SAMK participated in the BUP Teachers’ Course to integrate UN SDGs into the International Tourism Management programme

Baltic University Programme (BUP) Teachers’ Course 2022–23 focused on integrating UN SDGs into Higher Education. The Teachers’ course was relevant for me as the International Tourism Management programme was undergoing a renewal process with the aim of integrating sustainability into the programme. I participated in the Teachers’ course along with two lecturers from the Environmental Engineering programme.

The course taught us participants hands-on ways to implement SDGs into teaching and study programmes. The UN SDGs are a set of 17 global goals adopted by the UN in 2015 to achieve a sustainable future. The goals address a range of social, economic, and environmental challenges.

The Teacher’s course of BUP incorporated the principles of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as a pedagogical approach to promote sustainable practices.  ESD is an approach that seeks to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and values necessary to promote sustainable practices. Education, particularly ESD, is recognized as a key driver for achieving the SDGs.

By incorporating ESD principles into tourism education at SAMK, we can create responsible and environmentally conscious tourism professionals who can address challenges facing the industry. Students are empowered to become active agents of sustainable tourism practices. They promote cultural diversity and preserve natural and cultural heritage for future generations. Incorporating sustainability into tourism higher education can lead to a more responsible and ethical industry.

Integrating ESD Principles in the International Tourism Management programme: Ideas & Strategies

  • Incorporate sustainability themes into curriculum and course content
  • Use participatory learning approaches
  • Foster critical thinking
  • Emphasize local to global perspectives
  • Incorporate experiential learning opportunities
  • Encourage ethical reflection

The Baltic University Programme (BUP) is a network of universities and other higher education institutions in the Baltic Sea region. Its aim is to promote cooperation in education, research, and sustainable development. SAMK is a member in this network.

Text: Jaana Ruoho, International Tourism Management

Image: The participants of BUP Teachers’ Course 2022–23 in Kaunas, Lithuania in March 2023. Participants and teachers came from several European countries. Image from BUP.

Digital Literacy Workshop at Lissu

”Let’s say, about 80% of these things are new to me. Thank you for teaching us these things.”

This was a comment from one participant in the workshop on digital literacy conducted by project researchers from Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK) in Pori on February 21, 2023.

The event was part of the HyHy (Hyvinvointia Hybridisti) and TEKOS (Teknologialla osallisuutta – verkostolla vaikuttavuutta) -projects. HyHy project aims to promote digital interaction through co-creation, workshops, and training. TEKOS project on the other hand aims to improve social inclusion and participation through technology.

Project researchers from SAMK teaching about using email.
Project researchers from SAMK teaching about using email.
Photo: Lissu Social Club, kynnyksetön palvelupiste.

During the workshop, SAMK researchers worked with participants to develop their digital literacy skills. They learned how to better use email, getting familiar with google services and learning cyber security. The training was designed to help individuals develop the necessary skills to navigate the increasingly digital world, from online communication to remote service access.

The Lissu Social Club which is located in Pori center was an ideal location for the workshop as it is a community-based organization that provides a safe and welcoming environment for vulnerable individuals to gather and socialize. The workshop was well-received by participants who appreciated the opportunity to learn and improve their digital skills.

The participants and the staff from Lissu Social Club expressed their gratitude for the learning opportunity. They all agreed that this knowledge is practically necessary so that they, especially the clients from Lissu, can have equal opportunity in accessing social and health services.  

Overall, the SAMK digital literacy workshop at Lissu Social Club was a successful event that demonstrated the importance of digital literacy training in today’s world. The HyHy and TEKOS projects are exciting initiatives that will continue to support the community in developing essential digital skills and making sure that no one is left behind when it comes to digital development in our society.

For more info:

Hyvinvointia Hybridisti -hanke:

TEKOS -hanke:

For inquiries related to the event, contact:

Text: Project Researcher Ryann Deloso

Article photo (Ryann Deloso): SAMK’s project researchers with Tiina Mäkitalo (far right) HyHy’s project manager in SAMK.

Tourism student’s Erasmus+ exchange week in Belgium

As a student in University of Applied Sciences, students are given the opportunity to go abroad to study as an exchange student.

What was it like to do this kind of exchange?

Every year many students awaits impatiently about the information on the subject. This is a wonderful opportunity to go abroad, meet new people, gather different kind of knowledge, and get familiarized with different cultures.

