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Edward GrazdaBetween 1982 and 1989, I made numerous trips into Afghanistan with various Afghan Mujahideen groups who were fighting against the Soviet army, which had invaded their country in December 1979.
With the Mujahideen, Afghanistan, 1982-1989
We would cross into Afghanistan from the Tribal area of Pakistan.
Most of the time, we would be on foot, sometime on horseback and rarely in a truck. A trip would last about a month and during that time you would be cut off from the outside world as this was before satellite phones.
My intention was not be a "War Photographer" but rather to document the lives and environments of these young fighters.
I always made a point of sending photographs back to the mujahideen that I traveled with (to post boxes in Peshawar, Pakistan). The Afghans loved photographs and many kept photo albums of their own photos – usually made with point and shoot cameras – and mine. Upon returning to Peshawar after a trip into Afghanistan, an Afghan friend showed me color snap shots of me taken on my recent trip. One commander liked his portrait so much that he had it copied in Pakistan and used it as a calling card.
Ed Grazda (January 25, 2007)