2015 Photo Contest, Contemporary Issues, Honorable Mention

Mothers of Patience


Fatemeh Behboudi

22 February, 2014

Eshrat Tabatabayee (72), the mother of Ahmad Afshar, embraces her son's body after 30 years of waiting. He was identified by his ID tag.

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...

Technical information

Shutter Speed
Focal length
35.0 mm
Canon EOS 5D Mark III

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