XERXES – ARS LVMINIS

Steel Beggar in Tehran

October 23rd, 2012  |  Published in All Posts, Civitas, photographia

The thing you see in the following picture is called Geda Ah├Žni (see my transliteration for correct pronunciation), i.e. an iron beggar.
This is part of my series about the aspects of Tehran you will not read about in the newspapers.

steel beggar

steel beggar, Tehran.

Iron beggars are spread all over the country. As you see, these metal boxes (which I would have designed differently, but that should be another post) have a slot between their supplicating hands. In the past, especially in the first years after the revolution, when people really believed in Islam and believed the money would be used for charity, many banknotes were inserted into this slot. With years, the economic situation worsened, and the people don’t believe their money goes to good purposes. Financing a dictator’s massacre of his own people or Arabs fighting a distant country is not considered a good purpose for a nation that has suffered so much from the Arab occupation. The few banknotes that are inserted in the box are not collected by whoever is supposed to collect this charity. It’s usually drug addicts who insert a stick with chewed gum stuck to it, and “fish” the banknotes to buy the drugs.
This is also a kind of charity, I guess.

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