Today is Saturday; 11th of the Iranian month of Ordibehesht 1400 solar hijri; corresponding to 18th of the Islamic month of Ramadhan 1442 lunar hijri; and May 1, 2021, of the Christian Gregorian Calendar.
Over three millennium lunar years ago, on this day (Ramadhan 18) God Almighty granted Zabour or the Book of Psalms to Prophet David (Dawoud), whose excellent tone in reciting the praise of the Lord Most High, used to enrapture birds and beasts of the wilderness. Like all other Prophets of God, David foretold of the advent of Islam and the Last and Greatest Messenger, Prophet Mohammad (SAWA).
693 solar years ago, on this day in 1328 AD, wars of Scottish Independence ended, and by the Treaty of Edinburgh–Northampton the Kingdom of England recognized the Kingdom of Scotland as an independent state.
477 solar years ago, on this day in 1544 AD, Hungary was conquered by Ottoman Turks and for over some two centuries remained under their rule as the province of Majarestan.
321 solar years ago, on this day in 1700 AD, British poet, literary critic, translator, and playwright, John Dryden, who was made Poet Laureate in 1668, died at the age of 68 in London. He is seen as dominating the literary life of Restoration England to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles as the Age of Dryden. His major works include "Astraea Redux”, "The Wild Gallant” – a comedy composed in 1663, "The Indian Emperor” – a tragedy written in 1665 on the Spanish conquest of America and oppression of the native Amerindians, and "Aurganzeb” written in 1675. The last one is based loosely on the figures of Aurangzeb, the then-reigning Mughal Emperor of India; his brother, Murad Baksh; and their father, Shah Jahan (Emperor). The piece is the last drama that Dryden wrote in rhymed verse. It is considered his best heroic work.
314 solar years ago, on this day in 1707 AD, the Act of Union joined the Kingdom of England and Kingdom of Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, although the union of the Scottish and English crowns had practically occurred on 24 March 1603, following the death of Queen Elizabeth I and the accession to the throne of England by Scotland’s James VI, as James I of the United Kingdom.
252 solar years ago, on this day in 1769 AD, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, Irish-English field marshal and politician, and Prime Minister of Britain, famous for his defeat of France’s Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo in 1814, was born in Dublin. He joined the British Army in 1787. A colonel by 1796, he saw action in the Netherlands and in India, where he fought in the Fourth Anglo-Mysore War at the Battle of Seringapatam which the British treacherously imposed on Fath Ali Khan Tipu Sultan to depose and kill him in violation of the treaty with the Muslim kingdom of Mysore. Promoted Major-General, he won a decisive victory over the Maratha Confederacy at the Battle of Assaye in 1803, mainly because of the support provided to the British by the premier Muslim ruler of India, Nizam ul-Mulk Asef Jah of Haiderabad-Deccan. Later in his memoirs, he would recall the Battle of Assaye as more crucial, strategic and deadly than Waterloo. A blot on his career is the senseless destruction of the palaces of the Nizam-Shahi rulers inside the Ahmadnagar Fort. Wellesley rose to prominence as a general during the Napoleonic Wars, and was promoted to the rank of field marshal after leading the allied forces to victory against the French at the Battle of Vitoria in 1813. Following Napoleon’s exile in 1814, he served as the ambassador to France and was granted a dukedom, with the title Duke of Wellington. His battle record is exemplary; he ultimately participated in some 60 battles. After ending his active military career, he turned to politics and was twice British prime minister from 1828 to 1830 and for a little less than a month in 1834. He continued as one of the leading figures in the House of Lords until his retirement and remained Commander-in-Chief of the British Army till his death at the age of 83 at Walmer Castle, Kent.
146 lunar years ago, on this day in 1296 AH, prominent Iranian literary figure and researcher, Mirza Abdul-Azim Khan Qareeb, was born in the northeastern Iranian city of Gorgan. Following completion of preliminary studies, he conducted extensive research on grammar, logic, mathematics, and literature, and later lectured on literature. He left behind numerous compilations for promotion of Persian language and literature, including the book: "Farsi Grammar”, and "Badaayat al-Adab, Fawaa’ed al-Adab”, which includes the best works of renowned Iranian authors and poets, and their biographies. He also corrected a number of classical Persian literature works, including "Boostan”, and "Golestan” of the famous Iranian poet, Shaikh Mosleh od-Din Sa’di
132 solar years ago, on this day in 1889 AD, upon the decision of The International Labour Congress, this day was named as the International Workers’ Day in commemoration of the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago, when the US police fired on 40,000 peaceful workers during a general strike for the 8-hour workday, killing several demonstrators and resulting in the deaths of several police officers, largely from the so-called ‘friendly’ fire. Later in 1889, a meeting in Paris for the centennial of the French Revolution, called for international demonstrations in May 1890 on the 1st anniversary of the Chicago massacre. This was followed by the May Day Riots of 1894. A decade later in 1904, the International Socialist Conference in Amsterdam called on Social Democratic Party organizations and trade unions worldwide to demonstrate on May 1 for legal establishment of the 8-hour work day, for the demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace. Thus, May Day is marked officially in 80 countries and unofficially in many others, except for the US and Canada, which as the capitalist societies, are afraid of the workers’ demand for their natural rights. In the Islamic Republic of Iran, every year ceremonies are held on this day to appreciate the efforts of workers and hard-working labourers. Following the victory of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, Iranian officials have taken into consideration the honour and dignity of labourers in Islam and have paid special attention to this stratum of the society.
