Snapshots from Herat

It is very difficult for a young woman to be a photojournalist in Afghanistan. Every day I face many problems in the city while taking photos. The male journalists make problems for me. They want me to stop taking photos. But I will never give up my job.

I want to show the world the problems of women in Afghanistan. I believe that one photo can say more than one hundred pages. I want to continue my work so I can change the old ideas and break the old culture. I want to show that a young Afghan woman can be a journalist and can do work that is better than men.

I will never stop taking photos, because it is not just a job for me. It was my childhood wish. I am full of joy when I take photos.

By Leeda

He is a baker

Baking bread in the blazing tandoori oven in Herat.

Herat citadel

The ancient Citadel of Herat. It has been destroyed and rebuilt over the centuries.

Street children in Kabul in the Skatistan Program

Street girls skateboarding with the Afghanistan Skateistan program.

Two sisters participate attend the International Day of Elimination Violence Against Women Celebration

Two sisters brought their baby to a program for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.

Women during carpet weaving in Herat province

These three women learn the intricacies of carpet weaving at a training program in Herat.

Zahera is one of the student of curtain Sewing

Zahera is learning to sew curtains. After six months she can run her own business.



  1. BRAVA, Leeda! Your photos tell us so much! I especially appreciated reading your statement. Your courage is an inspiration. You give everyone such great gifts with your pictures and your words. Please keep up the excellent work! Stacy

  2. Stephanie says:

    Men always fear the competition.

    But you have the one advantage to go and take pictures everywhere in the women’s domains.

  3. Gail Goepfert says:

    Wonderful words and photos. I agree with you about how much a photograph can say. The photos are striking–the women hunching over the rug weaving, the face of Zahera learning to sew, the striking image of the child between the two women. Keep doing what you’re doing! You have the eyes of a photographer.

  4. Dear Leeda,
    Your photographs are wonderful! Photography is all about light and so may true light be with you wherever you go and give us all more understanding thanks to your work.
    With much respect,

  5. Phyllis says:

    Love the picture of the girl skateboarders. My son makes skateboards here in Canada. He is now 39 and has been skating since he was 10 or 11; skating has been his refuge and given him freedom – he calls it his “happy place.” He was thrilled to hear about Skateistan and believes the program offers the youngsters a place of their own to be free and to just BE. Thank you for the photograph.

  6. Elisabeth Lehr says:

    Beautiful work, Leeda. Thank you for sharing these glimpses of Herat with the rest of the world.

  7. Dear Leeda,

    Your pictures are fantastic! they show us a side of Afghanistan we are not used to see, the daily life of normal people and places that we didn´t know that existed, like the picture of Herat´s ancient citadel. You must be doing something good when male colleagues are jealous of your work, please keep showing the world your view on your people and your country. Thanks,


  8. Katherine Barrett says:

    Beautiful photos Leeda!

  9. Dear Leeda,
    I really like your photos and applaud your courage. I read a book about Afghani women and afterwards I wanted to learn more about what life is really like for women in Afghanistan. Your photos helped me to understand and picture the daily life in Herat. For that, I really appreciate your work. I look forward to seeing more of your photos! With Kind Regards and Respect, Patty

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