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Searching For Family In Bam, Iran


Searching For Family In Bam, Iran

Article and Image Courtesy of World Vision

Three men from the town of Jiroft about 100 kilometers away cruise the haunting ruins of Bam like guardian angles. They are two shopkeepers and a farmer who patrol the streets mostly by night in a battered sedan both searching for family and friends and on the look out for looters and thieves.

Farokh Attaiee, 32, wields a giant halogen spotlight. He scans the ruins as he and his two friends drive between neighbourhoods in the constant search for their loved one. Farokh especially is looking for close friends. He took us down a driveway and showed us the ruins of the home of his ex-fiance. He has been unable to locate her, her family or even word of them. He is the farmer.

"We are very tired but it doesn't matter because of our missing family and friends. We will continue searching until we find them or their bodies," Farokh said, who is a farmer. Farokh speaks like a well educated man

Mohammad Reza Farokhi, 42, a shopkeeper, (foreground) has been coming here since the day of the earthquake. He is the least talkative of the group. He witnessed the removal of hundreds, maybe thousands of bodies in the hours after the quake and he says he is deeply depressed.

Mohammad and his friends carry a trunk full of useful items, matches, cigarettes, mineral water, biscuits and bread. Where ever they stop them seem to be well known.

Quake victims receive their largesse with warm smiles. Rescue workers, soldiers and guards gather round their car laughing and asking for cigarettes. The trio are all smiles and provide obvious diversion for the workers who must live day and night surrounded by the broken city.

The trio has access to any place in the city, it seems. They laugh and smile their way through roadblocks. They take us beyond a concentration of soldiers and to the foot of the famous 2,000-year-old citadel of Bam. It was a beautiful complex constructed of mud bricks and timber. Now it look's like a simple hill of sand.

The shattered monument symbolizes the deep wound that has been rendered in this ancient city. A soldier looking on pipes in that there is news nations around the world have volunteered to help rebuild the national treasure. Everyone seems comforted.

The driver, not show, Masoud Fariabi, 35, is also a shopkeeper. He speaks the least of the three but has the easiest smile. The three men must commute between Bam and their hometown where they have businesses and family.

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