It all started from the last few days of year 2012 when I heard the sad news of my father’s illness. He was diagnosed with Liver cirrhosis.
Cirrhosis is a condition in which the liver does not function properly due to a long-term damage of cells and irreversible scarring of the liver. Cirrhosis may come suddenly and unexpectedly but typically, it is a chronic disease which develops slowly over months or years. If the damage is not stopped, the liver gradually loses most of its ability to carry out its normal functions.
I didn’t know what the cause of my father’s fatal disease was. But I knew something for sure, and that was seeing him getting weakened day by day. But doctors had great hopes for him. They assured us that there were some treatment procedures which could slow or delay his disease progression.
However, this condition unfortunately coincided with some significant changes in the country due to economic sanctions imposed by the West. My father’s illness along with the economic and social instability caused our family to face a crisis. We had been surrounded by lots of prescriptions for rare medicine while sanction statements were piling up at international agencies.
During that rough time, patients and their families were frustrated with the struggle of going to pharmacies, either public or private, to provide their rare expensive medications. Medicine scarcity was indeed imposing a lot more pressure than the illness itself for patients and their families.
Having been banned from conducting international financial transactions led many pharmaceutical companies to bankruptcy and therefore raised the price for drugs dramatically. These companies’ being wiped out of the market was not only their owners’ concern anymore; it was also the concern for thousands of patients whose lives depended on those medications. With a quick look at Iran on those days, we could see an invisible connection among people because of the shared pain and challenges they were facing.
This difficult situation made living so unbearable for citizens, especially for patients and their families, that sometimes going through one day seemed like a century. Without doubt, medicine sanctions against Iran was a silent war in which the battlefield was people’s homes and their everyday lives; an invisible war without news coverage and Medias close attention.
This collection is trying to demonstrate not only these patients and their serious chronic diseases but also a social phenomenon caused by so called “scraps of paper” and sanction statements. This is clearly just one example from many other silent wars people have been facing in the last decade or so.
I had the honor to have some great friends’ sincere guidance and support throughout this journey. I should thank Mohammad Mehdi Rahimian, Farhad Soleimani, Mohammad Norouzi, Saeed kiaee, Mohammad Hossein Iravani and Marzieh Shafikhani.
Seyed Mehdi Hosseini