Monday, September 29, 2008

Iran named the first AVC champion

The national volleyball team of Islamic Republic of Iran has honorably won the first Asian Volleyball Confederation (AVC) Men's Championship, narrowly defeating South Korea in the final match.
In a close game, the Iranian squad lost the first and fourth sets 25-13 and 25-15, but won the second, third and fifth sets 25-15, 26-24 and 15-7 to claim victory.

The win was particularly sweet as South Korea had beaten Iran 3-1 in the preliminaries on Saturday, Iran's only loss of the tournament.
Iran had defeated China, Taiwan and Japan in its last three matches to reach the final held in Nakhon Ratchasima, Thailand.

China and Japan took third and fourth place in the tournament respectively, and Iran's Hamzeh Zarini was named Most Valuable Player.
The Japanese and Chinese audiences attending the exciting match in Thailand Venue all applaused the Iranian team loudly after defeating the traditional rival and gaining the historic triumph.

Iran is looking forward to win a berth for the volleyball world league at 2009 which is highest level of international volleyball tournaments.

Adapted from:
Press TV

Friday, September 26, 2008

Iran, Czech to expand ties

The Czech Republic wants to increase its diplomatic relations with Iran by mid 2009 when it will hold the rotating EU presidency.

The Czech Foreign Ministry has announced that it seeks to promote its diplomatic presence in Tehran to the ambassadorial level but said it depends on Iran whether the increase will occur.

Iran's Embassy in Prague welcomed the announcement as a 'positive signal' in bilateral relations. Tehran-Prague relations are at the level of Charge d'Affairs, signifying the bitter diplomatic ties between the two countries.

"Iran-Czech relations are moving towards a more pleasant atmosphere, it is necessary to wait," Majid Nili Ahmadabadi, the Charge d'Affairs and head of the Iranian diplomatic mission in Prague, told Czech News Agency on Wednesday.

He added that a more serious dialogue would benefit the Czech presidency of the European Union. The Czech Republic will hold the EU presidency in 2009.

"We are seeking to have the same diplomatic presence in Iran as other EU countries at the time of our EU presidency already. However, it does not only depend on us how quickly the process will proceed," Czech Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zuzana Opletalova was quoted as saying.

Last November, Iran lifted restrictions on Czech exports - which had been introduced in 2003 amid a propaganda campaign by Prague-based Radio Free Europe.

Adapted from: Press TV

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Interview with Turkish actor, Hudalfa Tastekin

Kourosh Ziabari - Etemaad Newspaper: Hudalfa Tastekin is a young Turkish child actor who attracted a wide range of global audiences by role-playing in the spiritual TV serial "Yusuf Yuzlu" produced by the Turkey national Television in 45 chapters.
This serial told the story of a lost child who searches everywhere in the large urban areas and cities for his mother, but unfortunately his mother got a mental disease and forget everything...
Despite of the continous complexities to find his mother, the lost child donates the poor, devotes all of his money and belongings to the charities and exposes the real personality of a pure, innocent Muslim boy who faces with dramatic happenings that impress every viewer.
The painful and tragic situation of "Yusuf" who always commited his praying and seeked refuge from the almighty God in fight against difficultires is really considerable in the serial which has been broadcasted from the TV channels of 10 countries worldwide.
Hudalfa also played the role of Mevlana's childhood times in the TV series "Kucuk Semazen" which narrates the lifetime stories of Persian poet, Mevlana Jalaleddin Rumi.
This film was screened by the Iran Channel 1 TV during the nights of Holy Month Ramadan and gained a lot of popularity among the Iranian viewers.
I hold a short interview with Hudalfa and talked to him on various issues specially his interest in the ancient land, Iran.

Dear Hudalfa, at first, accept my warmest thanksgivings because of your time. For the first question, let's request you to introduce yourself completely. In which city and which year did you born?

Firstly I wish to thank to you and all lovely people of Iran, I am very glad so I have learnt that my film has been seen by Iranians. My complete name is Hudalfa Tastekin. I use just Hudalfa. I was born in Istanbul, Turkey biggest city, in 24 February 1997. I have studied in Primary School called Yesilyuva (Green Home Primary School) in Istanbul. I am in fifth class now.

Tell us about your education and artistic experience. How did you get involved in TV series of Turkey and how many films did you role-played in?

