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Amazing Iran: ASHURA '07

By Iason Athanasiadis (

At a time when talk of a military strike against Iran looms ever larger, it's often easy to lose sight of the fact that Iran is one of the most visually stunning countries in the world....

Having just returned from a memorable one-week trip around Iran, during the Ashura festival, I wanted to send all of you on this list a few samples of this country and temporarily lighten the political fare that I'm usually serving up...


A barefoot band troop wearing mourning black and gold-trimmed sashes with
the legend “Ya Fatemeh Zahra”

Worry-beads and rings decorate the hands
of one of the actors participating in a
procession to commemorate Ashura in
Khomeynishahr, outside

Four exhausted, mud-covered friends sit in a Paykan modified for Ashura in
Khorramabad, western Iran, at the conclusion of the festival

Two Ashura drums on the back of a truck with the legend Ya Hossein written
on one in the town of Khorramabad, western Iran

Ashura decorations in Khomeynishahr, outside Esfahan

A horse goes berserk in the middle of a procession to commemorate Ashura
in Khomeynishahr, outside Esfahan

Women adjust their chadors in a side-street in Khorramabad on Ashura,
western Iran

A child sitting inside the family Paykan plays with hand-prints

Having covered themselves with mud, the men of Khorramabad stand next
to bonfires to dry off before heading off on mourning processions on Ashura

 little girl in Khorramabad, western Iran, plays with the blood-stained legend
“Ya Hossein” daubed onto the family car

Women sit smoking the ghaliun in Khorramabad, western Iran, during Ashura

Men step over the blood of a just-sacrificed sheep during an Ashura mourning
procession in Khorramabad, western

A man in Khorramabad, western Iran, takes a break from mourning with coffee
and cigarette (his Reebok T-shirt couldn’t help but remind me of English ravers
in the middle of mud-soaked fields in

A boy holds up a microphone to amplify the sound of music during an Ashura
mourning procession
About: Iason Athanasiadis a Tehran-based writer and photographer currently writing a book on contemporary Iranian society. You can visit his web site for further photography from Iran and the region.
Related Articles:
Amazing Iran - by Iason Athanasiadis

... Payvand News - 2/14/07 ... --

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