As a New Zealander, Iran is a deeply mysterious country. It’s clichéd to talk about the failings of mainstream media but in the west we have been almost conditioned to fear Iran. I don’t think it’s any kind of campaign, but for westerners, the actions of the government have been equated with the feelings of the people. It’s only when you’re inside the country that you realize how wrong that assumption is.
I spent two weeks in Iran and began feeling a debt for all the kindness shown me. I had seen a picture of Palangan on flickr and hired a local guy to travel with me into Kurdistan and help me through the trip.
Some of the pictures in the photo gallery on this page were bought by the Guardian newspaper and used in an online gallery which has been shared 5,000 times on facebook. It feels immensely satisfying to have something Iranian, and positive reach such a wide audience. It isn’t much, but for the home cooked food, the taxi rides paid for by strangers, for all the little gestures of kindness I experienced as a traveler, now as a photographer I can say thank you with these images.
*Amos Chapple is an award winning photographer with Lonely Planet. He visited Iranian Kurdistan in the winter of 2011 to photograph the mountain village of Palangan where houses are built in a steep gorge so that the rooftop of one house serves as the yard of another house above. He contributed this piece with his photographs of Palangan to Jadidonline.
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