While I was out of school in my five, I acquainted with the scene. Till that time I hadn't have any artistic experience. Accidentally I was involved the set. So my elder sister Akanda, also she my best friend, one day went to Samanyolu Channel (STV) with my aunt who was presenting psychology STV's radio. By chance someone, who we realized he was the producer, had seen Akanda while she talk to others and play herself some childish games.

With her coquettish and affectionate she affected the producer and had said: "If only you should be male because we are seeking a child like you but not girl." So Akanda replied: "I have a brother, he is very beautiful more than me." Then producer called may family and invited me.

When I went to meet them they said: "Yes this is our child that we are searching for weeks." They said your face was so fitted to the role. But family warned that I don't have any experience.

They said, give us a chance and let us try for an hour. They filmed me such and I took and gave soufflé during the shot. I didn't any mistake saying soufflé. "This was so excellent talent" they said.

And from that time I was at scene. This film was TV series Yusuf Yuzlu. I was Yusuf. At fifth part of series Akanda involved in. She acted as Ayse role at Yusuf Yuzlu. She was granddaughter of poor man at film. After Yusuf Yuzlu I starred of a lot of TV series and films like Subat Sogugu (Chilly of February), Ispinozlar (Finches), Buyuk Bulusma (Judgment Day), Sirlar Dunyasý (World of Mysteries), Affet Beni (Forgive Me). Now I am acting at Kucuk Semazen (Little Semazen). This film is dedicated to Mevlana.

Do you know yourself the English language or any other languages?

I am very new at English school. So my English not enough to write a conversation. My father, he is also journalist, helps me. Actually I tell my story and he translates into English.

Your great and doubtless role-playing in the "Yusuf Yuzlu" series could impress each viewer and addressee. You act as a trustworthy, honest and veracious boy is really pure and memorable. Also your playmate Mrs. Melda Beckan is so great and impressive and when she acts as your mother, we can learn many moral lessons from you. What is your idea about that?

I have seen that influence every addressee. Especially children and mums love me. While I was at street a lot of people kissed my cheek. Of course Yusuf role is still alive. And its influence continues, I can see it. A lot of family accepted Yusuf as model for their children. This is beyond of an imaginary role; people took lessons for their life. And a lot of newspapers interested in this realty.

Continues here

Isfahan of Iran; half of the world!

By S. Omid Arab: Because of its unmatched beauty and historic ambiance, Isfahan is called “Half the World” as dubbed for the first time by French poet Renier who visited this city in the 16th century.
Esfahan, Isfahan or ancient Espadana is and has been the center of the province of Isfahan since 900 years ago. The most famous Persian description of the city of Isfahan is “Esfahan Nesf-e Jahan” which means Isfahan is half of the world, which the Isfahanis coined in the 16th century to express the city’s grandeur.

The history of Isfahan can be traced back to the Paleolithic epoch. During their excavations, archaeologists have succeeded to discover enormous historical artifacts dating back to Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze and Iron ages.

The architectural style implemented in Isfahan’s historical monuments is a combination of eight traditional forms which all together form the foundation in the same way that music was once based on a finite number of notes. These are modulated by the use of colors and textures to leaven the surfaces and are held together in an overall construction similar to that of a sonata in which connection leads to culmination through a transition space.

The bazaars specially the ones in Naqsh-e Jahan Square are so crowded that you can easily have the imagination of its old times. On that time, those riding on horseback used to send their footmen ahead to clear the way because there were hundreds of people on the way.

A noteworthy town in Sassanid times, Isfahan was flourished during the Islamic period and became the capital city of the Safavid kings.

In the 11th century, it was captured by the Seljuk Turks, who made it the capital of their empire. In the early 13th century, it was occupied by Mongols. Tamer Lane conquered the city in 1388 and, after its inhabitants rebelled, slaughtered nearly 70,000 persons in revenge; It is said that he built a

large hill with the skulls of the dead.

Isfahan, chosen and designed capital under Shah Abbas I (1598), was reconstituted with so many new mosques, fine palaces, bridges known as masterpieces of world’s architecture, etc.

