Sunday, August 31, 2008

Salsabil Alley

Salsabil alley is one of the most famous and oldest streets in Mashhad located in Daneshgah Street (University St). I don't know exactly who this wall-painted man is but he must be a war martyr. We have several of these wall paintings around the city walls show the martyrs during the Islamic Republic after the revolution. The government always show much respect to the martyrs because they actually owe them. Good to know that Salsabil is an Islamic Arabic term referring to a river in paradise.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Mehdi Akhavan: Thou this Ancient Land, I adore thee

Mehdi Akhavan Saless was a prominent Persian poet. He is one of the pioneers of Free Verse (New Style Poetry) in Persian language. He was born in 1928 in Mashhad and died in 1990 and buried in his home town. His tomb is so simple (the simplest I've ever seen). Sometimes I think he is not well admired. Akhavan's forte is epic; more precisely, he chooses themes of epical proportion. I love his poems as well as many other Iranians.

From all things earthly, if I acclaim
Thee this land so ancient, I adore

Thee the birth place of so many nobles
Cherisher of magnanimity, I adore

Thine Ormuzd and Yazatas, I revere

To thine ancient prophet
A wisdom seeking sage whom I adore

The noble Zarathushtra, more so than
all other sages and prophets I adore

Humanity better than him has not seen and will not
and this noblest of humanity I adore

His trios the best guide for the world
This concise, impactful guide I adore

This great Iranian a leader
This Iranian leader I adore

Never killed, nor asked others to
This noble role modeling I adore

Tine Ferdowsi, the legendary literary tower he erected
placed in the hall of fame and glory, I adore

تو را ای کهن بوم و بر دوست دارم
مهدی اخوان ثالث

Persian Miniatures

A Persian miniature is a small painting, whether a book illustration or a separate work of art. Each miniature has a story behind it. I'll talk about the story of this one (see below). Miniature painting became a significant Persian form in the 13th century, and the highest point in the tradition was reached in the 15th and 16th centuries. I took the above photo when I was visiting Tous Museum. It was one of the several miniatures kept there. There are also some other miniatures in Astan Quds Museum that mostly belong to Mr. Farshchian.

Arash is a heroic archer-figure of Iranian oral tradition and folklore. The basic story of the bowman runs as follows: In a war between the Iranians and the Un-Iranians over the "royal glory", the two sides agree to make peace. Both reach an agreement that whatever land falls within the range of a bow-shot shall be returned to the Iranians, and the rest should then fall to the Aniranians. Arash is asked to be the archer. He fires the specially-prepared arrow at dawn, which then traveled a great distance before finally landing and so marking the future border between the Iranians and the Aniranians.

Mahmoud Farshchian is the most prominent modernizer of the field of Persian miniatures. Please visit his personal website to view his works. I'm sure you'll love it.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Archaeological Parts of the Tous Museum

A Distillation Set (Seljukid period: 1037–1194)

Earthen Lantern (Seljukid period: 1037–1194)

Old daggers (Parthian Empire period: 248 BC to 226 CE)

Tous is an ancient city in the Iranian province of Khorasan, near Mashhad. Interesting to know that the Greater Khorasan was a historic region that covered parts of modern day Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Iran, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. Khorasan means the "the land of sunrise". Tous was almost entirely destroyed by Mongols conquest in 1220. Tous Museum is located in the garden where the great poet Ferdowsi is buried. Today I posted these photos for Dina. Shalom! :)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Iranian Women: Different Types of Hijab

I took the first photo a few days ago when I was driving. They were crossing the street. And the second one is a photo which I took two or three years ago when I were in Qeshm Island for vacation. They are my friends: Minoo, Samira and Sara. We went shopping as you see.

And below you can find a set of photos of Iranian girls. I've collected and attached them together. Please click to enlarge to veiw it better. You'll see different types of hijab, from Chador (the black garment) to colorful open scarfs with fringe.

Side Trip: Mecca and the Philosophy of Haj

Posted by MeeadI found that you may be interested to see Kaaba's photos and know more about Haj. I took these photos when I was in Mecca last year. I look forward to Sara's photos too.

During the Hajj, muslims are to circumambulate the Kaaba seven times, in a counter-clockwise direction. This symbolises the seven times that Mohammad (and also Abraham) circled the Kaaba hundreds of years ago. The circling is believed to demonstrate the unity of the believers in the worship of the One God, as they move in harmony together around the central house which is only a house of stones in its outward look.

Do you know the philosophy of this movement? If you take a careful look at all parts of the world from tiny atoms to large galaxies, all round around a center. Life is based on circulation:
Electrons round around the atom core;
The movement of blood around the body;
The circulation of water around the world;
Earth rounds around the sun;
Solar System rounds around the Milkway galaxy;
Angels round around the God throne;
And pilgrims also round around the Kaba, and worship the God.

