Persian Garden and Human Rights

March 18th, 2015

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 06:00

Mina Mehdinia


A New Message From Pasargad’s Persian Garden

Cyrus the Great (555-530 BC), the eulogized triumphant conqueror and the founder of Achaemenid Empire, was a towering liberating figure in the history of mankind. His famous Cylinder is the first charter of human right of nations in the world.

Moreover, it is assumed that he made the first Iranian garden in his capital, Pasargad, where he planted regular rows of trees in four-fold or quadripartite arrangement. Little is known about what he planted and how, but evidence suggests that a variety of fruit trees would have populated the four quadrants of the garden. Nine Persian style gardens have been inscribed in the UNESCO world heritage list. Cyrus’s Pasargad garden, from which the word “paradise” is derived, was his palace and resting place or mausoleum.

Now, after almost 25 centuries, an initiative has been launched, inspired by Cyrus’s great deeds, to create a combination of Human Rights and Persian Garden alongside the tomb of Cyrus the Great.

helping regional tourism

To develop the plan, Arash Nouraghaee, head of Iran federation of Tourist Guides Association (IFTGA) and a tourism specialist, undertook a series of in-depth regional studies, and in a recent visit to the historical city of Sa’adat Shahr, Fars province, shared his findings with local tourism-environment experts, and the governor.

“Implementing an enormous and delightful Iranian-style garden called ‘Human Rights’ in Pasargad or Sa’adat Shahr district, will help regional tourism to thrive and subsequently protect the environment”, asserted Nouraghaee.

The fertile lands of the Fars plains are ready for cultivation in which to grow the gardens, he said, adding “it is a familiar custom among the local communities to plant a tree in the name of every newborn baby, so that each individual owns a tree as old as them.”

Respecting the life-style of the local society, the plan could help to promote the Persian Garden internationally in the most ideal manner, it also confirms that Iranian people, from the distant past to the present, revered and admired Human Rights.

Agricultural engineers and other related experts will oversee the process. Considering the water crisis, modern conservation methods of watering such as drip irrigation will be used.

An awareness campaign and a website will soon be launched.  As part of the campaign, tourists and aficionados will be invited to buy trees and flowers, which will be planted in their name in the Human Rights garden. Each tree will have a certificate in the owner’s name. The income from the plants will be spent on protecting, growing, and irrigating the garden.

Human Rights and the Environment

Following the Leader’s recent speech concerning environmental issues, “fostering this plan could give birth to a many of positive developments in environmental protection,” Nouraghaee said.

The UN High Commissioner for human rights announced that “all human beings depend on the environment in which we live.  A safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment is integral to the full enjoyment of a wide range of human rights, including the rights to life, health, food, water and sanitation.  Without a healthy environment, we are unable to fulfill our aspirations or even live at a level commensurate with minimum standards of human dignity.  At the same time, protecting human rights helps to protect the environment.  When people are able to learn about, and participate in, the decisions that affect them, they can help to ensure that those decisions respect their need for a sustainable environment.”

To this end Nouraghaee added that “related plans to evolve the idea of garden in the near future, will further our human rights goals as they related to the environment, and will propagate relating projects including organic farming, restaurants, eco-lodges, and environmental awareness raising, where visitors can benefit from organic agricultural products and safe, nutritious food.”

Throughout their history, Persian people have preserved Human Rights. Visitors can reap the fruits of Human Rights, serve sustainable food in organic restaurants and for each tourist to act as ambassador for Iranian style Human Rights.

Short Url:

Press TV program about ITGD in IRAN

March 18th, 2015

You can find the link below about ITGD (International tourist guide day) 2015-Mashhad reported by Press TV:

From “Taleb Rifai” for IFTGA

February 23rd, 2015

On the occasion of the 8th Conference of IFTGA in Mashhad, it is my immense pleasure to congratulate the Iran Federation of Tour Guides Association (IFTGA) on their successful bid to host the World Federation of Tour Guides Association (WFTGA) convention in Iran in 2017.

