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Photo taken by contributor Shayan, a 25-year-old man from Tehran, Iran. He bought a camera last year and started to study and practice photography on his own. He has not experienced mental illness, however his aunt has. She has trouble concentrating and thinking clearly, and has problems with her socializing and learning abilities. It is believed to perhaps be in part due to cousin marriage, which he says is rampant in Iran and the Middle East. He says that in parts of Iran, parents arrange the marriage of cousins before birth. There are many people in his country who are believed to suffer from both mental or physical disorders caused by the prevalence of cousin marriage. He quotes wikipedia in saying “this is because married couples that possess higher than normal consanguinity, shared identical DNA and genetic material, have an increased chance of sharing genes for recessive traits.” Fortunately, he reports that the awareness has been raised and cousins’ tendency toward marriage has been lowered recently.
About this photo: “This is the best of my life that I have many friends to go hiking and camping with. I also love my country, Iran that have various season and nature to live and travel. Here, it’s just common green hill in the north of country. If you curious about Iran, now it is the time to travel. After the recent presidential election (2013), fortunately a legitimate reformist candidate was elected and it seems the government is going to treat the world quite different than before. By the way, I wish you all make best friends and travel the world together.”