Middle East: A drug addict in the family

Helen Fitzwilliam describes an Iranian filmmaker’s quest to find his brother, the heroin addict

The World Today Updated 30 July 2021 Published 1 August 2021 3 minute READ

Helen Fitzwilliam

Journalist and filmmaker

The opening of Majed Neisi’s film shows his seven brothers and his sister laughing and dancing at his cousin’s wedding in Ahvaz in south-west Iran. But this is just the public face of a family in crisis.

His elder brother Mohammad had become a heroin addict who would vanish for weeks at a time. After the party, he disappeared and nobody would talk about him.

In a country where honour and reputation are paramount, a drug-addicted child is a huge stigma. ‘My mother hated the disgrace and prayed for his death,’ said Neisi.

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