Khuzestan Province (Persian: استان خوزستان Ostān-e Khūzestān, is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the southwest of bordering Iraq and the Persian Gulf, its capital is Ahvaz and it covers an area of 63,238 km2. Since 2014 it has been part of Iran's Region 4; as the Iranian province with the oldest history, it is referred to as the "birthplace of the nation", as this is where the history of the Elamites begins. One of the most important regions of the Ancient Near East, Khuzestan is what historians refer to as ancient Elam, whose capital was in Susa; the Achaemenid Old Persian term for Elam was Hujiyā when they conquered it from the Elamites, present in the modern name. Khuzestan, meaning "the Land of the Khuz", refers to the original inhabitants of this province, the "Susian" people, they are the Shushan of the Hebrew sources where they are recorded as "Hauja" or "Huja". In Middle Persian, the term evolves into "Khuz" and "Kuzi"; the pre-Islamic Partho-Sasanian inscriptions gives the name of the province as Khwuzestan.
The seat of the province has for the most of its history been in the northern reaches of the land, first at Susa and at Shushtar. During a short spell in the Sasanian era, the capital of the province was moved to its geographical center, where the river town of Hormuz-Ardasher, founded over the foundation of the ancient Hoorpahir by Ardashir I, the founder of the Sasanian Dynasty in the 3rd century CE; this town is now known as Ahvaz. However in the Sasanian time and throughout the Islamic era, the provincial seat returned and stayed at Shushtar, until the late Qajar period. With the increase in the international sea commerce arriving on the shores of Khuzistan, Ahvaz became a more suitable location for the provincial capital; the River Karun is navigable all the way to Ahvaz. The town was thus refurbished by the order of the Qajar king, Naser al-Din Shah and renamed after him, Nâseri. Shushtar declined, while Ahvaz/Nâseri prospered to the present day. Khuzestan is known for its ethnic diversity.
Khuzestan's population is predominantly Shia Muslim, but there are small Christian, Jewish and Mandean minorities. Half of Khuzestan's population is Bakhtiari. Since the 1920s, tensions on religious and ethnic grounds have resulted in violence and attempted separatism, including an uprising in 1979, unrest in 2005, bombings in 2005–06 and protests in 2011, drawing much criticism of Iran by international human rights organizations. In 1980, the region was invaded by leading to the Iran -- Iraq War. Khuzestan has 18 representatives in Iran's parliament, the Majlis. Meanwhile, it has six representatives in the Assembly of Experts, including Ayatollahs Mousavi Jazayeri, Ka'bi, Farhani, Ali Shafi'i, Muhammad Hussain Ahmadi; the name Khuzestan means "The Land of the Khuzi", refers to the original inhabitants of this province, the "Susian" people (Old Persian "Huza", Middle Persian "Khuzi" or "Husa". The name of the city of Ahvaz has the same origin as the name Khuzestan, being an Arabic broken plural from the compound name, "Suq al-Ahvaz" --the medieval name of the town, that replaced the Sasanian Persian name of the pre-Islamic times.
The entire province was still known as "the Khudhi" or "the Khooji" until the reign of the Safavid king Tahmasp I and in general the course of the 16th century. The southern half of the province—south, southwest of the Ahwaz Ridge, had come by the 17th century to be known—at least to the imperial Safavid chancery as Arabistan; the contemporaneous history, the Alamara-i Abbasi by Iskandar Beg Munshi, written during the reign of king Abbas I refers to the southern part of Khuzestan as "Arabistan". The northern half continued to be called Khuzestan. In 1925, the entire province regained the term Arabistan was dropped. There is a old folk etymology which maintains the word "khouz" stands for sugar and "Khouzi" for people who make raw sugar; the province has been a cane sugar-producing area since the late Sassanian times, such as the sugar cane fields of the Dez River side in Dezful. Khouzhestan has been the land of Khouzhies who cultivate sugar cane today in Haft Tepe. There have been many attempts at finding other sources for the name.
