Long, twisting roads draw lines over the valleys and slopes here in western Iran. They are ancient paths, trodden by feet and hooves for thousands of years in the ever repeating movement of migration. These days cars and rented trucks, rather than horses, bring the remaining Iranian nomads and their flocks to their summer pastures high up in the Iranian highlands near the city of Chelgard.
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Instead of making daylong hikes for news to the long-abandoned nomadic communication center, local Bakhtiari tribe members carry cell phones and complain about bad reception. In spring they headed for the cooler pastures of the Zagros, where grass for their flocks of sheep and goats was abundant. Deep traditions and patriarchy also have kept change out.
But the combination of persistent drought, dust storms that turn the skies orange, widespread urbanization, mobile internet, and the spread of higher education has made their numbers dwindle. The elderly couples still setting up their tents on the flanks of the Zagros admit that they might be the final chapter in the history of one of the largest remaining nomadic communities on Earth. In the distance a thunderstorm was brewing as one couple huddled in their tent.
Dark clouds drifted over the valley, pouring out gray stripes of rain. Bibi Naz Ghanbari, 73, and her husband, Nejat, had set up their black tent in the same place where their family had migrated for years. There used to be dozens of family members around. Now there was just one other tent, home to a distant cousin. The couple said unexpected spring cold and rains had gotten into their bones, after they managed to save their tent twice during storms. They had migrated early, to make sure their flock would be able to graze on the spring grass, after a winter with barely any precipitation.
None of their eight children had joined them. What was the point of having them?
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I wish I lived in a house too. As the number of nomads has fallen, the strongest advocates of settling down have been the nomadic women. Their lives are tough, and they know it. Zahra Amiri, 61 and the mother of nine, wakes up at dawn and brings water from a well, a long walk. After that she bakes bread and prepares breakfast. Often she joins her husband while shepherding, milks the sheep, makes yogurt and cheese. Her hands and face are darkened by the sun. If there is any time between chores, she works on a kilim, or carpet.
To reach their summer destination, her year-old daughter, Forouzan, rode a horse, guiding her two sisters and eight mules carrying their belongings and a tent. The nomadic custom is that women give away their inheritance rights to their brothers.
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On the other hand, women are allowed to ride horses and carry guns, and Amiri had both. Many Iranian nomadic men say that milking, getting water, and giving inheritances to women are eib, or improper, for men to do.
The hard work, the lack of rights, and the knowledge that other Iranian women have easier lives have made many nomadic women agents of change. Mahnaz Gheybpour, 41, moved out of tents a decade ago. Did you hear EmilyBlunt may be casted to play a character who is blind and deaf?
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Disability in entertainment journalist Kristin Lopez quickly pointed out some of the many issues, including:. But after this quick flurry of attention in late March, the movie has faded from the news entirely. Does anyone know more? Please contact us or tag us on Twitter DeafInMedia if you do.
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We did it! And between the gimmicky use of deafness, the truly strange pacing, and gaping plot holes,. Visit CSD. June 13, Share on facebook. Share on twitter.