Mehregan, The festivity of love, light and fidelity

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Mehrgan is one of the greatest and most ancient national festivities of Iranian people, observed on October 7, to denote the beginning of autumn. It is an occasion to celebrate love, light and fidelity and Iranians have observed it for thousands of years.

Unfortunately, by the advent of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, all secular and popular festivities were banned and they were not allowed to be observed in public places. Nevertheless, and as far as it is possible, Iranians celebrate the occasion, far more expanded than the pre-revolution times. Outside Iran, millions of Iranians observe it vastly with enthusiasm and perseverance.

In 2010, the Pasargad Heritage Foundation (PHF), an NGO registered in USA, working for preservation of tangible and intangible heritage of Iran, applied to UNESCO for the registration of Mehrgan as a festivity with its roots in the soil of human regards for nature and mankind’s happiness.

This was a symbolic gesture because UNESCO only accepts those applications in this regard that are made by the governments. Thus, PHF has done so with the hope that in the future the road for Mehregan registration by UNESCO is paved and the bureaucratic procedures are facilitated.

World Teachers’ Day

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The United Nations’ (UN) World Teachers’ Day celebrates the role teachers play in providing quality education at all levels. This enables children and adults of all ages to learn to take part in and contribute to their local community and global society.

Teachers are recognized for their contributions to society on World Teachers’ Day.©iStockphoto.com/Ekaterina Monakhova
What Do People Do?
Various events are arranged in many countries around the world on or around October 5. These include celebrations to honor teachers in general or those who have made a special contribution to a particular community. The day may also be marked by conferences emphasizing the importance of teachers and learning, extra training sessions for teachers, recruitment drives for the teaching profession among university students or other suitably qualified professionals and events to increase the profile of teachers and the role they play in the media.
Trade unions or other professional organizations that represent teachers play an important role in organizing World Teachers’ Day events in many countries. These include:
• The Australian Education Union.
• The Canadian Teachers’ Federation.
• The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (Canada).
• The All India Secondary Teachers’ Federation.
• The Japan Teachers’ Union.
• The Teachers Council (New Zealand).
• The National Union of Teachers (United Kingdom).
• The National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers (United Kingdom).
• The National Education Association (United States).
Moreover, international organizations such as TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) and Education International organize international, national and local events. In some areas posters are displayed and pupils and ex-pupils are encouraged to send e-cards or letters of appreciation to teachers who made a special or memorable contribution to their education.
Background
On October 5, 1966, the Special Intergovernmental Conference on the Status of Teachers in Paris, France, was closed and the “Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers” was signed by representatives of UNESCO and International Labour Organization. On October 12, 1997, the 29th session of UNESCO’s General Conference was opened. During this conference, on November 11, 1997, the “Recommendation concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel” was adopted.
On October 5, 1994, the first World Teachers’ Day was held. This event has been organized on the same date each year since then. However, local events may be on some other date close to October 5, so that they do not fall during fall (northern hemisphere) or spring (southern hemisphere) school vacations. In 2002, Canada Post issued a postage stamp to commemorate World Teachers’ Day.

Ancient Roman neighborhood unearthed in France

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According to CNN, a team of archaeologists have unearthed a well-preserved ancient Roman neighborhood complete with mosaics and furniture on the outskirts of a city in southeastern France.  The discovery and the site of excavation is on the banks of the Rhone River in Vienne, where three new buildings have been planned to be built.

The team have expressed their surprise that the site is in such great condition as they believe that two separate fires almost destroyed the town in the second and third centuries AD.

Preventive excavations began in April, as the team worked to prepare the site for the new buildings.

It is now reported that France has classed the site as an “exceptional discovery,” allowing the archaeologists, who were due to finish the excavation in September, to continue until December. The public will have a chance to view the archaeologists’ findings, with exhibitions planned for 2019 and 2020 at the museum of Saint-Romain-en-Gal according to CNN.

UNESCO Assessing damage from hurricane Irma to heritage sites

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The UNESCO Heritage division extended its condolences to the residents of the Caribbean islands struck by hurricane Irma between 5 and 11 September 2017, for the loss of human lives and the hardship resulting from the devastation.  UNESCO also acknowledges that the first priority after such a disaster is always rescuing people and providing humanitarian aid. Following that, UNESCO has been in close contact with local authorities, assisting with efforts to assess damage to cultural heritage in the region and supporting initial recovery efforts.

The areas affected by Irma include Cape Verde, Antigua and Barbuda, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin and the Virgin Islands, the countries of the Greater Antilles, the Bahamas, and Florida (USA).

Some of the heritage sites affected by the Hurricanes (including Irma) so far in this year’s hurricane season include:  Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park (Saint Kitts and Nevis), Old San Juan (La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site in Puerto Rico), Old Havana and its Fortifications (Cuba) to just name a few.  These islands’ environment and landscape have been greatly impacted by the hurricanes as reported by the news outlets and it will take many years for the infrastructure and tourism industries to be built again.

English Heritage Site Lake District gets special recognition

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Earlier this year, in July 2017 when UNESCO met to discuss the World Heritage designation, the Britain’s Lake District was one of the 33 sites discussed. The great beautiful destination that attracts millions of visitors every year – long before it was awarded the Heritage Site in July, has now been put on an international level according to many in UK.

