mahlagha Mallah

Earlier in March, Mehr News Agency ran a report on the founding mother of Iran’s environmental protection and her waste minimization efforts.

Mahlagha Mallah, who holds a Ph.D. from Sorbonne in Sociology, is the founder and managing director of Women’s Society against Environmental Pollution. She was praised as the 2010 personality of the year in the field of “Natural Heritage and Environment” for her decades-old struggle to preserve the environment.

Back from France where she got her Ph.D. and learned library science, she started to work in a Tehran University library.

“I asked all embassies [in Tehran] to provide me with the environmental information of their countries. After studying the issue, I came to the conclusion that collective measures are needed to do something for the environment. I wanted to teach people how to protect the environment.”

Dr. Mallah was not the first in her family who tried not to produce waste. “My mom would not place the waste outside the house. Back then people produced less garbage and each family would recycle –one way or another – their waste at home. They used to give food leftovers to the poultry.

A rural lifestyle helped people to use less paper and plastic and do less damage to the environment in the process. But today new sources of pollution cause new diseases. Something must be done about it.”

For the past 60 years, Mrs. Mallah and her family have not placed any waste in the garbage can to be collected unless it was recyclable. They bury the waste in a pit in their yard to let it turn into fertilizer.

“We still don’t use plastic bottles. In the past I used to take a cloth shopping bag to store to help the environment, and I’d encourage others to follow suit. We need to stop harming the environment so that future generations can use this natural heritage.”

Mrs. Mallah talks with people in different neighborhoods and teachers at schools about the need for waste sorting. […] We can run environmental programs to raise public awareness. We love nature and the environment and we do not work to get money in return.

Dr. Mallah has always offered great ideas about environment protection. “We can do more for a plan which segregates the [dry and wet] waste at households. We can teach women in this regard. […]

“Municipalities can separately collect disposable batteries, which leave a destructive impact on the environment. The used cooking oil – which harms the environment after entering the sewage system – can be collected, refined and reprocessed, exactly like used engine oil.” […]

Mrs. Mallah says the waste produced in Tehran is too much. Everyone can do their share and help reduce waste production. People can turn the waste to compost –a fertilizer for plants in organic farming – or Vermicompost – which is light and odorless. […]

Other great Iranian women: The other Iran | Women

Source: Iran Front Page

Photo series: Winter in Iran – Snowfall in Kerman

Kerman is the capital city of Kerman Province, Iran. At the 2011 census, its population was 821,374, making it the 10th most populous city of Iran.

Iran, Kerman mapIt is one of the largest cities of Iran in terms of area. Kerman is famous for its long history and strong cultural heritage. The city is home to many historic mosques and Zoroastrian fire temples. Kerman is also on the list of the recent world’s 1000 cleanest cities. Kerman is also a former capital of Iran, a position that it held during several periods. It is located on a large, flat plain, 1,036 km (643 mi) south of Tehran, the capital of Iran.

Sources: ISNA | PhotosWikipedia | Kerman

Photo series: Winter in Iran – Snow sliding in Mahnan near Bojnord

North Khorasan, Iran – Mahnan (Mehnan) MapMehnan (also Mahnan and in Persian: مهنان‎) is a village in Aladagh Rural District, in the Central District of Bojnord County, North Khorasan Province, Iran. Its populations (2006) was 1.341 inhabitants.

Bojnord is the capital city of North Khorasan province, Iran. It is about 701km (436mi) from Tehran.

The city is quite famous for its multicultural background. Many people speak at least 2 different languages including Persian, Tati, Khorasani Turkic, Kurmanci Kurdish, and Turkmen. Intermarriage between said ethnic groups is common.

Sources: Mehr News Agency | Photos, Wikipedia | Bojnord, Wikipedia | Mehnan

Photo gallery: Winter in Iran – Chahar Bagh, Golestan

Chahar Bagh is a village in the Central District of Gorgan County, Golestan Province, Iran. Gelestan, located in the north-east of the country south of the Caspian Sea, enjoys a temperate climate most of the year. Geographically, it is divided into two sections: The plains, and the mountains of the Alborz range.

