Iran Blogapalooza- Hamed Saber’s Photos


Ok well I’m stretching the definition of a blog to include a flickr site but I did find Hamed via a blog so I reckon it all even outs in the end. Hamed Saber became a bit of a star because flickr was being filtered (censored) by the Iranian govt. he made a firefox plug in that enabled Iranians to see and use flickr:-

Sami Ben Gharbia: Why did you set up the Firefox extension Access Flickr!?

Hamed Saber: As I said in the extension home page, in my country (Iran), unfortunately, is banned. I’m a fan of that photo-archive website, so I wrote this extension just to help my dear friends who can not access from Iran.

SBG: What purpose does Access Flickr! serve?

HS: I think all human beings have the right to choose what is good and what is bad for themselves. The “Big Brother” theory is not logical and ethical to me. Yes! Of course. I don’t want to say that parental control should not be happening just because of freedom and information access rights! No! I mean NO ONE has the right to censor ANY THING for me and for others without our permission! We can decide what is good and what is bad for us, better than those! –

The above selection (slapped together by me, so please excuse the cropping Hamed) is a small part of his portfolio so go and have a look. I really like the shot of his wife Somayeh sleeping on top of the car which apparently is an old Buick. I also love the pictures of snow (because I like snow) which are surprising as Iran makes most people think of deserts, but there was a lot of snow in Tehran last month and it’s as cold there as here on my little island home.

You can also see a photo taken in a very old synagogue, this picture caused some discussion and here is what Hamed had to say:-

Some people sent me emails about “Are you advertising Israel?” or “Do you accept Israel?” etc.
I’d better to write down the answer here, before others try to send me such emails!
No, I do not accept Israeli Regime, but I think Israelian people are human, like others, and have the normal social rights as others!
Of course this image is not related to Israel at all! This is a synagogue, a place to worship God or what ever you call him/her, Allah, Yehovah, Elohim …
I do respect Jews, as other religius peoples!
And to my Muslim friends who asked me to remove this shot:
I won’t do so! We (Jews and Muslims) both worship the same God! We (Muslims) must respect their prophet Moses (p.b.u.h.), because he’s respected by our prophet and our holy Quran! –

So long may he continue to make photographs.

Update: Direct link to his Firefox Flickr plug-in

30 Responses to “Iran Blogapalooza- Hamed Saber’s Photos”

  1. korova Says:

    But I thought that Muslims who respected Jews didn’t exist? Must have been reading too much bullshit in the Daily Mail. And surely you can’t respect Jews and refuse to accept the Israeli regime?? The simplistic world view of those on the right once again exposed.

  2. RickB Says:

    Absolutely and by someone they would try to paint as a monolithic ‘other’ enemy. Hamed also took some pics of the natanz nuclear research site, he’s hilarious, he just pulled up to the side of the road, took some pics. I’ve been threatened by security when taking a picture in a shop in Leeds!

  3. korova Says:

    Yeah, I hate that. I saw some security guard in a shopping precinct stop a kid from taking photos. I love this whole notion of corporate space being allowed to take over public space and create it’s own little fascist regime.

  4. Hamed Saber Says:

    Thank you Rick.
    And korovo, I can’t understand your point! Explain more please, or send me an email..

  5. RickB Says:

    Hey Hamed, I forgot to also say that I love the levitating in snow pic and the little girl with the red necklace. I also wondered what kit you use, what camera, what lenses, what software? Because I’d like to write more about your flickr group.
    I’m going to leave it to Korova to explain what ‘The Daily Mail’ is (I’m so mean!) but he is agreeing with you because he has the same experience of being attacked as against jewish people when he crticises the Israeli govt’s actions. He, like you strongly believes in equal human rights for all people, men & women, for jewish people, for palestinian people, for muslims, for christians, for everyone; I do too. The people (Bush, Blair) who want to attack Iran try to convince us that muslims are dangerous and are against the jews. No one sensible believes them and your writing shows it even better how wrong they are.

  6. korova Says:

    Thanks for that RickB!! Hi Hamed, essentially the Daily Mail is a very right-wing newspaper. Amongst it’s many (dubious) claims to fame is their support for the Nazi Party in the 1930s (at least until the war started) – this has been airbrushed from their own history. As with many right-wing papers, it tends to take a pro-Israeli stance. Essentially, as far as many of their commentators are concerned, Israel does nothing wrong. It commits no human rights abuses and, if they do accept abuses, it’s usually in the context of Palestinian terrorism.

    One of their columnists, Melanie Phillips, has recently been involved in the controversey surrounding criticism of Israel. For sometime now, anyone who criticises Israel has been smeared as anti-Semitic by the right-wing press (as rickB points out, I have been victim to such smears). Although there are examples of anti-Semitic tendencies, the vast majority of the criticisms are entirely legitimate. Sadly, columnists like Phillips, have denounced anyone who criticises Israel as being anti-Semitic, no matter how reasonable the terms of the debate (see here: If you want to learn more about the Daily Mail and Melanie Phillips, I suggest you check out these links:

    If you want to know more about how the right treat Muslims in the UK, I would recommend this as a good starting point (even if I say so myself):

    Sorry if there was any confusion, sometimes I go a bit overboard with the ironic remarks!