The main street, Chaharbagh, runs North-South right through the main part of the city and most of the historical sites are accessible by 10 up to 30 minutes walk if you have chosen any of the hotels located in this street. It should also be said that the Vali-Asr Street in Tehran with its attractive side-road trees is a copy of Chaharbagh Street in Isfahan. Shah Abbas I had ordered his soldiers to raise trees in Chaharbagh Street in order to enjoy their shadow while crossing by carriage. Reza Khan, the first Pahlavid king, also followed the same way enjoying the shadow of trees in Vali-Asr Street.

Naqshe- e Jahan Square is the main tourism attraction of city of Isfahan which has been registered in list of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites in 1979. Having a large area 510 in 165 meters, Naqsh-e Jahan historical Square is one of the largest squares in Iran which was constructed by order of Shah Abbas the Great, Safavid King, at the beginning of the 17th century, and bordered on all sides by monumental buildings linked by a series of two-storied arcades which was used for playing Polo during Safavid dynastic era (1501-1736 AD).

Chaharbagh Street built in 1597, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Imam (Shah Abbas) Mosque, Alee Ghapou Palace, Khajou Bridge, Sio-se-pol, the Shaking Minarets, Birds Garden, Flower Garden, Jame Mosque, Vank Cathedral, Chehel Sotoon palace, Hasht Behesht Palace, etc are among the other tourism attraction of Isfahan.

Adapted from: Payvand, Iran tourism

Friday, September 19, 2008

Iranian Oscar-nominated film in 11 countries

A scene of "Be hamin sadegi"/Reza Mirkarimi

Celebrated Iranian filmmaker Reza Mirkarimi's So Simple is slated to be screened at 11 international film festivals around the globe.

Mirkarimi's film will begin its global tour in Germany before going on to Turkey and the United States.

So Simple will then go on its 2009 tour of Boston, Washington, Huston, Stockholm and Asia pacific film festivals.

MirKarimi's family drama will continue its journey to Poland and the festival of Iranian films in Edinburgh, Scotland.

So Simple, which is the story of the daily challenges set before a middle class Iranian woman, has received numerous international awards including the Golden George Award of the 30th Moscow International Film Festival.

Actress Hengameh Qaziani won the Best Actress Prize of Bulgaria's 16th Love Is Folly International Film Festival for her role as Taraneh.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Israel will be wipped off if attack Iran

Digital Journal - Kourosh Ziabari: There is no doubt that the Israeli threats for a possible attack on Iranian nuclear facilities will not go further than prolixity and hyperbolize, but the mainstream media are trying their best to pretend these threats more than overstatements.

Alongside countries such as China and India, Iran is among the world few countries that never attacked a country nor occupied any land in its 7500 years history and this is a point that introduces Iran as a peacemaking and civilized empire.

On the other side, we have the Zionist Regime that is known to the world as Israel. A fake regime that occupied the holy land of Palestine for 60 years, made its people homeless and kills thousands of innocent children annually..

According to International human rights watch, Israel is one the major human rights violators during the history by killing thousands of infant babies and pregnant women, destroying civilian homes, setting blockade against Gaza stripe habitants and breaching ceasefires.

There is now exact figure showing that how many Palestinians have been killed by the military of Zionist Regime since 1948 when this miserable state has been established first but it is evident that this fabricated regime is on the way toward destruction and deletion.

Anyhow, Israel and its affiliated media such as Associated Press, CNN, FoxNews and Reuters are altercating with Iran by propagating falsified facts about nuclear weapons in the country and pretending that Iran is striving for mass destruction crafts.

But regardless to this biased black propaganda which is flawing the professional credit of international media, the main question of international community is about the Israeli threat to world peace and stability.

The main question is that why the Zionist Regime doesn't join NPT to halt its nuclear weapon armories and why it is enjoying 170 nuclear warheads? The main question is that why the Zionist Regime doesn't evacuate the occupied territories and allow its citizen to go back to their homelands in comfort?

However, any attack on Iran would be a horrible nightmare for US and Israel with its terrible consequences. The strait of Hormouz will be closed by Iran, the maritime forces of US will be bombarded in Persian Gulf and the fake regimes will be wiped off the map.

When the late Imam Khomeini was alive, he predicted that the communist party of Soviet Union would be tumbled and it came true. Now we are waiting for his next prediction about the overthrown of the Zionist fake regime.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Iran dominates Paralympics sitting volleyball

China Daily - Iran sitting volleyball: The Iranian men's volleyball team exacted revenge against old foe Bosnia & Herzegovina after an eight-year wait at the Chinese Agricultural University Gymnasium on Monday as 4,000 spectators cheered on.

