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Photos: Iran 1979-2009 by Alfred Yaghobzadeh

Alfred-Yaghobzadeh_7-iAlfred Yaghobzadeh was born in a multicultural family of an Armenian father and Assyrian mother in Teheran, Iran.

In 1979 the Iranian revolution interrupted his university studies in interior design and incited him to begin photography in the streets of Teheran. The turmoil in his country, the raging battles on the Iran-Iraq front were dramatic, cutting-edge events that Alfred covered with the passion, courage, drive, and youthful instinct of a 19-year-old.

This instinct guided the photographer in his choice of subjects covered as well as the agencies which represented his work, beginning with the Associated Press, then onto the Paris-based agencies, Gamma and Sygma, and finally, for the past 23 years, Sipa Press.

Iranian people in the holy city of Qom - 2008

Iranian people in the holy city of Qom - 2008

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Alfred’s passion for his profession has taken him around the globe witnessing conflicts and news-breaking events.  He was wounded and taken hostage in Lebanon’s civil war, covered the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for over l3 years, “captured history with no blood shed”, as he says, as the first stones of the Berlin wall tumbled.

Site of the former US embassy. Tehran, Iran -  2007

Site of the former US embassy. Tehran, Iran - 2007

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He has covered wars, famine, feuds, political events, human crises in Somalia, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Cuba,, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Mexico, India, the Philippines, Turkey, Armenia, Iraq, Russia, China, Sri Lanka.  While covering the Chechen conflict, Alfred was wounded by shrapnel from a tank shell which exploded but a few meters from him.  He was lucky to have survived the incident which could have proven fatal.

An Iranian Mullah shopping in the holy city of Qom -2008

An Iranian Mullah shopping in the holy city of Qom -2008

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The collapse of the Communist regime and the resulting new freedom to practice religion in Eastern Europe inspired Alfred to begin an exhaustive reportage on Christianity.  His impressive exploration of religious rites, rituals and traditions in more than 24 countries, spanned 10 years and culminated in numerous publications, exhibitions in Perpignan, Milan, and Budapest, and a 220-page book, “Christianity around the World”.

Grand Ayatollah Borujerdi’s home - 2008

Grand Ayatollah Borujerdi’s home - 2008

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His early work in Iran is llustrated in 2 publications, “War Iran-Iraq”, as well as “Faces of War”.  His assiduous coverage of Palestine and Israel was published in “Promised Peace”.

Holy city of Qom - 2008

Holy city of Qom - 2008

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Alfred’s pictures are rich portrayals of the many facets of humanity and the world in which it evolves.  His mastery of color is not only visible when he is capturing life and death situations, but  evident in his feature work, his stunning images of Paris’  haute couture fashion, or even his pictures of the Venice Carnaval.

Actress Hedieh Tehrani -2006

Actress Hedieh Tehrani - 2006

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His work has been recognised by international juries: he has been awarded the World Press Photo first prize, as well as first place in The American Overseas  Press Club and the NPPA Best of Photojournalism.  Other awards have been discerned by the Internattiona Festival of Journalism and Scoop in Angers, and the Fuji Europe Awards.  He has also been a member of the World Press Photo jury.

Orkideh Hajivandi underground music - 2006

Orkideh Hajivandi underground music - 2006

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His award-winning photographs have graced the covers and inside pages of such prestigious international publications as Stern, Time, Geo, Newsweek, Paris Match, Elle, Life, El Pais, Sette, to name but a few.

Kish Island - 2008

Kish Island - 2006

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A park in central Tehran - 2008

A park in central Tehran - 2008

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A Kish Island beach - 2008

A Kish Island beach - 2008

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A beach on Kish Island, in southern Iran - 2006

A beach on Kish Island, in southern Iran - 2006

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A woman with a loosely-tied head scarf - 2006

A woman with a loosely-tied head scarf - 2006

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 Supporters of former premier Mir Hossein Mousavi - 2009

Supporters of former premier Mir Hossein Mousavi - 2009

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Supporters of former premier Mir Hossein Mousav - 2009

Supporters of former premier Mir Hossein Mousav - 2009

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Supporters of defeated reformist presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi - 2009

Supporters of defeated reformist presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi - 2009

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Opposition supporters defied a ban to stage a mass rally in Tehran - 2009

Opposition supporters defied a ban to stage a mass rally in Tehran - 2009

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Iranian Basij members sit on motorcycles - 2009

Iranian Basij members sit on motorcycles - 2009

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Iranian opposition protester throwing stones at armed Basij members - 2009

Iranian opposition protester throwing stones at armed Basij members - 2009

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A man with the blood of Neda Agha-Soltan on his hand - 2009

A man with the blood of Neda Agha-Soltan on his hand - 2009

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College Bridge on Shahreza Avenue - 1979

College Bridge on Shahreza Avenue - 1979

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The Shah’s army tank units parading down Shahreza Avenue -1979

The Shah’s army tank units parading down Shahreza Avenue -1979

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A rioter holds up his bloody hands - 1979

A rioter holds up his bloody hands - 1979

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Iranian woman on guard at Khordad - 1979

Iranian woman on guard at Khordad - 1979

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Statue of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi - 1979

Statue of Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi - 1979

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Iranian troops advancing in Bostan battle - 1981

Iranian troops advancing in Bostan battle - 1981

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A thirteen year old Basij fighter, Susangard Iraq-Iran war -1980

A thirteen year old Basij fighter, Susangard Iraq-Iran war -1980

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People of Abadan evacuating

People of Abadan evacuating

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Iraqi P.O.W. holds the picture of Ayatollah Khomeini, Khoramshar - 1982

Iraqi P.O.W. holds the picture of Ayatollah Khomeini, Khoramshar - 1982

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In Ahwaz cemetery, an uncle holds his nephew who lost his parents - 1981

In Ahwaz cemetery, an uncle holds his nephew who lost his parents - 1981

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Abadan cemetery - 1981

Abadan cemetery - 1981

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Thousand of young boys were killed during this 8-year-long Iran-Iraq war. Tehran - 1981

Thousand of young boys were killed during this 8-year-long Iran-Iraq war. Tehran - 1981

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Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini - 1980

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini - 1980

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BBC: Iranian photographer Alfred Yaghobzadeh

More photographs from Alfred Yaghobzadeh site
Alfred’s photographs at Sipa Press
Hard cover book, Les Chrétiens du monde by Alfred Yaghobzadeh