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    Beauties of Karoun River

    Koohrang - Beauties of Karoun River


    Karoun River and the tributaries form the largest water basin in Iran covering an area of 60,000 square kilometers.

    The 720-km long Karoun arises in Zardkouh in the Zagros Mountains in Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari and enters Khuzestan after flowing through the provinces of Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari and Kohkilouyeh-Bouyerahmad. On its way to the Persian Gulf it flows through the two major cities of Khuzestan, that is, Ahwaz and Khorramshahr, before joining the Arvand-Round waterway, which is also the confluence of the two great Mesopotamian Rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates.

     The Karoun forks into two primary branches on its delta: the Bahmanshir and the Haffar before emptying into the Arvand Roud. The important Island of Abadan is located between these two branches of the Karoun. The port city of Khorramshahr is divided from the Island of Abadan by the Haffar branch.

    The northern and eastern parts of the Karoun basin are mountainous, while to its southwest lies the Khuzestan plain.

    Fertile lands dotted with small and big lakes are found along the course of this river. These lagoons are the winter habitats of the migratory birds from Siberia. The construction of several dams on the Karoun River and its tributaries has contributed to the building of many hydroelectric projects as development of agricultural lands following the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979.

    The Karoun is ideal spot for boating and canoeing. The Shalo-Mongasht region is one of the most beautiful areas of Khuzestan province. It covers 13,000 hectares and was declared a protected zone in 1998. The mountain peaks of Khuzestan are snow covered during winter, while the climate on the plain is hot and humid. The vegetation is also varied, and among the important trees is Iranian prized chestnut. In addition, the region abounds with various other trees including almond, wild fig, thyme, and wild celery. Among the animal life of the mountains of Khuzestan mention could be made of the leopard, brown bear, Iranian squirrel, and wolves. Bird life includes partridge, swallow and various types of birds of prey such as falcons and hawks.

    It is worth knowing that the Shalo-Mangosht protected zone has three big villages, named Shivand, Posht-e Asiab and Noushivand, through which the Shivand River passes.

    The Karoun 3 Dam is located near Shivand village, which is often called a hidden paradise since its natural environment has largely remained untouched. The Shimbar area which covers 54,000 hectares is also another protected area of Khuzestan province. This region enjoys humid and mild weather condition with a height of 540 to 2100 meters above sea level.

    Mountainous forests, high peaks, chestnut trees and the vast lake of Sad in the middle of the region is considered as the features of this region. The existence of a beautiful lagoon with a vast space of 19 hectares at the center of the region has cast a special image on the area. It is proper to know that Haft Shahidan region with a space of around 9600 hectares has been registered as a protected area since 2002.

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    This workshop is designed according to the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme in order to give young people a chance to voice their concerns and to become involved in the protection of our common cultural and natural heritage. It seeks to encourage and enable tomorrow’s decision-makers to participate in heritage conservation and to respond to the continuing threats facing our World Heritage. The idea of involving young people in World Heritage preservation and promotion came as a response to Article 27 of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention). Furthermore, Patrimonito means 'small heritage' in Spanish and the character represents a young heritage guardian. Patrimonito has been widely adopted as the international mascot of the World Heritage Education Programme.
    Date: 29th December
    Number of trainees: 7
    Duration: 3 hours

    The workshop of "Patrimonito" was held on 29th of December. Participants arrived around 10:30 and they were welcomed by hot chocolate and Persian cup cakes. After a little introduction by trainers and trainees, the process started by making two groups and letting them choose a name for their group, each group was accompanied by a mentor then each group was given some images of world heritage sites in Iran and some descriptions, each group was asked to match images and descriptions, the mentor was guiding them throughout the activity. All trainees were participating actively and trying to remember their experiences about their travels to these places. When they were done with the activity, the mentors started giving the answers and a brief explanation about each site; mentors were using trainees’ ideas and experiences to complete their tasks.

    Shortly after that, the second part started which was a presentation done by two of mentors. The aim of this presentation was to define the value of these world heritage sites and duties of each person as a "Patrimonito", and what happens if there is no "Patrimonito" and nobody cares about our tangible or intangible heritage. In this part trainees started questioning and understanding the whole concept of being a "Patrimonito", they also added their own suggestions on how to protect our heritage and by the end of this part, they were completely aware about their role as a "Patrimonito".
    Now it was a best time to have a short break, during the break trainees were introduced to some of intangible heritages as they were served by traditional food and snacks and even they way of serving was according to traditions and everyone had this opportunity to discuss about intangible heritage while enjoying some traditional food and snacks.
    When the break was done, everyone was asked to choose a heritage either tangible or intangible and they had to introduce their chosen heritage to a tourist by making a postcard using what they have learnt. They were given all of necessary tools such as color papers, color pencils, glue, scissors, images of heritage and a mentor was with them in order to help them completing the task.

    When they were done, they handed out their postcards and with the mentors they sat together and spent a few minutes asking and answering about what they have learnt. Then they were told to say their vows for protecting their heritage and caring about it, the mentor said the vow and the trainees repeated after her and they officially became a "Patrimonito".

    The last but the best part was when they were given the certificates, and they were told that since they are aware of the value of the heritage and they know how to protect it, they are chosen as "Patrimonito" and they should continue their mission by introducing the value of heritage to others. They were granted certificates and labels and the workshop of "Patrimonito" was finished by taking some memorial photos.