But unfortunately, this is not the case for every student. Some students would like to have the same opportunities, but might have aspects in their lives, that does not make it possible. Some might have children, or they are not able to have a long period leave-of-absence from their workplaces, for example.

As we were starting our second-year studies last autumn, we were given the opportunity, to embark in this short-term Erasmus+ Blended Intensive Programme (BIP). The intensive week of the course would last only a week, but would happen at PXL University of Applied Sciences and Arts in Hasselt in Belgium. Funding granted from Erasmus+ Programme made the decision of taking a part in this project very easy. From the get-go, our whole group of classmates was willing and able to participate.

We were given a short introduction to the upcoming week in advance, and we then found out, that we would be doing and actual project for an actual commissioner. It was not revealed to us completely, but we had a little bit of information regarding the subject. The project would be taking place in an old castle and its surroundings.

Needless to say, we were excited!

Alternative ways to be an exchange student

When we were offered this kind of opportunity, we were thrilled to participate. We were excited to meet people from different cultures and experience studying in a different way. Even though most of us have travelled a lot, we were all equally excited to go! The week we spend in Hasselt was not an ordinary study week, instead we got to hear many interesting seminars, and the most important part was to work for a real-life case for a real commissioner. We got to create a business idea for an old castle in Maasmechelen, which was extremely interesting and definitely something different from our usual studies.

In addition to us from SAMK and the Belgium students from PXL, we were also accompanied by Croatian students for PAR University College. We all learned a lot from co-operating with different nationalities, and we had a really great time with everyone!

What did we learn?

By working with multiple other cultures, we had a lot of fun, but we also learned a lot from ourselves and about working all together. We also improved multiple skills, like working in a group, working with different personalities and people with different ways of doing schoolwork which can be challenging.

The good thing is we all remembered to have fun in the middle of the tight schedules and all, so our time management skills were on point. At some point it was difficult, as it is known that Finnish people are more punctual when others weren’t as much, we learned to be flexible, communicate and make compromises.

Overall, I think we can all agree that we learned a lot from this trip, whether it was through our successes or our mistakes. We gained valuable tools for the future and improved our skills we can benefit from in similar future projects!

Text: SAMK students Heli Kulju, Siiri Romoi and Johanna Ylioja

Images: PXL

Putting the learnt into practice through collaboration – Sales Pitch project with Rauma Chamber of Commerce

Collaboration with business should be embedded into business education. Studies aim to provide students with competencies needed for a successful career. As much as possible the learnt skills should be put into practice; both to strengthen them and to show that they can be useful in real life.

Sales Pitch is a project carried out in collaboration with Rauma Chamber of Commerce at SAMK Campus Rauma. The Chamber of Commerce grants an lnternationalization Award to a company or other active party in the region annually. 

The SAMK students work in small groups. They can be both degree and exchange students. This time they were a very international group of students coming from Belgium, France, Latvia, Vietnam and Australia, and  among them also one Finnish student.

In the project the students familiarize themselves with the finalists for the award both by searching information on them and also interviewing them. This way the students get an overview of who the finalists are and especially what kind of activities and operations make them potential candidates for the internationalization award.

The preparation stage for the students contains revising report writing and giving presentations. The  main focus, though, is on learning what pitching is, in what kind of situations it could and should be used. Understanding the general structure of pitching, and creating a sales pitch, are in the centre of practice. Learning about pitching is also appreciated by the students. One of the students comments that ”in my opinion public speaking is one of the most important skills in life”.

The students submit reports on the finalists to the judges of the Internationalization Award. The reports concentrate especially on how international the finalists are, what kind of international activities are part of their work. The students also look at the impact of the candidates on the region.

In their groups, the students design a pitch talk on the finalist they have familiarized themselves with. They rehearse the pitch and decide which member of their group will deliver it in the award event. The comment from a student shows the benefit of real life experience: “The fact that I had to do concrete work on an existing company was very interesting for me. I liked the fact that I had to present in front of the Chamber of Commerce and the company managers, although it was a little  stressful.”

The students, on top of getting an understanding of pitching and getting familiar with a local company, also build up their transversal skills. They learn about teamwork, scheduling and language skills, among other things. Last but not least, it is also essential to gain confidence and courage in a variety of skills and contexts. The core of it is stated by a student: “I am very proud of myself, for going outside my comfort zone for this project.”