The province of Khuzestan can be divided into two regions. The area is irrigated by the Karoun, Karkheh and Maroun rivers; the northern section maintains a non-Persian Bakhtiari minority, while the southern section always had diverse minority groups known as Khuzis. Since the 1940s, a flood of job seekers from all over Iran to the oil and commerce centers on the Persian Gulf Coast has made the region more Persian-speaking. Presently, Khouzestan still maintains its diverse group, but does have Arabs, Persians and ethnic Qashqais and Lors. Khuzestan has great potential for agricultural expansion, unrivaled by the country's other provinces. Large and permanent rivers flow over the entire territory contributing to the fertility of the land. Karun, Iran's most effluent river, 850 kilometers long, flows into the Persian Gulf through this province; the agricultural potential of most of these rivers, in their lower reaches, is hampered by the fact that their waters carry salt, the amount of which
A ziggurat is a type of massive structure built in ancient Mesopotamia. It has the form of a terraced compound of successively receding levels. Notable ziggurats include the Great Ziggurat of Ur near Nasiriyah, the Ziggurat of Aqar Quf near Baghdad, the now destroyed Etemenanki in Babylon, Chogha Zanbil in Khūzestān and Sialk. Ziggurats were built by ancient Sumerians, Assyrians, Elamites and Babylonians for local religions, predominantly Mesopotamian religion and Elamite religion; each ziggurat was part of a temple complex. The precursors of the ziggurat were raised platforms that date from the Ubaid period during the sixth millennium; the ziggurats began as a platform, the ziggurat was a mastaba-like structure with a flat top. The sun-baked bricks made up the core of the ziggurat with facings of fired bricks on the outside; each step was smaller than the step below it. The facings were glazed in different colors and may have had astrological significance. Kings sometimes had their names engraved on these glazed bricks.
The number of floors ranged from two to seven. According to archaeologist Harriet Crawford, "It is assumed that the ziggurats supported a shrine, though the only evidence for this comes from Herodotus, physical evidence is nonexistent, it has been suggested by a number of scholars that this shrine was the scene of the sacred marriage, the central rite of the great new year festival. Herodotus describes the furnishing of the shrine on top of the ziggurat at Babylon and says it contained a great golden couch on which a woman spent the night alone; the god Marduk was said to come and sleep in his shrine. The likelihood of such a shrine being found is remote. Erosion has reduced the surviving ziggurats to a fraction of their original height, but textual evidence may yet provide more facts about the purpose of these shrines. In the present state of our knowledge it seems reasonable to adopt as a working hypothesis the suggestion that the ziggurats developed out of the earlier temples on platforms and that small shrines stood on the highest stages..."
Access to the shrine would have been by a series of ramps on one side of the ziggurat or by a spiral ramp from base to summit. The Mesopotamian ziggurats were not places for public worship or ceremonies, they were believed to be dwelling places for the gods and each city had its own patron god. Only priests were permitted on the ziggurat or in the rooms at its base, it was their responsibility to care for the gods and attend to their needs; the priests were powerful members of Sumerian and Assyro-Babylonian society. One of the best-preserved ziggurats is Chogha Zanbil in western Iran; the Sialk ziggurat, in Kashan, Iran, is the oldest known ziggurat, dating to the early 3rd millennium BCE. Ziggurat designs ranged from simple bases upon which a temple sat, to marvels of mathematics and construction which spanned several terraced stories and were topped with a temple. An example of a simple ziggurat is the White Temple of Uruk, in ancient Sumer; the ziggurat itself is the base. Its purpose is to get the temple closer to the heavens, provide access from the ground to it via steps.