Good to know that undressing of clothes is just a symbolic representation of my removal of everything associated with me, except myself, my soul. By doing this I am going into the presence of my Lord alone. It's only me and my Lord, with no one in between.

Isn't it nice?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Red Crescent Building

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Persian Gulf, For Ever

Posted by Meead
Today I noticed that Abu Dhabi/UAE Daily Photo posted a nice photo of Persian Gulf; But unfortunately she named it the false name of Arabian Gulf. He put a link to check out the wiki on the naming dispute of the Arabian/Persian Gulf.

Considering the historical background of the name Persian Gulf, Sir Arnold Wilson mentions in a book, published in 1928 that:
“No water channel has been so significant as PERSIAN GULF to the geologists, archaeologists, geographers, merchants, politicians, excursionists, and scholars whether in past or in present. This water channel which separates the Iran Plateau from the Arabia Plate, has enjoyed an Iranian Identity since at least 2200 years ago."

It is interesting to know that from among 6000 existing historical maps published upto 1890, there are only three maps mentioning Arabic Gulf.

Please read this UN Report if you are interested to know the TRUTH:

Mecca in my Sketches

Posted by Sara
15 days residing in Mecca and Medina was a good chance for me to do some special work and improve my professional life; sketching, photographing, visiting famous architectural places and etc. It was also a great situation for me to think more and try to purification, to seek God in a right way…and now I have such a nice feeling. I believe that, this trip was an experience for both my body and my soul! I haven't tried yet to recover my camera memory, so I can't show you the original photos from there. Although these sketches are not so accurate, I decided to post some of them on the blog and after recovering the pictures I'll post more photos with information about Hajj and holly Mecca.

"That (manasik-prescribed duties of Hajj is the obligation that mankind owes to Allah) and whoever honours the sacred things of Allah, then that is better for him with his lord. The cattle are lawful to you, except those (that will be) mentioned to you (as exceptions) so shun the abomination (worshipping) of idol, and shun lying speech (false statements)."
Reference: Quran 22:30

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Light Rail Transit

After several years construction, the required infrastructure for light rail transit in Mashhad is ready to use. But where is the train? It's more than one year that they are trying to buy/manufacture the trains. I think some political reasons lie behind it. Some of the stakeholders prefer to buy the trains from China, while some others prefer to manufacture them inside the country. Iran does not have the technology of train manufacturing. They are trying to transfer the technology.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday: Skywatch

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ferdowsi University of Mashhad

The university was established in 1949, making it the third oldest major state university of Iran. It is the largest university in northeast Iran, and has a large faculty. FUM offers 180 bachelors, masters, and doctorate degrees to 19,000 male and female students studying under 700 faculty members with the aid of 2000 staff employees.

Engineering Faculty Building
This photo is taken by Mohammad Taghizade, one of FUM's almuni.

To answer Lariue and Château-Gontierdailyphoto's question:

Ferdowsi University of Mashhad is made up of fourteen faculties, namely:
  • Faculty of Agriculture
  • Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning
  • Faculty of Art
  • Faculty of Economics
  • Faculty of Education and Psychology
  • Faculty of Engineering
  • Faculty of Literature and Humanity Sciences
  • Faculty of Mathematical Sciences
  • Faculty of Environmental and Natural Resources
  • Faculty of Physical Education
  • Faculty of Science
  • Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies
  • Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
  • Shirvan's Agricultural Workshop
Faculties of Literature and Himanity Sciences, Engineering, Science, Veterinary Medicine and Mathematical Sciences are the strongest schools among others.

Number of female students vary from faculty to faculty. Faculties of
Literature and Himanity Sciences, and Education and Psychology have the largest number of female students relative to male students; near 80% of their students are women. According to official statistics, at whole 11,256 female sudents and 7,581 male students have studied in FUM in 2007-08 which means 60% of students were women and only 40% were men.

دانشگاه فردوسی مشهد، دانشکده مهندسی

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Memorials of Martyrs in Iraq-Iran War

They are called national heros. They are called martyrs. The war began when Iraq invaded Iran on 22 September 1980. The Iraqis had several suppliers like France, Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain and the United States. The war last for 8 years.

In 1982 with Iranian success on the battlefield, the U.S. made its backing of Iraq more pronounced, supplying it with intelligence, economic aid, and also supplying weapons. President Ronald Reagan decided that the United States "could not afford to allow Iraq to lose the war to Iran", and that the United States "would do whatever was necessary to prevent Iraq from losing the war with Iran."

