First of all, happy new year and best wishes for 2016! Christmas holidays were a great opportunity for me to travel to my home country Iran and enjoy time with family and friends. I found it good to write in my diary about some of my experiences there:
– Wonderful Food
Eating delicious Persian food is always an inevitable part of our stay in Iran. From Kebabs to Khoresh! Our food experience varied from very traditional Iranian dinner parties where all people sit around a tablecloth, to having lunch in modern and luxury restaurants in Tehran. I have to measure how much extra weight I have gained after returning from Iran! it is now time to go on a diet :D
– Polluted Air
In winters, due to the lack of green, energy-efficient and environmentally friendly vehicles as well as increasing amount of meteorological condition of temperature inversion, Tehran is often associated with murky, oxygen-starved weather interludes. This time, it happened exactly during our period of stay in Tehran. Therefore, we could rarely see the nice blue sky and mountain view of Tehran! Check Tehran’s Real-time Air Quality Index Visual Map for more information.
In our family, the month December is the most crowded time for birthdays! I even have an aunt which is called Azar (name of this month in Jalali Calendar)! it is always full of joy to sing the birthday song together with the family members and the ones you love :)
– Travel on travel
During our stay, we gave a short visit to Mashhad, the second most populous city in Iran. For me and Bita, Mashhad is a very memorial and spiritual city where we usually review the past and envisage our plans for future!
In Iran, Yalda is the name of the longest night of the year when friends and family gather together to eat, drink and read poetry (especially Hafez) until well after midnight. Fruits and nuts are eaten and pomegranates and watermelons are particularly significant!
I not only visited my friends who live in Iran but also met friends who live abroad and were in Iran for the Christmas holidays (the same situation as me).
This time, I had a new plan in mind which was promoting Linked (Open) Data culture within the Persian Web data space. In order to introduce Linked Data to people in Iran, I started off by giving talks and organising workshops at universities and research centres which would serve as a baseline for creating the Linked Data infrastructure on Persian web sphere. I gave a talk at Amirkabir Technical University and University of Tehran which were arranged by KnowDiff. I held a workshop at ITRC which was organized by BMNI. And finally another talk at Shahid Beheshti University where I had received my B.Sc in software engineering. I found these events very constructive with people who were enthusiastic to collaborate on building the required infrastructure for Persian Semantic Web space. You can check my presentation slides here.