As a mother, nothing is worse than outliving your own child. But these Iranian mothers are proud their sons have given their lives for Iran. They were boys, or barely men when they left for places like Salamche, Khorramabad and Dezful. For eight years they fought Iraqi Republican Guards from dusty trenches all along the Iran-Iraq border. Some stepped on mines, others died during Iraqi attacks with chemical weapons. All their mothers at a certain point received a letter announcing the deaths of their sons.
“The Blood of the Martyrs feeds the society”, Iranian officials say. Every Thursday and Friday the mothers visit their sons graves at the immense Behest-e Zahra cemetery South of Tehran. As these mothers grow older, their sons however will forever remain the same age as the photos they hold onto. But now, some of these mothers are wondering whether their sacrifice was worth it.