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The spirit lives
Photo essay: Iran

By Jason Allen
November 8, 2002
The Iranian

I am an Iran-born U.S. citizen (Iranian mother, American father) who has been traveling the last 17 month through 9 developing countries (Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador, China, Thailand, Laos, Nepal, India, Pakistan, and now Turkey in that order). These are photos from my trip to Iran earlier this year -- my first visit in 27 years (I was a year old when we left the country).

From a cultural perspective Iran was the most amazing country I have ever explored. Wide and deep, the joy of family, exquisite food, 7,000 years of culture that shows, orgasmic tilework, a whole terrain of stirring classical music and poetry, a strong connection to living history, it is the sacrum of the Eurasian continent where all cultures find thier source and a deep spiritual tradition pours fourth from every direction in poetry and heart-rending song.

Political isolation, victim of mistakes and great victories, the country is cloaked thickly in mystery for a West which has only been shown repeated tape reels of black-clad people buring flags and shouting "Death to America". I have tried to reveal the rich, human side of a country, which in an environment of global war, is at risk.

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Three flowers in North Tehran.

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