Source: Mehr News Agency | Photos, Wikipedia | Golestan Province

Iran’s Gilan Province: Roudkhan Castle

The medieval Rudkhan Castle (Ghale Roodkhan) is located 25km southwest of the city of Fooman in Iran’s Gilan Province in the heart of the forest. Made from brick and stone, the castle covers 50,000 square meters and is 900 meters above sea level. Its architects have benefited from natural mountainous features in the construction of the fort. It is built on two tips of a mount with a total of 65 towers surrounding it, while the walls run 1,500 meters in length. 42 towers still stand intact. It is a military complex which had been constructed during the Seljuk Dynasty by followers of the Ismaili sect. The castle sits at the two peaks of a mountain at elevations of 715meters and 670meters, with an area of 2.6 hectares (6.4 acres). The Rudkhan Castle River originates in the surrounding heights and flows from south to north. It takes around two hours to cross a mountainous winding route with dense forests. To reach this castle people walk a three kilometer distance on foot, then climb around 2,000 steps. The first thing that one notices about the castle is its big entrance gate.

Sources: Wikipedia | Rudkhan Castle, Wikimedia Commons’ media related to Rudkhan Castle, wiseitinerary.blogspot.de, Mehr News Agency | Photos, Press TV

Tehran hosted 6th Seasonal Flowers and Plants Exhibition

The 6th Seasonal Flower and Plant Exhibition and Autumn Flower Festival took place in the Iranian capital, Tehran.

Domestic exhibitors from across the country have showcased cut flowers, houseplants, outdoor plants and horticultural equipment and related industries. Flower lovers have flocked to the exhibition to revive their spirits after a long day work. Vast arrays of flowers in different colors have turned the expo into a flamboyant painting, catching the eye of every visitor.

According to the organizer of the event, over 200 national flower and plant growers are taking part in the exhibition. Sunflowers, lilies, and lilacs were among the numerous flower species presented in the show. According to the head of municipality parks and green spaces, the exhibition is aimed to make people more familiar with different flowers, and to encourage them to take better care of Mother Nature. Diverse climatic conditions in Iran have turned the country into one the largest producers of flowers in the world. Iran ranks 17th in terms of the area under cultivation of ornamental flowers.

Tehran - 6th Flowers and Plants Exhibition 05 Tehran - 6th Flowers and Plants Exhibition 04 Tehran - 6th Flowers and Plants Exhibition 00 Tehran - 6th Flowers and Plants Exhibition 06 Tehran - 6th Flowers and Plants Exhibition 07 Tehran - 6th Flowers and Plants Exhibition 02

Sources:
PressTV – http://www.presstv.ir/detail/2014/10/24/383464/flower-show-plant/
Iran Front Page – http://iranfrontpage.com/news/society/environment/2014/10/tehran-plays-host-seasonal-flower-show/

Rayen Castle – more than 1000 year old adobe castle in Kerman, Iran

Rayen Castle (in Persian Arg-e Rayen) is an adobe castle in Kerman Province, Iran. The medieval mudbrick city of Rayen is similar to the Arg-e Bam city which was destroyed in an earthquake in December 2003. Rayen displays all the architectural elements of a deserted citadel. It is extremely well preserved, despite numerous natural disasters that have destroyed similar structures nearby, and it is one of the most interesting sites in Iran.

Rayen Castle was inhabited until 150 years ago and, although believed to be at least 1,000 years old, may in fact have foundations from the pre-Islamic Sassanid era.

Adobe castle of Rayen Rayen Kerman Iran - arg-e-rayensh

Adobe castle of Rayen Rayen Kerman Iran – Arg-e-Rayensh

Adobe castle of Rayen Rayen Kerman Iran

Adobe castle of Rayen, Kerman, Iran

Source: Wikipedia | Rayen Castle

Also check this related post: The other Iran | Arg-é Bam

Wildlife ambulance service launched in Sistan and Baluchestan

Iran wildlife ambulance

The provincial environment department in the southeastern Iranian province of Sistan and Baluchestan has launched a wildlife ambulance service.

On September 17, Iran newspaper quoted Saeed Mahmoudi, the head of the environment department as saying that the move is primarily designed to save protected species such as bears, cheetahs, foxes, etc. that are injured in road accidents.

In parallel, a messaging service has been launched to allow residents to easily report accidents to authorities, he said.