In 1984, according to the Washington Post, the CIA began secretly to give Iraq intelligence that Iraq used to "calibrate" its mustard gas attacks on Iranian troops. In August, the CIA establishes a direct Washington-Baghdad intelligence link, and for 18 months, starting in early 1985, the CIA provided Iraq with "data from sensitive U.S. satellite reconnaissance assist Iraqi bombing raids." Iraq extensively used chemical weapons (such as mustard gas) against Iranian troops and civilians. With more than 100,000 Iranian victims of Iraq's chemical weapons during the eight-year war, Iran is one of the countries most severely afflicted by weapons of mass destruction.

In October 1987, the U.S. attacked Iranian oil platforms. In the course of these escorts by the U.S. Navy, the cruiser USS Vincennes shot down civilian Iran Air Flight 655 with the loss of all 290 passengers and crew on July 3, 1988. [Reference: Wikipedia]

History, should we forget it or not? Where can we find PEACE and LOVE? I have a message to Presidents Bush and Ahmadinejad: Please stop your daily conflicts. Let people live and love.

مزار شهدا، آرامگاه خواجه ربیع

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Khajeh Rabi Cemetery

Have you ever seen such very high density of graves in a cemetery? Each square is a home of a dead body. Extremely dense! Here is Khaje Rabi Cemetery in the north of Mashhad. Khaje Rabi means "Lord of Spring" in English. There are different stories about who Khajeh Rabi was. He was someone likes a saint in Christianity: St. Rabi ;-)

I am pleased to let you know that another photobloger from Iran has joined the community of CDPB: Tehran Daily Photo.

قبرستان خواجه ربیع مشهد

Monday, August 18, 2008

Mahdi Ceremony: Messiah will return

Yesterday was holiday in Iran because of a religious ceremony: Mahdi's Birthday. Here is Khayyam Boulevard. What do you call those hanged things in the sky in English? It's just for decoration.

Muslims believe Mahdi will rid the world of error, injustice and tyranny alongside Jesus. They also believe that Jesus is alive in Heaven and will return to Earth to defeat the Antichrist. Yesterday was Mahdi's birthday. We believe he is alive and will return.

تولد امام زمان، مشهد، بلوار خیام، نیمه شعبان

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Urban Services Fair

Municipality of Mashhad is holding an Urban Services Fair these days. They present a summary of municipality's services to people. This paper man advertises the fair.

نمایشگاه خدمات شهری شهرداری مشهد

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Chador is an outer garment or open cloak worn by some (not all) Iranian women in public places. A chador is a full-length semi-circle of fabric open down the front, which is thrown over the head and held closed in front. I personally do not like it. My mom doesn't wear that.

زن ایرانی، چادر

Friday, August 15, 2008

Biking on Fridays

دوچرخه سواری، جمعه، مشهد

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Father and his son

Do you remember the days that you and your father played with each other? How fun it was! I grew up and the father got old; all of his hairs are white now.

وسایل بازی، بلوار خیام

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Young boys & girls

A group of young friends came out to spend some fun time with each other. They were eating and drinking something seems to be "Shole" (some kind of Mashhadi's soup) and soft drink, Coca Cola.

پارک وکیل آباد، دختر و پسر مشهدی

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Air Pollution Screen

This screen works 24 hours and shows the amount of following air pollutants in Mashhad's air: CO, SO2, O3, NO2, and PM.10 (Suspend aerosols in air) and PSI (General air pollution index).
I took this photo soon in the morning of a holiday when there wasn't any congestion in the streets. I wonder why the amount of CO and PSI is high. It might remain from the last night.

آلودگی هوا، سازمان حفاظت محیط زیست خراسان رضوی

Monday, August 11, 2008

Water for Life

It says: "Water for Life, keep water use down"

Climate change affects all the countries in a manner: flood, storm, heavy snow, heavy rain, drought, and etc. Water shortage is a serious problem in Mashhad, and also in the whole country, specially in summer time.

صرفه جویی در آب، شرکت آب و فاضلاب مشهد

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Malek Abad Boulevard

Hooman, one of the Iranian visitors of my blog, asked me to take photos of Malek Abad Boulevard and some other streets in Mashhad. I hope he enjoys looking these photos.

بلوار ملک آباد

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Breaking post: STOP WAR

Beijing Olympic Games started on 08/08/08 to make another step forward to global peace and love, while a new war started in Georgia.

Please stop Georgia-Russia war. About 1500 ordinary people have been killed in fighting in Georgia's province of South Ossetia. It's really a disastrous tragedy!

Photo from Yahoo!

Torghabe, Shandiz

Torghabe and Shandiz are two famous summer resorts of Mashhad; not only summer resorts but attractions for spending some hours in cafes and restaurants and feel a cool weather, without pollutions of the city.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Biking on Fridays

Today I cycled near 25 kilometers in a round trip from home to Vakil Abad Park, from 6:30 to 9:30 am. Good to recall that "Bike is the most sustainable transportation mode". We can save the earth and fight with global warming by cycling and not using our personal cars.