Iran wrapped up the final in straight sets, taking a little over an hour to win its fifth gold medal in six Paralympics.

Bosnia & Herzegovina derailed Iran's 16-year gold medal ride at the Games four yeas ago, leaving its opponent thirsting for revenge.

The world's two best teams met again in the final on Monday on the last competition day of sitting volleyball in Beijing.

Though Bosnia & Herzegovina entered the Paralympics as World No 1, hundreds of vocal Iranian fans boosted their team's morale throughout the match.

"We prepared well for the win," said Jalil Eimery, the Iranian captain.

It looked like the Bosnia & Herzegovina was the stronger side when Ismet Godinjak's spike sent the match into the first technical timeout with his team leading 8-4.

But it was Iran that came back strongly to take the first set 25-22.

Great exchanges in the early minutes of the second set saw the score level pegging all the way to 8-8.

But again Iran, the most attacking team with two of the tournament's best spikers, took the lead with a rare round of blocks and saves to enjoy a four-point lead ahead of the second technical timeout.

The Iranians were more aggressive in the following points, winning four in a row to take the set 25-18.

Bosnia & Herzegovina was leading halfway through the third set, before Iran came back again to lead the set for the first time at 15-14.

But as tensions rose, the Iranians were stronger in both attack and defense, while their opponents found it more and more difficult to stop them.

With match point at hand, the Iranians teetered to lose four consecutive points before regaining composure.

Mohammad Khaleghi's spike took his team to a sweet victory.

"Though we won today, it will not mean we will keep on winning. The rivalry will continue," said Iran's head coach, Hadi Rezaei Garkani.

Bosnia & Herzegovina sent one shooter, two shot-putters and the men's volleyball team to the Beijing Paralympics; and the volleyball silver was the delegation's first and only medal in Beijing.

A fifth-set decider was needed to separate Russia and Egypt in the closely fought bronze medal match.

For the Russian team, the result capped off a pleasing Paralympic debut.

But for World No 3 Egypt, bronze medalist at the Athens Paralympics, failure to win a medal was disappointing.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Bribery to distort the name of "Persian Gulf"

UAE PM under the eternal name of Persian Gulf

Open editorial - Kourosh Ziabari: According to UN regulations for the standardization of geographical places names, any attempt to alter or distort a historical registered name is denied and branded as "unlawful'. Every city, province, island, river, strait, mountain and gulf enjoys a special, exclusive name and each name narrates a story about the origins and history of its owner.

For example, the phrase "Indian ocean" tells us that the southeastern region of Asia was under the domination of Indian empire historically, or the name "Caspian sea" describes that the main inhabitants of Southern Russian and northern Iran region were the ancient tribe of "Caspi" historically. This shows that the originality and unity of geographical names must be kept and dispersion is not acceptable in this matter.

Let's give a simple example. My name is Kourosh, but what happens if each of my friends decide to call me by his desired name? Maybe I would get 20 names if I had 20 friends, and clearly it is neither logical nor practical. In an upper level, imagine that we assign two or three names to every country and request of the media and people to call these destinations by all of the assigned names, or that the different states designate their arbitrary name to the neighboring countries. In this case, we would have a world with 200 countries and thousands of names for them. Would be the world livable in such circumstances?

However, I propounded all of the above topics to mention about a critical issue which is offending the international community these days, the project of Persian Gulf's name distortion. According to the legal and historical evidences, the body water which separates Iran from the Arabian Peninsula is known as Persian Gulf since the ancient eras until now, lacking any synonym or alternative name. This name has been used in historical maps, articles and epilogues for more than 1 million times, a most prominent of them belonging to the Greek Herodotus.

The Greek historian in his book -History of Herodotus, 440 B.C- has repeatedly mentioned the term "Sinus Persicus" which is a Latin form of "Persian Gulf", meanwhile he emphasized that the "Arabian Gulf" is a historical name which stands for the today's "Red Sea". Additionally, we find the term "Persian Gulf" referring to the body water separating the plateau of Persia from the Arabian Peninsula in the books and maps of numerous Arabian voyagers and scholars including Ibn-e-Battuta.

