What is it like to report from a country where every journalist now operates in a shifting and unpredictable conflict zone, where there are no longer any front lines?Afghans have grown up with conflict, from invasion to civil war, but now confront a new, hidden threat from a largely faceless enemy striking at random and with deadly force – most often in Kabul, where passing time is being marked in bombings and funerals
On April 30, 2018, nine journalists were among 25 people killed by the Islamic State group in the capital. The reporters had rushed to the scene of a suicide attack and were killed in a second blast that specifically targeted the media and other first responders. On the same day, BBC reporter Ahmad Shah was killed in a separate attack in eastern Khost province.
At this event we paid tribute to those who lost their lives, including Shah Marai, AFP’s chief photographer in Kabul, and look at how they endeavoured to look beyond the conflict and report the full story of a country with enormous cultural diversity, physical beauty, and fascinating personalities.
The panel discussion followed the opening of an exhibition of Marai’s work which was showcased at the Club through July. And in the deadliest country for journalists after Syria and Mexico, the panelists talked about why the country’s dedicated press corps is undeterred, despite living in a city where just going to work means crossing a war zone and where every crossroads, traffic bottleneck or security checkpoint is a potential target.
Speaker: Allison Jackson, Afghanistan Bureau Chief, AFP; Emal Haidary, Correspondent, AFP; Wakil Kohsar, Photographer, AFP,