The Story Behind a Picture

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I had been photographing the effects of shelling in Kabul, when, without warning, hundreds of rockets started pouring down on the city from several different directions. I had to find cover immediately, and the first refuge I saw was what appeared to be a series of abandoned buildings. I dashed for cover in what turned out to be a hospital for the mentally ill. Its residents were victims of decades of war. There were soldiers who had lost their minds and civilians traumatized by the indelible images of the horror that they had witnessed.

There was no electricity, no running water, no doctors, no nurses.  The smoke from the fire of a makeshift kitchen blackened the ceilings and walls.

As I was moving to another part of the courtyard, I looked back and saw that a man had picked up heavy stones and was bashing another inmate in the head. I remember seeing a huge stone bouncing off his head.  We wrestled him to the ground and hustled the man to a hospital.  That experience haunts me to this day.

12 Responses to “The Story Behind a Picture”

  1. Excellent entry and photo, it inspires me a lot. Thanks to Mr. Steve

  2. Palwasha Says:

    First of all i would like to thank you for all the amazing work you have done. The story above makes me thank God many times. I was born in Afghanistan and had to fled in 1984. I’m one of the lucky few that have had the opportunity to come to US. I joined the military (US Navy) in 2000 and was deployed to Iraq in 2003. When I returned home, I was not the same person. The images in Iraq brought back memories of my childhood in Afghanistan. But I’m lucky that I’m able to get help. There are millions of war victims that are not able to get any help.

  3. Is the picture of the man who was being hit with the rock? This is a shaking story and reminds me of stories I have heard from my father in Vietnam as a medic. I echo the message of those above, be safe and we need you.

  4. Excellent work and good pictures.

  5. Wow, I just found out that you had a blog and this is the first post I read from it. It’s really impressive, I can’t even imagine the experience.

    The photo itself is great, but knowing this story just adds so much more to it.

    Congratulation

  6. This man’s eyes tell quite a story. Such an engaging photograph. Love your work.

  7. Thank you for your blog. Please stay safe – we need you

  8. Thanks for sharing. That must have been a terrifying experience. These wars can really ruin the best of men.

  9. Andrzej Says:

    I was waiting for this blog for a long time, thank you…

  10. My god look at those eyes! Stay safe and care for your mental health, I hear of to many war photographers just wanting to tell a story bring home to much of those stories in their dreams

  11. WOW! that would haunt me too!

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