Regarding the history of Persian Empire which dates back to 5000 B.C and known as one of the first civilizations in the world's booked history, Persian Gulf, Caspian Sea and the Gulf of Iran which is currently referred as the "Gulf of Oman" were all under the sovereignty of Persia, a great monarchy which was consisted of various states such as Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Emirates, Kuwait, Syria, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan, Armenia and Parts of India. All of these states separated from Iran during the past millennium and shaped their own, independent governments, the latest of them was UAE which toke independence from Iran in the year 1971.However, I am not looking to bother you by substantiating the historical and scientific legitimacy of Persian Gulf's name.

Everybody knows that Persian Gulf is a simple geographical name like the other names for seas, gulfs, rivers and cities in the world and it is impossible to rename it. But it matters to us to find out why the mischievous actions are just being taken to counterfeit the name of "Persian Gulf" among the thousands of geographical names in five continents around the world. Why the name of "Mexican Gulf' is not under the threat of distortion?

Why is the Persian Gulf region so important that Arab states and Israel agreed to lobby for dominance over and distort its name? How much is the distortion project linked to the political purposes and who is really charging and backing this project from outside? We know well that the western pressure is increasing on Iran over its nuclear program and the US-allies impose media pressure and economic sanctions on the country to halt its nuclear researches and projects, in the other hand they also know that 3 UN members have never signed NPT and currently holding their own nuclear arsenals to deposit military warheads, but no serious steps is taken for their disarmament and stopping them from pursuing genocide weapons.

Some of the Iranian journalists and cultural activists believe that the efforts to alter the name of Persian Gulf in the media and political figure's speeches are taking place with the goal of enfeebling the wills of Iranian nation about the nuclear program although the west knows that Iran is facing electricity shortage.

Referring to the 2001 edition of world-renowned magazine National Geography, the Iranian media and people claim that it was dubious and skeptical that an American magazine altered the name of Persian Gulf for the first time which was followed by the English and Israeli magazines later. Iranians link the slyness of forging Persian Gulf's name with the western pressures on Iran to suspend its nuclear programs after it came out that military threats, media black propaganda and economic sanctions are inefficient.

They believe that the Arabian and Western media altering the name of Persian Gulf are abusing of Iranian's sensitivity about the cultural heritages and historical treasures. But to the contrary, some of the Iranian newspapers and journalists wrote in their reports right after the National Geography scandal that the hostile action of removing the name of Persian Gulf and replacing it with a forged term was not a part of US policies. It was simply a result of Arab states paying bribery to the American media.

They have also published articles revealing the Google Earth managers had some financial affairs with Arab statesmen to change the name of Persian Gulf in their new publishing maps. Eventually, regarding all of the aspects and dimensions described above, altering a historical name would not exclusively lead to the desired political results. It would cause irretrievable damages to the history of science and the efforts of geographers, archaeologists and voyagers.

Alongside all of the world's historical sites and places, Persian Gulf belongs to the ancient times and must be protected for the next generations. Neglecting the historical facts and ignoring geographical documentations to reach some political purposes is the worst type of altercating with a nation that is notable globally for its peacemaking and cultural background.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dream of "Arabian" gulf!!

Simply Google Earth, Arab states, Bribery, Persian Gulf's name distortion!

Kourosh Ziabari - OhMyNews: Despite long-standing tradition, there's a fight among the international community over the name of the Persian Gulf. That's the body of water that separates Iran from the Arabian Peninsula.

Among the thousands of geographical names around the world, why are mischievous actions being taken to change the name of the Persian Gulf? Why not target the Gulf of Mexico? Why is the Persian Gulf region so important that Arab states and Israel agreed to lobby for a change of name? What political purposes will it serve? Who is backing this endeavor?

We know well that the West is increasing the pressure on Iran over its nuclear program. We know, too, that three UN members have never signed the Nonproliferation Treaty and that they currently have nuclear arsenals. No serious steps are being taken to disarm those states or to stop them from pursuing weapons of mass destruction.

Some Iranian journalists and cultural activists believe that the effort to change the name of the Persian Gulf is taking place with the goal of enfeebling the will of the Iranian nation about the nuclear program even though the West knows that Iran is facing an electricity shortage.

When the National Geographic added "Arabian Gulf" in parentheses after the label "Persian Gulf" in the latest (2004) edition of its Atlas of the World, Iranians were understandably upset.