The Mesopotamians believed that these pyramid temples connected earth. In fact, the ziggurat at Babylon was known as Etemenankia or "House of the Platform between Heaven and Earth". An example of an extensive and massive ziggurat is the Marduk ziggurat, of Etemenanki, of ancient Babylon. Not much of the base is left of this massive 91 meter tall structure, yet archeological findings and historical accounts put this tower at seven multicolored tiers, topped with a temple of exquisite proportions; the temple is thought to have been painted and maintained an indigo color, matching the tops of the tiers. It is known that there were three staircases leading to the temple, two of which were thought to have only ascended half the ziggurat's height. Etemenanki, the name for the structure, is Sumerian and means "temple of the foundation of heaven and earth"; the date of its original construction is unknown, with suggested dates ranging from the fourteenth to the ninth century BCE, with textual evidence suggesting it existed in the second millennium.
According to Herodotus, at the top of each ziggurat was a shrine, although none of these shrines have survived. One practical function of the ziggurats was a high place on which the priests could escape rising water that annually inundated lowlands and flooded for hundreds of kilometers, for example, the 1967 flood. Another practical function of the ziggurat was for security. Since the shrine was accessible only by way of three stairways, a small number of guards could prevent non-priests from spying on the rituals at the shrine on top of the ziggurat, such as initiation rituals such as the Eleusinian mysteries, cooking of sacrificial food and burning of carcasses of sacrificial animals; each ziggurat was part of a temple complex that included a courtyard, storage rooms and living quarters, around which a city was built. Mound Pyramid Stupa Sumer Citations Sources UNESCO Heritage site for Iran. Article on the status of Sialk ziggurat, Iran
Gonbad-e Qabus (tower)
Gonbad-e Qabus tower is a monument in Gonbad-e Qabus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2012. It marks the grave of Ziyarid ruler Qabus, was built during his own lifetime, in 1006/7; the tower can be seen from some 30 kilometers away. The eponymous city is named after the monument. Considered to be a masterpiece of Iranian architecture, according to Oleg Grabar, it achieves an "almost perfect balance between a purpose, a form, a single material"; the Gonbad-e Qabus tower is the best known tower tomb of northern Iran, has featured in many publications. The inscription bands on the tower, written in rhymed prose, state that Qabus ordered the foundation of the tower during his own lifetime, in 1006/7. Qabus was a prince of the Ziyarid dynasty, who were based in the historic Tabaristan region of northern Iran. In the 11th century this region was still undergoing conversion from Zoroastrianism to Islam; the foundation date on the monument is given in two calendar styles: Iranian solar and Islamic lunar.
The monument has an interior diameter of 9.67 meters at its base. According to Sheila S. Blair, the entrance to the building contains one of the earliest evidence for the development of the moqarnas in Iran. In terms of design, the Gonbad-e Qabus tower resembles other cylindrical tomb towers on Iran's Caspian Sea littoral. However, what differs the Gonbad-e Qabus tower from other of such variants, is that the tower has an "extraordinary height". Taking its conical roof into account, the tower measures c. 52 meters above ground. Sheila S. Blair adds: The tomb is constructed of fine-quality baked brick whose pale yellow color has been turned golden by the sun; the technical quality of the construction is clear from its perfect survival despite the ravages of time and reported shelling by the Russians. The only decoration comprises two inscription bands which ring the building above the doorway and below the roof; each band is divided into one set between each pair of buttresses. The planned text combines with the tower's formal purity and soaring verticality to make it one of the most famous and memorable monuments in all of Iranian architecture.
Oleg Grabar stated that the Gonbad-e Qabus tower "clearly belongs to the general category of a secular architecture for conspicuous consumption". While discussing the forms of the tower tombs of northern Iran, Grabar stated that they may be connected with Zoroastrian funerary structures. According to Grabar, the link to Zoroastrian funerary structures is "strongly suggested", for example, by the use of the Persian solar calendar in the inscription on the Gonbad-e Qabus, as well as the occassional use of Middle Persian on the other tomb towers of northern Iran. According to Melanie Michailidis, Zoroastrian influence is "manifestly present" in the tower tombs of northern Iran, can be seen in their height and forms, she argues that the towers were built by the Ziyarids and Bavandids to emulate "the lost princely mausolea of the Sasanians". Though the tower is meant to be Qabus's mausoleum, there is no body buried inside, similar to the other tomb towers of northern Iran. According to legend, Qabus was buried in a glass coffin.
