Archive for Kabul

Faces of Afghanistan

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 2, 2014 by stevemccurry

“A landscape might be denuded,
a human settlement abandoned or lost,
but always,
just beneath the ground lies history of preposterous grandeur. . .
They are everywhere, these individuals of undaunted
humankind, irrepressibly optimistic and proud.”
-  The Carpet Wars, Christopher Kremmer

_PBS6026_es (1)Kabul

AFGHN-10223Herat

01803_02_es_blogKabul

AFGHN-12331NF (1)Panjshir Valley

Yet even at their most turbulent, the Afghans have tended to impress
travellers with
their dignity and hospitality as much as their fierce independence.
- William Dalrymple,  author of Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan 1839–42

AFGHN-12691NF2 (1)Kabul

AFGHN-10211Charikar

AFGHN-12329Bamiyan

God must have loved Afghans because he made them so beautiful.
- Unknown

PAKISTAN-10003Peshawar, Pakistan Afghan refugee 

AFGHN-13164Kabul

AFGHN-12906Bamiyan

AFGHN-13831Bamiyan

AFGHN-12244NF (2)Kunduz

AFGHN-12316Pul-e-Khumri

In Afghanistan, you don’t understand yourself solely as an individual.
You understand yourself as a son, a brother, a cousin to somebody, an uncle to somebody.
You are part of something bigger than yourself.
- Khaled Hosseini

AFGHN-13903Bamiyan

AFGHN-13899Kabul

AFGHN-10242 (1)Kandahar

AFGHN-10143NFPul-e-Khumri

AFGHN-12232Kabul

AFGHN-10060, Pul-i-Khumri, Afghanistan, 1992. A bandaged wounded boy.Pul-e-Khumri

AFGHN-12092Ghazni

AFGHN-12772Bamiyan

AFGHN-12355Kabul

A French man who worked for the ICRC had been to inspect one of Kabul’s
prisons to
check on the conditions of the prisoners.
After their names had all been verified, he noticed a door which had remained unopened for the inspection. 

The prison guard had been reluctant to open it;
behind it was just an old man in solitary confinement, he had said.
But it was the man’s job to count the prisoners, and he insisted on being shown inside.

When the door was open, he caught sight of a half-naked old man in the freezing and windowless cell.
The old man had tottered to his feet, lifted the scrap of cloth on which he sat,
brushed the dust from it and stepped back, smiling, to offer the space to his guest.
- Jason Elliott, An Unexpected Light

AFGHN-12201NF4Kabul

Beetles & Huxley Gallery
Afghanistan
London, UK
12 May through 7 June 2014

Where the World Meets

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 31, 2014 by stevemccurry

Buying and Selling in the World’s Bazaars, Souks, and Markets

Street scene, Calcutta, India, 1996Kolkata, India

In The Bazaars of Hyderabad
What do you sell, Oh ye merchants?
Richly your wares are displayed,
Turbans of crimson and silver,
Tunics of purple brocade,
Mirrors with panels of amber,
Daggers with handles of jade.

AFGHN-12834Quissa Khawani Bazaar, Peshawar, Pakistan

What do you weigh, Oh ye vendors?
Saffron, lentil and rice.

AFGHN-12348Pul–i-Khumri, Afghanistan

What do you cry, Oh fruitmen?
Citron, pomegranate and plum.

KASHMIR-10100Kashmir

What do you call, Oh ye pedlars?
Chessmen and ivory dice.

653692_esSanaa, Yemen

What do you make, Oh ye goldsmiths?
Wristlet and anklet and ring,
Bells for the feet of blue pigeons,
Frail as a dragon-fly’s wing,
Girdles of gold for the dancers,
Scabbards of gold for the king.
Sarojini Naidu (1879-1949)
Known as The Nightingale of India

00116_03, Hong Kong, China, 1985. CHINA-10041. Women in a market in China.Hong Kong, China

UZBEKISTAN-10009_esSamarkand, Uzbekistan

YEMEN-10033NFSanaa, Yemen

TURKEY-10056, Istanbul, Turkey, 07/1997Istanbul, Turkey

LondonMarketLondon, United Kingdom

_DSC6417; India; 2007, INDIA-11631NFIndia

I will open thee a merchant’s store, furnished with the costliest stuffs,
and thou shalt become famous amongst the folk, and take and give,
and buy and sell, and be well known in the city.
– 
The Arabian Nights

00416_17, Istanbul, Turkey, 07/1997, TURKEY-10116Istanbul, Turkey

CAMBODIA-10309 (1)Cambodia

AFGHN-13899Kabul, Afghanistan

PHILIPPINES-10007NFZamboanga, Philippines

AFGHN-10033Part of the old Bamiyan bazaar, Afghanistan

Carved into the mountainside by Buddhist monks between the second and fifth centuries, the
Buddhas of Bamiyan were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. 

