Behesht-e Zahra


Tehran’s biggest cemetery is interesting primarily because it’s the main resting place for those who died in the Iran–Iraq War (1980–88). Like windows into another time, roughly 200,000 small glass boxes on stilts each contain a small memento – a watch, a knife, a letter – that once belonged to the lost father/son/husband staring out from a yellowed photograph.

At the cemetery's heart is a shrine to Iranian pilgrims killed during the annual hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca), when Saudi Arabian soldiers opened fire on a crowd during the mid-1980s. Elsewhere, the graves of ordinary people stretch on for kilometres.

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