Michailidis adds that the "failure of the excavators to find a body might seem to lend credence to this story". She explains that the towers were used in a syncretic fashion, with bodies placed inside the tombs, but lifted off the ground, resting on a platform "composed of some impermeable material"; as Tabaristan was still undergoing Islamization at the time, syncreticism would be a logical explanation according to Michailidis. Blair, Sheila S.. "GONBAD-E QĀBUS iii. MONUMENT". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Vol. XI, Fasc. 2. Pp. 126–129. Bosworth, C. Edmund. "ZIYARIDS". Encyclopaedia Iranica. Grabar, Oleg. "The Visual Arts". In Frye, R. N; the Cambridge History of Iran, Vol. 4: From the Arab Invasion to the Saljuqs. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-0521200936. Hejazi, Mehrdad. Persian Architectural Heritage: Architecture. WIT Press. ISBN 978-1845644123. Michailidis, Melanie. "Empty Graves: The Tomb Towers of Northern Iran". In Gacek, Tomasz. Proceedings of the Ninth Conference of the European Society for Central Asian Studies.
Cambridge Scholars Publishing. ISBN 978-1443815024. Michailidis, Melanie. "In the Footsteps of the Sasanians: Funerary Architecture and Bavandid Legitimacy". In Babaie, Sussan. Persian Kingship and Architecture: Strategies of Power in Iran from the Achaemenids to the Pahlavis. I. B. Tauris. ISBN 978-0857734778. "Gonbad-e Qābus". UNESCO. Retrieved 4 April 2019
Ashurbanipal spelled Assurbanipal or Ashshurbanipal, was King of the Neo-Assyrian Empire from 668 BC to c. 627 BC, the son of Esarhaddon and the last strong ruler of the empire, dated between 934 and 609 BC. He is famed for amassing a significant collection of cuneiform documents for his royal palace at Nineveh; this collection, known as the Library of Ashurbanipal, is now in the British Museum, which holds the famous Lion Hunt of Ashurbanipal set of Assyrian palace reliefs. In the Hebrew Bible he is called Asenappar. Roman historian Justinus identified him as Sardanapalus, although the fictional Sardanapalus is depicted as the last king of Assyria and an ineffectual and debauched character, whereas three further kings succeeded Ashurbanipal, in fact an educated, efficient capable and ambitious warrior king. Ashurbanipal was born toward the end of a 1,500-year period of Assyrian ascendancy, his father, the youngest son of Sennacherib, had become heir when the crown prince, Ashur-nadin-shumi, was deposed by rebels from his position as a vassal for Babylon.
Esarhaddon was the son not of Sennacherib's queen, Tashmetum-sharrat, but of the "palace woman" Zakutu, "the pure", known by her native name, Naqi'a. There are some suggestions Zakutu may have been an Israelite or Aramean concubine, while others point to her family origins being in the northern Assyrian city of Harran; the only queen known for Esarhaddon was Ashur-hamat, who died in 672 BC. Ashurbanipal grew up in the small palace called Bit Reduti, built by his grandfather Sennacherib when he was crown prince in the northern quadrant of Nineveh. In 694 BC, Sennacherib had completed the "Palace Without Rival" at the southwest corner of the acropolis, obliterating most of the older structures; the "House of Succession" had become the palace of the crown prince. In this house, Ashurbanipal's grandfather was assassinated by uncles identified only from the biblical account as Adrammelech and Sharezer. From this conspiracy, Esarhaddon emerged as king in 681 BC, he proceeded to rebuild as his residence the Bit Masharti.
