2015 Photo Contest, Contemporary Issues, Honorable Mention

Mothers of Patience


Fatemeh Behboudi

25 July, 2013

More than 200,000 Iranian soldiers were killed in the eight-year war between Iran and Iraq. After the war ended in 1988, it was revealed that the bodies of over 10,000 Iranian soldiers were still missing.

The Iran-Iraq War (1980-88) was one of the bloodiest conflicts of the 20th century. More than 10,000 Iranians were reported missing in action in Iraq. Casualty figures are highly uncertain, though the numbers of dead on both sides ran into the hundreds of thousands. In Iran, people who were killed in the conflict were declared martyrs for their country, and therefore for Islam. Over 10,000 Iranian soldiers were reported missing in action, without a corpse being identified. Bodies are still being discovered and repatriated. Many mothers of missing soldiers live in hope of seeing their sons again, or finally having a body that they may bury.

About the photographer

Fatemeh Behboudi

Fatemeh Behboudi was born in Tehran, Iran. She studied photography and, after graduating in 2007, has worked for several Iranian news services including the Iranian Quran News A...

Background story

Anbar Jaberi (72), the mother of Nematollah Jaberi, has waited 23 years for her son. She still keeps doors open for him.

Technical information

Shutter Speed
Focal length
18.0 mm
Canon EOS 50D

This image is collected in