Category Archives: photography


We all need a good pair of shoes 🙂  Enjoy this picture!

Blacksmith in Kandahar, Afghanistan

A blacksmith in Afghanistan’s southern city of Kandahar makes shoes for a donkey.



Filed under photography

babak’s castle

I bought a calendar with lots of beautiful pictures from different parts of Iran during our last trip in September.  This morning when I came to school, I turned the page and found myself stunned by the power of the image in front of me.  I had discovered an astonishing scene in east Azerbaijan (a province in the north west corner of Iran) that mesmerized me for a few minutes.  I imagined hiking these mountains while feeling the fresh air and the history of this castle amazingly built on a high cliff around 1000 years ago.  The calendar says that the castle belonged to a Persian soldier named Babak who fought against Iran’s foreign invasion and managed to protect himself and other soldiers in this castle for 20 years.  I don’t know how accurate this information is but I am determined to see this place next time I go to Iran.  It feels like I have been there before.  There is something in this picture that is too familiar, either the tale behind the image, the scenery, the castle itself, or a combination of them all.  Or perhaps it reminds me of the stories my grandmother (Beebee) and my most beloved secondary Beebee (Khadijeh) used to tell me when I was little, stories that always involved some sort of love story, betrayal, heroism, sacrifice, and beauty.  They were all happy ending when I was little, but somehow magically transformed into more realistic scenarios as I grew up. I miss them both very much but their stories continue to live with me and guide me as I move on.  


Image courtesy of majid_cs

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Filed under Iran, love, photography, traditions

prayer beads

Shideh, thanks for the post. The images are beautiful.  One of the pictures that caught my attention:  the one of the three men sitting with prayer beads dangling from their wrists.  The image reminded me of one of my father’s friends, Mihan.  He was from Iran; his wife was American and they and their two children were settled in a nice home with a pool.  I would often spend weekends at their house playing with the kids.  Uncle Mihan did not seem to be a particularly religious man and there wasn’t much in their household that would distinguish it as being distinctly “Irani”; yet, he would always  carry prayer beads in one hand, clicking them one by one.  The image of the men sitting in Iran made me think, what do we carry with us and why can we not let go?   What is so powerful about our traditions and culture that we continue to carry them out even in environments where they seem to have little purpose?  And what things in our culture can we compromise on and what should we never let go of?

Uncle Mihan tragically passed away from cancer, may he rest in peace.  He may have been surprised to know that one day I would remember him after seeing a picture of men in Iran.  It is interesting how he, like so many individuals we encounter, left an indelible impression on my life.


Filed under culture, homeland, photography, traditions

asian reflection

A friend sent me this website today; I liked the music and images very much and hope you’ll also enjoy watching these slides:

abshar.jpg nomad-boy.jpg takhte-jamshid.jpg masjed.jpg motor.jpg


Filed under homeland, Iran, love, music, photography, Uncategorized

born into brothels

The following series of videos are the documentary “Born into Brothels”, winner of the 77th Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. It’s a visually amazing and heartfelt documentary about a series of young people living in the red light district in Calcutta and a photographer who introduces them to the restorative power of photography. 

(Born into Brothels 1 0f 8 )

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Filed under calcutta, India, photography, youth

the power of photography


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It is amazing what images the camera lens can capture. Mundane objects that we often overlook in our daily lives take on a whole new meaning when we see them through the eyes of another. As a medium for empowering, the camera is often the most simple restorative art form. Various organizations ranging from Kids with Cameras (producers of the documentary film, Born into Brothels) to Picture Balata have utilized the art of photography to empower and build confidence in marginalized children. While photography is not a panacea for marginalization and under-development, it can help to provide a sense of purpose and hope to children who may otherwise travel down the road to despair. By looking at the world with new eyes and seeing the impact that their printed work has on others, young people can find the internal motivation they need to implement change in their lives. Isn’t this the basis of sustainable community-based development after all?

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Filed under empowerment, photography, youth