Kish is a small resort island off the southern coast of Iran.
When Iranian people were finally allowed to travel after having stayed home during long periods of Covid quarantine, many went to Kish Island which was known as being Covid-free.
Many areas in Kish are military and the public is not allowed to enter.
I had to apply for a license to get permission to photograph many sites, including the fishing harbour, the palaces of Reza Shah and other historical monuments.
I also visited Safin, a small village of 1200 inhabitants on the Island of Kish.
The residents are mostly Arab and Sunni from the Hanbali branch, but other Iranian tribes also settled here.
They make a living by hunting, fishing and trading
Because of their religion, most Arabs in the southern regions of Iran refuse to have their photos taken.
The first time I was here, I met a beautiful little girl called Fatemeh, but her father did not allow me to photograph her.
On my second trip I saw her again and this time her father let me take pictures.
Most fisherman at the wharf are from India and Pakistan. They have a visa which allows them to work and live only in the wharf area.
They were surprised to see me as no female photographer had ever come here. They are very hardworking, fishing and gutting fish in the sun and seem satisfied with their lives. We had a good time and they were happy to let me photograph them.
Most Arabs in the southern regions of Iran forbid photography according to their religion.
And escape in front of the camera as much as they can.
So, I try to continue taking pictures by talking or in some other way. On this trip, I met Fatemeh again. Her father allowed me to take pictures this time.
_ Most of the people and fishermen in this wharf are from Pakistan and India and only have work visas. In fact, they are required to work and live only in the wharf area.
They were surprised to see a woman at the pier because no female photographers have come here so far and they also say no covid-19 has been found.
We had a good time and I was able to watch and photograph their way of life and work.
They are very hardworking and are fishing and cleaning fish under the bright sunlight. They are often young and seem to be satisfied with their presence in this area.
Mazandaran, Northern Iran
April / May 2020
By the time I returned from the Yangon Photo Festival late February 2020, Covid-19 had spread across Iran.
I stayed at home for two weeks, then quarantined at my mother’s house in Mazandaran.
The first series of pictures was taken during our 90-day quarantine. We shared the house with my brothers and their families.
Both my brothers had to go to work because quarantine was highly recommended, but not mandatory.
For 3 months, I kept the children busy and away from the TV, I taught them to act scenes from the theatre and took pictures, they loved it.
One of my nephews developed a respiratory problem and was admitted to the ICU, my brother Hossein did not see his son for 2 months, fearing transmitting Covid to his son Arad.
Second series of pictures: After seeing how our mental health had been affected during quarantine, I decided to go and explore the city and its surrounding areas.