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Iran: A Different Perspective

January 9, 2012

Last week, The Atlantic posted 42 pictures as “A View Inside Iran.” Alan Tayor explains:

Iran has appeared in numerous headlines around the world in recent months, usually attached to stories about military exercises and other saber-rattlings, economic sanctions, a suspected nuclear program, and varied political struggles. Iran is a country of more than 75 million people with a diverse history stretching back many thousands of years. While over 90 percent of Iranians belong to the Shia branch of Islam — the official state religion — Iran is also home to nearly 300,000 Christians, and the largest community of Jews in the Middle East outside Israel. At a time when military and political images seem to dominate the news about Iran, I thought it would be interesting to take a recent look inside the country, to see its people through the lenses of agency photographers.

It is true that the media and our own little boxed-inness make it much too easy for us to see a nation like Iran merely as different, Other, potentially threatening, blinding us to the fact that it is actually home to a large variety of people who live their lives in much the same way as other people on this weird little planet.

There are some great photos on the Atlantic site, and I encourage you to check them all out. Here are a few of my favorites:

Iranians enjoy their holidays, at the seaside, as kites fly, in Babolsar at the southern coast of the Caspian Sea, 150 mi (250 km) northeast of the capital Tehran, on July 15, 2011. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Iranian female kart racer, Solmaz Hamzehzadeh, foreground, competes during an Iranian Karting championship race, at the Azadi sport complex, in Tehran, on June 10, 2011. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Tuche Ayar, a member of the Cerbrus Turkish robotic team, prepares her robot before a soccer match during the 6th RoboCup Iran Open 2011 Competitions soccer match in Tehran, on April 7, 2011

Iranian rollerbladers wait to hear whistle of referee, to start their competition, in a women's rollerblading championship league, at the Azadi (Freedom) sport complex, in Tehran, on June 30, 2011. (AP Photo/Vahid Salemi)

Iranian youths shoot water at each other with water guns, during water fights at the Water and Fire Park in northern Tehran, on July 29, 2011. During the summer, Iran was trying to put down a new wave of civil disobedience - flash mobs of young people who broke into boisterous fights with water guns in public parks. Dozens of water fighters were arrested and a top judiciary official warned that "counter-revolutionaries" were behind them. (AP Photo/Milad Beheshti)

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