Biography Farhad Babaei was born in 1984 in Bandar-e-Anzali, a town in the north part of Iran and graduated in electronics. He started seriously documentary and news photography in 2007. He is one of the most primary members of the Iranian Photographers National Society and has been cooperating with some photo agencies in Iran and abroad. He has been also awarded in some photography contests.
My childhood had been influenced by war.The life situation in Iran as an ancient country of the Middle East which was involved in war, economic, and political crisis gradually brought about some questions about human and his inner soul in my mind, like when the man is in hard conditions, what will he reveal from his personality? How does he confront with the passions that occur to him in life? What is that inner element that makes him a distinct and unique being? The trace of these questions becomes more highlighted under natural catastrophes like flood, earthquake or while situations made by human interference like war, revolution, social and political conflicts and poverty. It was a question for me that how the man reveals himself when he faces with freedom and pinches. How does he step toward freedom? How does he interact with his environment? All these questions were occupying my mind while facing with ethnic and religious traditions. When I began photography, my camera became a tool for surveying these questions. I learned that it is possible to ask question with camera and overwhelm deep in the question likewise it is possible to think deep in humans’ faces with camera. The questions do not end in answers but also bring more questions along with themselves. And this is how my attitude to the photography takes form, with asking and moving toward humans’ depths and their environments.
This is a Kurdish Story. But who are Kurds? Where do they come from? Historians generally agree to consider them as belonging to the Iranian branch of the large family of Indo-European races. In prehistoric times, kingdoms called Mitanni, Kassites and Hourites reigned these mountainous areas, situated between the Iranian plateau and the Euphrates. In VII BC, the Medes, the Kurds’ equivalent of the Gauls for the French, founded an empire which, in 612 BC, conquered the powerful Assyria and spread its domination through the whole of Iran as well as central Anatolia. The date 612, is moreover, considered by Kurdish nationalists as the beginning of the 1st Kurdish year; for them we are at present in 2601! The political reign of the Medes was to end towards the end of 6 BC, but their religion and civilization were to dominate Iran until the time of Alexander the Great. From this date right until the advent of Islam, the fate of the Kurds, was to remain linked to that of the other populations of the empires which succeeded one another on the Iranian scene: Seljuks, Parthes and Sassanids. Having put up fierce resistance to the Arabo-Muslim invasions, the Kurds ended up joining Islam, without, as a result, becoming Arabized. So We Understand that they are people of Indo-European origin who live mainly in the uplands where Turkey, Iraq, and Iran meet. They have their own language, related to Persian but divided into two main dialect areas. No firm statistics exist for the Kurdish population but a cautious estimate, based on their believed population proportion in each state in 1987 is currently 35 to 40 Million People.. Although the Kurdish people are overwhelmingly Sunni Muslim, they embrace Jews, Christians, Yazidis and other sects. In each of the new post-war countries, the Kurds found they were treated with suspicion, and pressured to conform to the ways of the majority. Their old independence and traditional pastoralist way of life was rapidly reduced. They were expected to learn the main language of the new state in which they found themselves, Turkish, Persian or Arabic, to abandon their Kurdish identity and to accept Turkish, Iranian or Arab nationalism. As a tribal and traditionally minded society the Kurds wanted to be left in peace, Some tribes tried to resist the encroachment of government while their rivals benefited from operating with the government. But an increasing number of Kurds felt the deliberate undermining of their cultural identity. Now in Iraq The successes of the Iraqi Kurds in the field of language and education have, however, enabled them to create an impressive literature and a fully adequate written language, and have produced a generation of Kurds whose primary and secondary education have been in Kurdish. Such achievements will undoubtedly help the Kurds of Iraq in their future efforts to preserve their cultural and ethnic identity. They are fighting against the brush of time and history that have been trying to fade their face. And this was their story.
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