AFGHN-12942Mazaar-e-Sharif

 

Grief, Grind, and Glory of Work

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 16, 2013 by stevemccurry

Last month the world heard the tragic news
that more than a thousand people working at a clothing factory in Bangladesh,
were killed when 
the factory they were working in collapsed.

Myanmar, Burma, 1994, final book_iconicBurma

The appetite for cheap clothing in the West is insatiable.
The people making the clothing  often pay the true cost of these items.
The scale of this factory in Burma is vast.
The sense that these workers are just part of an immense machine is
accentuated by 
the pink shirts they are obliged to wear.

BURMA-10221NF, Myanmar (Burma), 07/1994Burma

Labor disgraces no man;
unfortunately, you occasionally find men who disgrace labor.  

- Ulysses S. Grant

YEMEN-10053NF4Yemen

Whether it is men fishing,  nuns washing dishes, miners digging beneath the earth, or 
working in the heat of a steel mill, work is universal, yet intensely personal. Millions work in order to survive, and for them,
there 
is no debate about how to achieve a life/work balance.  

INDONESIA-10006Woman working in a field devastated by volcanic debris and flood waters.  Java, Indonesia

INDIA-10330NFShoe repair shop in India

Life grants nothing to us mortals without hard work.
– Horace

BURMA-10619NFBurma

 

Your life is a journey, not a rest.
You are travelling to the promised land, from the cradle to the grave.
The Sunday at Home, December 7th 1854

INDIA-11144, India, Bombay, 1997Mumbai, India

INDIA-10456NF
Gujarat, India

The heights by great men reached and kept,
Were not attained by sudden flight,
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upward in the night.
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

YUGOSLAVIA-10068MKS Steelworks, Serbia

JAPAN-10026Japan

Working for long periods under extreme stressful work conditions can lead to
sudden death, a phenomenon the Japanese call karoshi. The word in China is guolaosi.

PAKISTAN-10006NFLandi Kotal, Pakistan

AFGHN-10146Bakery run by Afghan widows, Kabul, Afghanistan

Dubrovnik, Croatia, 1989Croatia

Many find their identity in the work they do. Some enjoy intense satisfaction in their work.
For others, the line between work and play is hard to find.

Tibetans, 07/2001, final book_iconicIndia

INDIA-10679NF2, Bombay, India, 09/1993. Textiles,
           Mumbai, India

A suger cane farmer stand in his field in Luzon, Philippines, 1985Sugar cane farmer, Philippines

Everything yields to diligence.
- Thomas Jefferson

BRAZIL-10044NF8, Brazil, Latin America, Lavazza, 08/2010Drying coffee beans, Brazil

If a man is called a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or
Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry.  He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of
heaven and Earth will pause to say, Here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.  
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

KASHMIR-10016Flower Seller, Dal Lake, Kashmir

Please follow us on Tumblr 
 http://stevemccurrystudios.tumblr.com/

Please download our free app: http://bit.ly/W91oMo

Silhouettes and Shadows

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 10, 2012 by stevemccurry

Bodh Gaya, India

 The Sun never knew how wonderful it was
until it fell on the wall of a building.
Louis Kahn, Architect

quoted in forward of In Praise of Shadows,  Junichiro Tanizaki

Mud Mosque, Mali

Look round and round upon this bare bleak plain,
and see even here, upon a winter’s day,
how beautiful the shadows are.

