Robert Frost (American poet)
Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.
Iran’s Cultural Landscape of Uramanat inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List
Arts & Culture Desk
The Cultural Landscape of Uramanat in western Iran was inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List during its 44th session of the World Heritage Committee, which was held online in China’s Fuzhou on July 27.
The session will continue until July 31.
The landscape is the 26th Iranian site which has been listed in the UN body, IRNA reported.
Iranian Minister of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Ali-Asghar Mounesan said on Tuesday, “The global registration of Cultural Landscape of Uramanat not only promotes the status of Iran’s cultural heritage in the world, but also brightens Iran’s tourism landscape and paves the way for tourism development in the western part of the country and would attract more foreign tourists.”
The landscape was assessed last year by panels of experts from the UN body to get to know the traditions, culture and history of the site, Mounesan noted.
Follow-ups and, more importantly, rich and flawless content of the dossier led to the global registration of the work, the minister added.
On July 25, the Trans-Iranian Railway, also known as the North-South Railway, was also registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
Last September, Hessam Mahdi, the representative of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS), announced that the case for the inscription of the Uramanat cultural landscape on the prestigious list had been well prepared and he was “impressed” by the status of the rural landscape. He made the remarks on the sidelines of a visit to the western province of Kermanshah.
Stretched on the slopes of Sarvabad county in Kurdestan Province, the rural area embraces dense and step-like rows of houses in a way that the roof of each house forms the yard of the upper one, a feature that adds to its charm and attractiveness. The cultural landscape covers 300 villages and, in terms of architecture and landscape, it is one of the most beautiful and presentable heritages in the world.
Shia Muslims to celebrate Eid al-Ghadir
Arts & Culture Desk
Shia Muslims throughout the world will be celebrating Eid al-Ghadir, one of the most significant feasts in the history of Shia Islam, on Thursday, the 18th day of the lunar month of Dhu al-Hijjah.
The occasion, described in hadiths as “the greatest divine Eid”, marks the event of Ghadir Khumm, where Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), shortly before his passing in 632 CE, appointed Imam Ali (PBUH), the first of 12 Shia Imams, as his successor.
Following the conclusion of Hajj pilgrimage, Muslims, on their way back to Medina, were gathered by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the Pond of Khumm in the Arabian Peninsula, where the Prophet of Islam delivered the famous speech, saying, “Anyone who has me as his mawla, has Ali as his mawla.”
The word ‘mawla’, according to Qur’an and hadiths, refers to various meanings in different contexts, including ‘lord’, ‘guardian’, ‘trustee’, and ‘helper’.
The event comes eight days after another major feast in the Islamic calendar, Eid al-Adha, which marks the end of the Hajj ceremony.
Various ceremonies are held annually on the occasion of Eid al-Ghadir throughout the Islamic world, though this year many of them will be affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The Holy Shrine of Imam Ali in Najaf, Iraq, has been decorated by banners and lights.
In Iran, numerous ceremonies, including speeches and prayers, will be he held on eve as well as on the day of the Eid at the Holy Shrine of Hazrat Ma’sumeh (PBUH) – the sister of Imam Reza (PBUH), the eight Imam of Shia Muslims – in Qom.
Also online celebrations will be organized worldwide.
Iran’s Yousefi Keysari honored at Minimalist Photography Awards
Arts & Culture Desk
Iranian photographer Amirhossein Yousefi Keysari was granted the Honorable Mention at the Minimalist Photography Awards 2021.
The Iranian received the recognition for his photo collection, ‘Leave’, in the conceptual photos category.
“Behaviors of us endanger our own lives, the lives of others, and the Earth. Trees have always been a symbol of life, and for me, electricity lines are a symbol of limitations and prison rods,” Yousefi Keysari wrote about his collection on the event’s official website.
“In real life, I have repeatedly watched a prisoner’s efforts, the imposition of ideas, domination, and so on. The truth is that if you raise your head and move freely, you will reach your destination. See above…”
Australian photographer Allen Koppe was named the Conceptual Photographer of the Year at the event and won the $2,000 prize money.
More than 3700 photographs from 39 different countries had been submitted to the third edition of the awards.
The awards were held in 12 categories, including abstract, aerial photography, architecture, conceptual, fine arts, landscape, long exposure, night photography, open theme, photomanipulation, portrait, and street photography.
Minimalist Photography Awards is a nonprofit association, founded by Milad Safabakhsh, the founder and chief editor of B&W Minimalism Magazine.
The event “aims to recognize, reward and expose talented photographers all around the world and introduce them to the professional photography industry,” reads the awards’ official website.
Iran to hold int’l festival for 100th anniversary of contemporary Persian literature
Arts & Culture Desk
Iran’s Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies will hold an international festival for the centenary of contemporary Persian literature in October.
In cooperation with domestic and international universities, the festival aims to review the roots of contemporary Persian literature, the differences between contemporary Persian literature and classic literature, the currents of contemporary Persian literature, and the influences of literature in various fields of art such as cinema, theater, and music, ISNA wrote.
Specialized meetings, dialogue, interviews, research documentaries, exhibitions and commemoration of literary works and figures will be among the programs of the international and specialized festival.
