Fars, Iran


Photographer: Valerie Leonard

Year of Submission: 2016 (Educators Edition)

Yaghoubi Liaghat teaches the children of nomads in southern Iran’s Fars province. His twelve students are all from a Turkic-speaking community. He teaches them Farsi, arithmetic, history, literature and science. In Iran, schools for nomads are known as “white tents”. The reason for this dates back to 1951 and the introduction of a new education system that included providing teachers and tents that would move with nomads as they migrated between their summer and winter camping grounds. Today, Yaghoubi still hosts his classes in a white tent. His teaching equipment is minimal. Most of what he uses he bought himself, paying for it out of his monthly salary of US$350. Ever since two of his students were run over and killed by a truck on their way home, Yaghoubi takes his pupils to and from their classes in his own car.

Valerie Leonard's photo-story won second place in our worldwide open call for submissions.