Generation after generation

Photo essay: Iranians, young & old

by damonlynch
Warm greetings! I am a photographer from Aotearoa New Zealand. My primary interest is religion and conflict and religion and peacebuilding. If you want to buy any of my images, visit my photoshelter webpages or simply leave me a message in my guestbook. I like to write at least as much as I like to take photos. My blog: On the edge of consciousness. I love all major religions -- they all have something profound to offer. I have spent some time in Palestine and Israel and I respect Jews, Christians and Muslims equally. I have yet to meet a people who do not want to be treated with dignity and respect by others >>> See Iran slideshow with audio

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response to comments from the photographer

by damonlynch on

Thank you everyone for the feedback.

re Urban vs rural areas: urban life is interesting, and it is where I tend to spend most of my life. If you look at my photos from the West Bank, for instance, most of them are urban. However there is something special about photography in villages and fields, and I very much enjoyed my time with the nomads.

I have to point out a couple of relevant points that are not apparent from the photographs themselves. I was in Iran for a purpose that had nothing to do with photography, and one that ended up being really very intense and difficult. When I was in Tehran I simply had very little energy for photography. On one of the few times I did head out into the streets for photography, I was detained by an agressive, arrogant and zealous plainclothes policeman who tried to bundle me into his car for a ride down to the local policestation. I refused, naturally, especially because he spoke no English and I spoke barely a few words of Farsi. Through a third person who did some interpretation, he claimed it was illegal for me to take photos. It was not a pleasant encounter. Some time later, when I was in Esfahan, I spoke with a tourist policeman whose English was fluent. His main job is to make sure tourists are safe and sound. He and his colleague were extremely nice. When I recounted the story to them of what happened to me in Tehran, he said that I had done nothing wrong and that if I were to report the plainclothes policeman "he would be severely punished". I was pleased to hear this, but I did not report him because I had bigger things I needed to take care of.

re the location of the waterfall: it is ocated in Semirom, a most charming small city.

re "Animal cruelty": The donkey was not overloaded. The two at the back jumped on just as I was about to take the photo. The donkey is healthy and could easily carry their weight.


Islamic Rural Towns vs. Christian Rural Towns = Same

by Iranian Muslim (not verified) on

Salam Alaykom,

Something I should mention is that Islamic Rural Towns like this in Iran and the Christian Rural towns in Utah, West Virginia, Alabama, Colorado, New Mexico, and so on all have similar traits.

However, my question is that do we see as many rural photos of the USA as we do of Iran in the media?

Considering that Iran is on the rise as a world superpower...we should see the cities that are responsible for the technilogical progress and why Iran produces so many educated people? Why 60% of Iran's college educated are women? Point is that if allowed to thrive, without the Western yoke of dominance, Iran will surpass not only every one of it's Arab, Jew, Turkish, Indian, etc. neighbors...but also Europe and the USA.

Iranians (Persians) have always been the most intelligent people in history...even Alexander (the not so great) kept "A Persian" as his counselor as did Attila The Hun...who had a Persian advisor. Oh and of course...let's not forget the Persian Salman who was an advisor to the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Allah (swt) has given the Persians (Iranians) a gift of intelligence, which we need to use for our nation as well as others as long as it brings forth positive change.

These pictures are beautiful, however I would like to see more Iranian Urban Technilogical Development featured as well as Universities and Restaurants etc. Thank you again. Khoda negahdar.


I said once before that

by Heydar (not verified) on

I said once before that these pictures are pure art of photography and that is all. Why some idiots like Hajjiagha bring the problem of life in Canada in first place. Why can't you go to ESL-101 and learn some english for God's sake! This photographer just wanted to share his artistic skill and inovation for these fine pictures. This has nothing to do with politics, taxes, etc.... Vasalam!



by Anonymous-- (not verified) on

I am not sure, but Hajiagha may have dyslexia, which is problems with the written language, even with his native tongue, Persian.



by Zarebin (not verified) on

One more time you proved to be a first rate idiot. You have lived in Canada for so long and cant even say/write one fucking sentence that makes sense.


