October 27, 2008 Leave a comment
The Paris Review has an unbelievable set of photographs of an ass-kicking graduation ceremony for Iranian female police cadets held a few years ago:
In 2003 the first group of female cadets graduated from Iran’s police academy. Tehran’s police chief Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf—now the mayor of Tehran—had obtained permission from the country’s spiritual leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, to create the all-female police units, and these policewomen were the products of a three-year training program. Abbas Kowsari was allowed to photograph the academy’s graduation ceremony in 2005, a dramatic pageant, and a historical anomaly. “During Qalibaf’s time as police chief,” the photographer said, “policewomen performed many martial arts and chase routines, including climbing walls and jumping out of the windows of moving cars. But after he stepped down, that training was eliminated. Last year’s ceremony was limited to a parade, speeches, target practice, and the loading of revolvers by blindfolded policewomen graduates. No photographers were allowed.”
This last bit of news gives us profoundly mixed feelings – it’s horrible that such an awesome spectacle no longer takes place, but given that our nation is seemingly headed for a showdown with Iran, perhaps it’s best that these tough Persian ladies are no longer kicking so much ass…
GAWKER notes that Mayor Qalibaf is a “half Persian, half Kurd rising star in his home country, and he has openly called for talks with Barack Obama. With this sense of style, screw the preconditions.”
Apparently there are more awesome photos where these came from, but you gotta buy the issue. Our love of editor Philip Gourevitch notwithstanding, in these tough economic times, the ROTI budget line for fancy-pants New York literary magazines has been eliminated.