WAALM: 1st International Empower Africa Conference (7th-10th April 2010)


The World Academy of Arts, Literature and Media – WAALM and its division WAALM – School of Cultural Diplomacy (WAALM & WAALM -SCD)  hosted the 1st International Empower Africa Conference on 7th-10th Apri) in Plymouth, England. The conference has been reported in major African media outlets.

The director of WAALM, Dr. Musi Dorbayani, chairs the 1st International ‘Empower Africa’ Conference in Plymouth, England (7th – 10th April 2010). The event was of special importance as it was attended by African State officials, Members of Parliament and Executive delegates.

Thanks to the sophisticated technology available to WAALM – SCD, the African delegates engaged in live interactive lectures and Q & A sessions with WAALM -SCD faculty members.

Interactive Q & A with Patrick Hunt in Venice, Italy (at the time. Dr. Hunt focused on a number of topics pertinent to Africa. Workshops provided by WAALM faculty focused on a number of crucial topics issues pertaining to Africa including the environment (i.e. water management, sanitation and marine), negotiations and diplomacy in cross-cultural contexts, crucial employment facts in multicultural societies and the history and evolution of human rights.

Interactive Q & A with Kaveh Farrokh in Vancouver, Canada. Farrokh discussed the history of Cyrus the Great and the Cyrus Cylinder and its importance to human rights as we know it today. Farrokh’s lecture also focused on the role of Africa in ancient Achaemenid Persia




Nowruz in Georgia and the Georgian Legacy in Iran


The Nowruz Iranian New Year is now an official holiday in Georgia:

Nowruz declared as a national holiday in Georgia (Reprt by the Georgian News Agency on March 21, 2010)

Nowruz has powerful roots in the Caucasus due to the heavy historical influence of Irna in the region since pre-Islamci times. As noted by Professor Mark Whittow of Oxford Unviersity:

The oldest outside influence in Trans-Caucasia is that of Persia (p.203)many of its populations, including Armenians and Georgians, as well as Persians and Kurds, the Transcaucasus had much closer ties with the former Sassanian world to its south and east than with the world to the west (p.204)”.  [Whittow, Mark, The Making of Byzantium: 600-1025, University of California Press, pp. 203-204].


Talysh girls from the Republic of Azarbaijan (ancient Arran or Albania) engaged in the Nowruz celebrations of March 21. The Talysh speak an Iranian language akin to those that were spoken throughout Iranian azarbaijan unitl the Turkic arrivals of the 11th century AD.

There are now indications that a large proportion of the inhabitants of modern Iran have a number of shared genetic characteristics with modern Georgians: Kindly consult a recent study by Professors Nasidze and his colleagues,

Nasidze, I., Quinque, D., Rahmani, M., Alemohamad, S.Y., Stoneking, M. (2006). Concomitant Replacement of Language and mtDNA in South Caspian Populations. Current Biology, 16, 668–673 (pdf)

A very interesting paper published recently by Babak Rezvani disusses the history of the Fereydani Georgians of the seventeenth century in the general vicinity of Isfahan, the Iranian capital during the Safavid era

Babak Rezvani: The Fereydani Georgian Representation of Identity and Narration of History (pdf). Downloaded from the British Columbia University System Library resources.  

The musical influences of Iran continue to resonate in the Caucasus. The Georgian instrumental folk song at the link below begins with melodies with connections to the Balkans and the Zamfir notes of Romania; this then transforms into a distinct Perso-Georgian rhythm. The song then concludes with that Perso-Georgian melody played in a fast-paced Caucasian (Kafkaz) beat:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wNUtwuGycsc (kindly click here to enjoy this Georgian folk song with an embedded Persian melody)

For more information on the connections between Iran and the Caucasus, kindly consult the link below:

Iran and Caucasia 

Georgian luge competitor Nodar Kumaritashvili is seen on this undated photograph provided by Georgia's Olympic Committee in Tbilisi. A black cloud descended over the Vancouver Olympics on Friday after 21-year-old Kumaritashvili was killed in a horrific training crash at the Whistler Sliding Centre.

Nodar Kumaritashvili (1988-2010). the late Georgiam Luge competitor who tragically died during practice runs fin Whistler, British Columbia during the Vancouver 2010 Olympics. His name “Nodar” is the Georgianized equivalent of the Iranian “Nader”.  

The Exhibition “Rites of Power” BY Dr. Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani


Originally posted in the Persian Mirror Magazine. The article has been written by Dr. Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani – kindly visit his new website at:


Dr. Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani received the World Prize for Book of the Year in iranian Studies for his book (involving 10 years of research)  Arms & Armor from Iran: The Bronze Age to the End of the Qajar Period.


 The Exhibition “Rituais de Poder: Rites of Power” in Portugal opened on March 13, 2010 in Èvora, Portugal and has been a huge success.


This wonderful exhibition was provided by Dr. Jorge Caravana to the Museum of Evora in Portugal and showcases a wonderful selection of different oriental historical weapons.


