Archive for peshawar

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

 

Outsiders

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on June 1, 2012 by stevemccurry

Refugee Camp, Peshawar, Pakistan


While every refugee’s story is different and their anguish personal,
they all share a common thread of uncommon courage:
the courage not only to survive,
but to persevere and rebuild their shattered lives.
– Antonio Guterres

Afghan refugee, Pakistan

I know how men in exile feed on dreams.
- Aeschylus

Refugee camp, Thailand

Recognize yourself in he and she who are not like you and me.
― Carlos Fuentes

Kabul, Afghanistan

Italy

God dances with the outcast.
– Steven James

USA

The majority of Americans, who are comparatively well-off,
have developed an ability to have enclaves of people living in the greatest
misery almost without noticing them.
– Gunnar Myrdal  

France

Gypsy Boy, Marseille, France

Gypsy Family, India

The search for a scapegoat is the easiest of all hunting expeditions.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Afghanistan

War’s toll is etched on the faces at a shelter for the mentally ill in Kabul.

Prison, Pul-e-Khumri

Afghanistan

Seek Love …
In the darkness of night and the winter’s snow,
In the naked and outcast, seek Love there!
– William Blake


USA

California, USA

In an expanding universe, time is on the side of the outcast.
Those who once inhabited the suburbs of human contempt find that
without changing their address they eventually live in the metropolis.
– Quentin Crisp

USA

Thailand

 Being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty.
-  Mother Teresa

USA

 India 

Philippines

The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children.
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

 Burma

On members of the faithful:
They receive the wretched.  They take strangers into their houses. 
They comfort the sad.  They lend to the needy.  They clothe the naked.
They share their bread with the hungry.  They do not turn their face from the poor.
  This is the kind of brotherhood we teach.
Menno Simons (1496 – 1561) Founder of the Mennonites

Hazara man, Afghanistan

Hazaras have long been seen as outsiders in Afghan society,
routinely subject to discrimination, and set apart by both their features and their Shiite religion,
in a land where the majority practice the Sunni faith.

Hazara girl, Afghanistan

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.

Language of Looking

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2011 by stevemccurry

Please scroll to the bottom for the unseen portrait of the week. 

 There are many ways to describe the ways that people look at each other and the world.  We peek, stare, glance, gaze, gape, glare, and peer.  We also examine, contemplate, squint, and observe.

 

 INDIA-10216Jodhpur, India

BURMA-10151Yangon, Myanmar/Burma

GERMANY-10061 Berlin, Germany

The question is not what you look at, but what you see. 
 – Henry David Thoreau 

YUGOSLAVIA-10069Croatia

AFGHN-13002Kabul, Afghanistan

AFGHN-13295Afghanistan

AFGHN-12691NFnsKabul, Afghanistan

INDIA-10731Thirumullaivayil, India

One of the most wonderful things in nature is a glance of the eye; it transcends speech; it is the bodily
symbol of identity. 

- Ralph Waldo Emerson 

INDIA-10757Train to Peshawar, Pakistan

BURMA-10394NF5Myanmar/Burma

PARAGUAY-10030Paraguay

TIBET-10303NFBarkhor Quarter, Lhasa, Tibet

It’s the way to educate your eyes.  Stare, pry, listen, eavesdrop.  Die knowing something.  You are not here long.
– Walker Evans  

SPAIN-10020Reina Sofia, National Museum of Art, Madrid, Spain

If you look at a thing 999 times, you are perfectly safe; if you look at it for the 1000th time,
you are in danger of seeing it for the first time.
–  G. K. Chesterton 

INDIA-11085Jaipur, India

I used to try to figure out precisely what I was seeing all the time, until I discovered I didn’t need to.
If the thing is there, why, there it is.
– Walker Evans

CAMBODIA-10311A man examines photographs of victims of the Khmer Rouge’s S-21 prison camp, Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

 Unseen Portrait of the WeekPAKISTAN-10011Baluchistan, Pakistan

Stalemate in Afghanistan

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2011 by stevemccurry

 

AFGHN-12210

Insane asylum, Kabul, Afghanistan, 1992

The pain of war has become too much for these men. Wrapped in blankets, they  have retreated into themselves.  Vulnerable and
haunted by demons, they are the uncounted casualties of decades of war.

AFGHN-12202

Hospital, Jalalabad

 

I was covering the war that erupted between the militias after the Russians withdrew from Afghanistan, photographing the aftermath of an attack on Kabul when, without warning another rocket attack began. I took cover in what turned out to be a hospital for the insane. Its residents were the victims of decades of war  – both civilians and soldiers. There were no doctors or nurses, no electricity, no running water. The smoke from the fire of a makeshift kitchen blackened the ceilings and walls. The men and women there wandered around, or sat in a catatonic stupor.

AFGHN-13100

Red Cross Hospital, Kabul

Photographers work in metaphors, trying to distill experience in pictures.  The scenes inside these hospitals get closer to showing the tragedy of the war than those of  destroyed cities.

