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Afghanistan: Broken Promise

Moises Saman tracks the evolution of conflict in the country, observing the US troops presence and the resulting impact on the lives of Afghan civilians since 2001

Moises Saman

Moises Saman | Afghanistan: Broken Promise Marja's new district chief Hagi Zahir (far left top) meets with local elders in Marja's district center in Helmand Province. Marja, Afghanistan. March, 2010. © Moises Saman | Magnum Photos
Moises Saman | Afghanistan: Broken Promise A boy covers his eyes during a sandstorm. Kandahar, Afghanistan. March, 2005. © Moises Saman | Magnum Photos
Moises Saman | Afghanistan: Broken Promise A coal miner takes a shower after a day's work in a coal mine near Pul-e-Kumree. Baghlan Province, Afghanistan. 2004. © Moises Saman | Magnum Photos
Moises Saman | Afghanistan: Broken Promise Afghgan children living in an abandoned school now occupied by several homeless families. Kabul, Afghanistan. November 2010. © Moises Saman | Magnum Photos
Moises Saman | Afghanistan: Broken Promise Children living in a former school on the outskirts of Kabul, now home to several Afghan families recently returned from Pakistan. Kabul, Afghanistan. May, 2006. © Moises Saman | Magnum Photos
Moises Saman | Afghanistan: Broken Promise Afghan police arrest a protestor during an anti-American rally. Kabul, Afghanistan. October, 2009. © Moises Saman | Magnum Photos
Moises Saman | Afghanistan: Broken Promise Afghan National Army soldiers under fire during a Taliban ambush take cover in a dry irrigation canal. Marja, Afghanistan. March, 2010. © Moises Saman | Magnum Photos
Moises Saman | Afghanistan: Broken Promise US Marines on patrol in Helmand Province. Marja, Afghanistan. March 23, 2010. © Moises Saman | Magnum Photos
Moises Saman | Afghanistan: Broken Promise US Marines help a wounded Afghan man attacked by Taliban members. Marja, Afghanistan. February, 2010. © Moises Saman | Magnum Photos
Moises Saman | Afghanistan: Broken Promise Afghan soldiers carry a wounded comrade into an American medevac helicopter after a Taliban ambush near the village of Tsunek. Kunar Province, Afghanistan. March, 2010. © Moises Saman | Magnum Photos
Moises Saman | Afghanistan: Broken Promise An American soldier seen through night-vision goggles during a night patrol. Khost Province, Afghanistan. March, 2005. © Moises Saman | Magnum Photos
Moises Saman | Afghanistan: Broken Promise A German soldier burns a flare at a temporary campsite in the desert. Kunduz Province, Afghanistan. October, 2009. © Moises Saman | Magnum Photos
Moises Saman | Afghanistan: Broken Promise Northern Alliance reinforcements arrive in the village of Golbahar to prepare for the final push to Kabul to retake the Afghan capital from the Taliban. Golbahar, Afghanistan. November, 2001. © Moises Saman | Magnum Photos
Moises Saman | Afghanistan: Broken Promise American bombardment of Taliban positions near Bagram Airport in the Shomali Plain. North of Kabul, Afghanistan. October, 2001. © Moises Saman | Magnum Photos

“The Afghanistan I know is a land of clashing contrasts, of raw beauty, its landscape scarred by centuries of wars fought against foreign armies and with itself. Since 2001 I have returned over and over again, with the hope of documenting the promise of peace and prosperity made by the latest invading powers. I soon realized the fragility of this promise and found Afghanistan staring at a precipice, its free fall toward anarchy gaining strength throughout the country; no longer confined to the Pashto-speaking provinces where the Taliban was born and remain entrenched.

The deteriorating security situation is evident all around me on each subsequent visit. One less safe road to travel on, a labyrinth of blast walls surrounding Kabul, the hostile stare of an innocent child. For the local population, peace and stability have become a fleeting dream, not a sustainable promise in which their sense of hope finds refuge. Still, I continue to find myself drawn to this remarkable place and its people, to their unmatched sense of pride on being Afghan, and the hint of dignity and spirit that I find in most of the people I meet here, determined to carry on however battered their existence.” – Moises Saman