Photo booths usually use happy and colorful scenes as backdrops, but for some reason, the organizers at Tehran International Book Fair thought a morbid image of bombed-out residential street would be a good idea.
The event, which attracts scores of people from all over the country every year, unveiled a new exhibit called “Defenders of the Shrine,” allowing visitors to put on fake bulletproof jackets and helmets and straddle a big black bike as they smile against the devastating background. A wide array of props, including grenades and different weapons, were also available at the scene.
Islamic Republic News Agency was the first to release pictures of Iranians posing as war heroes.
As BuzzFeed reports, the photo booth was a reference to the recent calls in the country for men to volunteer to defend holy Shiite sites targeted by Islamic State militants in Syria.
Iran denies having troops on the ground in Syria and asserts that only “volunteers” and “military advisers” are fighting in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. However, earlier this month, its military authorities admitted that 13 of its fighters were killed in a day of fighting in the province of Aleppo.
Needless to say, the book fair’s insensitive exhibit has offended a number of social media users.
The 29th Tehran International Book Fair opened on May 4 and will run until May 14 at Shahre Aftab, a newly constructed fairground in southern Tehran.
Banner and thumbnail credit: Reuters, Morteza Nikoubazl