Iranian village near sabzevar northeast iran copyright ali torkzadeh escapefromtehran com 7934

Plastic Palm Trees and Korean Soaps on the Ruins of Silk Road
A stunning example of globalization in Iran

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In search of handwoven kilims, I came to Ghalam-Abad, a tiny dusty village 50 kilometers outside Sabzevar, in northeast Iran, not far from the ancient Silk Road. I found the kilims and kind hospitable people who generously treated us to tea and stories of their lives. But we also found a lot of cheap Chinese knickknacks and enthusiastic fans of Korean soaps on satellite television.  It was a stunning example of globalization’s transformation of even the remotest locations. The women dragged out their indigenous clothing and modeled for us, next to the plastic palms and glossy pictures of Korean soap stars, creating bizarre scenes of irony. The idyllic village depicted in photo books and travel brochures? It no longer exists.  The soothing Iranian hospitality, however, survives.

Nikon D90, 18-200mm DX zoom, SB-600 strobe.


Ali and Saeideh plan their Iran roadtrips from their home in Mashhad. More about us here >>


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