  Alas!  It is the nature of their kind to be so.
The loveliest things in life are but shadows,
and they come and go, and change and fade away…

- Charles Dickens

Cambodia

Find beauty not only in the thing itself but in the pattern of the shadows,
the light and dark which that thing provides.
– Junichiro Tanizaki

Kabul, Afghanistan

We are but dust and shadow.
- Horace

Preah Khan, Cambodia

You can only come to the morning through the shadows.
- J.R. R. Tolkien

Thailand

Burma/Myanmar

Mauritania

Brazil


Between the idea
And the reality
Between the motion
And the act
Falls the Shadow.
- T. S. Eliot

Italy


Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow.
The shadow is what we think of it.  The tree is the real thing.
- Abraham Lincoln

New York

Kandze, Tibet

Burma/Myanmar

Kabul, Afghanistan

China

Kashmir

Korea

Hindu Kush Mountains, Afghanistan

Ancient Catacombs, Rome, Italy

A shadow on the wall
boughs stirred by the noonday wind
that’s enough earth
and for the eye
enough celestial participation.
- Gottfried Benn
Translated from the German by Michael Hofmann

River of Life

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2012 by stevemccurry

KOLKATA TO KABUL

Kolkata/Calcutta

“Look! Brahmins and chumars, bankers and tinkers,
barbers and bunnias,pilgrims -and potters -all the world going and coming.
It is to me as a river from which I am
withdrawn like a log after a flood.
And truly the Grand Trunk Road is a wonderful spectacle.
Such a river of life as no where else exists in the world.”
- Rudyard Kipling, Kim

Kolkata

Howrah Bridge

For more than 20 centuries, travelers have walked, ridden, prayed, traded, invaded, escaped,
fought, and died along the 1,500 miles of the Grand Trunk Road which stretches from Kolkata to Kabul.

On the GTR in Bihar State, India

Here are some pictures of people and places I have taken along the route of the Grand Trunk Road during the past thirty years.

Varanasi, India

Varanasi, India

Varanasi, India

Agra, India

Near Agra, India

 Red Fort, Delhi

Allahabad, India

Kumbh Mela, Allahabad, India

 Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, and Buddhism all developed along the route,
and Muslims proclaimed their beliefs on their journeys along the road.

Kumbh Mela, Allahabad, India

Amritsar, India

Amritsar, India

Sikh Golden Temple, Amritsar, India

 The Grand Trunk Road served as the two way escape route for
75 million refugees caught between Indian and Pakistan during Partition.

Lahore, Pakistan

Rawalpindi, Pakistan


Rawalpindi, Pakistan

Peshawar, Pakistan

Peshawar, Pakistan
Peshawar has been a haven for Afghan refugees during decades of war.

Outside of Peshawar, Pakistan

Peshawar is strategically located at the crossroads of Central and South Asia.


Landi-Kotal, Pakistan
Near the border with Afghanistan

 Khyber Pass connects Pakistan and Afghanistan

Jalalabad, Afghanistan

Jalalabad, Afghanistan

This ribbon of humanity stretching Northwest from Kolkata, the city of culture and joy, to Kabul, the city of conflict,
has been moving merchants, buyers, conquerors, refugees, prophets, nomads and pilgrims through what is today
India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Jalalabad, Afghanistan

Jalalabad, Afghanistan

On the road to Sarobi

Along this road, forged by conquerors and invaders,
the GT facilitated some of the most significant historical developments which affect us today.

Kabul, Afghanistan

Kabul is over 3,500 years old; many empires have  invaded the valley for its
strategic location along the trade routes of Central and South Asia.

 Kabul, Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan

Kabul, Afghanistan

Along the route of the GT there is a  struggle between secular modernity and the conservatism of ancient religions.

The Lives We Live

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 19, 2012 by stevemccurry

The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.
- Flora Whittemore

AFGHN-12708

Maimana, Afghanistan

Since the beginning of time, doors have
symbolized both great opportunities and thwarted dreams.

INDIA-10870

Varanasi, India

Morocco-10024; 00541_07; Morocco; 03/1988

Morocco

The open door is a metaphor for new life, a passage
from one stage of life to another, and metamorphosis.
Closed doors represent rejection and exclusion.

KASHMIR-10076

Kashmir

The Door
Too little has been said
Of the door,
its one face turned to the night’s
Downpour
and its other
To the shift and glisten of firelight.

AFGHN-12927NF

Bamiyan, Afghanistan

For doors are both frame and monument
To our spent time,
And too little
Has been said of our
coming through and leaving by them.
- Charles Tomlinson

INDIA-10412

India

CAMBODIA-10002

Cambodia

TIBET-10927

Tibet

A door just opened on a street–
I, lost, was passing by–
An instant’s width of warmth disclosed
And wealth, and company.

