Newspaper article International New York Times

Veiled Truths

Newspaper article International New York Times

Veiled Truths

Article excerpt

In Iran, all women must wear the hijab, and insufficient coverage of a woman's head, shoulders and chest in public is officially illegal and can incur arrest and fines.

One day I was walking with a female friend in Tehran when she was pulled away by the police and held in one of their offices for a few hours.

Her crime? She wasn't wearing the proper hijab -- the head scarf that, in some interpretations of Islam, women must wear whenever they are in the presence of men who are not close relatives. In Iran, the government insists that all women wear it.

My friend was told to ask a friend or relative to bring the proper hijab for her to wear. Until it arrived, she could not leave.

She told me that I shouldn't just take photographs of wars, but that I should document what Iranians were experiencing in public life in a big city like Tehran. She inspired me to do this project.

From last April through September, I photographed about 20 women who agreed to participate. …

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