Sunday, December 24, 2006

E-Mourning: Virtual Mourning.....

In a strange turn of events, Iranians can now mourn by viewing grave sites of loved ones in Tehran on the Internet. People who fear to go visit the cemetery or have customs that keep them away can now feel a sense of closure.

The admittedly morbid undertaking was somewhat accidental for Farzan, who returned to Iran in 2002 to place a marker on his father's grave. Nearby, he saw the grave of a family friend and decided to snap a photo for the friend's relatives. In other parts of the cemetery, he saw poorly maintained graves, and others being moved for construction. Farzan continued to take photos for the next ten weeks, covering about 70 percent of the graveyard and spending thousands of dollars before returning to the United States. Farzan would often haul buckets of water in the wintry cold of Tehran to wash the graves before snapping shots of them.

"I thought it would be a good gift for the families of these people," Farzan, 51, said. "A mitzvah."

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