Hajiagha, donkey is bandeh khoda too.

by Anonymouse on

That donkey is a bandeh khodah (god's creature) like you and me.  You can consider that donkey the Iranian people and the 4 people sitting on him as the Mullahs.  Does that help? That guy in the back is young, strong and healthy and can walk but it appears that he has less brain than the donkey.  Or he is just striking a pose for the photographer in which case the photograher has less brain than the donkey, although the picture is telling.


go bring donkey in canada and keep in 5 star hotel

by hajiagha on

this guy so funny he worry about donkey over 1000 years donkey in Iran live like that and happy as we are in west, we take care of animals cat or Dog more then are children .and why I like to live in Iran but not here  people here are looks to me mentaly problems , I can send you a hundred photo from canadian and I promise non of them can have happy face as this guy on this photo they relax , each morning you should see a face of people in Bus or in metro in shop in USA or mostly Canada they are crying , why? because life is so hard here , we can not see are problems but sharp to see in Iran and cry for them go and cry about own life they are happy as are. no TAX, not so many pay bills or....


nice photo I wish be there

by hajiagha on

The photographer can not go and search and search to meet one sad face or homeless, man, life is normal every where also in Iran problems we have only with regime is not democratic regime others life in Iran is not bad as you thinks or all propaganda, I wish I can back and help my people but we need better regime in Iran we have  200.000 homeless in Canada in best country in world with oil or gas diamond, large forest...what you talking about  life is hard in Iran move here when you get homeless I tell you how life Can be hard in cold -40


Great Pictures

by Heydar (not verified) on

I thought these are great pictures of normal rural family life in Iran. It is not offensive nor distasteful. They are taken in a natural and artistic mode, a good photographer knows how to take one in that moment. These pictures are great and show the real feeling, innosence, and time. Thanks for posting.


Animal cruelty

by Anonymous2008 (not verified) on

Enjoyed these pictures. So sad to see (picture 7) that people in this day and age, so casually abuse animals. Two large individuals with two kids on a small donkey. There should be laws against it.


we know iran has human beings.

by Anonymous_Flowers (not verified) on

can we get something with actual substance? i mean, pictures of happy rural folks mean nothing. infact its a lie. IRANIANS ARE MISERABLE, TIRED, AND SICK. they want freedom. simple, eh


Not very interesting...They

by Anonymous60 (not verified) on

Not very interesting...They don't represent only the rural areas of the south...Iran is a diverse country with diverse people and climate...I'm sick of people who are biased and have a pre-conceived notion of how brown people should look like...boring overall.


Why mostly rural areas?

by Shahriar on

Damon, thank you for great pictures. I wonder why you mostly focus on rural areas? I've seen the same tendency in Riccardo Zipoli's photographs.

Is it harder to take pictures in the cities? Or are you simply not interested in urban life?


Generation after generation

by Faribors Maleknasri M.D. (not verified) on

Naturally beautiful. I love them all, i have downloaded them, the PICS. Thank you, Thanks for Sharing. Really enjoyed. Young and Old all Individuals look so healthy and happy. Without any Problems, any worries. It seems that the ones who can weave a carpet do it in thier home in thier own account. and the agriculture is florrishing, animallivestock breeding as well. Thank you also for the Adress



Really enjoyed it, Thanks

by ramintork on


These people seemed to have enjoyed being photographed and at the same time they look very natural. Great lighting, nice colour pallete, plus the emphasis is on the positive, I also checked out the other collections on Photoshelter and really enjoyed it.


Thank you

by Nadias on

I loved the photos and the slide presentation on the web link provided by cat.

It was really a nice video. :o)


Solh va Doosti (paz a vosotros)




by hamidbak on

Well done mate


Thanks for sharing. where

by Anonymous5 (not verified) on

Thanks for sharing. where are the first three pictures from, with the waterfall?


I loved it, thank you for

by cat (not verified) on

I loved it, thank you for sharing. Someone put it as a slide presentation with music:


Mohammad Ala

Naturally beautiful.

by Mohammad Ala on


The pictures are naturally beautiful.