The door as sudden shut, and I,
I, lost, was passing by,–
Lost doubly, but by contrast most,
Enlightening misery.
- Emily Dickinson

AFGHN-10235

Kabul, Afghanistan

BURMA-10005

Mingun Pagoda, near Mandalay, Burma/Myanmar

AFGHN-12648

West Kabul, Afghanistan

INDIA-10556

India

USA-10256

Los Angeles, United States

The door swings open:
O god of hinges,
god of long voyages,
you have kept faith.
It’s dark in there.
You confine yourself to the darkness
You step in.
The door swings closed.
- Margaret Atwood

AFGHN-12467NF

Kabul, Afghanistan

AFGHN-13116NF

Bamiyan, Afghanistan

INDIA-11038NF

Bombay/Mumbai, India

AFGHN-10156

Kabul, Afghanistan

BANGLADESH-10020

Dhaka, Bangladesh

CAMBODIA-10145

Monastery at Rolous, Cambodia

YUGOSLAVIA-10055

Macedonia

The Door

Go and open the door.
Maybe outside there’s
a tree, or a wood,
a garden, or a magic city.

Go and open the door.
Maybe a dog’s rummaging.
Maybe you’ll see a face,
or an eye, or the picture of a picture.

Go and open the door.
If there’s a fog
it will clear.

Go and open the door.
Even if there’s only
the darkness ticking,
even if there’s only
the hollow wind,
even if nothing is there,
go and open the door.

At least there’ll be a draught.
- Miroslav Holub
translated from the Czech by Ian Milner

YEMEN-10094

Yemen

VIETNAM-10019

Vietnam

The closing of a door can bring blessed privacy and
comfort – the opening, terror.
Conversely, the closing of a door can be a sad and final thing -
the opening a wonderfully joyous moment.
- Andy Rooney

The Firmest Friend

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 19, 2011 by stevemccurry

 The poor dog, in life the firmest friend,
The first to welcome, foremost to defend.
- Lord Byron

SOUTH_AFRICA-10014-(1)

Johannesburg, South Africa

 

Dogs are our link to paradise.
They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent.
To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be
back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring.

It was peace.
- Milan Kundera

 

IRELAND-10009

Ireland

 

TIBET-10363

Kham, Eastern Tibet

 

INDIA-10852

Varanasi, India

The dog … is the god of frolic.
- Henry Ward Beecher

CAMBODIA-10032

Angkor, Cambodia

INDIA-10205

New Delhi, India

 

AFGHN-12941

Kabul, Afghanistan

With eye upraised his master’s look to scan,
The joy, the solace, and the aid of man:
The rich man’s guardian and the poor man’s friend,
The only creature faithful to the end.
- George Crabbe

INDIA-10221

Porbandar, India


The bond with a true dog is as lasting as the ties of this earth will ever be.
– Konrad Lorenz

BURMA-10073

Bagan, Burma

 

ITALY-10089, Rome, Italy, 10/1994,

Rome, Italy


I read the Odyssey because it was the story of a man who
returned home after being absent for more than twenty years
and was recognized only by his dog.

- Guillermo C. Infante

FRANCE-10028, France, 1989

Marseille, France

VIETNAM-10003

Vietnam

INDIA-10727

India

 

If I have any beliefs about immortality, it is that certain dogs I have
known will go to heaven, and very, very few persons.
- James Thurber

USA-10389NF

Texas, USA

Histories are more full of the examples
of the fidelity of dogs than of friends.
- Alexander Pope

INDIA-10412

India

BHUTAN-10011

Bhutan

INDIA-12064

Jaipur, India

All knowledge, the totality of all questions and answers,
is contained in the dog.
Franz Kafka, Investigations of the Dog

SRILANKA-10031

Near Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka

 

ITALY-10045

Rome, Italy


USA-10186

California, USA

The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in
this selfish world, the one that never deserts him,
the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous, is his dog.
- George Graham

PARAGUAY-10012NF

Paraguay

If you think you’re a person of some influence, try ordering somebody else’s dog around.
-  Cowboy Wisdom

 

Gruffy, our family dog, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania

We invite you to visit our new website:  http://www.stevemccurry.com

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 26,801 other followers