Iranians link the slyness of changing the name with the West's desire to pressure Iran to suspend its nuclear program, another tactic to go with the military threats, propaganda in the media and economic sanctions. They believe that the Western media in adopting the change are of their sensitivity toward their cultural heritages and historical treasures.

Some Iranian journalists wrote right after the National Geographic scandal that the hostile action of changing the name had nothing to do with the West' or the United States' policies. Rather, it was the work of the Arab states, which bribed the American media.

Some articles reveal that the managers of Google Earth had some financial arrangements with Arab political leaders to change the name in their maps.

But really, altering a historical name will never create the desired political results. It will just cause irretrievable damage to the history of science and the efforts of geographers, archaeologists and voyagers.

Together with all of the world's historical sites and places, the Persian Gulf's name must be protected for future generations.

Neglecting tradition, historical facts and records such as Herodotus' History and Ibn Battuta's Travels to serve some political purpose is a terrible way for a nation to act, especially the United States, which is known globally for its peacemaking and cultural background.

Reviewing Iran-Senegal relations

Iran-Senegal relations refer to the bilateral economic, political and cultural ties between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Senegal.

As well as most of the African countries, Iran has close and friendly ties with Senegal as a major and powerful African country which is also an important Islamic country and one of the active OIC members.

Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his Senegalese counterpart Abdoulaye Wade had a joint press conference along with a close meeting in Feb 2008 in the city of Mashhad, both side pledged to expand the bilateral ties in the fields of economy, tourism and politics in addition to increase the efforts for empowering the OIC.

Also the giant Iran-based automaker Iran Khodro established an assembly line to produce Iranian cars in Senegal and dispatch them to the African markets directly from Dakar. This Iranian-Senegalese company has the capacity to produce 5,000 Samand cars anually.

Reviewing Iran-Swiss relations

Iranian-Swiss relations are foreign relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and Switzerland. Switzerland is reckoned as a major Western European ally of Iran and the bilateral ties between the two states is increasing in the fields of Transport, technology, energy, oil, gas and Tourism

It has opend a consulate in Tehran since 1919 which raised to the status of embassy in 1936 and also represents the interests of some countries including United States and South Africa in the Iranian capital Tehran.

The mutual ties between the two countries was always fair and friendly because of cultural cognations.[1] There are agreements between the two countries on air traffic (1954, 1972 and 2004), road and rail transport (1977), export risk guarantees (1966), protection of investments (1998) and double taxation (2002). Iran is one of Switzerland's most important trading partners in the Middle East. A trade agreement was signed in 2005 but has not yet been ratified.

Beginning in 1984, victims of the Iran-Iraq War received medical treatment in Switzerland. After the severe earthquakes of 1997 and 2003, Switzerland helped to rebuild the infrastructure. Cooperation on the national level to prevent natural catastrophes was initiated in 2006. The two countries have been engaged in a human rights dialogue since 2003 and in discussions on migration since 2005

In the year 2007, Iran and switzerland agreed to sign a major gas contract to export oil and gas from the Persian Gulf.

This happend during a trip paid by the Switzerland foreign minister Micheline Calmy-Ray with her Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki.

This contract has been signed between the Switzerland's company of Elektrizitaetsgesellschaft Laufenburg and the National Iranian Gas Export Company which will be started practically at the beginning of 2009

Monday, September 08, 2008

Iranian film to be screened in Japan

A scene of Hamoun and Darya

Iranian filmmaker Ebrahim Foruzesh's Hamoun and Darya is scheduled to compete at the 21st Tokyo International Film Festival (TIFF).

The 86-minute film recounts the story of Hamoun, a teenage Dotar player, and his cousin, Darya's love for one another.

Foruzesh has received numerous international awards including the 2002 Cinema Prize of Avanca Film Festival and the 1992 Golden Leopard of the Locarno International Film Festival.

The 21st edition of the festival, to be held from Oct. 18 to 26, will include categories such as 'Competition', 'Special Screenings', 'Winds of Asia - Middle East', 'Japanese Eyes', and 'Natural TIFF.

Press TV

Venice filmfest awards Iranian directors

Two feature-length films by Iranian directors have been awarded at the 65th edition of Venice International Film Festival in Italy.

Amir Naderi's Vegas: Based on a True Story received a special mention and the CinemAvvenire Best Film in Competition award.

Ramin Bahrani's Goodbye Solo won the Best Film award of the event's Horizons and International Critics' Week.

