POV

The Shelter of Love

Somewhere between Karaj and Qazvin (two cities in Iran), in a dry desert, there is shelter for dogs.

Images by Babak Gharaei - Foreword by Luca Babini

A while back I befriended a very talented Iranian photographer on Instagram: Babak Gharaei. As our relationship developed on DM and WhatsApp, I realized how very few images we see of nowadays Iran here in the US. Hence, I asked Babak to collaborate for our magazine and send us ‘people stories’ from Iran. This touching reportage about the Vafa Dog Shelter is, hopefully, going to be the first of many. Babak’s black and white images have the powerful urgency and immediacy  coupled with a poetic point of view of the great photojournalists of our times. Enjoy.

 

©Babak Gharaei

©Babak Gharaei

Somewhere between Karaj and Qazvin (two cities in Iran), in a dry desert, there is a shelter for dogs. A modest place made up of fences and a small main house.
They named it Vafa (Loyalty) Shelter.
I prefer to call it “The Shelter of Love”.

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©Babak Gharaei

Meet Piggy, a blind dog; he has been living here for five years.

Piggy the blind dog ©Babak Gharaei

Piggy the blind dog ©Babak Gharaei

Piggy the blind dog ©Babak Gharaei

Piggy the blind dog ©Babak Gharaei

Garry, this boy was rachitic. Six years ago a kind man paid for all his surgery expenditures, he has lived here since then, with platinum plates in his four legs.

Garry, now cured ©Babak Gharaei

Garry, now cured ©Babak Gharaei

Workers at the shelter are driven by pure dedication and love.

A shelter worker and his friend ©Babak Gharaei

A shelter worker and his friend ©Babak Gharaei

A shelter worker and his friend ©Babak Gharaei

A shelter worker and his friend ©Babak Gharaei

A shelter worker and his friend ©Babak Gharaei

A shelter worker and his friend ©Babak Gharaei

This is Mushka; years ago someone left five puppies near the shelter and ran away. Four of them died, but this boy grew up and is now living in the parking area. He is famous because of his size.

Mushka ©Babak Gharaei

Mushka ©Babak Gharaei

The roof guards! They are living on the roof of shelter and never leave their post!

The roof guards ©Babak Gharaei

The roof guards ©Babak Gharaei

They call him Shazdeh (The Son of the King) because of his great behavior with people. He was previously in a horrible situation in a zoo, but the volunteers managed to bring him here, in the face of many obstacles.

Shazdeh (The Son of the King) ©Babak Gharaei

Shazdeh (The Son of the King) ©Babak Gharaei

Some of the dogs are suffering from serious diseases and need to be quarantined.

Quarantine ©Babak Gharaei

Quarantine ©Babak Gharaei

This place was created as a home for dogs with disabilities and injuries, mostly from cars accidents and human misbehavior.

©Babak Gharaei

©Babak Gharaei

©Babak Gharaei

©Babak Gharaei

The shelter was designed to sustain four hundred dogs, but they keep almost seven hundred dogs here because of the overpopulation of these angels in this area.

©Babak Gharaei

©Babak Gharaei

©Babak Gharaei

©Babak Gharaei

The shelter is open and working all week long with volunteers helping the main workers.

©Babak Gharaei

©Babak Gharaei

©Babak Gharaei

©Babak Gharaei

©Babak Gharaei

©Babak Gharaei

You can see more of Babak’s work on Instagram

©Babak Gharaei

©Babak Gharaei

©Babak Gharaei

©Babak Gharaei

©Babak Gharaei

©Babak Gharaei

©Babak Gharaei

©Babak Gharaei

©Babak Gharaei

©Babak Gharaei

 

 

 

16 Responses to “The Shelter of Love”

  1. Mehdi.se7en says:

    Verry pretty babak
    Thanks for coverage and show off these beautiful photos
    ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  2. Anne says:

    What a beautiful and touching story, Babak!!!

  3. Anne Melquiond says:

    Big émotion and Great photos

  4. Ferenc Molnar says:

    Babak!Your photos is superb as always…cheers bro! 😉 this is simple awesomeness this story published here!

  5. babak says:

    thank you so much Ferenc !!!!!! I’m so glad you like the story

  6. kian says:

    Thank you Sir. These photos are very nice and sensitive .Im so sorry for their lifestyle but I hope we help them for having a better life.

  7. Indera says:

    Babak.so best so best bro.

  8. farah ravon says:

    thanks so much for sharing this babak jan. i have been involved with vafa in the past 6 years and handle foreign adoptions and more .. would love to connect with you offline and share your story on vafa page too . thanks

  9. majid says:

    من یک ایرانی هستمو به زبان مادری خودم ازتون تشکر میکنم,بسیار زیبا وعالی

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