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Siavash Mozaffari, a professional musician based in San Francisco, plans to travel to Iran to record sounds from the country's traditional instruments and gather them into a sample digital library. With this project, he aims to make Persian music more accessible to the Western world.

On Kickstarter, where his "Sonic Journey Through Iran" project has already been fully funded, he explains that he wants to put these sounds "in a format that is universal amongst producers and music makers."

To do so, Mozaffari will record exotic Iranian instruments such as the Tar expand=1], the Setar expand=1], the Kamancheh expand=1], the Santoor expand=1] or the Tanbur expand=1], all played by professional Iranian musicians. He says "every single note" will be recorded "at every possible level of loudness."

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FOCUS: Russia-Ukraine War

Fight Over Tourist Visa Ban For Russians Is Taking Everyone For A Ride

High on the agenda of the Prague summit of Europe’s foreign ministers this week was a proposal to ban tourist visas for Russians, as punishment for Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. But it is ultimately a way to change the subject, and recalls Zelensky’s iconic remark after the war began.

Passengers arrive at Sheremetyevo International Airport, Russia

TASS
Anna Akage

It’s not a new question. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky had called for a ban on tourist visa for Russian soon after the war began, and this week it became the center of the Prague summit of European Union foreign ministers.

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Some European Union nations voiced their support soon after it was mentioned by Zelensky, including former Soviet republics and current Russia neighbors, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. They were followed by Finland and the Czech Republic, Denmark, and Poland. Hungary, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus. Germany and France are looking for a compromise that would allow for visas for students, workers of culture and science, as well as people who need entry for humanitarian reason. Perhaps most importantly, however, the U.S. took an unambiguous position against the restrictions.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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