February 8, 2008

Children of Iran is a website born of travels undertaken by Physician Jeff Ritterman and his partner, Vivien Feyer, a psychologist and educator. In 2005, they accompanied a delegation of US military families–who had lost loved ones in Iraq–to the Iraq border, and in 2006 they traveled with a citizen diplomacy delegation to Iran, where they met with a variety of community groups, clerics and doctors, as well as individual Iranian citizens.

They took thousands of photographs in the hopes of adding a human dimension to our understanding of Iran and its people. A quote from the site:

We can speak to you of what cluster bombs do to human flesh. We can show you images of children’s burned corpses. But what we wish for you to see, now, are the faces and the artwork of living children. Perhaps they can communicate to you a sense of their own world, their own experience, and their own hopes.

As the hawks rattle their sabers in Washington, PSR is working hard to push for real diplomacy with Iran. The Stephen Kinzer speaking event Monday night in San Francisco is an effort in this cause.

Children of Iran adds another layer to the case for diplomacy by holding human faces above the bellicose rhetoric in Washington, and providing a glimpse of the potential human cost of aggressive action.