"In his native Iran, leaders openly wish for Israel to be wiped off the map. Yet Payam Feili — a 30-year-old poet and novelist who grew up in Karaj, Iran's 4th largest city — developed what he called a "special relationship" with the place, imagining it in his stories, which are replete with gay themes and Jewish symbols. After being blacklisted and detained several times, though, Payam fled to Turkey in 2014. He has since taken up residency in Tel Aviv as he seeks asylum in Israel. "I believe it is even more dangerous when people live in hiding, behind false identities," Payam said. "Through time you start lying to yourself and you become isolated in your loneliness." @urielsinai took this portrait of Payam earlier this month while on #nytassignment in Tel Aviv." By nytimes on Instagram.
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