A road trip through Iran

 

The 1st of August 2018 marked the beginning of my road trip across Iran, a country that is a less traveled destination by many due to how its portrayed in the media. Nonetheless, I was keen on traveling there to explore some of its regions and get to know more about the traditions and cultures of the people living there. I mainly headed north west, passing through Azerbaijan and Kurdistan provinces continuing down to Sanandaj on the border with Iraq and back to Tehran, a drive of a total 3500 km in 10 days.

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In the very few days that followed my arrival, I almost instantly felt at home; the ease of traveling across the country and the kindness and super hospitality of the Iranians has made my trip worthwhile. I can’t recount the number of times I was offered to stay at families’ houses let alone their generous offers to pay for my meals. Apparently the etiquette of “Taarof” is embedded in their Iranian culture, it is a form of politeness or a polite refusal that nothing is of material value or as worthy as yourself. Any time I had to pay for any item or service whether in a restaurant, market, hotel or even at a petrol station (happened twice!!) I had to insist on paying. The Iranians take pride in their nation, and are very concerned about their country’s image abroad, so they will go out of their way to make sure that you have a great experience there, and I truly did.

In addition to the people, the landscapes that the country had to offer was pretty mind-blowing, from the mountains in Azerbaijan, the tropical beauty of villages along the Caspian Sea, the valleys and rivers of Alamut, and the green parks of Tehran and Tabriz, the country has a lot to offer to all types of travelers.

Here are some images from my trip to get you a better feel of the country, and if you are planning on heading there yourself, I would be more than happy to share with you some tips and recommendations. Feel free to comment and share.


 

Shavparosnebi

The Shavparosnebi or “the Blackshields” are a Georgian martial arts federation. The Georgian martial art has played an important role in Georgian history; the blackshields themselves were named after a group of Georgian partisan warriors (only men) who engaged in guerrilla warfare at night wearing their black shields and black masks. Nowadays, this Georgian tradition is being taught and revived by the young generation. A group of men and also women decided to dedicate most of their free time to practice this martial art tradition for the freedom it gives them and for the honor of being able to preserve their country’s disappearing tradition. They also provide learning opportunities to all those who are interested and they now conduct various performances in events and festivals in Georgia and around the world. 

Automobility

Street photography in Beirut following a sandstrorm.

The Others

The Others is an ongoing project that began with an idea of what could be. I've always been fascinated by many abandoned houses and mansions in and outside Beirut and especially with the palpable sense of life that they still carry. There are ghosts in these houses that have loved, lost and endured many wars. Throughout this series, the couple relive small moments of intimacy and in the final image they seem to be chained together and to a past, that however tragic, was their own.

Congratulations!

Hicham & Sarah

Hussein (aka Double A the Preacherman) & Mayan

Guiliano & Nura

 

Aerialist Seanna Sharpe

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Instagram Photos