Magazine article New Internationalist

'Good. You're Doing the Obvious Thing,'

Magazine article New Internationalist

'Good. You're Doing the Obvious Thing,'

Article excerpt

'Good. You're doing the obvious thing,' said Zuhra Bahman, one of the contributors to this month's New Internationalist.

The 'obvious thing' in question was getting the main theme - on Afghanistan - written and illustrated by Afghans. I was pleased that she was pleased - but still a little worried by the logistics.

Thirty years of armed conflict - yes, Afghanistan's turmoil began two decades before the Twin Towers fell - has not fostered a rich and vibrant tradition of journalism in the country. Grinding poverty, warlord violence and Taliban strictures denied even the most basic education to large swathes of the population - especially women and girls. Today, press freedom supposedly prevails but the case of young reporter Sayed Parwez Kaambakhsh, who is appealing against a death sentence for downloading material relating to women's rights, suggests otherwise.

The writers featured here are not to be silenced or intimidated, however. They have provided perspectives that are immediate and insightful; subtle, complex and brave. So have the photographers. Nearly all the pictures were taken by people trained in the remarkable home-grown Aina Photojournalism Institute in Kabul. …

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