Iran – before the Revolution

This is one of my personal favourites of the photographs I have taken over the last 60 years (I started young LOL). I prefer to snap people than buildings and monuments on my travels.

I took this photo in Iran in 1976, a few years before the Iranian revolution. I was travelling as a passenger on an overland tour in a convoy of a couple of old Bedford trucks, and I took the photograph from the back of one of the trucks.

Sadly, I can’t remember many details about this photo – but I love how it captures the friendly young faces eager to engage the western passengers on our tour. Within two years, they would be involved in the Revolution that saw the overthrow of the Shah and a tough new Islamic State.

They appear to be handing up schoolbooks to us, perhaps for us to write something in English?

I was aware that there was a lot of corruption in the Shah’s regime at the time. But I was also impressed at the effort to ensure all children – even in the most remote small villages – received an education.

I think this also was the occasion when a young Melbourne dentist travelling on the tour suddenly decided that someone in the crowd might be interested in buying his spare pair of Levi jeans! So, from the back of the truck, he offered them up, attracting a frenzied bidding session. I was travelling with a minimum of clothes, so no opportunity for me to raise a little more travelling money!

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