Text: Marina Wikman, Lecturer

Picture: SAMK students with certificates for the completed Chamber of Commerce project (Marina Wikman).

From new acquaintance to old partners in a heartbeat

Back in April 2019, Judith and Ragna were waiting at a hotel reception in Tampere. By the time we arrived in Pori it was like we would have known each other for a long time already. And yet it was only some weeks earlier that we got the first enquiry from HZ from two teachers who wanted to visit us under the Erasmus+ teacher mobility programme. HZ? A University of Applied Sciences in the Netherlands. Completely new to us, but of course we were happy to welcome a new partner.

During the visit we learned how very similar HZ and SAMK are when it comes to teaching philosophy, pedagogical methods, research interests, degree programmes, and even administratively, considering e.g., the size of the school or organizational form. Both schools represent higher education in rural areas focusing strongly on co-operation and development projects with the organizations in the area.

The plan was to pay back the visit, but then Covid19 forced us to find immediately new ways to co-operate. Tourism management students of HZ needed clients for their development project and since the owner of an adventure company suddenly had spare time in their hands, I interrupted their forest skiing trip and asked to co-operate with HZ students in spring 2020.

Mirthe Martinius and Jere Kuusinen

This autumn we finally had a chance to continue building even stronger relationship within tourism education. Mirthe visited SAMK and finally I had a chance to visit Vlissingen. In the meanwhile, our tourism student had done her exchange studies at HZ, and we also had incoming exchange students from HZ. But as I like to promote to our students especially partners, who I know well, I was so happy to finally visit HZ Café and shop myself, see student lounges and classrooms – and of course, students.

During my teacher exchange I joined Scrum-session with the second-year students and followed their presentations on cultural awareness. I gave lectures on seasonal employees, connection between salary and job satisfaction, and on Finnish culture based on Hofstede, Trompenaars and Lewis, as requested. And I must say I felt slightly intimidated to give a lecture on Dutch scholars – for the Dutch.

The highlight of my visit was when I saw genuine interest on students’ faces when I introduced SAMK as an exchange opportunity for them. One of my lectures was also joined by 14 prospective HZ students interested in tourism studies. They were hosted by study buddies, and they had lunch together during the day when they followed the regular schedule of tourism students. Hopefully prospective students of HZ will also be our prospective incoming exchange students!

Learning even better how same and yet different we as schools are, gave me lots of ideas. For example, in the Netherlands tourism studies follow the same profile in all schools, whereas in Finland, we have the flexibility to design our own curricula, even though tourism educators have a strong and active co-operation network. This provides a great opportunity for us to provide complementary studies for HZ tourism management students.

HZ main campus in Vlissingen

All great business stories start from a garage, and HZ has their very own Garage, where interdisciplinary teams of students make projects for organizations that have requested students to develop something for them. I also had a pleasure to visit the daily stand-up, which was scheduled exceptionally for the afternoon due to my visit. All in all, I could not have felt more welcomed with so many people being aware of my visit, having my own desk at the staff working area, being invited into daily conversations, and being accompanied by both tourism and sport management teams for a dinner.  

Since April 2019 when Judith and Ragna had the opportunity to stand on a (piece of) frozen sea, SAMK and HZ have also partnered in Skills4CMT-project together with some of our other national and international partners. I would like to encourage our colleagues in SAMK and HZ to look for co-operation opportunities in research and education, including student mobility, as I am sure there are many possibilities for us to discover how to #thinkfuture, and to ensure #itsyourfuture. 

Text: Heini Korvenkangas, Senior Lecturer

Article photo (top photo): Judith van Poppel and Ragna Brouwers visited the Yyteri beach in winter.

Export activities of Central Baltic area companies in Southern Africa and Middle East

SAMK has been active in Interreg Central Baltic projects supporting companies in developing business activities outside EU markets. The SME Aisle project team has worked on export activities in Southern African countries in the fields of trade, maritime and logistics, renewable energy, automation, and ICT. One of the SME Aisle project members, Tiina Mäkitalo, has also worked in an export project IHMEC that was targeting Saudi Arabian construction markets with indoor hygiene solutions that aim to break the chain of infection with built environment. The aim of this text is to compare these two markets as both projects have been funded by the Central Baltic program.

