Remembering Photojournalist Shah Marai

Shah Marai, chief photographer for Agence France-Presse in Kabul, was killed today in Afghanistan, one of at least 25 victims of twin suicide bombings in downtown Kabul. The second bombing targeted journalists who had come to cover the initial attack, killing nine of them, including Marai. He began covering events in Afghanistan for AFP in 1998, first as a stringer, later a staff photographer, working his way up to chief photographer. In those 20 years, AFP distributed more than 18,000 of his photos, documenting the horrors of war, but also everyday life—including the struggles of ordinary Afghans and the beauty of the landscape. He had an incredible ability to capture the humanity in almost any situation. A collection of his photos is gathered below. Shah Marai leaves behind a family, including six children. I also invite you to read “When Hope Is Gone,” written by Marai in 2016 about Afghanistan after the U.S. pulled out, and about his own role in covering the events of the previous decades.

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