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20190321_2-HaftSinRain and flood in Nowruz holidays

On Wednesday 20 March I accompanying my wife and elder son leave home to Tabriz. We are in my parents’ home at the Nowruz eve. The New Solar Year 1398 begins early in the morning at 1:28:27. The New Year is the Year of Pig. The Pig is the twelfth of all zodiac animals. Culturally, pigs are the symbol of wealth. Pigs have a beautiful personality and are blessed with good fortune in life. Hope that I will get both in 1398. In addition to Tabriz we also travel to Maragheh where from we back to home on 28 March. In our travel we benefit the opportunity to meet the relatives and friends. In the begging of New Year 1398, there is lot of raining and flooding throughout the country with extended casualties and damages.

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20190321_2-Parents, Nowruz 1398

 

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20190322_1-Mom's Birthday

 

20190324_1-Houshang's mom home

 

20190325_1-Distant View of Tabriz

 

20190326_1-In Maragheh-N

 

20190327_1-In Maragheh-A

 

20190330_1-strange cucumbers

 

20190331_1-flowers in Sadaf

 

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Happy New Solar Year 1398 and Happy spring!

Nowruz98

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JAS-coverPublication of a book review made by me  

The book Space Science and the Arab World: Astronauts, Observatories and Nationalism in the Middle East which is written by Jörg Matthias Determann was reviewed by me. It is a valuable work in 268 pages that is published by I. B. Tauris in 2018. The interested reader will find the full review article text below. The article is published in the Journal of Arabian Studies, 8:2, 326-327 (Routledge Taylor & Francis Group)

To cite this article: Parviz Tarikhi (2018) Space Science and the Arab World: Astronauts, Observatories and Nationalism in the Middle East, Journal of Arabian Studies, 8:2, 326-327

To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/21534764.2018.1562632

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JÖRG MATTHIAS DETERMANN, Space Science and the Arab World: Astronauts, Observatories and Nationalism in the Middle East (London and New York: I. B. Tauris, 2018), 268 pages; £69.00 hardback.

Reviewed by PARVIZ TARIKHI, Mahdasht Space Center, Iranian Space Agency, Mahdasht, Iran, parviz_tarikhi@hotmail.com.

 

As a physicist and space remote sensing specialist, I was thrilled to read Jörg Matthias Determann’s book, Space Science and the Arab World: Astronauts, Observatories and Nationalism in the Middle East, and to learn about the fascinating activities in space science and technology development in the Middle East and Arab World, with special attention to the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Because of the interwoven ties and enduring relations between the different nations, the Middle East exhibits a promising potential in scientific achievement, raising hopes about reviving the region as the cradle of civilization.

One of the most interesting aspects of the book is that it diverges from other literature on the topic: Determann chooses not to focus on early Islamic astronomy, an era that has been the hallmark of scientific achievement in the Middle East up until the nineteenth century. Nor does he consider Arab space science to be a continuation of traditional Arab and Islamic astronomy. Instead, the book sheds new light on regional innovations and endeavors — such as the Qatar Exoplanet Survey—and examines both the successes and failures of other contemporary projects that have recently been implemented or that are in the process of being implemented.

The book highlights the ways in which some GCC states, especially, are emerging as pioneers in the field of space science. These resource-rich countries can afford to set aside funds directed at the search for new planets, and are endowing expensive space science exploration and astronomical research. What is more, GCC countries are able to oversee the distribution of oil wealth among their societies, allowing individual citizens to develop a passion for space exploration, even without full government funding. In addition to looking at a country’s overall resources when explaining GCC space projects, Determann notes the importance of highlighting individual interests, determination, and mobility — crucial ingredients in experimentation and innovation that should not be disregarded from the scientific paradigm. In this regard, he highlights the biographies of individual scientific achievers, as well as the logics propelling Arab governments to engage in space science in the contemporary era. For example, the book makes note of Khalid Alsubai, a Qatari astronomer exploring outer space in order to discover exoplanets — an effort that is funded by the Qatar Foundation. The book thus examines the important role of academic institutions in astronomical research in the Arab World, and how such institutional contribution to space exploration plans and projects is deserving of consideration.

Over the six chapters of the book, Determann relays the state of science in the Arab World, and the relationship between nationalism and cosmopolitanism and its effects on the space endeavor projects of Arab nations. Focusing on how GCC endeavors in space science and technology form one facet of their attempts at globalization, he highlights the Emirates Mars Mission as an initiative benefiting from US and Korean expertise. Coordinating with NASA’s Mars Exploration Program, Emirati scientists are contributing to international efforts to study the Red Planet and are providing unique insights on order to fill the gaps in human knowledge. The book acknowledges the international cooperation efforts exhibited by Saudi space science endeavors, such as the Saudi National Observatory Project that aims to send astronauts into space in cooperation with the United States.

Some parts of the book also focus on how the GCC states are combining space science technology with local infrastructural and modernization plans. As part of the Saudi Arabian National Center for Science and Technology, for example, Determann notes how the Saudi Solar Village Project has established a large database of solar observations, while simultaneously using space technology to provide electricity to urban areas. Qatari authorities are similarly using the country’s immense natural resources and fossil energy to expand the social and scientific development of the country. Generous investments in the development of science and technology — particularly in space sector — are promising efforts that will be of great benefit for the Qatari nation in particular and humanity in general.

Finally, the book engages its readers by providing extensive details on Arab space science exploration, and by neatly summing up and collating widely dispersed facts from around the Arab World. From a variety of sources, Determann gathers information from diverse nations across the Middle East region — each with its own logic, plans, and visions for space science exploration. The bibliography section, for example, spans a lengthy forty pages of sources, an indication of the comprehensiveness and richness of the reference material. Well-listed endnotes provide further reference and links between notion, knowledge, and facts, giving the reader easy access to further information on the topic.

On the whole, the book reflects a rich study spanning historical and contemporary dimensions of Arab space science exploration, which can only be achieved by an able and knowledgeable scholar. The book fills a gap in the status and development of space science technology and its application in the GCC and Arab World literature by providing rich insight into the capabilities and potentials of such endeavors in the region. It is highly recommended for academic, general, and professional readers interested in the field of space science.

© 2019, Parviz Tarikhi

https://doi.org/10.1080/21534764.2018.1562632

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Early return to the Paradise   

From 17 to 20 February we have again a family trip to Chamkhaleh at the Caspian Sea shore. It is for the second time that we are there this time in winter. Paradise is always Paradise even in winter. We stay in Hotel Setareh Darya on the verge of the sea which is hired by the space agency for leisure of the employees of the agency. We have really nice time there with wonderful memories. The resort environment is very much wonderful, fantastic and dreamy, just like a corner of Paradise. During our trip we benefit the opportunity to visit Langroud and Lahijan in Gillan Province.

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Happy New Year 2019!

Happy New Year 2019

 

Dear Colleague/Friend,

Happy New Year 2019 and Season’s Greeting!

Wishing you and your dearest and nearest ones

a prosperous New Year!

Parviz Tarikhi   

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