When looking at the similarities between the two markets first, the entry is quite the same since both markets bring identical challenges: contacts and networking, business culture, and market information. Similarities and differences are presented in Table 1.

Table 1. Review of the main similarities and differences between the two markets

Both the construction and the health care sectors are highly regulated, and the challenge for the IHMEC case was that providing the “Nordic solution” wasn’t sufficient, but it had to be adapted to local context in Saudi Arabia. The product must be more tailored based on the needs of the market and customers. To seek approval for the solution for instance, the IHMEC project targeted lead users and opinion leaders.

The second similarity is the importance of building trustworthy relationships. It imperatively begins by going into the country, experiencing the culture, and meeting people. In both situations, networking is the key to a successful entry and implementation. It is so important that it is almost impossible to establish a position without at least face-to-face communication.

To highlight the differences between the two areas: Finnish companies are perceived a bit differently from a country to another. In Southern African markets, it is seen as reliable, humble, and innovative. Finnish companies listen well and adapt their products well to the target market. They are usually seen as technologically advanced and having high standards. However, they are also perceived as bad marketers struggling to show the value proposition of the product (mainly based on practical aspects only).

The Saudi Arabian point of view is that Finland is a reliable and non-corrupted country known for its good PISA results, having advanced health care and being the happiest country in the world. Companies are seen as reliable, but maybe not so flexible compared to Saudi business culture where all business is personal. In addition, Finns are seen as less adaptive in Saudi Arabia. Saudis expect reactivity in business meaning that they would like partners to be in contact also outside the “business hours”. They also share business material via WhatsApp, which is not usual, or even not allowed in Finland.

The final variance is the purchasing power. Southern African countries (except South Africa) have a low purchasing power leading to a preference for B2B and B2G. Yet, Saudi Arabia is a very rich country with possibilities to purchase the best technologies. They favour American solutions and utilise those as standards. For Finnish solutions, the challenge is to convince the demanding customer about the novelty, high quality, and why it is “better than the American ones”.

All in all, both of the markets have high potential for business. Long term commitment from companies is needed for success.

Text: Arthur Dessenius, Tiina Mäkitalo, Minna M. Keinänen-Toivola

Photo: Pixabay: TheDigitalArtist

Final events of the CBSmallPorts project in Riga, Latvia

The CBSmallPorts project, focused on developing small ports in the Central Baltic area, started just as the pandemic hit the world in 2020. COVID restrictions prevented face-to-face meetings from happening and therefore project partners from different countries were only able to meet in online meetings and workshops. Luckily, during the last few months of the project, the CBSmallPorts partners, including SAMK team, could have a few face-to-face workshops and participate in a few events and fairs. At last, the final conference and final partner meeting were held in in Riga, Latvia in August 2022 for the entire project partnership.

Travel to Riga, 24.08.2022

The SAMK team took an approximately one-hour flight from Helsinki to Riga in the afternoon on 24 August. When we arrived at the airport in Riga, we took taxis to our hotel Wellton Riverside Spa Hotel located in the city center. After a short rest we had a walk in the old town of Riga which was very close to the hotel.

View from the airplane in Helsinki, Finland.

The old town of Riga had a wonderful atmosphere with historical buildings. Most of us in the team were taking beautiful photos of the streets and buildings even though a few of us had already visited the place some years back. Our walk in the old town, which lasted for a few hours, ended with a great dinner. The it was time to head back to the hotel to rest and to prepare for the conference on the day after.

CBSmallPorts final conference, 25.08.2022

The venue for the final conference room was located on the top (8th) floor of the same hotel we stayed at. After having a good breakfast, we met our partners in the conference room at around 9:30 AM to have a coffee and start the conference at 10 AM.

It was very exciting to finally being able to meet the partners from Sweden, Latvia, and Estonia after having mostly online meetings for over two years. That reminded us how important it is to meet the coworkers or partners in person and how the work can proceed when meeting people face-to-face.

Final conference in Wellton Riverside SPA Hotel’s conference room in Riga, Latvia.