The "House of Succession" was left including Ashurbanipal. The names of five brothers and one sister are known. Sin-iddin-apli, the intended crown prince, died prior to 672 BC. Not having been expected to become heir to the throne, Ashurbanipal was trained in scholarly pursuits as well as the usual horsemanship, chariotry, soldiery and royal decorum. In a unique autobiographical statement, Ashurbanipal specified his youthful scholarly pursuits as having included oil divination and reading and writing. Ashurbanipal succeeded his father Esarhaddon as king of Assyria and ruler of the Assyrian Empire in 668 BC. Esarhaddon had prepared for the accession of his son by imposing a vassal treaty upon his Persian and Parthian subjects, ensuring that they accepted Ashurbanipal's dominance in advance, he had rebuilt Babylon and set up another of his sons Shamash-shum-ukin to rule there, subject to his brother Ashurbanipal in Nineveh. Despite being a popular king among his subjects, he was known for his cruelty to his enemies.
Some pictures depict him putting a dog chain through the jaw of a defeated Arab king and making him live in a dog kennel. Many paintings of the period exhibit his brutality. Ashurbanipal inherited from Esarhaddon not only the throne of the empire but the ongoing war in Egypt with Kush/Nubia. Ashurbanipal ended Egyptian interference in the Near East, destroyed the Kushite Empire, drove the Kushites/Nubians from Egypt, conquered Egypt and Libya. However, the Nubians still had ambitions to resurrect their empire. Ashurbanipal sent an army against them in 667 BC that defeated the Nubian king Taharqa, near Memphis, while Ashurbanipal stayed at his capital in Nineveh. At the same time, some Egyptian vassals rebelled and were defeated. All of the vanquished leaders save one were sent to Nineveh. Only Necho I, the native Egyptian Prince of Sais, convinced the Assyrians of his loyalty and was sent back to become the Assyrian puppet Pharaoh of Egypt. After the death of Taharqa in 664 BC his nephew and successor Tantamani invaded Upper Egypt and took control of Thebes.
In Memphis, he defeated Necho may have died in the battle. Ashurbanipal sent another army and again it succeeded in defeating the Kushites/Nubians. Tantamani was routed and driven back to his homeland in Nubia and was never again to threaten Assyria or Egypt; the Assyrians took much booty home with them. How Assyrian rule in Egypt ended is not certain, but at some point, Necho's son Psammetichus I gained independence while wisely keeping his relations with Assyria friendly. An Assyrian royal inscription tells how the Lydian king Gyges received dreams from the Assyrian god Ashur; the dreams told him. After Gyges sent his ambassadors to accept Assyrian vassalage, he defeated his Cimmerian enemies, but when he supported the rebellion of the Egyptian rebels his country was overrun by the Cilicians. Assyria was by master of the largest empire the world had
Elam was an ancient Pre-Iranian civilization centered in the far west and southwest of what is now modern-day Iran, stretching from the lowlands of what is now Khuzestan and Ilam Province as well as a small part of southern Iraq. The modern name Elam stems from the Sumerian transliteration elam, along with the Akkadian elamtu, the Elamite haltamti. Elamite states were among the leading political forces of the Ancient Near East. In classical literature Elam was known as Susiana, a name derived from its capital Susa. Elam was part of the early urbanization during the Chalcolithic period; the emergence of written records from around 3000 BC parallels Sumerian history, where earlier records have been found. In the Old Elamite period, Elam consisted of kingdoms on the Iranian plateau, centered in Anshan, from the mid-2nd millennium BC, it was centered in Susa in the Khuzestan lowlands, its culture played a crucial role during the Persian Achaemenid dynasty that succeeded Elam, when the Elamite language remained among those in official use.