It was a great privilege for me to have visited very recently the beautiful city of Mashhad and be enchanted by its immense beauty.

I have noted with great interest the valuable work done by IFTGA since its inception and its first convention in Tehran in 2008 followed by events in most famed cities such as Yazd, Tabriz, Ramsar,  Khuzeshtan,  Urumieh,  Kerman.

Tour guides play a vital role in tourism: they are the first point of contact for visitors and bear the responsibility to share knowledge, but more importantly, to share the values of the host communities. Knowing the traditional hospitality of the Iranian people, I have no doubt that the tour guides accomplish this task with their innate warmth.

I take this opportunity to wish you the very best for the 8th Conference in Mashhad as well as for the hosting the WFTGA convention in 2017.

Taleb Rifai

Secretary-General, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)


February 10th, 2015

Please click on bellow PDF files, download and read:



Also read this page:

WFTGA guidelines tells about International tourist guide day in IRAN

April 6th, 2014

Please download and read:


Children, Environment and Football

February 26th, 2014

According to IUCN red list more than 2300 animal species around the world are facing extinction. While extinction is part of the life cycle, humans have increased the rate by which extinction occurs by adding to more species to the world’s endangered list. Protecting endangered animals is therefore the responsibility of each and every one of us around the world, including this generation and the next.

To this means our not-for-profit group decided to coordinate a project for the football World Cup 2014 by promoting awareness for endangered animals.  The concept aims to involve the elements of ‘Children, Environment, and Football’.

The project proposal invites the 32 countries participating in the 2014 World Cup to select 32 animal species in danger of extinction. We invite the children of the 32 participating countries to get involved by creativity illustrating their unique endangered animal in relation to their national football team, representing their region of the world. Putting the childrens drawings on paper with the concept of unity and bond between humans and animals in nature. This process will be documented by co-groups in each country.

With the support of your environmetal groups around the world, these drawings can be compiled and bound into a book for distribution (electronic and physical), representating those illustrations and messages of kids around the world.

According to statistics 3.5 billion people around the world will be watching the World Cup in Brazil. Releasing this document to different media channels in each country will encourage awareness towards the challenges each country faces in protecting their animals. Also sharing this document through social networks is another opportunity to broadcast this message. Maybe once again football will change the world.

We are exploring different means to communicate this message with video clips, movies, short films, books, mind stimulation games, video games, and so forth and we encourage your input. To accomplish these goals it’s important we have the support and cooperation of the representing environmental institutions, organizations, and NGOs around the world to feel apart of the same project. The protection of the environment is only possible if each and everyone us feel responsibility toward it. We hope this movement will results in a more eco-friendly and unified world for today and tomorrow.

The bond of narration

October 31st, 2013

  1. There is a tomb in Pere-Lachaise cemetery that is the place of body remains of a couple in love. This tomb belongs to Heloise (1101-1164) and Abelard (1079-1142). Heloise (female) was 21 years younger than Abelard (male). Both of them aged for 63 years.
  2. On one of my travels in Paris, I visited this tomb for the first time. I knew nothing about them at that time.
  3. Later, I heard Mrs. Fazaeli their names in a meeting and I got more interested in their real and wonderful story of life.
  4. I have recently finished reading the book “a research in love letter of Heloise and Abelard” by dear writer, Jalal Sattari. After reading the book, something crossed my mind that I say here.

Before telling the idea, I should say that there is a statue of Abelard (French philosopher, intellectual and writer) in Louvre museum. There is also some information about this couple of 12th C. in the following site.

  1. The idea: it came into my mind it’s a good idea if a cultural-literal great event is held in Paris on the occasion of this couple’s 900th wedding anniversary in 2020.

This event can analyze the ancient stories of love in the form of film, music, literature, painting, plastic arts etc. This event in various parts can consider the quality and the reasons of creating the famous examples of love in different lands.

