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Through Afghan Eyes


By Syma Sayyah and Paul Sanford, Tehran


A Pashtun woman peers out from her chador, Ghazni 2006


Fardin Waezi is one of the most outstanding photojournalists working in Afghanistan.  Born in Kabul 26 years ago, he started photography with a box camera along with his father when he was only seven years old.  He continued taking pictures in the same way for the next six years until the time of the Taliban.


He says "When the Taliban captured Kabul, one of their first assaults was against photographers.  They rushed in to burn my father's wooden camera which was our sole source of income; they burned down our studio, but I saved the camera."


Fardin, 14 at the time, hid the camera away in a secret place.  He had spent all his childhood at his father's side, taking thousands of 6x4 portraits in the streets of Kabul with this camera.  He became the breadwinner for a family of 11, in a city with thousands of other children.  Eventually he took the camera from where he had hidden it and cautiously started taking ID photographs in one of the city streets.  During this time, he met an Iranian, Manoocher Deghati, brother of Reza, the founder of the Afghan AINA Media and Culture Centre, and started his training as a photo-journalist.


Box camera photography in Kabul, 2005


He was arrested many times by the Taliban for taking pictures but he continued to record the real life of Afghanistan and its people, recording the details of this dynamic country.


He now works for AINA as an archivist, and for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) as a press photographer.  As a freelance, he has worked for many different national and international organisations.


General Mohammadzai Khatol, Kabul 2006


He has had two exhibitions in France, and this week he had his first exhibition in Iran, at the Artists Forum in Tehran.  The exhibition is supported by AINA and Arseh.  Here are some of his stunning photographs.  We are sure that his talent for photo-journalism will be seen so much more in the future.



         Afghanistan AINA Media and Culture Centre:



Box camera



Beggar in the Street, Kabul 2007



Police Academy in Kabul, 2007



ISAF soldier from New Zealand, Bamiyan 2006



A man exclaims Allah Akhbar at a rally, Panjshir 2006


A family of seven on motorcycle, Heart 2006


Bolani Seller, Charikar 2004


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