Elamite is considered a language isolate unrelated to the much arriving Persian and Iranic languages. In accordance with geographical and archaeological matches, some historians argue that the Elamites comprise a large portion of the ancestors of the modern day Lurs, whose language, split from Middle Persian; the Elamite language endonym of Elam as a country appears to have been Haltamti. Exonyms included the Sumerian names NIM. MAki and ELAM, the Akkadian Elamû and Elamītu meant "resident of Susiana, Elamite". In prehistory, Elam was centered in modern Khuzestān and Ilam; the name Khuzestān is derived from the Old Persian Hūjiya meaning Susa/Elam. In Middle Persian this became Huź "Susiana", in modern Persian Xuz, compounded with the toponymic suffix -stån "place". In geographical terms, Susiana represents the Iranian province of Khuzestan around the river Karun. In ancient times, several names were used to describe this area; the great ancient geographer Ptolemy was the earliest to call the area Susiana, referring to the country around Susa.
Another ancient geographer, viewed Elam and Susiana as two different geographical regions. He referred to Elam as the highland area of Khuzestan. Disagreements over the location exist in the Jewish historical sources says Daniel T. Potts; some ancient sources draw a distinction between Elam as the highland area of Khuzestan, Susiana as the lowland area. Yet in other ancient sources'Elam' and'Susiana' seem equivalent; the uncertainty in this area extends to modern scholarship. Since the discovery of ancient Anshan, the realization of its great importance in Elamite history, the definitions were changed again; some modern scholars argued that the centre of Elam lay at Anshan and in the highlands around it, not at Susa in lowland Khuzistan. Potts disagrees suggesting that the term'Elam' was constructed by the Mesopotamians to describe the area in general terms, without referring either to the lowlanders or the highlanders, "Elam is not an Iranian term and has no relationship to the conception which the peoples of highland Iran had of themselves.
They were Anshanites, Shimashkians, Sherihumians, etc. That Anshan played a leading role in the political affairs of the various highland groups inhabiting southwestern Iran is clear, but to argue that Anshan is coterminous with Elam is to misunderstand the artificiality and indeed the alienness of Elam as a construct imposed from without on the peoples of the southwestern highlands of the Zagros mountain range, the coast of Fars and the alluvial plain drained by the Karun-Karkheh river system. Knowledge of Elamite history remains fragmentary, reconstruction being based on Mesopotamian sources; the history of Elam is conventionally divided into three periods. The period before the first Elamite period is known as the proto-Elamite period: Proto-Elamite: c. 3200 – c. 2700 BC Old Elamite period: c. 2700 – c. 1500 BC Middle Elamite period: c. 1500 – c. 1100 BC Neo-Elamite period: c. 1100 – 540 BC Proto-Elamite civilization grew up east of the Tigris and Euphrates alluvial plains. At least three proto-Elamite states merged to form Elam: Anshan and Shimashki.
References to Awan are older than those to Anshan, some scholars suggest that both states encompassed the same territory, in different eras. To this core Shushiana was broken off. In addition, some Proto-Elamite sites are found well outside this area, spread out on the Iranian plateau; the state of Elam was formed from these lesser states as a response to invasion from Sumer during the Old Elamite period. Elamite strength was based on an ability to hold these various areas together under a coordinated government that permitted the maximum interchange of the natural resources unique to each region. Traditionally, thi
The United Nations Educational and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations based in Paris. Its declared purpose is to contribute to peace and security by promoting international collaboration through educational and cultural reforms in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter, it is the successor of the League of Nations' International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation. UNESCO has 11 associate members. Most of its field offices are "cluster" offices covering three or more countries. UNESCO pursues its objectives through five major programs: education, natural sciences, social/human sciences and communication/information. Projects sponsored by UNESCO include literacy and teacher-training programs, international science programs, the promotion of independent media and freedom of the press and cultural history projects, the promotion of cultural diversity, translations of world literature, international cooperation agreements to secure the world's cultural and natural heritage and to preserve human rights, attempts to bridge the worldwide digital divide.
