Big dream of small Dream

The fourth-place winner of “Children, Hopes and Dreams”, the first UNICEF Iran and Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance joint photography contest

Morteza Rafikhah, Photojournalist
04 August 2020

Arezou (the Persian word for "Dream") is a student in one of the villages of Talesh in North of Iran. The people of this village do not have access to basic services especially electricity, clean water, natural gas, telephone, roads and health centers.

Her biggest dream is to continue her studies and became a physician, so that her people do not have to bear the hardship of  going to the city for medical treatments.

Due to the far distance between the high school and the region she lives in, most of the students mainly girls, abandon their education at high school level.

Morteza Rafikhah
Arezou Asgaripour, 9 years old, washes his hands and face in the first day of Mehr (September 22nd) to prepare for the first day of the school.
Morteza Rafikhah
Arezou is having breakfast with her mother before leaving for the school.
Morteza Rafikhah
Her mother helps Arezou to get dressed for the school.
Morteza Rafikhah
Arezou, her mother and her younger brother are walking to the school in the first day of the school year. Under good weather conditions, it takes her 45 minutes to walk to the school. Her father has taken their livestock to the pastureland and could not accompany her.
Morteza Rafikhah
Arezou, now in the third grade, is reviewing the lessons of the second grade.
Morteza Rafikhah
Her teacher is reviewing the lessons of the second grade with Arezou.
Morteza Rafikhah
Arezou is reading aloud one of the lessons from her last year Farsi book.
Morteza Rafikhah
During the break time, the teacher plays football with his students.
Morteza Rafikhah
She says: “My dream is to continue my studies and become a doctor.” As a result of long distances from homes to the high schools, most female students do not continue their education after 6th grade.
Morteza Rafikhah
In the afternoon, sitting next to her 4 year old cousin Shina and her grandmother, Arezou is doing her homework.

To see the other four winners of “Children, Dreams and Hopes” Photography contest please click here.