Iranian artists honored for contributions to alleviate world hunger

January 15, 2007
TEHRAN (CHN) -- With supports received from the United Nations World Food Program (WFP), the Pasargadae Gallery in Tehran presented honorary awards to a number of distinguished Iranian artists for their contributions to eradicate global hunger.

Based on recent statistics released by WFP, over 800 million people live in hunger. An estimated 25,000 people die of hunger on a daily basis – that is 1 person every 3.5 seconds, adding to the 400 million who have died from hunger in the past 50 years (the equivalent of the combined population of the USA, Germany and France). This means 1 child dies somewhere in the world every 5 seconds, during which time nearly 12 tones of food is wasted. Speaking of the close cooperation between the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) and Pasargadae Gallery for alleviation of hunger in the world during the official ceremony held last Friday at the Gallery, Robert Hauser, WFP representative in Iran, expressed his appreciation to director of Pasargadae Gallery, Vahid Malek and his team and said: “We are extremely happy to have Mr. Malek because he is the one who attracts artists and negotiates with them as well as other galleries and donates something to WFP.”

He further said that participation of artists in such programs not only helps those in need of food, it can lead into promotion of art in the world. “It is good that we have interests of the public in this matter and through artists’ initiatives we are getting some money in a much easier way. We are still at the beginning, but we certainly like more activities in this regard. We are also looking at music and drama sector,” added Hauser. Regarding some plans currently pursued by WFP office in Iran, Hauser said: “In Iran we are currently feeding Afghan and Iraqi refugees in the camps. However, we restarted school feeding program, particularly for the refugees.”

In an exclusive interview with CHN, Vahid Malek, director of Pasargadae Gallery, said: “Since 1997, Pasargadae Gallery has become home to pure Iranian art and a window to a modern view of art. All our activities in Iran and abroad in the past ten years have been in line with our goals to promote Persian art. I have held about 30 exhibitions across the U.S. of my works and those of other Iranian artists and have been involved with several programs with the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Iran. Starting from last year, we launched several programs with WFP designed to give them a hand in reaching their goals. “We have so far been able to provide food for 15,000 people, mostly with the help of Iranian artists. Our future exhibitions will also be geared toward this goal. At the same time, we have vowed to improve and develop visual arts with an emphasis on original Persian art combined with modern views of art.”

Among the artists who got special recognition during the ceremony were Mohammad-Hadi Fadavi, Roja Shabani, Alireza Karami, Mohammad Salehizadeh, Mohammad Kiaii, and Gizella Varga Sinai. An exhibition of their work is now being held at Pasargadae Galley located at No. 26, Salimi St., Dolat Ave., Ghanat intersection, next to Exir Drugstore, Tehran.