With the emergence of the coronavirus outbreak, the global community has faced many problems and crises. Aside from health issues, economic hardship has become the second-most visible consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. Iran, among five countries, has shown the highest prevalence of COVID-19 and has become the first to be officially hit by the second wave of the epidemic. On March 15, 2020, the Iranian government announced a formal quarantine, but for many Iranians living on a day-to-day income, staying home means not having the money to pay for basic expenses such as food and rent.
In the city of Gorgan, like many other places in Iran, despite the high risk of infection, the spread of the virus and the penalty for breaking quarantine, honourable people, such as flea market vendors and street vendors, continue to work. People who need to earn a living to pay off their debts have no choice but to turn to night selling. Away from the eyes of the police, in the sub-alleys of the city, they work to meet their needs and survive. Sadly, even their nightly sales are so slow that they cannot afford to pay their living expenses. This is the story of the nightly life of peddlers working to make a living under the skin of the city. It is a small example of the life of a large community of peddlers in Iran.
Photo Credit: Kianoush Saadati / NVP Images
– (2020 Grant recipients of Pulitzer Center)