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Nicaragua receives first batch of COVIran Barekat vaccine
Latin American country of Nicaragua received the first batch of COVIran Barekat vaccine, consisting of 200K doses of the Iran-made vaccines, announced the country’s vice president.
Rosario María Murillo Zambrana stated that the doses have been received, expressing gratitude towards the Islamic Republic of Iran, according to IRNA.
The shipment reached Nicaragua on June 21 and the first batch was handed over to the Latin American authorities in the presence of the Iranian envoy to Managua, Majid Salehi, and Nicaraguan Minister of Health Martha Reyes.
Nicaraguan officials hope that the doses can help them vaccinate more population in the Latin American country, where about 93 percent of Nicaraguans have got the first jab.
Nicaragua and Iran signed a memorandum of understanding on March 17, 2022, when the Executive Headquarters of Imam’s Directive vowed to provide the country with the COVIran Barekat vaccine.
The signing ceremony was held in the presence of Nicaraguan Ambassador to Iran Isaac Lenin Bravo Jaen, as well as representatives from Iran’ Ministry of Health and Medical Education and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
British researchers uncover digital poverty in rural communities
A new study by researchers at Lancaster University reveals 28 percent of the population in North West England are not confident completing key tasks online.
Most alarmingly, over half of those aged 65 and above and those on lower incomes lack digital skills, meaning those most in need of online services are least likely to be able to access them, according to phys.org.
The research is based on a survey of more than 500 people living in rural communities in the North West England between February and March 2022, as well as 16 in-depth interviews.
It finds that while 95% of residents have access to the internet, only a quarter feel able to make the most of it. A significant proportion of people lack digital confidence, and risk missing out on key services and employment opportunities.
To get around the problem, one in five say they would have to ask family or friends for help – which was a particular problem for older participants and those on lower incomes.
Suvashun by Simin Daneshvar
“Sister, don’t you cry. A single tree shall grow in your house, a few in your city, and many more in your land. And the wind shall carry the word of a tree to the next, and they will ask the wind: Have you seen the dawn?”
The first novel in Farsi written by an Iranian female fiction writer, ‘Suvashun’, is among this week’s bestselling books in Iran. It’s a longstanding tradition in the country’s book market that each new print of this acclaimed novel makes it to the top of the lists as each new generation of readers are eager to read the story of Zari, the novel’s protagonist.
Set in Shiraz during the last years of World War II, after the invasion of southern Iran by the British army, ‘Suvashun’ chronicles the life of a middle class landowning family in this period, when everyday life had been brought into turmoil by the presence of the occupying troops.
The cross-generational popularity of the book is evident on social media, especially Instagram, where book bloggers and common readers from different age groups dedicate one or more posts to reading bits and pieces of the book for their followers. Currently there are around 17,000 posts with the related hashtags in Farsi on the platform.
By all appearances, ‘Suvashun’ is not just a fan favorite in Iran, since the book holds a high rating of 3.95 on Goodreads, where books are judged by readers from around the globe. There’s hardly any review that gives the novel less than three stars, which denotes that the reviewer has ‘really liked it’.
On the comment section of iranketab.ir, a user named Malihe Haqkhah has written, “’Suvashun’ was full of familiar emotions for me. Womanly and motherly fears that lie within each and every woman were depicted beautifully. I think that’s the strength of Daneshvar’s writing. I identified with the characters so much that I had to highlight almost all of my copy.”
Thus spoke the artist:
Even in my dreams I’m painting scenes
Perhaps Patricia Highsmith was on to something when she said that her imagination “functions much better” when she doesn’t have to “speak to people.” Solitude is a sine qua non for the creative crowd, for in nowhere else could they find the space they need to create.
“We all have so much social responsibility in life that it could easily overwhelm us. I think when you reach your 40s, you need your own sanctuary,” said Hooman Jafari Kermani, the 50-year-old painter, who, less than three years ago, chose watercolor painting as his very own form of seclusion.
The Tehran University graduate with a degree in architecture needed an artistic outlet to deal with his daily stress. With his sketching background in mind, he picked up a brush and took a course in watercolor painting.
“At first, it was just some sort of weekly entertainment. Day by day, though, I became more invested and I ended up doing it every single day,” he said, adding with an air of self-congratulation, “I took it very, very seriously.”
Waking up every day at 5AM, Kermani paints until 7AM before going to manage his engineering consultants firm.
“I want everybody to know that even middle-aged people could still venture into arts and find some success if they give it their all,” he said.
Kermani travels a lot and, consequently, has formed the habit of en plein air. Quite a few of his paintings are depictions of boats floating on lakes, which he revealed are souvenirs of his trips to Switzerland.
“My inspirations come instantly and when they do, I have to act quickly. Lately, I even dream that I’m painting a scene with watercolor,” he said, adding with a laugh, “And I want to wake up and paint it before I forget it later in the day.”
Kermani has tried his hands in many different genres, and he is quite content with his urban paintings as well.
“I think they’re good for someone like me,” he said modestly, and went on, “I still consider myself at the starting line.”
Kermani puts forth the idea that watercolor offers him a unique, personal interpretation of life.
“With this medium, you have to break your back coloring the sheet in order to bring out two or three white spots. Your first mistake is your last, and the whiteness disappears,” he said.
That’s his outlook on life, whereas we are all white sheets of paper.
“We paint ourselves black and blue, yet we keep a few white spots for ourselves.”
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