TEHRAN – More than 800 people have been trained as artisans in the northwestern province of Ardabil in the first nine months of the current Iranian calendar year (March 21-December 21), said a local tourism manager.
“A total of 850 people attended short-term craft training courses at Ardabil during the first nine months of the year,” Tohid Delavar Qavam said on Tuesday.
The increase in educational programs and training courses are important measures to improve the quality and quantity of handicrafts, added the official.
Last December, the official announced that the craft sector generated a total of 670 job openings across the province in the first nine months of the year.
Recently, 18 high-quality works of artisans in the province received the National Seal of Excellence, which illustrates the expertise and power of the province’s artisans in this sector, added the official.
In July, local authorities announced that some 835 jobs are expected to be created at Ardabil through several investments in tourism-related projects, which are expected to start by the end of the current Iranian year 1400 (ends March 2022). . .
In January, the provincial tourism chief Nader Fallahi announced that more than 150 tourism-related projects were underway in Ardebil province. The mentioned projects will prepare the province’s tourism sector for the post-coronavirus era, as the number of tourists and travelers is expected to increase magnificently, the official added.
Stretching across a windswept high plateau, Ardabil is well known for its lush natural beauties, welcoming locals, and tradition of silk and carpet trading. It is also home to the Sheikh Safi al-Din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The province is very cold in winter and mild in summer, attracting thousands of people each year. The capital Ardabil is generally considered to be one of the coldest cities in the country in winter.
With 14 entries, Iran ranks first in the world for the number of cities and towns recorded by the World Crafts Council, China with seven entries, Chile with four and India with three.
In January 2020, the cities of Shiraz, Malayer and Zanjan and the village of Qassemabad were nominated by the WCC-Asia-Pacific Region, bringing the number of world handicraft cities and villages in Iran from ten to 14.
Shiraz has been named the ‘World City of [diverse] Arts and crafts “. Malayer has become a global hub for woodcarving and carved wood furniture. Zanjan has earned the title of “World City of Watermark”. And the village of Qassemabad, known nationally for its traditional costumes, has also been promoted to the rank of global handicraft hub. Chador Shab, a kind of homemade outerwear for women, was however the main subject of the WCC assessment for the village.
The value of Iranian handicrafts exports stood at $ 120 million in the first eleven months of the last Iranian calendar year 1399 (March 20, 2020 – February 18, 2021), Mehr reported. The country’s handicraft exports have fallen in the months mentioned compared to the same period last year due to the damage the coronavirus pandemic has inflicted on global trade.
The Islamic Republic exported handicrafts worth $ 427 million in the first eleven months of calendar year 1398. Of this figure, some $ 190 million was earned through the suitcase trade (cleared for transfers in duty and tax exemption) across 20 provinces, according to data compiled by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts.
Ceramics, pottery, hand-woven fabrics as well as personal ornaments with precious and semi-precious stones are traditionally exported to Iraq, Afghanistan, Germany, USA, UK and other countries.