A high qualiry exhibition catalogue accompanies the exhibition and is available for sale. The exhibition catalogue is in full color and has two parts: the first part presents a number of articles on the subject and the second part showcases a wonderful array of different oriental weaponry.

The exhibition catalogue is in both languages: English and Portugues. The English text is always provided on the left side and the Portuguese version is next to it on the right. The list of articles and the number of artifacts presented in the catalogue: Some of the articles are:

Silva, Francisco Santos (2010), Symbols in Weapons and Weapons as Symbols: The Socio-Religious Significance of Decoration in Indian Weaponry in the Collection of Dr. Jorge Caravana, pp. 23-31. 

Vassalo e Silva, Nuno (2010), Goldsmiths in Indian Weaponry, pp. 32-40.

Moshtagh Khorasani, Manouchehr (2010), Persian Swordmakers, pp. 41-55. 

Elgood, Robert (2010), An Introduction to Arms and Armour from the Islamic World and India, pp. 56-69.

Caravana, Jorge (2010), The Kris, p. 171. 

The Collections under the display are from the following countries:

Morocco (3 items)

Turkey (9 items)

Persia/Iran (9 items)

India (55 items)

Sri Lanka (4 items)

Nepal (1 item)

China (2 items)

Japan (5 items)

Indonesia/Malaysia (20 items)

Philippines (1 item)


Dr. Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani writes for PersianMirror from Germany. He is the author of the book Arms and Armor from Iran: The Bronze Age to the End of the Qajar Period” that won the prestigious World Book Prize of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Iranian Studies on February 07, 2009. Dr. Manouchehr Moshtagh Khorasani wrote his doctorate thesis in English linguistics on the analysis of conflicts and controversies under Professor Dr. Andreas H. Jucker at Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Germany, while doing research and writing books and print articles in English, German, Spanish, and Persian in the field of historical arms and armor from Iran. For his publication list and his research activisties see: www.mmkhorasani.com


WAALM: General Assembly Recognizes 21 March as International Day of Nowruz


Posted Originally on Fri, February 26, 2010  in the WAALM School of Cultural Diplomacy – Diplomatic Journal

WAALM is affiliated with the  Academic Council On The United Nations System (ACUNS) and The International Peace Bureau.

The General Assembly this afternoon recognized the International Day of Nowruz, a spring festival of Persian origin, and moved back the dates of the next high-level dialogue on Financing for Development, as it continued its sixty-fourth session.

Kindly read the UN Assembly Document below posted in the UN Website):


23 February 2010

General Assembly GA/10916

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-fourth General Assembly


71st Meeting (PM)
General Assembly Recognizes 21 March as International Day of Nowruz,

Also Changes to 23-24 March Dialogue on Financing for Development

The General Assembly this afternoon recognized the International Day of Nowruz, a spring festival of Persian origin, and moved back the dates of the next high-level dialogue on Financing for Development, as it continued its sixty-fourth session.

According to the preamble of the resolution on the International Day (document A/64/L.30/Rev.2), Nowruz, which means new day, is celebrated on 21 March, the day of the vernal equinox, by more than 300 million people worldwide as the beginning of the new year.  It has been celebrated for over 3,000 years in the Balkans, the Black Sea Basin, the Caucasus, Central Asia, the Middle East and other regions. 

The Assembly called on Member States that celebrate the festival to study its history and traditions with a view to disseminating that knowledge among the international community and organizing annual commemoration events.

Welcoming the inclusion of Nowruz into the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on 30 September 2009, the text notes the festival’s “affirmation of life in harmony with nature, the awareness of the inseparable link between constructive labour and natural cycles of renewal and the solicitous and respectful attitude towards natural sources of life”.

The text was introduced by Azerbaijan’s representative, who said that, as a holiday celebrated in many parts of the world with themes important to all humanity, Nowruz encouraged intercultural dialogue and understanding.  Speaking after the Assembly took action on the draft, the representative of Iran marked its adoption by quoting lines of the Persian poet Jalaluddin Rumi that expressed the holiday’s theme of rebirth “on our planet and in our souls”.

In its decision on the follow-up to the outcome of the 2002 International Conference on Financing for Development and the 2008 Review Conference (as contained in document A/64/L.47), the Assembly changed the dates of the fourth high-level dialogue, which was to be held on 16 and 17 March 2010 at United Nations Headquarters, to 23 and 24 March 2010, in the same venue.  The original dates were set by resolution 64/194 of 21 December 2009.

Also this afternoon, the Assembly took note of the payment of dues by Kyrgyzstan, Paraguay, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Swaziland and Timor-Leste, through which they reduced their arrears below the amount specified in the United Nations Charter to be able to participate in votes and other Member State privileges.

Consideration of extending the terms of ad litem judges in the United Nations internal justice system, originally planned for this meeting, was postponed to a date to be announced.

The General Assembly will meet again at a time and place to be announced.

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