Source Iran Front Page:
http://iranfrontpage.com/news/society/environment/2014/09/wildlife-ambulance-service-in-iran-sistan-and-baluchestan/

Iran’s Gilan Province: Photos (Part 1)

More photos of Iran: http://comeseeiran.tumblr.com/

Series -Yazd, Iran: Tezerjan Glacier

Yazd, Iran, Terzejan Glacier

Yazd, Iran, Terzejan Glacier

Yazd, Iran, Terzejan Glacier

Yazd, Iran, Terzejan Glacier

Yazd, Iran, Terzejan Glacier

Yazd, Iran, Terzejan Glacier

Tezerjan Glacier is a natural glacier on Shirkouh mountain and Tezerjan village is located on its foothill. ( Top of Tezerjan mountain is 4005m from the sea level). Not long ago, a great of ice and snow were carried 60km to Yazd on hot days during the year, using pack animals, in order to chill beverages, especially Yazdian Paloude (sweet beverage containing thin fibers of starch jelly), so Yazdian Paloude is related to this natural glacier.

http://yazdphoto.com/panoramic%20photography.htm

Photos: Lahijan, in Gilan Province of Iran near the Caspian Sea

Info about Lahijan: Wikipedia | Lahijan

Iran, Japan to expand cooperation in environment protection

Head of Iranˈs Environment Protection Organization Masoumeh Ebtekar conferred on Thursday with Japanese minister of environment protection on expansion of cooperation between the two countries.

Based on the MoU the two sides are to broaden cooperation in reducing air pollution, dealing with climate change consequences and protecting ponds.

 

Masuleh – Village in northern Iran

Masuleh - Village in northern Iran

Masuleh – Village in northern Iran.
Masuleh’s architecture is unique. The buildings have been built into the mountain and are interconnected. Courtyards and roofs both serve as pedestrian areas similar to streets. Masuleh does not allow any motor vehicles to enter, due to its unique layout. It is the only city in Iran with such a prohibition.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Masuleh

Iranian School Curricula to Incorporate Environmental Awareness

Iranian Department of Environment Protection is developing a plan to incorporate environmental concepts in school curricula acros the country in cooperation with the Ministry of Education.

in the first phase of the project, 2000 teachers will be trained and given the role of environmental facilitators in country’s schools.

He added that the project aims at increasing the ecological knowledge of students and communicating a sense of responsibility for the environment. This training includes the recognition of the natural and human environment, natural landscape of each province, unique features of Iran and Asia, degree of fragility of each ecosystem as well as appropriate modes of interaction with nature. The project also promotes use of new forms of renewable energy, conservation of energy in schools and reduction of paper usage by encouraging use of electronic systems and the internet.

Teaching environmental concepts to students has never been implemented in a systematic and nationwide form in Iran.

The Department of Environmental Protection has focused on the teaching of fundamental environment concepts in schools as an effective way to improve the country’s environmental performance. Environment experts are hoping that education would lead to a rise in public awareness and greater participation of citizens in the protection of the environment.

The latest Yale University assessments ranks Iran’s Environmental Performance index at the 83rd spot amongst 178 countries across the world and according to Iran’s head of Department of Environment the country’s EPI has been in a freefall in recent years.

http://www.payvand.com/news/14/mar/1181.html

Blog recommendation: American woman backpacking in Iran

Read the blog and enjoy Silvia’s descriptions and pictures. Here are the links to the posts on Iran:

http://www.heartmybackpack.com/blog/backpacking-solo-through-iran/

http://www.heartmybackpack.com/blog/kafka-cigarettes-tehran/

http://www.heartmybackpack.com/blog/isfahan-iran/

If you are lazy just read some quotes here and go to the links to enjoy the pictures:

“I mean, Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest civilizations, hosts thirteen UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and boasts beautiful landscapes stretching from dense rain forests to snowcapped mountains to desert basins. Plus, so many travelers whom I met in Central Asia absolutely raved about Iran. The hospitable people, delicious food and historic sites – how could I not add Iran to my travel itinerary?”

“My first Couchsurfing hosts in Tehran, a young Ph.D. student and her roommate, said they were so excited to be hosting an American girl, and that they hope more tourists will start to come to Iran. They were incredibly warm and welcoming hosts, cooking delicious Persian food and asking me countless questions about Norway and the U.S. and foreigners’ impressions of Iran.”

