In 2001, I created a humanitarian organization in Afghanistan called Aina, meaning “mirror.” The main goal of Aina was to empower local women, especially in media. We created Aina Photo to train local females (and males too) to become the first Afghan photojournalists. Farzana was one of the first, in 2002; she was one of 15 we picked from more than 500 people who applied. She was young, 17 or 18. At first her father was hesitant, but we convinced him that it would be a good thing for her to do. She had spent her life living under the Taliban; she knew what that meant for Afghan women, and she understood that she could tell their stories in photographs. Her main teacher was Manoocher Deghati, who is now Mideast photo editor for the Associated Press. She worked very hard and eventually became the first female photographer in Afghanistan to work with international media like the Associated Press and Agence France-Presse. Farzana is telling the story of Afghanistan from the inside. -- Reza
Reza has published his work in many magazines and 25 books, including War + Peace. Farzana Wahidy, 27, is based in Kabul.