Today, the city is repopulated but is still partly destroyed and holds an abundance of war monuments and souvenirs.
Most of its inhabitants are traditional supporters of the Islamic Republic, of the spiritual leader Ayatollah Khamenei and the majority of them have lost either husbands, sons, uncles and cousins in the war or are veterans themselves.
This area used to be rich due to one of the worlds largest oil raffineries in Abadan where king Rezah Pahlahvi built the country’s second airport. Now it is not only one of the country’s poorest areas but also one of the most unhealthy in Iran due to frequent sand storms.
I went to Khorramshahr and I spoke to basij war veterans, to war widows and visitors because I wanted to understand what made all those young men sacrifice their lives for their land and for their leader. To find out if pride over beloved ones dying as martyrs in the name of God could ever overcome the sorrow of their loss.