Iranian Art: History and Images



The Iranian art is the complex of the entire Islamic art. Hence, it is inappropriate to separate the Iranian art from the Islamic one. They are to be considered as the single thing. By its content the Islamic art is very various. On one hand, the Koran prohibited any pictures of God. But if the image was just similar to the living creature, this picture was permitted. This allowed to create the semi-realistic style of the Iranian miniature, which used perspective and chiaroscuro. Though this art was permitted, there is no mosque decorated with pictures and sculptures of God as a human being.

The content of the Iranian painting was based on the conception, that the true being is integral and that living creatures are initially equal and that each living creature is the reflection of the initial truth. Hence, the Iranian visual art tried to picture the atmosphere in which man could gain his initial dignity.

Hence, the Iranian art, as well as the entire Islamic art avoided everything that could be determined as �the idol.� Nothing may be between the human being and invisible presence of God.

Architecture is the heart of the Islamic art

The Islamic art creates a vacuum, which annihilates all passions and temptations of this world. Instead it creates the world based on the balance, quietness and dignity. Hence, it becomes clear why architecture is primary in the Islamic art.

A Muslim man never plays a role of an idle onlooker in the mosque. He feels himself as if he is at his own home. Having cleared himself from all transient and insignificant, he begins to pray. Muslim architects tried to create an autonomous space. They applied to different methods: horizontal halls with numerous columns or centripetal domes of Turkish mosques. In the mosque a man does not feel that he is pulled in a definite direction: either forward or upwards. The limited mosque space does not press the man. Thus, the essence of architecture was to liquidate any contradiction between the heaven and the earth.

Wisdom of geometric traceries in the Islamic art

Especial attention by the Islamic art to stable values was brightly reflected in decorative traceries. Some people say that the prohibition to picture the man caused vacuum, which was to be filled with another thing. This resulted in geometrical traceries.

The so-called arabesques cannot replace the absence of portraits. Besides, decoration traceries contradict to principals of the figurative art. Portraits always pretend to be individual, while geometric traceries fill a surface with definite forms, flowers or shapes.

This does not allow the man to concentrate on a definite element and to find himself in it. The center of arabesque is always and nowhere. After each confirmation we have denial, and vice versa.

Synthesis of handicraft, science and wisdom

The Islamic mentality never separates the art from its tangible basis, i.e. handicrafts from knowledge, which is being transferred from generation to generation. The art is based on both the handicraft and knowledge (including that determines the connection of things with their common principles).

If we consider architecture we will see that the architect�s craft and geometry are the basis of it. In the traditional architecture (unlike the modern one) geometry is not limited by the quantitative aspects. It has also the qualitative aspect. This is obvious in the laws of harmony, which provide the commonness of knowledge.

An Important Landmark in the EU History

8 Years Ago the Maastricht Treaty was Signed





On February 7, 1992 the Maastricht Treaty that became an important landmark of coming-into-being of the European Union, was signed. According to many observers, the EU is �to go where I do not know�. It is difficult to say when the EU will be completely formed. Hence, the Maastricht Treaty was so important. It determined priority directions of the further development of the EU. The main provisions of the Treaty were as follows: to create a common currency by the end of the century; to work out the common foreign policy and defense; to make the EU responsible for immigration and political problems caused by the abandoned frontier control between the EU countries. Till the end of 1993 12 countries ratified the Maastricht Treaty: the UK, Germany, France, the Republic of Ireland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Denmark, Luxembourg, Belgium and Netherlands.

Speaking of the results of the Treaty, we may mention the creation of the Shengen zone, introduction of EURO, and establishment of the Europole. Besides, the Maastricht Treaty introduced the thoroughly thought mechanism on working out and realization of joint political decisions.

Maastricht is a friendly Dutch town. Despite it takes 40 to 50 minutes to come across it, and about 30,000 people live there, the town annually receives 7 million tourists. Thanks to the purposeful policy of the town authorities, headquarters of about 30 EU organizations are located in Maastricht.

The author thanks the EU delegation in Kazakhstan for his participation in the workshop on European institutions (the European Commission, the European Parliament) organized for Central Asian journalists. I had an opportunity to visit Maastricht, Brussels, Strasbourg, the European Parliament and the European Parliament. The author will share his impressions with readers.

St. Valentine�s Day Massacre

ALMATY, Feb 10


February 14, a bizarre day in the history of gang warfare. It was on this date that four members of Al Capone�s Chicago gang trapped seven members of their rival gang (headed by �Bugs� Moran) and brutally shot them in cold blood. Capone�s gang members, dressed as policemen, cornered Moran�s gang members near a Chicago warehouse. They then told them to place their hands on the wall. Moran�s men, under the assumption that this was a routine police check, obeyed without resistance. Capone�s men proceeded to pull out sawed off shotguns and sub-machine guns and shot the men in the back, firing squad style.

This event showed the corruption of the times. Capone and Moran�s gangs both used raqueteering as well as other means to extort millions of dollars from the citizens of Chicago. The St. Valentine�s Day Massacre topped off an ongoing gang war that had left many innocent victims dead and had left the city of Chicago in shambles.

This week in the 20th century

February 11, 1929 the Lateran Treaty was signed, with Italy recognizing the independence and sovereignty of Vatican City.

February 11, 1990 South African black activist Nelson Mandela was freed after 27 years in captivity.

February 11, 1990 Reverend Barbara C. Harris became the first woman consecrated as a bishop in the Episcopal Church, in a ceremony held in Boston.

February 13, 1920 the League of Nations recognized the perpetual neutrality of Switzerland.

February 13, 1945 during World War Two, the Soviets captured Budapest, Hungary, from the Germans.

February 13, 1960 France exploded its first atomic bomb.

February 13, 1984 Konstantin Chernenko was chosen to be general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party�s Central Committee, succeeding the late Yuri Andropov.

February 14, 1929 the �St. Valentine�s Day Massacre� took place in a Chicago garage as seven rivals of Al Capone�s gang were gunned down.

February 14, 1945 Peru, Paraguay, Chile and Ecuador joined the United Nations.

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