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Die 12-Weltmomente-Schachtel, Bild: Nicole Herzog

With bikini in veiled Iran

Nicole Herzog has traveled through almost 80 countries around the world so far, has seen thousands of places and met hundreds of people. She has captured numerous moments photographically and has now combined twelve of them, including concentrated world experience, in the 12 World Moments box .

The project includes 12 surprising shots from a dozen exotic countries plus tongue-in-cheek and at the same time critical short stories behind the picture. In addition, the box contains postcards, monthly calendar, wisdom, country knowledge, card stand, ballpoint pen and 12 slogans that provide online access to unusual country information and alternative film tips. The entire project also assumes social, regional and sustainable responsibility.

Now come with us on the mental short trip to the veiled Iran:

Image: Nicole Herzog

The best you bring home from traveling,
is the intact skin.

Iranian proverb

Momentum (2014)

I visit Iranian friends for two veiled weeks and spend a carefree sunny day on Queshm, an island in the Persian Gulf. We go by boat to marvel at dolphins, jump off cliffs and swim carefree wrapped in bikinis in a secluded bay. Among them is Elmira, a tough, pretty woman in her early 30s from the capital, who blows up all moral Iranian images of women: She is an enthusiastic diver, plays on a basketball team and can also water ski perfectly. When I ask how it is that Elmira is not regularly arrested by the country’s omnipresent morality police, I am told that her family has enough money and contacts to be able to pay the imposed bail for freedom without any problems in an emergency. While we make our way home virtuously dressed by boat and water ski, my camera captures this carefree moment as a summary of the day. My head, on the other hand, is still struggling in disbelief with the words I have just heard.

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In the evening I listen to the grinning revelation of my friends: they have also bribed some morality police officers today – the carefree bathing in a bikini was particularly expensive.


Today, Iran produces numerous luxury goods in the food sector. For example, he is one of the largest exporters of caviar and trades the expensive Almas caviar for up to 27,000 euros per kilo. In addition, he produces 90% of the exclusive spice saffron worldwide, the gram of which costs even more than gold in some places.


Persian (also known as Farsi) is not only the official language of Iran, but is spoken by 70 million people worldwide as their mother tongue and by another 50 million as a second language. Many Persian words have also been adopted into European languages, including bazaar, caravan, magician, paradise, pistachio as well as chess, cheque and scarf. By the way, Arabic and Persian are only similar in their typeface, because Persian belongs to the Indo-European language family. This is one of the reasons why the Aryan tribe living in Iran believes that it is closely related to the Germans.


Iran has the highest number of rhinoplasties per inhabitant in the world, because due to the legally required veiling of women, the only permitted expression of their physical beauty is the face for many Iranian women. Consequently, this should not only be as perfectly made up as possible, but also perfectly proportioned. For many Persian women, rhinoplasty is also a symbol of status and prosperity. There are said to be women who wear the bandage even after recovery or even without surgery at all.

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Fancy more world moments? >> www.12-weltmomente.com

Would you like to support the project until 30 September 2020? >> https://www.startnext.com/12-weltmomente