Think of narrating the love stories of Sheikh Sanan and Christian girl, Vamaq and Azra, Khosro and Shirin, Bijan and Manijeh, Leili and Majnoon in Iranian culture, accompanying the famous lovers of world (some of them are listed in the following) in the form of painting, film and music creates much passion and excitement and a dynamic literal and narrative dialogue among different cultures.

This event can be the wedding ceremony of all the lovers of stories in the world.

See the list of some well-known lovers in stories:

Abelard & Heloise

Sheherazade & King Shahryar

Krishna & Radha

Lancelot & Guinevere

Romeo & Juliet

Scarlett O’Hara & Rhett Butler

Heer & Ranjha

Robert & Elizabeth Browning

Sohni and Mahiwal

Shakuntala and Dushyant

Dhola & Maaru

Acme & Septimus

Aphrodite & Adonis

Aphrodite & Ares

Apollos & Daphne

Tristan & Isolde

Jane Eyre and Edward Rochester

Apasia & Pericles

Atalanta & Hippomenes

Baucis & Philemon

Diarmuid & Grainne

Echo & Narcissus

Granida & Daifilo

Giuseppe & Anita Garibaldi

Herakles & Omphale

Hero & Leander

Vertumnus & Pomona

Jean Paget & Joe Harman

Niulang & Zhinü

Orpheus & Eurydice

Othello & Desdemona

Paolo & Francesca

Perseus & Andromeda

Petrarch & Laura

Pierrot & Pierrette

Procris & Cephalus

Pygmalion & Galatea

Pyramus & Thisbe

Robin Hood & Maid Marian

Tarzan & Jane

Translated By: Somayeh Mahdavi Nia

WFTGA has accepted IFTGA

October 6th, 2013

A letter from WFTGA to IFTGA:


Vienna, October 2nd, 2013

Association of Iranian Tourist Guides Guilds

Mr Arash Nouraghaei, Chairman

Mr Seyedmohsen Haji Saeid, Vice President

On behalf of the Executive Board of the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations and its members we would like to welcome you to the international family of tourist guides association. We are all very happy that you have chosen to join WFTGA this year

As you know WFTGA is the only international organisation representing tourist guides around the world. It is through our strength in numbers, our common goals and aims that we can represent tourist guides’ interests to our industry partners

Please make sure that you send us your regular newsletters so that the WFTGA Board are updated on your activities, also so that we may put your news in our internet magazine and our website

We want to ensure that your correct website address is hyperlinked to the WFTGA website, to ensure that tourism partners searching for guides worldwide have direct access to your association

We ask you to inform your members in your newsletters about our news and of the benefits to them through the ‘Cultour Card Programme’.   Our members have access with their local tourist guide identification and the bi-ennial Cultour Card to museums at reduced rates or no charge. The programme continues to grow, thus we ask you to refer regularly to our website for the new Cultour Card partners. Please confirm how many Cultour Cards you require

Please remind your members of the WFTGA 16th  Convention to be held in Prague, Czech Republic in 2015. Full details are posted on our website

Please also remind them to join us on Facebook

Do not hesitate to contact us should you have any question

On behalf of the Executive Board and the Area Representative, we wish you the best of luck and a great season

Felicitas Wressnig


Hospitality in Iran

September 10th, 2013

This article has been written by a traveller who is a friend of mine now:

The people in Iran are very kind. They are really helpfull and treat strangers as if they are kings.
We have been in Iran for two weeks and we only slept twice in a hostel. The other nights and days we were hosted by people.

Even  in public places people do not doubt to ask if they can do anything for you. We met a guy in the metro in Tehran and he helped us to find a host in Esfahan. That is something that would never happen in Belgium.

It’s also nice that our hosts planned out a schedule for during the day. We never had to search for something to do. And because of that we saw amazing things in a short period (because we couldn’t stay long in the cities we visited. Except for Tehran).

On the other hand we sometimes had the feeling that we couldn’t do what we wanted to do. For example. If we wanted to chill in the day it wasn’t possible because our hosts already planned our day.

