Staged Portraits, second prize stories
Women in the Iranian city of Khorramabad are dressed for the ceremony of Chehel Manbar. The commemoration of the battle of Karbala, when Hussein, a grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, was killed, is one of the most important ceremonies of the year for Shia Muslims.
On the ninth day of the Muslim month of Muharram—on the eve of the climactic Day of Ashura—women in some regions participate in Chehel Manbar. In an act of mourning for Hussein they go veiled and barefoot to light candles at forty different locations.
Ceremonies differ from city to city, according to regional traditions. In Khorramabad, women light candles in the doorways of houses and offer cookies to the occupants. They may also cover their head and shoulders with clay in an act of mourning.
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About the photographer
Ebrahim Noroozi was born in 1980 in Tehran, Iran. He began working as a professional photographer in 2004, with Fars News Agency.
His photographs have appeared nationally and internationally, in such publications as The New York Times, Time, The Washington Post, and have been distributed by Agence France-Presse, the Associated Press, Reuters, United Press International, and the European Press Photo Agency. Noroozi has worked in India, Afghanistan, and Iran, and has worked as head of the photo department for the Iran Daily, as well as for Alvefagh newspaper, Iran Sport, the Iran Photo Agency, Jamejam newspaper, and Jamejam online.
He has won seven awards in Iranian photo contests, and a gold medal from Asahi newspaper. Noroozi has sat on the juries of several Iranian photo contests.