During the final conference, the presentations covered topics such as small port development, energy efficiency for boaters and small ports, and development of networks and cooperation. The small ports are part of the tourism industry – they are essential in providing services to boaters and other users. It was mentioned that one euro spent in the small port leads to four euros spent in other services. The CBSmallPorts project results were presented by SAMK’s Minna Keinänen-Toivola. Minna introduced one of the key results of the CBSmallPorts project, an online platform called Baltic Small Ports. In addition, as August 25 happened to be the annual Baltic Sea Day, it was a great opportunity to celebrate the Baltic Sea at the conference, as well.

Minna Keinänen-Toivola presenting CBSmallPorts project results.

The last partner meeting with a tour in small ports and old Riga, 26.08.2022

On Friday morning, SAMK team and project partners gathered in the meeting room for the last partner meeting of the project. It was time to sum up the results and have final discussions. Jussi Sutela from XAMK, one of the project partner organizations, attended the meeting online. At last, we took a group photo and ended the meeting with a wish to work with the same partners in future projects.

CBSmallPorts project partners’ group photo.

After the meeting, we took a bus to visit three small ports in Riga and to have a one-hour guided tour in the old town of Riga. We had the chance to hear the history and stories behind the old buildings. Riga and Latvia in general, have an interesting history and hearing them while visiting the place and taking photos, is a great experience.

Latvian small ports have had several investments made with EU-funding.
Guided sightseeing in the Old Town of Riga.

Finally, after a lunch in a restaurant with a beautiful view it was time to head to the airport and return to Finland. Overall, it was an amazing trip with the company of nice people, in a beautiful city with a wonderful atmosphere.

Text: Sina Khabbazi and Minna M. Keinänen-Toivola
Photos: Sina Khabbazi and Minna M. Keinänen-Toivola

Tourism students’ experiences from an international camp week in Finland

We participated in an international course that ended with an intensive week in Merikarvia in May 2022. During the week, we worked with local companies to improve their digital opportunities.

Our commissioner was Merry Camping, which is located in Merikarvia on the island of Brando. It is located 3 km from the center of Merikarvia and offers various types of accommodation such as camping, motorhome and guests can even stay with their motorhome or a caravan. It has a variety of activities to offer such as pedal boats, rowing boats, SUP boards, kayaks, rackets and balls for mini-golf, and an electric and wooden sauna. When we went there, the representative for the place named Anu showed us around the place. She showed us most of the cabins and amenities that they have. When we asked her about what she expected us to work on, she told us to focus on the cabanas that were not selling much and she said to work on them precisely. I think that made our work easier as we knew what we were going for.

We started the project by learning about and visiting the commissioners in their locations. We had a tour around the Merry Camping area and we saw the different cottages and accommodation services and possibilities. After the tour, Anu specified the task to be about the new Cabana cabins with fewer spent nights than expected. We started creating ideas of how we should start working  to improve their social media. We looked through their Facebook and noticed that they have good quality photos and a well-informed Facebook page. The only thing we noticed that was missing was the street address to the location. Their website was in a developing phase, so we did not really focus on that. With their Instagram, we had much more ideas to develop it and that is where we put the most of our effort as well. With Instagram, we created the posts and stories and also a video to add to the reels. Our group also came up with the idea to improve the Instagram bio and another little bit more technical stuff for the Instagram account. We went to visit Merry Camping to get the photos and film the video. The weather was perfect for the “summer is coming” theme that we had set for this post since the Cabanas are more for summertime use. We did get our work done pretty efficiently and on time for each day to also have enough time to enjoy the fun and relax.

On the last day of the intensive week we had the presentation. In our opinion, we presented it well and got nice feedback. In the end, the process was fun and we really enjoyed working on it.

This project was a good opportunity to develop teamwork skills, meet new people and work with real companies. We were divided into mixed groups so it was interesting to work together with different nationalities. Our group members were Helena from Finland, Silvia from Estonia, and Kashish from India.

Merry Camping is a cool place with many possibilities and things to do. Their webpage has  all of the information needed with great pictures, but we saw awesome opportunities in creating content for their Instagram.

In our project, we also faced some challenges. The most difficult challenge was that we did not get to meet our commissioner personally. We had Anu, who works for them to show us around and tell us the tasks they wanted us to focus on. We had quite free hands to be  creative, but we still missed the commissioner’s own point of view. The other challenge that affected our work was the fact that all the activities for summer were not prepared yet. We did not have access to the summer activities such as minigolf, sup- boards, pedal boats, etc. There were also some scheduling issues so, in the end, we were unable to use or take photos or videos about the activities while in use.