So generally spoken: Iran is a great country with great people. But we, Belgians, are not used to that kind of hospitality and we like sometimes like to be on our own. But that Iranians don’t want to hear (positive :) ). But it gives us a warm feeling. So the hospitality in Iran earns a 9/10!

Take care and have great travel experiences!

Kind regards,

Pieter-Jan Leupe

Dr. Manouchehr Sotoudeh

July 7th, 2013

On the occasion of 100th Birthday of Dr. Manouchehr Sotoudeh

The professor who travels and writes

Translated by: Anahita Hazrati Kiavandani


For those who search, deliberate, and investigate on the culture of Iranian ethnic groups, “manouchehr Sotoudeh” is a familiar name in this field and for those who are keen on travelling and have the power to move “Sotoudeh” is a unique model that evokes regret and jealousy. His name has been tied to Iranian ethnical historiography and lexicography. The preceptor of historical geography of Iran would pass the 100th year of his productive and prolific life.

Professor “Manouchehr Sotoudeh” was born in 28 June 1292 in Sarcheshmeh bazaar of old Tehran. However, his family’s original homeland is “Yasel Nour” in Mazandaran. His childhood as he puts it was passed in “Koucheh-Sourakhy or Koucheh-Zargarha”, near Imamzadeh Yahya. From there you can go to Hassan Abad square in Baba Taher alley – near current Sepah street- and from there he started his education in American Collage. His father was the principal of primary American school. He was a scholar and was as proud of the history of Iranian culture that nearly a century ago he named his children Manouchehr, Iraj, Parviz, Iran Dokht and Pouran Dokht. As studying in the school where the official language was English, he was also in charge of the library. After graduating from the American school, he went to Teachers University to study Persian language literature.

After graduation, he passed his military service during the war, and in 1320, he was employed in Ministry of Culture as a teacher. He taught in Lahijan and BandarAnzali and then in sharaf high school and preliminary university of Tehran… he taught English language literature in these schools and at that time, as his life concern, he studied Persian language literature simultaneously.

Sotoudeh remembers “Mirza Mahdi Khan Irani” who was his father’s friend and one of the officials at Human Resources in Culture department, always insisted to put him in charge of the Culture department in a county. However, Sotoudeh refuses and insists: “Sir, I am a teacher, I must just teach”, and he goes to Gilan to teach and to lay the cornerstones of his prolific life. Sotoudeh’s presence in Gilan was a period filled with reminiscence. Starting to collect the Gilaki culture also goes back to that period.

“I used to teach the same official ten-hour and I was fully free for the rest of the day and I started to write the Gilaki culture”. Although the “Gilak Culture” book was compiled and prepared in 700 pages in the same year, its publication was made possible with a long delay and after 10 years, but Sotoudeh never showed any distress or protest. In the same year Manouchehr Sotoudeh started writing an important book named “Qala’ Ismaelieh”. With the spirit of mountaineering, which he had from the prime of his youth, he traversed from village to village and city to city on foot and with the help of his precise measurement and his performed concise researches, he indited one of the most important researches about “Alamut Castle”. The study was later encouraged by Dr. “Forouzan Far” to be chosen as Manouchehr Sotoudeh’s PhD. Thesis.

After getting his PhD, Sotoudeh became a member of Philosophy and Human Sciences Association, where Dr. Taqizadeh, Saeed Nafisy and Dr. Forouzan Far were its main members. At the same time, by the invitation of Dr. forouzan Far, he went to school of Theology to teach historical geography, and this was the initiation of Dr. manouchehr Sotoudeh’s focus and continuity in the studies of historical geography. His teaching in the school of theology was coincided with dedication of Seyed Mohammed Meshkat’s library to Tehran University.  Sotoudeh took the responsibility of delivering the books and setting up the central library of Tehran University with deceased Meshkat’s book collection.  First microfilms of central library, which were brought to Iran from Turkey in 500 copies by Mojtaba Nabavi, were arranged and organized during Sotoudeh’s incumbency as the director of the library of Tehran University, and the library was officially recognized.

