Under the Orange Tree

Photo essay: A slice of life in rural Ramsar and Shahsavar

by Sid Sarshar
These photographs were taken during Dec. 2011 and Feb 2012 in northern Iran revealing a slice of life in rural communities (roostas) located between Ramsar and Shahsavar. Essay starts in the town of Sadat Mahale, now Sadat Shahr on the day of Ashura. It is recommended to view the pictures sequentially. I listened to Numjoo’s Toranj as I worked on this essay.

Recently by Sid SarsharCommentsDate
Jun 26, 2012
To my friends
Apr 07, 2012
From Bakersfield to the Beach
Nov 18, 2011
more from Sid Sarshar

Nice pictures.

by Albaloo on

Nice pictures.



by Yana on

I loved all the pics especialy 75 and 81, thanks for sharing.

shad zee



Some Relies:

by Sid Sarshar on


I think the natural beauty of northern Iran is one of our national assets and can be featured more in the middle east.  Unfortunately the land escape is changing dramatically due to population growth.  Lack of proper planning is also visible.  That is why I featured some of the local builders who are trying to do the right thing by building responsibly and using local art and craft in their projects.  What is the point of building a French style villa in the mountains of shomal?

Esfand Aashena:

Thank you for the condolences.  Taking pictures of Ashura is actually not that dangerous.  Ashura is now a celebration with very little religious fervor.  It is a place to see and be seen. They actually have professional video makers filming them.  The only thing I felt uncomfortable taking pictures of was of women in public places.


My mom can say she was a cover girl.  On Iranian.com that is.  Thanks to you.


Let me know when you get home sick and I will send you a few pictures from Rasht, Lahijan, Langerood,…..

Anahid Hojjati

Thanks Sid for the excellent pictures

by Anahid Hojjati on

That part of Iran is very beautiful and I enjoyed looking at these pictures. thanks for sharing.

Esfand Aashena

Wondeful pictures, people, places and togetherness!

by Esfand Aashena on

My condolences for the recent passing of your mother.  May she rest in peace and you carry her good memories.

These were wonderful pictures though taking pictures of Ashoura, especially during the rituals, can be risky!  Glad you made it!

What is better than see these pictures the day after the Separation Oscar Win! 

Everything is sacred

Jahanshah Javid


by Jahanshah Javid on

Wonderful pictures Sid. And I loved the personal touch.


home sick

by Roozbeh_Gilani on

Cant wait for my next trip back home.

Thanks a lot for sharing

 "Personal business must yield to collective interest."


Bambi and Mr. Ala

by Sid Sarshar on

Thank you Bambi, I am glad you liked the pictures,


Mr. Ala, I do have fond memories of my parents.  Even though I was separated from them at a young age to come to America for studies.  I also agree with your comment about religion.  It is part of us.



by bambi on

Loved your pictures, thanks for sharing.

Mohammad Ala

Nice pictures.... nice country.

by Mohammad Ala on

Mr. Sarshar, thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures of Iran and Iranians.  I hope you live with good memories of your parents.

I have good memories of Ramsar and Shahsavar visiting many places on foot.  Love the sir-torshi on every sofreh.

(Religious pictures are good for those who think Iranians are not religious, in my view, mostly khorafat).




by پندارنیک on

..........on those who advocate hardship and destruction upon our good people and beautiful land.............

Ye ghesseh az kaakh oon mardak taryaaki, gholamreza pahlavi dar Raamsar daaram ke age omri baaghi bood ba'dan vaasatoon migam.........