Tehran, 6 June 2005
- Reza Deghati, the Iranian-born photojournalist, has been awarded with the
chevalier medal of France's highest honorary decoration, ordre national du merit.
Reza Deghati has been selected for the honor by French President,
Jacques Chirac, because of his attempts to
revive the freedom of press, to develop the freedom of speech around the world,
and to help revive children's rights.
Deghati was born in 1952 in
Tabriz, northeast of Iran, and was introduced to photography when he was just 14
years old. His life as a professional photojournalist started in 1978 with his
cooperation with Agence France-Press (AFP) and Newsweek magazine. He now works
with the National Geography.
He worked several years of his life to
picture war in different regions of the world including Afghanistan and was an
acquaintance of Ahmad Shah Masoud, the great Afghan militant. After the
conclusion of war between Russia and Afghanistan, Deghati accepted the
responsibility of distributing the international aids in the war-stricken
country. He moreover founded the non-profit cultural foundation of Ażna in
Kabol, Afghanistan, aiming at the revival of media, the establishment of free
press, and the dissemination of culture there. So far, the institute has
educated more than hundreds of Afghans girls and boys in journalism,
photography, drawing, and cinematography, sending them out to the professional
Reza Deghati's photos of the Caspian Sea region which were May
1999's main feature in National Geographic magazine were the outcome of his
spending more than three years on this project -- the largest ever regarding the
Caspian Sea -- including six months of actual shooting in the Republics of
Azerbaijan, Daghestan, Russia, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan. A few of his photos
are from Iran taken some 20 years before the project.
Deghati is also
the founder of the website Webistan which can be reached at
Reza Deghati at National Geographic:
Reza Deghati at France's Senate