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The magazine of the art-form of the photo-essay “A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine.  Fabulous!” Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film & documentary maker
Dec 2014 back issue
Journey to Herat
by Zohreh Soleimani
After September 11th and the start of the war in Afghanistan, I travelled to Afghanistan to document the human suffering during and after the war. I managed to capture part of the story and the misery through the lens of my camera while I stayed in Herat, Afghanistan’s second biggest city, which borders Iran. Herat was not destroyed like Kabul, there was no sign of war and bombardment. Hotel Movafagh, the very first hotel after the fall of the Taliban, reopened after 5 years just in time to receive the first group of journalists from Iran. I also managed to visit the biggest refugee camp in Afghanistan, named Maslakh (which translates as slaughterhouse in English). Situated 100 kilometers west of Herat, the camp was home to more than 350,000 displaced Afghans, many of whom died every day due to exposure, disease and starvation. I remember the Afghan man who accompanied me to the camp and kept telling me, “Don’t get close to the people, they are all sick and carry various dangerous diseases!” It was like a forgotten desert town in the middle of nowhere.
An Afghan girl is given food in Maslakha refugee camp.  With 300 000 refugees, it is the biggest refugee camp in the area (100 kilometer from Herat).
Young Afghan girls walk around Maslakh refugee camp.
A family takes a sick woman (sitting on donkey) to a clinic in Maslakh refugee camp.
A young Afghan girl carries water thome for her family. Maslakh refugee camp.
A young Afghan girl hangs out in Maslakha refugee camp.
Sonita, 8 years old, studies at the private school of the famous teacher Hamilem Ghasemi who teaches girls in her home after the Taliban regime closed the girls school in Herat.
A security guard during Friday prayers at Jamee mosque in Herat.
One of the first days after the opening of a primary school for girls in Herat, Afghanistan.
One kind of public transportation in Herat city, downtown.
Afghan women in burqa sit in a taxi in downtown Herat.
Afghan women in burqa try on jewellery in a shop in downtown Herat.
Afghan men install satellite dishes for watching different TV channels from outside Afghanistan. Before the fall of the Taliban this would have been forbidden.
Niaz Mohamamd, 27, he opened a movie theatre a week after the fall of Taliban in Herat. The movie theater is a small dark room with a small 20 inch old style TV in it showing Indian bollywood movies. He is sits outside collecting money from the young audience.
Shop keeper, Herat.
Afghan boy, who burned his face in mine explosion in the suburb of Herat, gets treatment with his mother (who is carrying his shoes behind him) at Herat hospital.
Maryam, 15 years, enjoys walking alone in Jade Mahtab, one of the biggest streets in Herat, right after the fall of the Taliban. Under the Taliban, she would have had to have been accompanied by a male family member.
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