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Iranian photographer wins awards at World Photo Press


Sources: Tehran Times & World Press Photo

Iranian photographer Ebrahim Noruzi has won two awards at the World Photo Press 2013. The winners of the world's largest and most prestigious annual press photography contest were announced on Friday. Noruzi won the first prize of the Observed Portraits Section for his photo collection "Victims of Forced Love".

A photo from Ebrahim Noruzi's collection "Victims of Forced Love", which won the first prize of the Observed Portraits Section at the World Photo Press contest in 2013
see the whole collection

The collection depicts the aftermath of an attack in Iran, during which a man poured acid over the faces of his wife, Somayyeh Mehri, and his two daughters, Rana and Nazanin, while they were sleeping at home in a village in the southeastern city of Bam in 2012.

Ra'na was attacked with acid by her father.
From Ebrahim Noruzi's collection "Victims of Forced Love"

Somayeh Mehri, 29, and her three-year-old daughter Ra'na live in a small town in one of the poorest regions in Iran. Somayeh's husband, Amir Afghanipour, a thief and drug addict, hit her and locked her up many times. If she followed through with plans to divorce, he threatened that she would not live her life with her face. Then one night in June 2011, he poured a bucket of acid on his wife and child while they slept. Their faces, hands, and bodies were severely burned; Somayeh lost her ability to see and Ra'ana lost one of her eyes. Somayeh still needs hundreds of surgeries and Ra'na needs more than 70. The government and villagers have paid for some of these surgeries, sometimes selling their land to pay for more operations.

Ebrahim Noroozi
Born in 1980 in Tehran, Iran. He began working as a professional photographer in 2004, with Fars News Agency. His photographs have appeared nationally and internationally, in such publications as The New York Times, Time, The Washington Post, and have been distributed by Agence France-Presse, the Associated Press, Reuters, United Press International, and the European Press Photo Agency.

Noruzi also won the second prize at the Staged Portraits Stories Section for his photo collection "Mournful".

The collection features the rituals of mourning season of Muharram in Lorestan Province, especially in Khoramabad in Iran.

A photo from Ebrahim Noruzi's collection "Mournful"
see the whole collection

Khoram-Abad, Iran - In different Shiite areas, mourning for Moharam takes various forms. One of the traditional ways in Iran is 'fourthly pulpits', held every year in Lorestan province, especially in Khoram-Abad, a city 310 miles away from Tehran. In this ceremony on the ninth day of Moharam, the first and most important Shiite month, women from different classes gather barefoot - traditionally wearing black mourning clothes - with covered faces and go to 40 different pulpits called 'saqa-khaneh'. They light a candle in silence to show their respects for Imam Husain, the grandson of the Prophet Mohammad who was slain in battle during the month, while waiting for him to accept their wishes.

World Press Photo is an independent, non-profit organization based in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

The awards ceremony is held in the Oude Kerk in Amsterdam.

After the contest, the prizewinning photographs are assembled into a traveling exhibition that is visited by over a million people in 40 countries.

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