During the following years, he had several abroad study tours and from among his life events the following can be mentioned: promotion to assistant professor at Tehran University and then to associate professor, his transfer to Faculty of Literature at Tehran University, his membership in History department and finally his promotion to full professor in 1354.

His retirement and distance from teaching environment was a chance for the professor to finish his incomplete previous tasks and extend his privacy, which was never away from him; Whether it be the summering place of “koushk” near Gachsar or a place named “Golour” near Salman Shahr where he seems to stay more these days. Compiling, editing and annotating ancient texts and writing the collection of most important resources of Historical Geography of Iran ethnics and territories in more than 40 titles and volumes are the results of years of his suburbanization and solitude.

One of the most important works of Manouchehr Sotoudeh is a ten-volume set named “from Astara to Estarabad”. This is a precise historiography of Gilan, Mazandaran and Golestan territories, which provides the audience with accurate and comprehensive information from buildings, monuments, historical works and geographical and historical information of the region. In this regard, professor says, “this set of ten volumes has not been written at a desk, I mean for any part, I have travelled each valley from Astara to Hossein Qoli bay. I went across more than sixty valleys and got back … I was aware that this writing must be accompanied with actual experience, if it had not been done so, I would not have gotten any results. Studies would not be accurate if only done at a desk.”

The first volume of “From Astara to Estarabad” set was published in 1348 by national heritage association. Publication of the first seven volumes was made possible by the help of this association; a set which Sotoudeh calls it his most important work.  After the revolution, he started writing, investigation and research in southern areas of Caspian Sea and reached to the gates of Esfarayen, Jajrom and Bojnourd. In investigating Khorasan region, Dr. Sotoudeh stepped beyond geographical boundaries of Iran and travelled to Transoxiana and Kharazm; and with a team of his colleagues examined historical monuments and works of these two regions.

Dr. Sotoudeh believes that the issues of history and geography received sufficient credits in ancient Iran, “the attack of Khashayar Shah from Iran and his campaign to Greek reveals that they were aware of the road paths and their situations”.

He believes that Geography was born at the same time of the presence of human on earth. Dr. Sotoudeh has his special method of research and writing encyclopedias of national geography, that especially in relation with a country like Iran, with such vast topics in ethical lexicography, is of high importance.

Dr. Sotoudeh’s sharp and precise look at current issues and their peripherals, and his accuracy in reviewing the consequences of each cultural approach and policies, is a genuine sample of efforts of a generation who has used his knowledge, wisdom and culture to serve beloved Iran.

Those, who have closely understood the presence of Professor Manouchehr Sotoudeh, perfectly know that the professor’s language in critical issues is sharp and his social acquaintance is sweet and tender. He has a smooth sense in eloquence and poetry, and bravery in criticism. As mentioned whether in old stories about him or descriptions about his current life style, Dr. manouchehr Sotoudeh in his century-long prolific life, has always had a curious and seeker disposition.

This precious professor was appreciated in 1384 in the fifth conference of Permanent Personages in the field of historical geography.

The list of Dr. Sotoudeh’s books consists of 52 volumes and the number of his articles reaches 286 up to present. Dr. Sotoudeh’s books and articles are the sign of his deep and profound attachment to history, scope and history of Iranian culture. His century-long life has completely past with his love to Persian language, History and the geography of our country and how pleasant and memorable is such a life. We will conclude this topic with the statement of “Abdolrahman Emadi” at the night of celebration of Dr. Manouchehr Sotoudeh, held by Bukhara magazine: “for the first time a person named “Manouchehr Sotoudeh” appeared and an Iranian found himself capable of investigating in such areas. In fact, he chose a huge project. He picked up a stone and wanted to say that an Iranian person can pick a huge stone like Alborz Mountain. He studied and read all the books written about it, investigated them all step by step, visited it from distinct to distinct, talked to its ordinary people, took note of all of them, and the book is the efforts of only one person. An Iranian, had this drive, had such capability, chose a big stone which promised a big performance. That is why Dr. Sotoudeh is a unique person”.