106 solar years ago, on this day in 1915 AD, during World War I, German forces defeated Russian forces in Poland. The Czarist army’s failure in World War I, coupled with economic poverty and the totalitarian monarchial system, were the prime reasons behind the Russian Revolution and its hijacking by the communists in October 1917.
51 solar years ago, on this day in 1970 AD, Iranian poet, author, and painter, Ismail Ashtiani, passed away. After completing his studies at Tehran’s Dar ol-Fonoun Academy, he learned painting under the acclaimed Iranian painter, Kamal ol-Mulk. Later he became a teacher at Dar al-Fonoun and in 1928 its principal. He soon established the academy’s library and introduced new courses such as history of arts and mathematics in the curriculum. He has left behind numerous paintings. Among his literary works, mention can be made of his Diwan of poetry, and European Travelogue. Given his relentless and untiring efforts in teaching, Ismail Ashtiani was awarded an honorary PhD in 1946.
43 solar years ago, on this day in 1978 AD, the Soviet Union’s Armenian music composer and conductor, Araam Khachaturian, died at the age of 75 in Moscow and was buried in Yerevan, capital of the Republic of Armenia. Considered one of the leading musicians of the erstwhile USSR, he was born to parents who from near Ordubad in the former Iranian Khanate of Nakhichevan, and raised in Tbilisi, the multicultural capital of Georgia, which was for centuries part of Iran. He moved to Moscow in 1921 following the Sovietization of the Caucasus. His first major work "Piano Concerto” (in 1936), popularized his name within and outside the Soviet Union. It was followed by "Violin Concerto” (in 1940) and "Cello Concerto” (in 1946). His other significant compositions include the "Masquerade Suite” (in 1941), the Anthem of the Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic (in 1944), three symphonies and around 25 film scores. Khachaturian is best known for his ballet music "Gayane” (in 1942) and "Spartacus” (in 1954). His most popular piece, the "Sabre Dance” from "Gayane”, has been used extensively in popular culture and has been covered by a number of musicians worldwide.
39 solar years ago, on this day in 1982 AD, the Bayt al-Moqaddas operations were launched by Iran’s Muslim combatants in the southwestern war zone to drive out the Ba’thist occupation forces from Iran’s soil. Twenty-five days later, Iran liberated the whole areas including the port city of Khorramshahr, resulting in the death of 16,000 enemy troops, the capture of 19,000 others, and the downing of scores of warplanes.
19 solar years ago, on this day in in 2002 AD, the multilingual Bahraini-Indian writer and poet, Ibrahim al-Arrayedh (إبراهيم العريّض) passed away in Manama in the Persian Gulf island of Bahrain at the age of 94. Generally considered to be one of Bahrain’s greatest poets and a leader of the Bahraini literary movement in the 20th century, he was born in Bombay, India. His father was a Bahraini pearl trader and his mother was an Iraqi, who died when he was only two months old. His first visit to Bahrain was in 1922, at the age of fourteen. He pursued his studies in India until the completion of secondary school, specializing in Persian and English languages, alongside Urdu. He later studied Urdu literature at the Aligarh Muslim University. On settling in Bahrain as an English teacher, he began to study Arabic and immersed himself in the works of prominent Arab poets. During World War 2, he returned to India and worked at the radio station. Ibrahim al-Arrayedh began writing poetry at the age of 18, and his first set of poems was published in Baghdad in 1931, when he was 23. Since he was multilingual, he translated the works of poets between Persian, Hindi, Urdu, English, and Arabic. His poems were popular in Iraq, Syria and Egypt. Ibrahim al-Arrayedh was elected as Chairman of the Constituent Assembly in 1972 to draft Bahrain’s first constitution after independence from Britain. He was appointed as Ambassador at large in 1974 and later as ambassador extraordinary plenipotentiary at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs until the time of his death in 2002. Among his works are two poetic dramas, four critical studies of Arabic poetry, one poetry collection in Urdu and another in English. He also translated the famous Iranian astronomer-poet, Oman Khayyam’s "rubaiyyaat” (quatrains), from Persian into Arabic in 1966. Throughout his life, al-Arrayedh lectured widely and travelled extensively to participate in conferences and debates in the field of poetry.
17 solar years ago, on this day in 2004 AD, Iranian author, Kiyoumars Saberi Foumani, passed away at the age of 63. His opposition to Pahlavi dictatorial rule led him to write political satirical poems. Following the victory of the Islamic Revolution, he wrote articles on political and social topics, under the penname "Gol Aqa”, which later took the form of a highly popular satirical magazine. He has left behind a number of books.
17 solar years ago, on this day in 2004 AD, with membership of ten more countries, the European Union turned into a 25-member commercial bloc. The new member states are from Central and Eastern Europe, namely: Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, and Slovakia, as well as the two Mediterranean Sea island states of Malta, and Cyprus. There are, however, deep political, economic, and social disparities among the EU’s old and new member states. In 2007, Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU, whose member states now number 27.