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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

Iran’s Fajr International Festival of Visual Arts: Exhibition

The 8th Fajr International Festival of Visual Arts displayed at Saba Art and Cultural Institute works by over 200 Iranian and foreign artists coming from different countries including Tunisia, Pakistan, Turkey, Italy, Cuba and Kyrgyzstan.

The Niavaran Cultural Center hosted a side-section exhibit of calligraphy and miniature works under the title “Fajr and National Art” and a selection of documentaries focusing on different visual arts including painting, sculpture, miniature, pottery and ceramics was screened at the Saba Institute as well as at the cinematheque of the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art.

A day dedicated to Mexican art, organized in collaboration with the Mexican Embassy, included thirty five lithographies by José Guadalupe Posada (1852–1913), considered the precursor of Mexican folk art, photos by Tina Modotti (1896-1942) that reflect the struggle of the less privileged of the post-Mexican Revolution period and sculptures by Gabriela Rodríguez, fifteen pieces commemorating the International Year of Light, celebration promoted by Mexico at the United Nations.

Short video by PressTV dedicated to this year’s Fajr International Festival of Visual Arts:

Sources: Mehr News Agency (MNA) 1, MNA 2, IRNA 1, IRNA 2, Honar Online 1, Honar Online 2, Financial Tribune, Tehran Times 1, Tehran Times 2, El Universal (in Spanish)

Iranians gather in front of the French embassy in Tehran to show their sympathy for victims of Paris attacks (Photos)

Iranian People placed flowers and candles outside the ‪French‬ embassy in ‪‎Tehran‬ to pay tribute to the victims of the deadly attacks in ‪Paris‬ November 13. The ISIS terrorist group claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Related article: Iran’s reaction to 9/11 as covered by global media

Sources: realiran.org, imgur.com

Youth Music Festival 2015 in Tehran, Iran – Part 2: Winners (Photos)

Close to 250 young musicians participated in this festival which was held in two main sections of classical and traditional Iranian music. The competition was held in three age groups ranging from 10-27 years old.

In the classical section, the highest number of instrumentalists played the piano, violin and guitar, while in the traditional section santur, tar and setar were mostly present. Traditional Persian music was held in eight sub-categories, including seven instrumental and a vocal section.

Related article: Youth Music Festival Practice & Performance (Photos) – Part 1 https://theotheriran.com/2015/09/22/youth-music-festival-2015-in-tehran-iran-part-1-practice-performance-photos/

Sources: tavoosonline.com, MEHR | Photos, nay.ir

12th International Open Chess Tournament “Avicenna Cup” in Hamedan, Iran (Photos)

The 12th Avicenna International Open Chess Tournament was organized by the Hamedan Chess Association and Iranian Chess Federation from September 2-9, 2015, in the Iranian city of Hamedan.

The event was an 11-round Swiss open with time control 90′ + 30″.

GM Oleg Korneev from Spain emerged a sole winner with 9.5/11 points, leaving the runner-up, 2015 Iranian champion GM Ehsan Ghaem Maghami, half a point behind.

The 15-year-old Parham Maghsoodloo clinched the bronze medal on a superior tie-break score, after sharing 3-7th place with 8.5 points. Maghsoodloo has just qualified for the FIDE World Cup 2015.

Top 10:

1 GM Korneev Oleg 2578 ESP 9.5
2 GM Ghaem Maghami Ehsan 2596 IRI 9
3 Maghsoodloo Parham 2447 IRI 8.5
4 FM Mousavi Seyed Khalil 2427 IRI 8.5
5 Mosadeghpour Masoud 2416 IRI 8.5
6 Dalir Alireza 2297 IRI 8.5
7 IM Asgarizadeh Ahmad 2402 IRI 8.5
8 GM Toufighi Homayoon 2400 IRI 8
9 Sedaghati Mehrdad 2238 IRI 8
10 Faghirnavaz Ali 2298 IRI 8

Sources: ISNA | Photos, MEHR| Photos, Tasnim | Photos, Chessdom.com

Youth Music Festival 2015 in Tehran, Iran – Part 1: Practice & Performance (Photos)

Close to 250 young musicians participated in this festival which was held in two main sections of classical and traditional Iranian music. The competition was held in three age groups ranging from 10-27 years old.

In the classical section, the highest number of instrumentalists played the piano, violin and guitar, while in the traditional section santur, tar and setar were mostly present. Traditional Persian music was held in eight sub-categories, including seven instrumental and a vocal section.

Sources: MEHR | Photos, nay.ir, honaronline.ir 1, honaronline.ir 2, Tavoos Online