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Untitled 2007-09-15

Of all the things I've discovered in this world that makes me happy, this is definitely in the top five: showing children their pictures immediately after capture. The instant gratification of seeing their face on a 3" screen always turns their innocent nervousness about standing in front of the camera into uncontrollable laughter and excitement. Then their friends jump in and start making faces, then each tries to get closer to the camera lens, and before you know it, they all fall on top of each other in a pile, overdosed on dopamine.

So, contrary to the conclusions I insinuated in the past two images, there is thread of happiness and hope in this country. Life is hard and the social pressures immense, but secretly, optimism exists. Everyone has a hidden talent for happiness. With strong family networks, and an array of simple yet creative activities, everyone is creating a gratifying and fulfilling environment for themselves. This is ingrained in the psyche of every human being.

My inability to see the residual traces of this thread is due to my tendency to compare cultures and environments. But in order to understand a new culture, I have learned to abandon my previous experiences, and to absorb whatever it offers.

So I will explore. I will chase this faint thread. I will go deeper in the country. With that big tank of a truck in the background. I'm planning a road trip for late next week. Hopefully this new hypothesis sticks..

Comments (10)

  • This is one of the most interesting blogs I've ever read. The commentary is very enlightening, especially since it involves a culture so foreign to so many of us. From your thoughts I can guess that you are very conflicted about your experiences; unsure about which lens to use to understand it. Many could say you are looking too deep in something that perhaps either does not exist, or that it does exist, but you are unwilling to accept it. Either way, I have subscribed to the RSS and look forward to reading more about the "hypothesis."

    Nathan @ Sep-15-2007
  • Should of taken anthropology or sociology instead of international relations, Salar!!!!

    love yor work like always.
    Rebecca @ Sep-15-2007
  • I love your work, keep shooting!

    Have nice and safe trip my friend!

    Your friend from Greece.
    Evi @ Sep-16-2007
  • Road Trip, why didn't you let me know? I would have booked a ticket to make it for such a trip:(
    Steven Renaud @ Sep-17-2007
  • a lovely shot,i like his smile :D
    kheoh yee wei @ Sep-19-2007
  • Wonderful story to this shot. What a simple pleasure... beautiful.
    Daniel Seguin @ Sep-21-2007
  • My dear friend,

    How many years and lifetimes have passes since we were a mere elevator ride away from eachother. I was directed to your site by a mutual friend and am both impressed and dumbfounded by what you have undertaken. I commend your bravery and am blown away by the honesty of your words and your images. I hope that your thread leads you to what it is that you seek. There is the age-old cliche that says home is where the heart is. In the thirteen years since I last left foot on Iranian soil, I have not felt it my home for precisely that reason. Today, and until your return, that has changed, because a part of my heart will always be where my dear friend is.

    Sarvi @ Sep-24-2007
  • Excellent portrait work.
    Tomasz @ Sep-27-2007
  • yes i agree, great pictures and commentaries. your passion for your country is easily seen =)
    laurencepak. @ Sep-29-2007
  • A splendid portrait with a beautiful light...
    Florian @ Oct-01-2007

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