The aspiring Ramin Bahrani is the highly lauded director of Man Push Cart and Chop Shop.

Amir Naderi is best known for his Water, Wind, Dust and Runner, considered by many critics to be one of the most influential films of the past quarter century.

The 2008 Venice International Film Festival was held in five sections from Aug. 27 to Sep. 6 at Venice Lido.


Saturday, September 06, 2008

Iran defeats Kazakhstan to qualify World Cup

Iran's junior basketball team has clinched the title at the FIBA Asian Junior Championship which was held in the capital Tehran.

Iran lifted the trophy after defeating Kazakhstan 95-76 (25-19, 34-18, 22-21, 14-18) in the final on Friday evening. Syria managed to take the third place by gaining a 93-86 victory over Japan on the same day.

Iran, Kazakhstan and Syria now place in the world basketball competitions.

The three top-ranked teams - Iran, Kazakhstan and Syria - will attend the 2009 FIBA World Junior Men's Championships in New Zealand.

Sixteen teams took part in the 20th Edition of the FIBA Asia Junior Championship, which ran from August 28 through September 5.

The Iranian squad won the FIBA 2002 silver medal and 2004 gold medal.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Iranian cartoonist shines in Brazil contest

The 35th edition of the International Humor Exhibition of Piracicaba in Brazil has awarded Iranian cartoonists in two categories.
Mahmoud Nazari received the first prize of the event’s Cartoon category and Soheil Mohammadi topped the exhibition’s vanguard category.

The 2008 International Humor Exhibition of Piracicaba was held in five categories of Cartoon, Charge, Caricature, Strips and Vanguard.
One of the world’s most important graphic art events, the International Humor Exhibition of Piracicaba aims to encourage new talents and promote the art of drawing cartoons and comics.

Iranian cartoonists are today among the world top comic artists and put the name of their country alongside Brazil, Romania, Italy and Belgium as the world top five cartooning powerhouses.

The website of Brazilian cartoon contest which exhibits the whole collection of selected works could be found at

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Eternal Iranian Islands of Persian Gulf

Eternal Persian Gulf

Iran on Wednesday strongly defended opening new offices on the Iranian Islands of Persian Gulf and rejected Arab monarchies' condemnation of the move as interference and unforgivable impudence.

"All our country's measures on Abu Musa Island are completely legal and in accordance with Iran's rights governing this Iranian islands," foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Ghashghavi said in a statement.

Ghashghavi was reacting to a statement by the six-nation Persian Gulf Cooperation Council on Tuesday condemning the construction and calling for the closure of the offices on Abu Musa, one of the triple Iranian islands of Persian Gulf.

Iran seriously condemned the GCC statement as explicit interference in Iran's internal affairs and branded the nonsense UAE's claims to Abu Musa and the Greater and Lesser Tunb islands as boring, repetitive, baseless, shameful, unfounded and rejected.

Tehran's establishment of a maritime rescue office and a ship registration office on Abu Musa island drew a formal protest from the UAE earlier this month.

Iran has already warned many times that any bias, media propaganda or intervention to threat its sovereignty will be responded decisively while the case of territorial integrity is vitally sensitive for Iranian officials and they announced frequently that allow nobody to move toward this redline.

Iranians believe that taking military options to respond the meditative and devilish statements of Arab governors is a proper choice to end their impertinence, meanwhile the Iranian army commanders never dismissed this option.

The Persian Gulf and its islands have been under the absolute administration of Iran from the ancient times, about 5000 BCE and the ridiculous pretensions by Arab Sheikhdoms are just charged by the Zionist lobbies and a part of anti-Iranian project managed by White House.

Anyhow, Iran is reviewing some serious and unveiled options to end this artificial dispute and also looking to expand its constructions, buildings, airports, facilities and financial structures in the Iranian islands of Persian Gulf.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Iranian juniors qualify to volleyball World Cup

TEHRAN -- Iranian youth outshined China Sunday in the final of the 14th Asian Junior Men's Volleyball Championship, held in Tehran on August 22-31, to secure first place in Asia.

The competitions were held at which 13 Asian junior volleyball teams had taken part in order to qualify for the 2009 world junior volleyball championship.
Last year, Iranian youngsters were also the Asian champions.