AFGHN-13107

Hospital in Herat

The rationale for the mission has lurched from one thing to another.  Officials in Washington and in Kabul all try to explain what we are trying to accomplish.   We have been told it is to keep the streets safe in America from Al Qaeda.  It has been said that we are there to give breathing room to the Afghan government to build up their own forces.  We hear that we are there to help build Afghan institutions so that the country can have a civil society with good governance.

AFGHN-12895NF

Red Cross Hospital, Kabul

 

AFGHN-10060

Pul i Khumri

AFGHN-10063

Victim of Kandahar air attack in Peshawar Hospital

AFGHN-12205

Going to morgue, Kabul

 

AFGHN-12333NF4

Terence White, AFP reporter, took this wounded Afghan fighter
to the hospital in Kabul

 

AFGHN-12166

Rocket attack in Kabul

 

The Century Foundation, a non-partisan research institute, has called on all sides of the conflict to enter into peace talks.  Lakhdar Brahimi, former UN Special representative for Afghanistan, has co-chaired a special task force with former undersecretary for political affairs Thomas Pickering.  Their recommendations are clear and blunt: it is time to stop deluding ourselves that there will be a clear victory in this war.  The report,  Negotiating Peace, was published this week.

 

AFGHN-12631NF

Kabul

AFGHN-12154NF

Kabul

Executive Summary Chapter One

Afghanistan has been at war for more than thirty years, and for nearly a decade, the international community has supported the country’s political, social, and economic reconstruction—and opposed the return to power of the Taliban. Afghans have seen many improvements over that decade, yet the resurgence of the Taliban across much of the country underscores that they are undeniably a force in Afghan society whose exclusion entails a very high cost. A majority of the Afghan people seem anxious for the contending factions to achieve a negotiated end to the war.

 

AFGHN-10154

Kabul

 

AFGHN-10037NF

Herat

 

 
Rahimullah Yusufzai,  senior analyst with the Pakistani TV channel, Geo TV, and the Resident Editor of the News International in Peshawar, an English newspaper in Pakistan, makes the point that the Taliban can keep fighting forever because they are fighting for their country and for their religion.  He believes that there is no military solution and that negotiations are the only way to stop the endless cycle of killing.

 

AFGHN-10062NF

Jalalabad

There will never be a time when we can achieve an historic battlefield victory and declare that the war is won.  Tribal groups will always vie for power.  Religious groups will always believe that the right way is only “their” way.  Women will always have to fight for their rights.

Wars end with political settlements, and it seems clear to many, if not most, that this war will have no winner.  Decades of war have been tragic for the Afghan people and the generations of children who have lost their childhoods, their limbs, and their lives.  It’s time to see if negotiations can do what shooting could not.

AFGHN-12925

Hazara Boy, Bamiyan Province

  

Please visit our main site:  http://www.stevemccurry.com

 

A Matter of Faith

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2011 by stevemccurry

AFGHN-12236NF3 Girl praying at a mosque, Kabul,  Afghanistan

 

 I have seen many manifestations of  faith during my travels over the past three decades.  Some have been spontaneous, some have been part of a liturgy, some have been prescribed rituals, some have been in magnificent buildings, others have been outside under a tree.   Some people’s faith is embedded in the way they live their lives.

 

 

CHINA-10018NF2Shaolin monks training, Zhengzhou, China

 

“Just as the body cannot exist without blood, so the soul needs the matchless and pure strength of faith.”   Mohandas Gandhi

PAKISTAN-10079Prayers and teaching, Peshawar, Pakistan

 

 

 

INDIA-10201 Sikh holiest site, Golden Temple,  Amritsar, India

 

 

 

 

SRILANKA-10144Sri Lanka

 

 

 

TIBET-10093NF2Prayer Flags, Lhasa, Tibet

 

 

 

USA-10001Charlotte, North Carolina

 

 

YEMEN-10102 Religious Instruction – Jewish child  in Yemen

 

 

 

KASHMIR-10056Srinagar, Kashmir

 

 

 

BRAZIL-10041Brazil

 

 

ITALY-10022Camino, Italy

 

 

“To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary.  To one without faith, no explanation is possible.”   

- St. Thomas Aquinas

 

 

INDIA-10755India

 

 

INDIA-10202Thrissur Pooram, Kerala, India

 

  “Faith is a bird that feels dawn breaking and sings while it is still dark.”

    – Rabindranath Tagore

 

                                                                       

INDIA-10299Tibetan Prayer Festival in Bodh Gaya, India

 

 

TIBET-10029Pilgrim praying with monks at the Buddhist Academy of Larung Gar, Kham Province, Tibet

 

“What is Faith?  When your good deed pleases you and your evil deed grieves you, you are a believer.”

- Prophet Muhammad

 

TIBET-10009Monk at Jokhang temple, Lhasa, Tibet

 

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