  7. Dimitri, Russia Says:

    Hi Hamed,

    I’ve enjoyed your photos, especially portaits (Na-khoda is exciting shot!)

    I see you have diving experience in Kish island. Me and my friends plan to visit Iran in May, could you advise were can we take equipment for diving in Kish or Keshm?

  8. Irans censur på nettet forbigået at NielsChrist Says:

    […] iransk gut, Hamed Saber, har lavet et add-on til firefox, der formår at give adgang til netsiden […]

  9. Hamed Saber Says:

    Oh sorry!
    I didn’t know that I should periodically check here 😉
    Any feature for announcing new reply via email?

    About my photography gear, I’m an absolute amateur photographer, using a Sony point&shoot camera (DSC-H1). I wish I could buy an SLR one as soon as I have money for 😉

    Thanks a lot for your complete clarification and great links

    Sorry guy, seems it’s too late! But may I ask you why u didn’t send me a simple email?!

  10. RickB Says:

    Hey Hamed, I emailed you (at flickr)too today about a banner for your plug in. See the new post on Hamed Saber saves China!
    About comment tracking, yes I will look into that and see what can be done. You are making the most of your sony, any preferences for an SLR? Nikon, Olympus etc?

  11. davidpeng Says:

    Thanks for the extension.

    David from China

  12. RickB Says:

    Hey David! Well it’s all thanks to Hamed, when you get onto flickr look him up and send him a message, he’s helped a lot of people with his cunning firefox add on.

  13. pradz Says:

    Let me first tell you that i like what i see from ur set of photographs here and in flickr.
    and secondly THANKS A GAZZELION TIMES buddy. Seriously i moved to UAE a coupla months ago and until today couldn’t chk out or upload any work there…but thanks to you and your firefox addon i can access flickr with no problems whatsoever.
    khayli mamnoonn !!!

    Thanks again….

  14. alishams Says:

    hey man,
    Just downloaded your bypass flickr addon. It’s great. Thank you!
    I thought I really needed to thank you for such a good job!

  15. RickB Says:

    Just to let people know, I forward all thanks to Hamed, I’m glad I can help spread the word on his great addon.

  16. bashir Says:

    Hamed ,

    I realy don’t know how to thank u for the extension that u wrote… god bless u … and all who support the human right & freedom …. Eid Mubarak to u… and to all the creative people like u all over the world

  17. RickB Says:

    I’ve forwarded your comment to Hamed, he’ll be glad to know his work continues o help people out and Happy Eid to all!

  18. Hamed Saber Says:

    You are welcome, and Happy Eid to you too.
    I think I should thank RickB for his excellent blog, including this post which well explained the extension.

  19. naj Says:


    You know, someone should tell the idiotic “sanction” supporters that: A nation that knows how to defeat/cheat its own government will not sit idle and starve to submission!

    I suggest every member of the white house be forced to drive in Tehran, to realize how inadequate their senses and skills are, as far as the very basic neural mechanisms of decision making/ attention/action planning and reaction time are!

    Hats off to Hamed!
    please promise MIT won’t steel you!

  20. RickB Says:

    Is this just a huge scam because you own Tehran’s foremost auto bodyshop repair service?

  21. naj Says:

    Actually … this was my act of terrrr-orrrr 🙂 I didn’t think they will survive … was just thinking of giving them a taste of their own medicine: natural selection 😉

  22. Rafael Says:

    Watching and interesting program on Iran and the U.S. showdown. Frontline is a PBS show (the U.S. version of the BBC, but orientated to educational TV and documentaries).

    Its excellent…I would like Naj input on this one if he gets the chance to see it.

    Oh and great pics….keep up the good work.

  23. RickB Says:

    Traffic the great sorter of wheat from chaff!

    Yeah I’m going to make time to watch that (ps. he is a she, Naj is a lady woman type person).

  24. Meriwinkle Says:

    Hiya Hamed! I’ve tried installing ‘Access Flickr!’ a couple of times, but it just won’t work! Is it because I use a mac? I’m from Dubai, and flickr’s blocked in the country *thniffles*

  25. Rafael Says:

    My apologies Naj….

  26. حامد صابر Says:

    I don’t have any mac for testing it; and yes, I know that this extension has problems in Mac OS. I will be pleased if you can test and debug it.

  27. Hamed Saber Says:

    The prev comment was mine, I mistakenly wrote my name in Persian 😀

  28. RickB Says:

    Hey Hamed, I’m on a mac and know a few other mac users I’ll see if anyone could help with this I’m not confident I am expert enough myself though but I’m sure someone will step up, I’ll keep you posted.
    That makes me think what would my name look like in Persian, prepare for mistranslation hilarity!

  29. Paul Danger Kile Says:

    I have Jewish friends that I love and respect, but the things that Israel does? No. I wonder if korova’s comment (“And surely you can’t respect Jews and refuse to accept the Israeli regime”) was sarcasm? I also don’t agree with USA wars in many cases. The (current) Iraq war and occupation was surely wrong to do. I see Americans with their “If you like your freedom, then thank a veteran” bumper stickers, and wonder what destroying another country on false pretenses has to do with my freedom?

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