The book "Mellat Park" published in summer 2015. This is an excerpt from the preface.
"This project is the result of a long photography journey (2011 – 2013) focusing on the current position of Mellat Park as one of the oldest yet biggest reformed parks in Iran. Early down the road, my father passed away. Those days, I always carried my camera, yet I spent most of my time in the park. It took a while and I became like thousands who took refuge here; I became part of its life. It was then that I slowly began to perceive: endless commute of people, gardeners’ tireless efforts to keep one and only big green heart of the city alive, those who found a cozy corner (=>peaceful and quiet corner), hangouts for senior citizens, athletes, university students, ducks, and even crows who each has found its territory somewhere in the park, a couple whose first ever date happened by the trunk of the oldest tree, the tree which now might have produced the sheets of paper for this very book, and finally those who slept in the park at night and never woke up again to read the morning newspapers’ headlines after their exercise. From urban designing point of view, location, design, construction, and even land use change seek social, cultural and political goals. That is why in the past decades, gardens have been planted and preserved to act as the city’s purifiers. Their purpose has been to not only tackle air pollution, but also from social background, help citizens develop and spread local culture, form new identities, and last but not least, resolve social issues. On the other hand, people’s constant visit to particular areas in this garden, has helped shape variety of hangouts which in turn have created new identities for these areas. Large-scaled gardens still present their unique vegetation which makes it ideal for peace-and-quiet seekers who want to be away from the hustle and bustle of cities for just a while. You could say that gardens today are considered a backyard for major cities; they could represent a green gateway to their lifestyle, social values, micro cultures, and the complex story of all those who have stepped in it."
Navid Reza Haghighi Mood