Booker prize reveals globe-spanning longlist of ‘engrossing stories’
Kazuo Ishiguro first won the Booker prize in 1989 for ‘The Remains of the Day’. Thirty-one years later, the British author made the longlist for the £50,000 award with ‘Klara and the Sun,’ his first novel since winning the Nobel Prize in literature.
Ishiguro’s story of an AF, or “artificial friend”, which is bought as a companion for a 14-year-old girl, is one of 13 novels in the running for this year’s Booker, the most prestigious books prize in the UK. The author, who has been shortlisted three times, was praised by judges for his “haunting narrative voice – a genuinely innocent, ego-less perspective on the strange behaviour of humans obsessed and wounded by power, status and fear”, theguardian.com wrote.
Ishiguro makes the cut alongside some heavyweight names, from Richard Powers, chosen for the yet-to-be-published ‘Bewilderment,’ about a widowed astrobiologist trying to raise his nine-year-old son, to Rachel Cusk, longlisted for ‘Second Place,’ in which a woman invites an artist to visit the remote coastal region where she lives.
Sally Rooney, who was nominated for the Booker for her 2018 novel ‘Normal People,’ was overlooked by judges for her third novel, ‘Beautiful World, Where Are You,’ which is out in September. Judges also failed to longlist Don DeLillo’s short novel ‘The Silence’.
Director of the Booker Prize Foundation Gaby Wood said that while recent Booker longlists have “drawn attention to various elements of novelty in the novel: Experimentalism of form, work in unprecedented genres, debut authors”, this year’s list was “more notable for the engrossing stories within it, for the geographical range of its points of view and for its recognition of writers who have been working at an exceptionally high standard for many years”.
The Booker’s globe-spanning lineup moves from Sri Lankan author Anuk Arudpragasam’s ‘A Passage North,’ in which Krishan travels from Colombo to the war-torn Northern Province for a funeral, to the twice Booker-shortlisted author Damon Galgut’s ‘The Promise’. Set on a farm outside Pretoria, ‘The Promise’ tells of a white South African family that has failed to keep a promise to the black woman who has worked for them her whole life.
Galgut is joined on the longlist by fellow South African author Karen Jennings, whose novel ‘An Island,’ following an old lighthouse keeper who finds the unconscious body of a refugee on his beach, is published by small independent press Holland House Books.
The books world has long complained about the Booker’s decision to open its doors to American authors. This year, five British authors make the longlist, alongside four Americans. Ishiguro and the British-Canadian Cusk’s novels are joined by fellow Britons Francis Spufford’s ‘Light Perpetual,’ which imagines a future for five children killed in the blitz, Sunjeev Sahota’s ‘China Room,’ which weaves together the story of a young bride in rural 1929 Punjab with that of a young man in 1999, and British-Somali author Nadifa Mohamed’s ‘The Fortune Men,’ in which suspicion falls on Mahmood Mattan for the murder of a shopkeeper in Cardiff’s Tiger Bay in 1952.
The Pulitzer-winning ‘Powers,’ meanwhile, is joined by fellow Americans Patricia Lockwood, chosen for her buzzed-about debut ‘No One is Talking About This,’ in which real life intrudes on the world of a woman known for her viral social media posts, Maggie Shipstead’s story of a female aviator who disappears in 1950 while attempting to fly around the world, Great Circle, and Nathan Harris’s first novel ‘The Sweetness of Water,’ set at the end of the American civil war.
The longlist is completed by Canadian author Mary Lawson’s ‘A Town Called Solace,’ set in Northern Ontario in 1972, when eight-year-old Clara’s sister Rose goes missing.
Williams and his fellow judges – chair Maya Jasanoff, the historian; writer and editor Horatia Harrod; actor Natascha McElhone; novelist and professor Chigozie Obioma – read 158 books to come up with their longlist of 13.
The shortlist of six books will be announced on 14 September, and the winner on 3 November.
British Museum to restore objects damaged in Beirut blast
The British Museum will restore eight ancient glass artefacts damaged in last year’s Beirut port explosion, the London cultural institution announced on Tuesday.
The glass vessels were shattered after 2,750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate stored in Beirut’s port caused a blast that devastated the city on August 4, 2020, AFP reported.
Workers will piece together hundreds of glass fragments at the British Museum’s conservation laboratories in London with funding from The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF).
“These objects hold immense historical, artistic and cultural significance. Their return to their rightful form is a powerful symbol of healing and resilience after disaster,” said TEFAF chairman Hidde van Seggelen.
The artefacts were held in a case displaying 74 Roman, Byzantine and Islamic-Era glass vessels in the American University of Beirut’s Archaeological Museum, located 3.2 kilometres (two miles) from the blast.
The explosion caused them to shatter into hundreds of pieces, which were mixed with broken glass from cabinets and windows.
Only 15 vessels were deemed salvageable and eight safe to travel to London for restoration.
Sandra Smith, head of collection care at the British Museum, explained that glass reconstruction is a “delicate process” as shards move out of shape and have to be drawn back under tension.
The vessels, dating back to the first century BCE, document the evolution of glass-production technology in Lebanon, with two thought to have been imported from Syria or Egypt.
The works will temporarily go on display at the British Museum before returning to Beirut.
Director Hartwig Fischer said the British Museum’s “expertise and resources” would allow the artefacts to be saved and “enjoyed in Lebanon for many more years to come”.