An American in Iran"Welcome to Iran," the woman said and kissed me. I was in the market in Tehran on the first day of taking photographs in Iran. Nothing like this had ever happened to me in 15 years as a working photographer. Yet this kiss from a stranger would become the norm throughout my visit to what I had assumed would be a hostile country.
People shared their food, invited me into their homes, led me up to their rooftops and asked me to dance at their wedding receptions. The "Death to America" graffitti that I saw in plain view along a few streets and buildings was dismissed by these new friends. "Oh, that's just politics." The travel guides hadn't prepared me for this, or for the smog that covers Tehran, and even smaller cities such as Isfahan and Yazd. This is Yazd seen from atop a mosque. The haze isn't just smog. A dust storm was passing over the city when I reached the top of the minaret.