Art And Culture

Iranian Wins UNESCO Contest

Iranian Wins UNESCO ContestIranian Wins UNESCO Contest

A room without books is like a body without a soul, Roman philosopher, politician, lawyer and orator Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 BC) said over two millennia ago.

The famous saying is cleverly illustrated by young Iranian photographer Sara Mardani in a photo she sent to UNESCO’s Word of Tolerance Photo Competition. She thus won the photo contest, placing herself among the top five entries.

The competition coincided with World Book and Copyright Day, celebrated by the UNESCO each year on April 23. The event was aimed at promoting reading culture and spreading the message of tolerance. In the competition, contenders were invited to choose a quote from an author and illustrate it in a creative and amusing way.

“Cicero inspired Sara and paved her path to the top-five,” said the Council for International Development on its website

Of other winners, Riccardo Pareggiani from Greece quoted Italian journalist and writer Tiziano Terzani: “There are two things that grant a bit of immortality: books and children.”

Amalia Hapsari Prannanda Putri from Yogyakarta, Indonesia chose a quote from American novelist and non-fiction writer Anne Lamott: “Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.”

And Manuel Marcaida from Taguig, Philippines chose American novelist and short story writer Scott Fitzgerald who once said, “I’m not sure what I’ll do, but - well, I want to go places and see people. I want my mind to grow. I want to live where things happen on a big scale.”

Over the course of the competition, more than 300 posts with the hashtag #Wordsoftolerance were published on social media.