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Those eyes
Cartoons of chadori women

Cartoons by Saman
January 2, 2001
The Iranian

Saman has been drawing cartoons for for more than a year. He has developed quite a following especially with his trademark wide-eyed chadori figure. About Saman

The year-end holidays gave Saman time to work on a whole series of cartoons, many of them featuring chadoris. There was enough to put together this feature, including new and previous works.

But why poke fun at chadoris?

The hijab -- women's clothing in public -- has been observed in the Middle East for centuries. Women in many other cultures also clothe themselves modestly, for religious or cultural reasons. But in Iran, the issue is not just religious or cultural. It is also political.

Iranian women were forced to remove their hijab (chador) in the 1920's under Reza Shah's "emancipation" and "modernization" drive. In 1979, Ayatollah Khomeini reintroduced the hijab in the name of Islam.

While in many Muslim countries women can choose whether to wear the hijab or not, in Iran it is not a choice. Any woman who dares to leave the house without her body fully covered is severely punished.

More than that, the chador has become a political symbol for those who support or oppose the Islamic Republic. Guess where Saman stands.

Click on images to see cartoons











Saman was born in Iran in 1973 and lived there until 1985. After a brief stay in Europe his family sent him to the U.S.

In the early 90's he began working for a news radio station while going to school. After four years of studying and working full-time, he earned a BS in mass communications and began a career at a major market newspaper.

In 1997 he took a painting class as an elective and discovered the world of art. Two years later he had his first oil painting exhibition to benefit the homeless; and started freelancing as a cartoonist for a magazine.

Today he has turned his passion for mass media and love of art into a career as an illustrator/graphic/web designer."Oh," he adds, "as far as my political views are expressed: No force, no violence. Just pen and paper!" To top

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