In order to celebrate and mark the year for the Lake District and millions of fans, the Royal mail is now allowing a special postmark in celebration of the new World Heritage Site status.

It has been reported that millions of items of stamped mail sent Second Class and First Class in late September will have the greeting: ‘Celebrating the Lake District World Heritage Site #WeAreTheLakes’.

According to the news, the Lake District National Park, said that this postmark will spread the word even further about the Lake District’s special badge of international recognition.

LAKE District fans across the UK are being urged to head to the post-box to secure a special postmark in celebration of the new World Heritage Site status.
The Lake District National Park became the UK’s 31st UNESCO World Heritage Site in July, 2017, and a marketing campaign, “We Are The Lakes”, was launched to capitalize on the new status.

Searching for traces of the ancient Temple of Athena

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Archeologists have rolled up their sleeves to find the Temple of Athena, in the 2,800-year-old ancient city of Aigai, which appeared in 19th-century excavation research by German archeologists.

The excavation works are being conducted under the supervision of Yusuf Sezgin, assistant professor of archeology at

Manisa Celal Bayar University (Turkey) . The Temple of Athena is expected to be erected in at least two months after the definite localization of the temple.

In an interview with Anadolu Agency, Yusuf Sezgin indicated this was the first time since 2004 that there was excavation work for the discovery of the temple and they are trying to understand whether the temple was dedicated to Athena, the ancient Greek goddess of wisdom. Sezgin remarked that the region on which they were continuing the excavations signaled a carefully selected location for a temple.

“It is not known whether there are Temples of Athena in all of the 12 cities built by the people of Aiol south of İzmir during ancient times. On the other hand, Goddess Athena’s head was depicted on the coins from the Hellenistic-period in Aigai. In this respect, it can be deduced that she was one of the most important and protective goddesses of the city,” he said.

Emphasizing “pagan” beliefs in ancient times, Sezgin stated the discovery of the temple was key in understanding their beliefs. “That is the reason why we seek to understand what kind of a temple and belief Athena had. We think we will gain important information about the beliefs held in the region.

International Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons

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On September 26, the United Nations (UN) promotes a special day that calls for all countries to get rid of nuclear weapons.

17,000 Nuclear Weapons Worldwide

Nuclear weapons are explosive devices with a destructive power that comes from nuclear energy being released. More than half the world’s population live in countries that have nuclear weapons or are members of nuclear alliances. There are at least 17,000 nuclear weapons in the world today.

One single nuclear device can destroy a whole city and eliminate the natural environment and lives of future generations. They have already destroyed entire cities, like Hiroshima in Japan, where at least 150,000 people were killed or wounded after the city was bombed during World War II.

A World Without Nuclear Weapons

One of the UN’s oldest goals is to achieve worldwide nuclear disarmament – in other words, to see the world free of nuclear weapons. In December 2013, the UN decided to create a day to inform people and push governments to see the social and economic benefits of not having nuclear weapons. The Day for the Total Elimination of Nuclear Weapons is one of the UN’s efforts to seek more action on nuclear disarmament.

Kuwaiti Archaeologists Discover Rare Arabic Manuscripts

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Kuwait University archaeological team has discovered rare manuscripts written in Arabic at Mount Athos in Greece.

They were able to unearth these documents at the historic mountain, which represents around 1,800 years of Christian history.

Mount Athos, is an ancient sacred place chosen as one of UNESCO’s World Heritage sites in 1988.

The archaeological mission, Professors Dr Abdulhadi Al Ajmi who visited monasteries and libraries in northern Greece pointed out that the manuscripts, which date back to the golden Islamic age, cover various subjects pertaining to daily events, scientific observations, religious affairs and more

International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer

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The United Nations’ (UN) International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is celebrated on September 16 every year. This event commemorates the date of the signing of the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer in 1987.

What Do People Do?

On this day primary and secondary school educators throughout the world organize classroom activities that focus on topics related to the ozone layer, climate change and ozone depletion. Some teachers use educational packages from the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) that have been specifically tailored to address topics about the Earth’s ozone layer.

Other activities that are organized by different community groups, individuals, schools and local organizations across the world include: the promotion of ozone-friendly products; special programs and events on saving the ozone layer; the distribution of the UNEP’s public awareness posters to be used for events centered on the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer; and the distribution of awards to those who worked hard to protect the Earth’s ozone layer.

Background

In 1987 representatives from 24 countries met in Montreal and announced to the world that it was time to stop destroying the ozone layer. In so doing, these countries committed themselves, via the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, to rid the world of substances that threaten the ozone layer.

On December 19, 1994, the UN General Assembly proclaimed September 16 to be the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer, commemorating the date when the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed in 1987. The day was first celebrated on September 16, 1995.

Nancy Dupree dies in Afghanistan

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Nancy Hatch Dupree an American historian who spent decades in Afghanistan working to preserve the heritage of the war-torn country has died following a long illness. 

An Afghan government statement said on Sunday that Nancy Hatch Dupree, who first came to Afghanistan in 1962 and spent much of her life collecting and documenting historical artifacts, died in Kabul overnight at the age of 90.

She amassed a vast collection of books, maps, photographs and even rare recordings of folk music, all now housed at Kabul University, and wrote five guidebooks.

Many Afghans viewed Dupree as one of their own, and hundreds of people posted condolences on social media.