iran life
Women warriors: story of Khatoon Khider and her Daughters of the Sun
Khatoon Khider used to be a popular Yazidi singer. Now she’s the head of an all-women battle unit with Isis in its sights. By Emma Graham-Harrison
By Emma Graham-Harrison

After what happened to Yazidi women and girls, I decided to stop singing until I take revenge for them,” she says. “Maybe I will go back to music, but I think this job as a soldier will be a long one.”

(As a side note: There’s dozens and dozens of these sorts of stories that are constantly mailed to me. I am usually uncomfortable posting them, as there’s a legitimate case to be made that they are wartime propaganda. Most I’ve seen have been poorly written, poorly sourced, and slanted to encourage cheerleading over critical thinking. What sets this one apart for me is its in-depth interviewing, and focus on who she is as a person over the ‘ISIS/ISIL/Daesh fears women’ narrative.)

(thanks to Becca for sending this in!)


Kurdish pop star Helly Luv risked her life to shoot an anti-ISIS music video 2 miles from the front lines 

Pop artist Helly Luv is seemingly full of contradictions: She’s outspoken about anti-violence, but fired a shell at an Islamic State settlement while filming a music video. She was born in the conservative Iran, but leads a life in the West as a revolutionary pop star. For her, music is political. This is why she insisted on filming the music video for her song “Revolution” in her ethnic home of northern Iraq. “If I can fight against them with my music, then my song is as powerful as or more powerful than their weapons.”


Photographic work coming out of Iran isn’t necessarily a rarity. But the vast majority of the work is either focused on political photo ops or, when it tries to go beyond that, depictions of anti-Western sentiments (billboards) or just street scenes filled with veiled women or men drinking tea and smoking hookahs. Francesca Manolino’s work is different, though. It is quiet, intimate and poetic. She traveled to Iran and went beyond the usual things we see. In Sight spoke to Manolino to find out how she did this.

Manolino said she was inspired to go to Iran some 10 years ago after seeing the movie “Persepolis.” In college, she studied anthropology, and Farsi calligraphy began to fascinate her. Later, when she was studying for a master’s degree in photography, she became enraptured by the work of the Iranian visual artist, Shirin Neshat. Fast-forward to last year when Manolino began following some Iranian photographers on Instagram.

See more: These stunningly beautiful photos show what ordinary life in Iran is like


  • it’s fast fast fast
  • the court looks surprisingly small from the side p.o.v
  • they’re flying
  • you can scream NICE RECEIVE to the top of your lungs
  • i actually saw a live setter dump attack and a jump float serve
  • i have a million times more respect for setters
  • two words. killer serves.
  • these teams literally speak in each other’s mind, idk how else they can predict and organize attacks that quickly
  • ALL THAT STRATEGY we can appreciate after haikyuu. I WAS SEEING DECOYS LIKE HINATA IN LIVE ACTION i can’t believe
  • the middle blockers pretty much block everything
  • five. freaking. sets. i could hardly handle one