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#51: Mother of the Earth

Directed by: Mahnaz Afzali
2017 / 52 mins
Persian with English Subtitles

This documentary takes a brief look at Hayedeh Shirzadi and her husband’s shared life, love and work and their attempt to put an end to the dumping and burial of urban garbage. Due to their hard work and ingenuity, 100% of the city of Kermanshah’s garbage is now recycled and the biowaste is made into organic fertilizers.

Shirzadi studied recycling in Germany. She returned to Iran in order to clean up the environment, to stop the destruction of arable land, and to curb air and water pollution. Her first attempts were ignored but she kept at the local government until she was successful in getting the job of waste manager, first in her birthplace Gilane Gharb and then in Kermanshah. She also traveled around Iran and helped establish a recycling center in many cities. Today Kermanshah’s waste is all recycled and converted into useful products.

She is an energetic leader and the fate of the earth is her main concern. Shirzadi has recently launched a site for recycling construction rubble.

The Karestan Documentary Series features stories about Iranian entrepreneurs of both genders who have taken personal risks, and through their creativity and innovative approach, became an instrument of change in their own as well as the lives of others. Their impact, even if confined to a small scale or limited to a geographical area, has inspired big change and progress.