It is a member of the United Nations Development Group. UNESCO's aim is "to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture and information". Other priorities of the organization include attaining quality Education For All and lifelong learning, addressing emerging social and ethical challenges, fostering cultural diversity, a culture of peace and building inclusive knowledge societies through information and communication; the broad goals and objectives of the international community—as set out in the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals —underpin all UNESCO strategies and activities. UNESCO and its mandate for international cooperation can be traced back to a League of Nations resolution on 21 September 1921, to elect a Commission to study feasibility; this new body, the International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation was indeed created in 1922.
On 18 December 1925, the International Bureau of Education began work as a non-governmental organization in the service of international educational development. However, the onset of World War II interrupted the work of these predecessor organizations. After the signing of the Atlantic Charter and the Declaration of the United Nations, the Conference of Allied Ministers of Education began meetings in London which continued from 16 November 1942 to 5 December 1945. On 30 October 1943, the necessity for an international organization was expressed in the Moscow Declaration, agreed upon by China, the United Kingdom, the United States and the USSR; this was followed by the Dumbarton Oaks Conference proposals of 9 October 1944. Upon the proposal of CAME and in accordance with the recommendations of the United Nations Conference on International Organization, held in San Francisco in April–June 1945, a United Nations Conference for the establishment of an educational and cultural organization was convened in London 1–16 November 1945 with 44 governments represented.
The idea of UNESCO was developed by Rab Butler, the Minister of Education for the United Kingdom, who had a great deal of influence in its development. At the ECO/CONF, the Constitution of UNESCO was introduced and signed by 37 countries, a Preparatory Commission was established; the Preparatory Commission operated between 16 November 1945, 4 November 1946—the date when UNESCO's Constitution came into force with the deposit of the twentieth ratification by a member state. The first General Conference took place from 19 November to 10 December 1946, elected Dr. Julian Huxley to Director-General; the Constitution was amended in November 1954 when the General Conference resolved that members of the Executive Board would be representatives of the governments of the States of which they are nationals and would not, as before, act in their personal capacity. This change in governance distinguished UNESCO from its predecessor, the ICIC, in how member states would work together in the organization's fields of competence.
As member states worked together over time to realize UNESCO's mandate and historical factors have shaped the organization's operations in particular during the Cold War, the decolonization process, the dissolution of the USSR. Among the major achievements of the organization is its work against racism, for example through influential statements on race starting with a declaration of anthropologists and other scientists in 1950 and concluding with the 1978 Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice. In 1956, the Republic of South Africa withdrew from UNESCO saying that some of the organization's publications amounted to "interference" in the country's "racial problems." South Africa rejoined the organization in 1994 under the leadership of Nelson Mandela. UNESCO's early work in the field of education included the pilot project on fundamental education in the Marbial Valley, started in 1947; this project was followed by expert missions to other countries, for example, a mission to Afghanistan in 1949.
In 1948, UNESCO recommended that Member States should make free primary education compulsory and universal. In 1990, the World Conference on Education for All, in Jomtien, launched a global movement to provide basic education for a
Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran
The Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran, located in the West Azerbaijan and East Azerbaijan provinces in Iran, is an ensemble of three Armenian churches that were established during the period between the 7th and 14th centuries A. D; the edifices—the St. Thaddeus Monastery, the Saint Stepanos Monastery, the Chapel of Dzordzor—have undergone many renovations; these sites were inscribed as cultural heritages in the 32nd session of the World Heritage Committee on 8 July 2008 under the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The three churches lie in a total area of 129 hectares and were inscribed under UNESCO criteria, for their outstanding value in showcasing Armenian architectural and decorative traditions, for being a major centre for diffusion of Armenian culture in the region, for being a place of pilgrimage of the apostle St. Thaddeus, a key figure in Armenian religious traditions, they represent the last vestiges of old Armenian culture in its southeastern periphery. The ensemble is in a good state of preservation.
The Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran are located in the West Azerbaijan and East Azerbaijan provinces in Iran. The ensemble consists of three Armenian churches that were established during the period between the 7th and 14th centuries A. D; the edifices—the St. Thaddeus Monastery, the Saint Stepanos Monastery, the Chapel of Dzordzor—have undergone many renovations; the three churches lie in a total area of 129 hectares. The St. Thaddeus Monastery known as "Kara Kelisa" or "Black Church" in West Azerbaijan province is about 18 kilometres from Maku; the Saint Stepanos Monastery is 17 kilometres to the west of Jolfa city, East Azarbaijan Province in northwest Iran. The Armenian people are native to Armenian Highlands, part of northwestern Iran—known as Iranian Azerbaijan. Armenia converted to Christianity in the early 4th century A. D. A portion of the region forms part of historical Armenia; some of the oldest Armenian chapels and churches in the world are located within this region of Iran, the Iranian Azerbaijan region in general is home to the oldest churches in Iran.
According to unverified reports it is believed that St. Thaddeus was buried at the site of the St. Thaddeus Monastery in the 1st century A. D. and that St. Gregory was responsible for establishing a monastery here in the 4th century. However, there is recorded proof, it was the second Armenian church to be built, following the Etchmiadzin Cathedral and was the seat of the diocese in the 10th century. It was destroyed in an earthquake in 1319 and was rebuilt due to the efforts of Bishop Zachariah in the 1320s. During the reign of the Safavid dynasty in the 15th century, the monasteries were preserved; the monasteries were deserted during the 16th and 17th centuries following a period of attacks by the Ottomans that prompted many Armenians to emigrate to central Iran. Once the Safavids reestablished themselves in the area, the monasteries were reoccupied and renovated. However, during the 18th century the area became a cauldron of conflicts for domination among the Russian and Persian empires; when the Persians gained control, the monasteries were damaged.
During the Qajar era, Armenians regained control over the monasteries and they were rebuilt. The existing St. Thaddeus Monastery was refurbished in the 1970s, it is recorded that Saint Stepanos Monastery was first established in 649 A. D. and a new building constructed at the same location in the 10th century. It was a major Christian church during the history of Armenian development. After it suffered damages due to earthquake, it was rebuilt by Bishop Zachariah in the 1320s. During the entire 14th century, it was the centre of influence in the region for Christian missionary work; this period marked the creation of literary paintings on religious themes. The monastery was rebuilt during the period from 1819 to 1825 and again became a center of religious activity, it was refurbished in the 1970s, again during the period from 1983 to 2001. The Dzordzor Chapel was built on the bank of the Makuchay River at Dzordzor by Bishop Zachariah in 1314 on modest lines, making use of the vestiges of an earlier religious monument dated between the 10th and 12th centuries.
During the period of Ottoman rule, some parts of the building were destroyed. The chapel came under threat of submergence from a proposed dam and had to be shifted to a new location upstream; the three monasteries of the ensemble were inscribed on 2008 under UNESCO criteria, for their outstanding value in showcasing Armenian architectural and decorative traditions, for being a major centre for diffusion of Armenian culture in the region, for being a place of pilgrimage of the apostle St. Thaddeus, a key figure in Armenian religious traditions, they represent the last vestiges of old Armenian culture in its southeastern periphery. The ensemble is in a good state of preservation; the three monuments represent a blend of architectural styles from the Byzantine, Eastern Orthodox, Persian and Armenian cultures. The Saint Thaddeus Monastery ensemble is in two zones, the first of which covers an area of 29.85 hectares and comprises four chapels and the monastery itself. A compound wall of 64 by 51 metres with towers at the corners encircles the main monastery complex.
Adjoining this wall, residential quarters have been built for the monks. In the interior courtyard, the main religious structures are located in a space of 41.7 by 23.6 metres. There is a large entrance, built on four pillars; the main church—the so-called White Church—is built on a Greek cross