Naeem Randhawa takes you behind the scenes of ILLUME, on a powerful photo journey that introduces you to the sites and sounds of Afghanistan.



September 30th

Salaam....I just returned from two years working and living in Afghanistan. There is alot of truth to Br. Naeem's presentation and yet, in many ways, it only scratches the surface. Afghanistan is achingly beautiful and wretched at once. Your glance passes from the majestic mountaintops down to the young boys with horrific skin diseases from poor sanitation and even poorer health facilities. And still, while we find ourselves dealing with our own feelings about the places, the Afghan people continue to live their lives with dignity despite ignoble conditions. Though we have yet to see the documentary the author plans on pursuing later on the Taliban, I would ask him to be cautious. While it is important to humanize and understand all actors in this situation, we can't forget that despite the civilian casualties caused by foreign forces, the greatest victim of the self-styled liberators of Muslim/Afghans are innocent Afghan civilians. And the Taliban and their foreign counterparts (from Chechnya, Arab states etc) have consistently shown little regard for the rules of warfare according to the Shariah they purport to uphold. The purpose of saying this is not to galvanize a political argument on this comments section, but simply to remind viewers that, however appealing the proposition of sitting with these "ragtag militants who are defeating modern militaries" (as they would want to be known), this borderline fawning can lead to giving the insurgents further credibility toward their cause and actions. Otherwise, beautiful photograps and review...and I also comment Illume for this slideshow.

Farah S.

September 5th

These pictures, many are phenomenal. Shots taken at various angles and scenes make them exemplary and really attach the reader to the story. I also taking us through Naeem's journey is fabulous. Now the reader knows the story of the person actually telling it and it brings us to a newer level and understanding. It's definitely not often that we are taken into a story in this fashion. Also, Naeem here presents a story, the one we always "hear about" the "other side of the story" but we actually don't really "hear" or "read" about it. So this is a great opportunity for all to learn and to read more into depth about history and culture of Afghanistan, a justice that we do not see done, unless we approach it in a proactive manner and take opportunity to understand as did Naeem for all of us. I commend Illume on its efforts to report such stories and find such great reporters to do so.

kemal pulgu

September 4th

It's very sad to see the beautiful place and people gilted to the hands of desperation, poverty and misery. Wars have done the country too much and now the religious organizations are making all worse I guess. When you mention any dictatorship, of which the religion is the worst of all, a nation can never see any light ahead, any hopes for future and any speck to develop.


September 2nd

I found your photographs and commentary interesting and I am certainly glad there are a few organizations from America doing some good in Afghanistan. But I also found your commentary strangely lacking in any mention of why there is such suffering in Afghanistan. You said in a general sense, there have been wars there. Yes this is true. America has been killing thousands of civilians, with high altitude bombs, cluster bombs, and vacuum bombs. American solders enter civilian homes and kill women and children as they sleep in their beds and claim in the corporate media that they are killing members of the Tallyban. I am very curious as to why you made no mention of the tens of thousands of civilians killed by America. I often see a selective perception of reality in American republicans, and supporters of America’s wars. They also talk about building schools and hospitals and all the good that America is doing, while the US military bombs villages, schools, hospitals, baby food factories, radio stations, and shelters filled with civilians. Let’s be honest, America is causing most of the wars, death, and destruction in Afghanistan and on the planet. Only when America stops killing people and leaves Afghanistan, will there be end to the suffering.

samieh karami

July 4th

beautifull pics, man i would love to go see the people and land mashallah. may allah make it easy for them.

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