TEHRAN – Iran’s State Post Company has recently unveiled a postage stamp bearing graphic designer Alireza Zakeri’s drawing “National Heroes” to salute doctors and medical staff fighting COVID-19.
The design depicts doctors and health workers wearing face masks beside Iranian soldiers wearing chemical gas masks in the frontline during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.
“During the first days of the spread of the new virus I had to go to the emergency department of a hospital and I saw the difficult moments of doctors and nurses in visiting the patients, and I vividly remembered the war days and the hardships on the frontlines,” Zakeri told the Persian service of Honaronline.
“The healthcare staff members are in direct contact with death these days in the hospitals and they actually have turned into our heroes, and this made me create a design in which I put them beside the soldiers,” he explained.
Zakeri, however, lamented that the State Post Company has misused his drawing on the postage stamp, which has probably been prepared in a hurry.
“The original design had been published by an Iranian news agency, and then I found out that a stamp with my original work had been published by the post company and was unveiled by President Hassan Rouhani during a ceremony.
“If the original work had been saved, the stamp would surely have been better, but with changes in the color and adding the image of the virus, the originality has been damaged. I believe a stamp enjoys international recognition and should be made with better and more detailed attention,” he said.
“I think the presidential office probably ordered the post company to publish a stamp to encourage doctors and nurses in the battle with coronavirus and the company selected my work and ordered the designers to publish a stamp using it,” he said.
The drawing has been selected from a Zakeri’s collection on the aftermath of coronavirus pandemic.
This collection also features a drawing of a homeless person during these days.
“Economy is the main thing these days, and the issue to commence economic activities is quite necessary. I made a design based on this idea showing a person in the subway who wears a piece of bread on his face instead of a mask to show that the economy can save us first– not a mask. If there is no economy, the mask will be of no use,” he noted.
Photo: This combination photo shows graphic designer Alireza Zakeri’s original drawing “National Heroes” and a postage stamp bearing the picture.