Text: Silvia Pertens, TalTech University & Kashish Gosain, SAMK & Helena Larilahti Lapland UAS

Images: Silvia Pertens and Helena Larilahti

The SME Aisle project provided an inspiring internship for Arthur Dessenius

The SME Aisle project, funded by the Interreg Central Baltic and coordinated by the Satakunta University of Applied Sciences, was launched in 2018 to support the SMEs of the Finnish, Swedish, Estonian and Latvian maritime clusters in accessing Namibia as a gateway to the Southern African region. The project carried out a number of export promotion trips, researched the target countries’ business opportunities and sought solutions to support SME trade in the Southern African markets. The project ended in May 2022. Student Arthur Dessenius from Belgium worked with the project for over three months as an intern.

“I was seeking an internship for the end of my bachelor’s degree, and my school, SAMK, offered me to join the SME Aisle project. After being introduced to the project, I was highly motivated by this great offer. I discovered an organisation that was willing to do its best to reach its objectives. The project had big ambitions and a true desire to help developing the business between Finland and Southern African countries like Namibia, Zambia, and South Africa. How could someone deny such opportunity?

My supervisors entrusted me with the task of studying the market entry process in Southern African countries, especially Namibia, Zambia, and South Africa. The study began with some desk research to become familiar with the topic. Then came the interviews of both case companies and supportive institutions. Case companies were interviewed to share their experience with other companies that would like to enter those markets. Supportive institutions were studied to provide a summary of all the help available for a market entry in Southern Africa.

Now that my journey reaches its end, I can say that the best asset of the SME Aisle project is its team. Each person that I met had a rich background and a lot of information to share. Their knowledge is obviously the result of a strong involvement in the project. There is also a caring atmosphere in the SME Aisle project. The people I got to work with always considered my wellbeing, which makes the work even more enjoyable. At the end, it was a real pleasure to spend the last months of the project there, and I am very grateful to be accepted on board.”

International Business student Arthur Dessenius from Belgium worked with the project for over three months as an intern.

Text: Nina Savela and Arthur Dessenius

Photos: Hanna Kajander and Arthur Dessenius

Get-together event for exchange students: An opportunity to experience Finnish traditions

New year and new opportunities for students 

In the early 2022, as restrictions due to the pandemic started to decrease gradually, Satakunta University of Applied Sciences (SAMK) welcomed many new degree and exchange students from all around the world. Some students traveled to Finland already in autumn 2021 and some in the beginning of 2022. 

Get-together event on April 6 

The International Office at SAMK offers many different events and activities for students. One of these events was a get-together event organized for exchange students in Silokallio on April 6, with the purpose of introducing Finland and Finnish traditions to foreign students, as well as helping students to get to know each other. 

The participants were mostly exchange students studying on either Pori or Rauma campus, some were studying at other universities also. Members of Soteekki (SAMK’s service center of social and health care) and some student ambassadors also took part in the event. During the event, they produced content for SAMK social media channels and helped students in various activities.  

The students were taken to Silokallio by bus. At first students had a morning chat with each other over coffee.  

The event included a lot of activities, and since it was held close to Easter, it included many traditional Finnish Easter activities as well, in order to introduce the Finnish way of celebrating Easter to international students. 

At first, there was a presentation that introduced Finland and Finnish culture to students. After the presentation, there was a workshop of making Virpomisvitsat which is the activity of making handcrafts using willow twigs and decorating them with feathers and ribbons in different colors. These are usually prepared one week before Easter in Finland. After having the fun activity of finding hidden Easter chocolate eggs, the students had their lunch break.  

After the lunch break, students went to the sauna and jumped to the frozen lake – a popular winter activity in Finland. They also tried Mämmi, a sweet traditional Finnish desert which is usually eaten with cream during Easter. 

Students played many different games as well, including Tug of war. Then, they prepared a fire and grilled sausages and marshmallows provided by the International Office. 

All in all, the get-together event was a fun event. It helped students to get more familiar with Finnish traditions and activities as well as to get to know each other better in a positive atmosphere. These types of events organized by the International Office provide exchange students with very nice and fun experiences during their studying period in Finland. 

Text: Sina Khabbazi 

Photos: Sina Khabbazi