President Mahmud Ahmadinejad’s sports adviser and chief of Physical Education Organization (PEO) Mohammad Aliabadi viewed the final game with many other national dignitaries.

Thirteen countries have participated in the nine-day event that was hosted by Iran.
The Iranian side qualifies for the World Youth Volleyball Championships to be held in Italy next year, as both the winner and the runner-up of the Asian tournament are guaranteed a place.

Tehran Times

Monday, September 01, 2008

Iranian sparrow to fly to 13 countries

The Song of Sparrows, an award winning film by Iran's prominent director Majid Majidi will be screened in cinemas in four continents.

The film is scheduled to be shown in cinemas in Belgium, Colombia, France, Germany, Greece, Mexico, Norway, Portugal, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand and the US.

The Song of Sparrows, produced in 2008, depicts the story of Karim, who enjoys his work as an ostrich breeder in the countryside near Tehran.

He is fired when one of the birds escapes into the hills. Consequently, he travels to Tehran to repair his elder daughter's hearing aid and is mistaken for a motorcycle taxi driver and thus his new adventures and changes in his personality begin.

The film's leading man, Reza Naji won the Silver Bear award for best actor in a leading role at the 58th International Berlin Film Festival.

The film also was screened at the Australia's Sydney international film festival, 55th San Sebastian International Film festival, UK's Edinburgh International film festival along with the American 2008 Seattle film festival.

Adapted from: Press TV

Virtues of fasting during Holy Ramadan

The Times of India - ZAFAR MEHDI SAFVI : Fasting or saum is one of the vital pillars of Islam. Saum is from the root 'sama' which means 'to abstain' ^ from evil speech, thoughts and deeds. Saum is an act of worship; it is prayer for attaining spiritual exaltation and eternal salvation.

Fasting is an exercise in self-discipline. It strengthens our faith in God. The month of Ramadan is also called the month of God, Shahrullah, as it strengthens the bond between Him and us, ashraful makhlooqat. The purpose of fasting is not simply refraining from eating and drinking but refraining from indulging in prohibited acts. "There are many people who fast, whose fast is nothing but hunger and thirst. There are whose prayer is no better than wakefulness and hardship. The eating and drinking in case of the former and sleeping in the latter's case is a far better option" (Nahjul Balagha).

The month of Ramadan is the month of barakah or divine grace, when the gates of heaven are thrown wide open. The Prophet said "It is the month of endurance and the reward of endurance is paradise".

Allah revealed the Holy Qur'an via His apostle and messenger, the Prophet, in this blessed month. Ramadan honours the memory of sending down of the Qura'n. It is the month of action, piety, reform, creativity, generosity, besides it being host to a special occasion, the immortal night, Laylatul Qadr.

Fasting is the sword and shield against sins. Ramadan is the best time to seek Allah's forgiveness for past sins. The Prophet said: "He who fasts during Ramadan with pure faith and seeks reward from Allah will have his past sins forgiven. He who spends nights in Ramadan praying will have his past sins forgiven, and he who passes 'Laylatul Qadr' in prayer, seeking reward from Allah will have his sins forgiven" (Sahih Al Bukhari).

The Prophet said "A fasting person is in a state of worship even if asleep in bed. Every breath he takes while asleep is 'Tasbih', and his sleep itself is worship. O people, anybody who in this blessed month cultivates good and ethical manners will walk over Sirat, the bridge to Paradise on the day when the feet of others will tend to slide".

Earlier fasting meant abstention from food and drink to denote mourning or grief. S M Shahid of Allama Iqbal University, Islamabad says: "In the days of Christ, fasting was regarded as a special mark of devotional spirit. Then, in Arabia, in Prophet Mohammad's time, Makkans observed fast on days of Ashura (10th of Muharram) which also coincided with the custom of changing cover of Holy Kaabah. After the Prophet migrated to Medina , he too observed this fast as duty, till such time that obligatory fasts were prescribed" .

Regular observance of fasts creates remarkable endurance power in a person, besides special feeling of empathy for the needy and creates sense of equality between the rich and poor. Net result is manifested individually as well as collectively through refinement of character and purification of soul. Fasting invites Allah's blessings and mercy. Besides fasting also has great medicinal value. It is a key to sound health and fit body.

Fasting is recognised to be instrumental in alleviating a number of physical diseases and so helps keep the body fit. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain from fasting.