Her name is Saltanat. Her relatives, children, grand children, great grand children and friends call her Aunt Sally (Khalleh Sally – short for Saltanat). No one, not even her children, know for sure how old she really is. But older relatives and friends swear that she is OVER 110!
Though her health has been deteriorating of late, Aunt Sally still lives by herself in a mud house located in the village of Lavlichi on the edge of Iran's central plains between Isfahan and Naeen.
Aunt Sally has never taken so much as a single Aspirin or used a band aid for a cut on her hands. She owns a few goats and free range chickens and a constant supply of eggs, milk, cheese and yogurt. The village has a ghanat (Iran's native irrigation mechanism) that gives her enough fresh water to grow a few patches of tomatoes, carrots and keep a few fruit trees alive.
The nearest important and happening place is the township of Tudeshk which straddles the main transit highway connecting Tehran to the Persian Gulf port of Bandar Abbas. People of this region endure a harshly dry desert climate.
In the absence of large scale and profitable farming, the main source of income for a large portion of the population in the area has been the production of hand knotted Persian rugs, mainly of Tudeshk and Naeen designs.