The 2021 Biennial of Illustrations Bratislava (BIB) in Czech has honored Iranian ‎book illustrators Ghazal Fathollahi and Mohammad Barrangi Fashtami with BIB Plaques.‎

Fathollahi received the honor for his illustrations for ‘You Are an Explorer’ (also translated as ‘We Are Explorers’). The book written by Shahrzad Shahrjerdi has also been published by La Maleta, a publisher in the autonomous community of Asturias in northwest Spain, Tehran Times reported.

The book shows fraternity, imagination, collaboration and self-improvement against the pain of war. This book, through the love between two brothers and their imagination, leads us to reflect on the hardships suffered by some people as a result of conflicts in their countries of origin that force them to leave their homes in search of something better.

Barrangi was honored for his illustrations in ‘Simorgh, a Story from Attar Neyshaburi’s Mantiq at-Tayr’ streamlined by Marjan Fuladvand for children and young adults.

Simorgh (Phoenix), a bird in Iranian mythology and literature, plays a significant role in some Persian classics, such as the ‘Shahnameh’ (Persian Book of Kings) by Ferdowsi and the ‘Mantiq at-Tayr’ (The Conference of the Birds).

In Attar’s parable-like poem, the birds of the world gather to decide who is to be their sovereign. The hoopoe, the wisest of them all, suggests that they should find the legendary Simorgh. At the end of the long journey, only thirty birds remain. They realize that they themselves are the ruler they seek.

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