Handing it to War

Photo essay: Surviving civilian victims of the Iran-Iraq War

by Mehdi Monem

Mehdi Monem's portraits of victims of the Iran-Iraq War are the result of years of effort. He was a photojournalist during that 8-year war and documented its impact on the people of Iran. With the support of the International Committee of the Red Cross, 96 of these portraits have been published in a collection titled "Victims of War". The objective is to pay more attention to defense-less civilians, prevent attacks on them during war, and ultimately spread the message of peace and friendship.

عکسهای قربانیان جنگ عراق و ایران حاصل تلاش چندین ساله مهدی منعم عکاس ایرانی است. او که از جنگ هشت ساله دو کشورنیز عکاسی کرده، سالها در ارتباط با آثار جنگ و تاثیر آن بر مردم ایران عکس هایی تهیه کرده که با حمایت دفتر کمیته بین المللی صلیب سرخ در تهران کتابی با عنوان قربانیان جنگ با 96 قطعه عکس در 112 صفحه به صورت سیاه و سفید و به منظور توجه بیشتر به غیر نظامیان بی دفاع و عدم حمله به آنها در جنگ و ستیزها و در نهایت با پیام صلح و دوستی و زندگی در آرامش به چاپ رسیده است. کتاب قربانیان جنگ از سه بخش: قربانیان غیر نظامی مین های زمینی،قربانیان غیرنظامی بمباران ها و حملات موشکی به شهرها و قربانیان غیر نظامی سلاح های شیمیایی تشکیل شده است.عکس ها در ارتباط با مردم غیر نظامی پنج استان هم مرز با عراق است که در نتیجه جنگ دچار معلولیت و مصدومیت شده اند می باشد.


maziar 58


by maziar 58 on


forgive but not forget.;                    Maziar

American Dream

Iran Iraq war

by American Dream on

The Iran Iraq war is over.  It is 2009.  Iran and Iraq have a friendly relationship now.  Let us hope the kind relationship between the two countries continues.

Azarin Sadegh

Disturbing...yet unforgettable!

by Azarin Sadegh on

Thank you so much for sharing your incredible art with us!

Your pictures are moving, heartbreaking to the point of being totally disturbing...but I think it just proves your genius! These images are unforgettable, stunning, and painful to watch! At the same time, as we move away from this page, we simply realize that no one could ever survive a war.

Thanks again, Azarin



Mola Nasredeen: What Saddam started, Khomeini continued

by AMIR1973 on

Indeed, the Iran-Iraq war was an enormous tragedy for our people (and the Iraqis too). Indeed, you are correct to blame arms manufacturers in Europe, U.S., China, and Eastern bloc countries. However, after Iraqi forces were expelled from Iran in 1982-83, Iraq offered terms to Iran to end the war--terms that were rather favorable to Iran. However, Khomeini refused to accept these terms and instead urged the continuation of the war to liberate Karbala and from there to Qods. Most of the casualties and damage done to Iran was done in the years 1983-88.


WAR is HELL!!!

by Khar on


all wars are destructive & inhumane

by iranbrave on

Mr. Monem,

Many thanks for sharing with us such powerful photos! It seems that it is only the ordinary people who pay the price of any war. For what?! For the selfish and infinite greed of some maniacs!


Remarkable pictures

by ramintork on

The juxtaposition with other members of family makes these people real and not just victims.

These photos have so much human depth, they show the mastery of the photographer in that despite capturing the heart of the subject, there is nothing that appears contrived about the result.

There is a subtle poetry in this human tragedy, even an element of black comedy. Style wise it could fit very well within the Magnum publications.

#4 Man and woman with missing legs,

#7 That portrait and posture is iconic

#11 with the juxtaposition of an iconic middle eastern concept of beauty against the woman with missing limb.

# 20 with the beautiful inquisitive eye of a child against a background of a man that has his mouth covered.



Robust yet sad...

by Eradatmand on

This peregrination on path of war leaves the viewer a gloomy effect. It is real. Its strength comes from the black and white images that reflect the subtle dominance of truth. Hopefully Mr. Monem will bring more of the healing into view, by focusing on future and new generation, because life has to go on.


Mola Nasredeen

Victims of Wars..

by Mola Nasredeen on

of all wars including the victims of Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine and now Pakistan's wars. All located in the Middle East and all muslim countries being occupied, bombed and destroyed. In every war, I've learned, we need to find out who's profiting from it. Those individauls, corporations and nations are the real war criminal.

Today's news: Israel drone to by used by Germany in Afghanistan: //news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20091028/ap_on_re_mi_ea/ml_israel_germany_drone 


Mr. Monem, Your

by Sid Sarshar on

Mr. Monem,

Your photographs WILL make a difference in this world.  I know that is the reason you took these images.  Keep up the good work

Neda ye Iran e Azad

Incredibly powerful

by Neda ye Iran e Azad on

I couldn't stop crying when I saw the photo of the blind boy... You are a gifted photographer. Thank you for the meaningful work... 

سبز سبز تا بهار



by yolanda on

Thank you for the powerful and poignant images! It is so sad that I/I war has killed and maimed so many people....captions are not needed for these pictures....hopefully no more bloody wars...

Thanks for posting this collection of photos.


this must be shared with the world!

by kfravon on

indeed painful to watch, but quite an eye-opener!

i'll be checking out "able" next..


thank you!


Amazing pictures - Like Carved in the stone

by pars35 on

Every time I see new Pictures of Iran and Iraq war, I curse Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. At least one is in hell now


Picture 19, tells it all. Sorrow on mother's face, sister who ran out of
tears, and angry father. I feel for them.  May they find peace some day soon  


Thank you for sharing this

by benross on

Thank you for sharing this treasure.


Mr. Siletz

by capt_ayhab on

I second that motion, Indeed they are teachers of heroism and survival.

What an amazingly wonderful work the artist has done.


Ari Siletz

تکان دهنده

Ari Siletz

Pays respect to the subjects. They are teachers, not objects of pity.


You can almost touch them!


Great Art!



by Aref-Adib on

These are amazing photos.  Thanks for sharing!


how painful

by IRANdokht on

These pictures tell the heart-wrenching story of the irreparable damages of a war that should have never happened.

I hate war! any war, anywhere!

This is a remarkable work with a great purpose. Thanks! 


Darius Kadivar


by Darius Kadivar on

Former French PResident François Mitterand sold arms to both Iran and Iraq.

His Son has been convicted to 6 years along with former Minister of Interior Charles Pasqua for what is known today as the "Angola Gate"


I wonder if those responsible for the sales that led to the death of 2 million Iranian and Iraqis in one of the most bloodiest and longest conflicts of the 20th century will EVER be convicted ?

Let's hope so one day ....

Darius Kadivar

Some of His photos are currently at Musée Branly in Paris

by Darius Kadivar on

For the following exhibit "165 years of Iranian photography":

Standing still

I saw This particular photo on French TV report on the Quai Branly Exhibition :


Quite Impressing stuff and painful to watch.


Jahanshah Javid


by Jahanshah Javid on

Mehdi Monem has done humanity great service in documenting the impact of inhumanity in such a striking fashion.

One of the first of these series ["Able"] was published on iranian.com 12 years ago. I highly recommend you take a look.

And I'll never forget Monem's magnificent Isfahani cowboy on our second cover page :o)