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Persepolis part.02

Driving my van through Caucasus, Persia and Central Asia for one year...


Continuation and end of my research in Persia ...

I drove 10,000 km from the Southern plains to the Zagros Mountains and Kurdistan to the central desert of Iran. Along the way, I visited many of Iran's nomadic tribes. It began as a dream which started 4 years ago when I met an old Qashqai woman in a bazaar in Shiraz. Their way of life, colors, women's dress patterns, men's woolen hats and capes ... Everything inspires me to their culture.

So I started upon a story that I feel deeply about, one that will probably take me years to complete. By following their winter migration for 5 weeks, I have begun to understand them; understand that their universe consists of a knowledge that I wish to meticulously deepen my understanding of. I am posting some pictures to share a piece of that experience, but these photographs reveal little; they merely serve as a force for completing a book that I am slowly creating around their lifestyle.

3 months in Iran, after crossing that memorable desert, ended in an apotheosis by the ceremonies of Ashura, which commemorates the massacre of the Shiite Muslim Imam Hussein. I regret having left so soon and it is with great emotion that I reveal some pictures of this most beautiful country!

> Follow my route day after day on Facebook and Instagram (@karesleroy)

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Suite et fin de mes recherches à travers les routes perses…

Des plaines du Sud aux montagnes du Zagros, du Kurdistan qui borde l’Irak au désert central, c’est près de 10 000 kilomètres que j’ai parcourus dans ce pays. L’Iran et ses tribus, ses nomades ; tout un rêve qui à commencé il y a 4 ans quand j’ai croisé une femme Qashqai au bazaar de Shiraz. Leur mode de vie, les couleurs et les motifs des robes des femmes, les chapeaux et les capes en laine des hommes… Tout m’inspire dans leur culture.

J’ai donc entamé un reportage qui me tient profondément à coeur et qui me prendra surement des années. En suivant leur migration d’hiver pendant 5 semaines, j’ai appris à les connaitre et j’ai surtout compris que c’est tout un univers que je me dois d’approfondir méticuleusement. Je poste quelques images afin de partager un bout de cette expérience mais ne dévoilerai rien de ce qui fera la force d’un livre que je prépare tout doucement autour de leur mode de vie.

3 mois en Iran, qui après une traversée du désert mémorable, se sont terminés en apothéose par les cérémonies d’Achoura, qui commémore le massacre de l’Imam musulman chiite Hussein. Je regrette déjà d’être parti et c’est avec émotion que je dévoile les quelques images du plus beau des pays!

> Suivez ma route jour après jour sur Facebook et Instagram (@karesleroy)

Qashqai are a conglomeration of clans of different ethnic origins, including, Arab, Kurdish, Lori and mostly Turkic. They mainly live in the Iranian provinces of Fars, especially around the city of Shiraz and Firuzabad | IRAN

They all call themselves "Turks" | around Shiraz | IRAN

Qashqai mainly live in the Iranian provinces of Fars, especially around the city of Shiraz and Firuzabad | around Shiraz | IRAN

In middle of a Qashqai family. The traditional nomadic Qashqai travelled with their flocks each year from the summer highland pastures north of Shiraz roughly 480 km south to the winter pastures on lower (and warmer) lands near the Persian Gulf, to the southwest of Shiraz | IRAN

Although overall the Iranian government's successive attempts at settling these tribes in villages and towns of Fars province has not been successful, some families have accepted to settle | around Eqlid | IRAN

Around Yasuj | IRAN

Majority of Qashqai people were originally nomadic pastoralists and some remain so today Yasuj | IRAN

The Bakhtiari are an ancient southwestern Persians tribe. They speak the Luri language, an Iranian dialect Khoorang | IRAN

Many Bakhtiari still live in black goat-hair tents and follow the nomadic routes and traditions of their ancestors Khoorang | IRAN

A small percentage of Bakhtiari are still nomadic pastoralists, migrating between summer quarters and winter quarters Khoorang | IRAN

The latter designation largely relates to the nature of the tribe's annual "migration". This has to do with the harsh nature of Bakhtiari life and overcoming of countless difficulties that Bakhtiaris have faced in the Zagros ranges. In this sense, Bakhtiari view themselves as a hardworking tribe, facing numerous obstacles everyday and yet fortunate enough to overcome each of these challenges as a solid unit Khoorang | IRAN

In Persian mythology, the Bakhtiari consider themselves to be descendants of Fereydun, a legendary hero from the Persian national epic, Shahnameh Khoorang | IRAN

In middle of a Bakhtiari clan. The Khan (chief) is sitting on my right side | Khoorang | Chaharmahal | IRAN

Bakhtiari nomads wait me next to my van... Khoorang | IRAN

A break during the migration | Bazoft | Chaharmahal | IRAN

Lion Tombstones or Sir-e sangi is a type of tombstone in the form of a lion, found mostly on the graves of nomads in the southern Persia. These stylized, sculptured lions stare out from isolated Bakhtiari graveyards in many valleys and along the migration routes of the tribes across the Zagros Mountains | IRAN

Each year they migrate with their herds of sheep, cattle, and goats from summer pastures on the high plateaus of the Chaharmahal valley, across the Zagros Mountains, to over-winter their herds on the lowland plains of Khoozistan | IRAN

The view from the pass between the provinces of Chaharmahal (Summer place) and Khoozistan (winter place). All nomads should cross this way. By walk, by donkeys, by horses, by cars… | IRAN

To know how can take a break. Tea x Blanc Blanc x small nomad carpet... ;) Khoozistan | IRAN

On the road of Kurdistan | IRAN

Kurdish nomad in front of her tent | around Kermanshah | IRAN

The crossing of the Iranian desert | around Naein | IRAN

Fortress of Meybod | IRAN

A merchant in the old city of Yazd | IRAN

Oasis of Garmeh | IRAN

Oasis of Garmeh | IRAN

Oasis of Garmeh | IRAN

A field of dead palm trees | around Khur | IRAN

The landscape between Mesr and Khur | IRAN

A dead camel on the edge of the road to Tabas | IRAN

Ceremony of AshuraShia Muslims (Shiites) carried Alam, a heavy metal installation filled with intricate figurines and engravings, to mark the martyrdom ofImam Hussein and those who fought by his side at the battle of Karbala in AD 680 against an army loyal to Yazid, caliph of the emerging Muslim world. The Alam has evolved over the centuries from the battle standards carried at Karbala by the Imam and his followers Mashhad | IRAN

According to the Shia narrative, Yazid had robbed Imam Hussein, grandson of the Prophet Muhammad, of his rightful leadership of all Muslims. The story of Karbala marks a significant break between Sunnis and Shia, and remains at the centre of Shia beliefs and customs Mashhad | IRAN

Shia Muslims (Shiites) commemorate the death of the third Imam, Hussein, slain along with 72 of his comrades in a battle against the army of seventh-century caliph Yazid. During the processions, mourners simulate self-flagellation with chains to the thump of a bass drum Mashhad | IRAN

Photographs and Texts by Kares Le Roy  

Follow my work on Facebook & Instagram (@karesleroy)