Sarah Jabbari

Documentary Photographer
The Forgotten Empire
Location: India
Nationality: Iranian
Biography: Sarah Jabbari, born on December 1989, Tehran, is an Iranian freelance documentary photographer concerned by social and cultural issues, gender and identity; with interest in working on long-term projects to get deeper into the story.
Public Story
The Forgotten Empire
Copyright sarah jabbari 2021
Date of Work 01/01/17 - Ongoing
Updated 11/10/18
Location Iran

“The principle of development begins with the history of Persia (Iran). This, therefore, constitutes strictly the beginning of World-History” - Hegel.

Iran means land of Aryans. Use of the word 'Iran' goes back to thousand years ago in different textual sources like Avesta the holy book of Zoroastrianism. Iran was called Persia by the Greeks over the might of Persian Empire. in 1935, Reza Shah Pahlavi asked foreign delegates to use the term Iran, in their formal correspondence instead of Persia. Iran, with 8300 years of culture, and 2500 years of written history owns two influential religions of Mithraism and Zoroastrianism, became mostly Islamic by attack and massacre of Arabs in the 7th AD. But unlike other conquered lands by Arab Muslims, Iran not only didn’t give up its culture and language but also made this new religion heavily influenced by its rich culture, built the great Islamic civilization and pioneered in Art and Science. Iranian people are sharing similar ethnicity over at least 11,000 years based on genetic studies.

After the Islamic revolution of 1979, a policy of Anti-Iranian Culture was adopted by the Islamic regime which led to the destruction of many historical and cultural sites and traditions. Most of Iranian ceremonies and festivals were abolished and Islamic patterns were imposed on people. While declaring the first human rights in 539 B.C by Cyrus the Great, Iran has a critical condition in terms of human rights.

With an oriental approach, both national and international photographers mostly tried to depict Iranian a nation without an established identity. People either are smoking or drinking – westernized youth (while wine is an essential part of Iranian culture) or execution scenes, covered women in black veils -living with Islamic ideologies- is always represented. This, is an incomplete narration of Iran and hides a main part of reality and shuts the voice of rest of the nation.

Breaking the stereotypes against Iran, showing cultural discrimination on the Iranian nation and at the same time the revival of Persian culture by Iranians in suppressed current condition, is the focus of this project. The story has been told within the use of symbols and references to the historical sources, trying to visualize the spirit of Iran rather staying on the surface, avoiding the common stereotypical point of view. The famous Persian poet, -Rumi- says: "Anyone who has remained far from his roots, seeks a return to the time of his union with his root.” The project and editing of the pictures have been done by inspiration from this poem.


Also by Sarah Jabbari —


Selective Sympathy

By Sarah Jabbari / jammu and Kashmir — The Hindu origin Kashmir has become Islamic during centuries by Muslim rulers. Particularly after the..

The Far End

By Sarah Jabbari / sim reap, Cambodia — Arthur, a middle-aged Dutchman has been lived in Cambodia for the last 6 years, surviving on the basis of a..

No Regret

By Sarah Jabbari / Tehran, Iran — KAMARAN ADLE IN FOCUS Iran’s foremost living legend in photography “9 am, a day of Jun 1979 in..

When The Rain Is Dry

By Sarah Jabbari / shahrabad, qazvin — " May Mazda Save This Country from Enemies, Famine and Lies"-Darius the Great, Iran, ..

Waiting for Better Days

By Sarah Jabbari / Negoor, Sistan and Baluchestan, Iran — Negoor is one of the oldest towns in Sistan and Baluchistan, the most extensive province in Iran located in..

Hidden Boarders

By Sarah Jabbari — "Most of the people say you can do whatever you want, you're a free woman but it is still expected to be..

Substitution of Grieving

By Sarah Jabbari / Khorram Abad Lorestan, Iran — Muslims mark the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS), the grandson of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), on..

A kind of Anniversary

By Sarah Jabbari / Tehran, Iran — Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic entered in Tehran on 1 February 1979..


By Sarah Jabbari / Aarhus, Denmark — Last days of a horse... 

Free Fall

By Sarah Jabbari / Aarhus, Alborg, Tølose,Copenhagen,Hjørring , Denmark — Falconry, the art of training and hunting with birds of prey, recognized as a human heritage by UNESCO, is..

Saddam Wasn't Alone

By Sarah Jabbari — Khuzestan, is one of the provinces of Iran, maintaining Aryan civilization heritage begins with Elam..


By Sarah Jabbari — Night of a Gay Bar


By Sarah Jabbari / Aarhus, Denmark — In Aarhus Festival 2016

Oppressed at home

By Sarah Jabbari / Pasargad, Fars, Iran — Norooz (new day) is the name of the Iranian New Year, also known as the Persian New Year , which is..
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