“The thing is, I haven’t felt alone once since I landed in Iran. The receptionist at my first hotel took me in as her daughter, accompanying me to breakfast and lunch and suggesting sites for me to visit, my Couchsurfing hosts were like cool older sisters, chatting with me about religion and politics as well as the plot twists of Lost and J-Lo’s divorce (I’m so out of touch), and Rana truly has adopted me as her sister, with an invitation to lunch turning into a trip to visit Esfahan and then several days with her family in Tehran.”

“So far my experience in Iran has only been one of warmth and hospitality, and really, really amazing food! Though, in a few hours Rana and I are heading to Marivan, a small Kurdish city on the border to Iraq. So you know, maybe I’ll have some more eventful things to share from there! (Kidding, family, Kurdistan is of course totally safe.)”

“My stay in Tehran was far too short and left much of the city unexplored, but I did leave with an overwhelming crush on a city so full of life and passion. Shopkeepers greeted me with warmth (if also a degree of surprise), and the discussions I had with people there were always filled with genuine interest and reflection. ”

“While now a bustling modern city, Isfahan was once one of the largest cities in the world as it sat on a major intersection of the main north-south and east-west  routes crossing Iran. We seemed to stumble on reminders of Isfahan’s past glory around every corner, from impressive squares and tree-lined boulevards to covered bridges, palaces and mosques.”

“Moreover, while Isfahan might be dominated by Islamic architecture, the city is also home to important Christian, Jewish and Zoroastrian sites. Rana and I visited the Church of Saint Joseph of Arimathea, built by an Armenian community that settled in Isfahan in the early 1600s.”

Ok if you read so far, just make sure to visit the links above

 

Iranians participating in Earth Hour 2014 throughout Iran

Earth Hour is a worldwide movement for the planet organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The event is held worldwide annually encouraging individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on the last Saturday in March, as a symbol for their commitment to the planet.

Source: Wikipedia

Yazd, one of the oldest cities of the world

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yazd

Yazd (About this sound pronunciation (help·info) [jæzd]; Persian: یزد‎)[1] is the capital of Yazd Province, Iran, and a centre of Zoroastrian culture. The city is located 270 km (170 mi) southeast of Isfahan.”

“The city has a history of over 3,000 years, dating back to the time of the Median empire, when it was known as Ysatis (or Issatis)”

RooftopsYazdIran2008_w500 yazd Yazd_C1 Yazd_In_1_frame

Photos: Swans arrive from Siberia in Sorkhroud, northern Iran

In the recent years, during winter about 5000 swans migrate from Siberia to the wetlands of the Caspian town of Sorkhroud in northern Iran. The swans return back to Siberia after the the cold season ends. The swans bring life and beauty to the wetlands and attract many visitors. Environmental activists are also busy trying to educate the public to be a good host to their guests!

More beautiful pictures at: Payvand News

Karun-3, a dam in Southern Iran

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karun-3_Dam

“The purpose of the dam is for power generation and flood control. The Karun III power generators are connected to the national power network as the peak power generation. With this power plant being operated, with the capacity of 2,280 MW,[4] and an average annual electric power generation of 4,137 GWh, a major portion of the electric power shortage in the country will be met.”

karun3 karun karun2

Photos: Heavy Snow in Rasht, Northern Iran

First snow of the winter season gave a white cover to the caspian coast city of Rasht in northern Iran on Saturday. Rasht is the capital of Gilan Province and the largest city on Iran’s Caspian Sea coast with a population of 551,161 (2006 census). Rasht is a major trade center between Caucasia, Russia and Iran using the port of Bandar-e Anzali. Rasht is also a major tourist center with the resort of Masouleh in the adjacent mountains and the beaches of Caspian as some of the major attractions.

Gilan has a humid Subtropical climate with plenty of annual rainfall, while Rasht is known internationally as the “City of Silver Rains” and within Iran as the “City of Rain”. The Alborz range provides further diversity to the land in addition to the Caspian coasts. Despite of the abundant humidity, Gilan is known for its moderate, mild and Mediterranean-like climate.

More photos: Payvand News of Iran

Snowy City Festival in Boroujen

Image

179 people in 39 groups had registered for the competitions. Among the participating groups, 13 were from other provinces. These groups created many giant snow sculptures which decorated the landscape and captivated the visiting people.

