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A New Start

Sobhan Mehdizadeh, head of a large photo studio in Iran, had to flee his country and start all over again in Luxembourg. A portrait.

"You should be a taxi driver", was how an Iranian regime official explained to Sobhan Mehdizadeh that he did not belong. The trained photographer and videographer set up a successful studio in Shiraz, his hometown in southern Iran. "From two employees when my wife and I opened it, we had grown to 30. It was one of the biggest photo studios in the city", says the entrepreneur. In Iran, the state religion is Islam. The other religions, Zoroastrian, Jewish and Christian, have a constitutionally protected minority status, but that does not count for atheists and the Bahá'í minority, to which Sobhan and his wife belong, a religion that was founded in Iran though. They number 300,000 according to some UN estimates, but as the Iranian regime does not officially recognise them, it is difficult to report on the situation on the ground.


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