Boroujen is well known by its extremely cold weather, usually mentioned as one of the coldest Iran cities in national weather forecasts. It is located on an altitude of about 2197 meters from sea levels. Its climate is usually combined of moderate summer climates as well as very cold winters. Snow days are normally 122 days per year, and the temperature could reach -27°C. The maximum observed temperature has been 36°C. Average annular precipitation is 243 mm (24% in the spring, 1% in the summer, 33% in the fall, and 44% in the winter).

More photos:

http://www.payvand.com/news/14/feb/1016.html

Iran’s Environment Chief, the first woman to receive the Energy Globe Foundation award

Iran’s Vice President and Head of the Department of Environment Masoumeh Ebtekar has won the Energy Globe Foundation award for her long-term efforts in the field of environment protection.

Wolfgang Neumann, the Austrian founder of the Energy Globe Foundation, took a trip to Iran to present the prize to Ebtekar, who is the first women ever receiving the award.

Some more info about Masoumeh Ebtekar from Wikipedia:
Ebtekar was born in Tehran as Niloufar Ebtekar in a middle-class family. Her first name translates to “Innocent Water Lily” in English. Ebtekar’s father studied at the University of Pennsylvania, and she lived with her parents in Upper Darby of Philadelphia. During her six years in Philadelphia, she developed “near-perfect, American-accented English.”

[…]

Ebtekar has served as faculty member at Tarbiat Modares University, which is a post graduate academic center located in Tehran. As an Associate Professor in Immunology, she has taught, supervised and advised PhD and MSc students. Ebtekar currently teaches cytokines, viral immunology, HIV vaccines, aging, immunology of the nervous system and psychoneuroimmunology. She has currently filed 41 ISI scientific articles in the field of immunology in her name. In her speech to the Eleventh International Congress of Immunology in Tehran, she mentioned the detrimental effect of sanctions on the advancement of science in Iran and noted that sanctions should not be directed against nations. Ebtekar is a member of several research board committees and a reviewer for two international and four national immunology journals.

Check my reply to this post to read my comment.

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Check the photos here: Payvand Iran News

Amir Kabir dam in Karaj (North of Tehran)

Amir Kabir dam, also known as Karaj dam, is a dam in Iran, located 63 kilometres (39 mi) northwest of Tehran and 23 kilometres (14 mi) north of Karaj. Amir kabir Dam was constructed on the Karaj River, and was the first multi-purpose dam in Iran.
Ref: Wikipedia

The Caspian Sea, the worlds largest landlocked lake

Irpedia | The Caspian Coast

“Caspian Sea, the largest landlocked lake in the world, is located in northern Iran. The Iranian Caspian coast including the three littoral provinces of Gilan, Golestan and Mazandaran, with its thick forests and large-scale rice paddies presents a striking contrast to the dry inner plateau of Iran.

A four-hour drive from Tehran, the Caspian is Iran’s Riviera, with a narrow plain of paddyfields and orchards separating the sea from forested mountains where bears and leopards roam around ruined Mongol castles.”

Also: Wikipedia | Caspian Sea

img_0693 189 Iran & Neighbors Map 800px-Caspian_see-Iran-1 1289287626.zfE

Tochal: A ski resort in Irans capital Tehran

http://www.payvand.com/news/10/mar/1025.html

Mount Tochal is a mountain in the Alborz range and adjacent to metropolitan Tehran, Iran. The mountain has a 12 km long ridgeline. The highest peak, also called Mount Tochal, is at an elevation of 3,964 m (13,005 feet)

https://i1.wp.com/payvand.com/blog/files/2011/01/tehran-snow-tochal-04.jpg

 

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/24/Tochal-Tehran.jpg

https://i2.wp.com/www.damawand.de/Photo/Tochal/Tochal-Alimohamadi.jpg

https://i2.wp.com/www.tochal.org/app_images/gal/large/1793507343.jpg

https://i2.wp.com/www.mountain-forecast.com/system/images/15464/large/Tochal.jpg

Iranian Woman Among Winners Of UNESCO’s Young Scientist Award

Atieh Kazemi Mojarad is among the recipients of UNESCO’s Young Scientist Award. She won the award for her research in “sustainable development of Biosphere Reserves through the promotion of key ecosystem services.”. Kazemi Mojarad has received her Masters degrees in Ecology from Azad University and in Environmental Studies from Shahid Beheshti University.

Sources: UNESCO, Payvand News of Iran