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TOP 10: Afghanistan’s Women Cyclists: World’s Most Unlikely Sports Team?

Afghanistan's Women Cyclists/bbc.com

Afghanistan’s Women Cyclists: World’s Most Unlikely Sports Team?: David Loyn–bbc.com–2/13/15

TOP 10: A Precarious Time for Afghan Women

Afghan women: it's a precarious time for them

A Precarious Time for Afghan Women: David Zucchino–latimes.com–2/6/14–Photo: Carolyn Cole

TOP 10: Cycling Past an Afghan Taboo

Shannon Galpin, cyclist

Cycling Past an Afghan Taboo: Jed Lupinski–nytimes.com–4/17/13–Photo: Justin Edmonds for The NY Times

TOP 10: Taliban, Groups Threaten Gains Women Made Over Past Decade

Afghan Women Hold Banner/Photo: Bethany Matta for USA Today

Taliban, Groups Threaten Gains Women Made Over Past Decade:  Bethany Matta–usatoday.com–7/17/12–Photo: Bethany Matta

Farzana Ali On Reporting From The Danger Zone In Northwest Pakistan

Farzana Ali

Farzana Ali covering the Af-Pak peace talks in Kabul/April 2011

By Pamela Burke

UPDATE: 5/2/11 with Osama Bin Laden’s Death

EYE: Are you shocked at the killing of Bin Laden?

FARZANA ALI: Nobody would believe it, but history shows that Al-Qaida’s top leaders tried to hide themselves in such safer urban places. Almost three months earlier Umar Patek, alleged Bali bombing plotter, was captured from this city but the news was made public only in March. Likewise, the city is on the Silk Route, a road to China. So we journalists are expecting more news like this in the future.

EYE: Are people surprised that he was living in Abbottabad?

FARZANA ALI: Yes, of course. There is an atmosphere of uncertainty throughout the country’s urban areas.

EYE: Will this make your country a safer place?

FARZANA ALI: As far as Al-Qaeda, yes. I think they are no more of a threat, but the situation now is different. We have a lot of problems regarding extremism not terrorism. Likewise we have a lot of geo-economic, geo-strategic, and geo-political crises added by the offspring of Al-Qaeda. So I expect worst days coming ahead.

EYE: Do you see a change now in the power of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda in your country?

FARZANA ALI: Yes, but who will fill the vacuum is the big question.

_____________________________________________________

When journalist Farzana Ali leaves her home in the morning, she says she doesn’t know whether she will see her family again. The territory she covers in Pakistan is considered one of the most dangerous in the world.

“I want to be a hope for present and future female journalists as well as a symbol of courage…” Farzana Ali

She has seen it all reporting for newspapers and television in this northwestern region for the past 14 years. From the caves in Kotkai where the head of the suicide bombers is reported to have lived to Tank and South Waziristan covering the case of a future bride who was allegedly killed for cutting her hair, she has traveled all over in search of important stories.

Farzana Ali in Bajor Agency

Reporting in Bajaur Agency at a girls' degree college/2010

Farzana reached out to The Women’s Eye recently after reading the website. She thought it might connect the women of her region to the outer world. Her desire is that her voice be heard, and we wanted to listen. Here is our candid exchange… [Read more…]

Kim Barker On “The Taliban Shuffle”— Her Candid And Witty Memoir

Kim Barker

Kim Barker in Khost police truck: Photo by Kuni Takahashi

UDPATE 2/11/16Tina Fey Goes to War in New “Whiskey Tango Foxtrot” Trailer

UPDATE: 7/17/14: Tina Fey producing and may star in “The Taliban Shuffle”

UPDATE: 2/20/14: Tina Fey to Do ‘The Taliban Shuffle’ for Paramount

By Pamela Burke

Kim’s ProPublica Article
on BP Oil Spill–4/13/11

Twitter: Kim_Barker

Kim Barker chronicles her exciting career as a foreign correspondent doing “The Taliban Shuffle” between Afghanistan and Pakistan in a new book published this week. If you like insightful and darkly funny tales of modern warfare, this is the book for you.

“You have to weigh the benefits with the potential for danger. It was always worth it.” Kim

As South Asia Bureau Chief for the Chicago Tribune, Kim was based in this volatile region for five years from 2004-2009. With a self-described wicked sense of humor, she gives an insider’s view of the horror, absurdities, and realities of her life as an intrepid reporter who grew to love her war zones.

Kim Barker's The Taliban ShuffleIt is a brutally honest book for those who want a no holds barred account of a reporter’s life in this infinitely complex region. Once I read it, I couldn’t wait to talk to Kim, an incomparable adventure junkie, whose opening line is “I had always wanted to meet a warlord.” [Read more…]

Gayle Lemmon On The Amazing Dressmaker of Khair Khana

Gayle Lemmon

Twitter: gaylelemmon

UPDATE 3/14/11: Gayle launches her new book in New York

UPDATE 3/7/11: Gayle wrote the Newsweek cover story on Hillary Clinton’s War for Women’s Rights

Hillary Clinton Cover Story

Gayle Tzemach Lemmon is a reporter extraordinaire when it comes to covering the women of Afghanistan. Few journalists have Gayle’s tremendous insight and knowledge of the important issues affecting women there. Her articles have appeared in a variety of publications including The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, CNN, and the New York Times.

“I want to shine a light on the true story of the tenacity and courage of these women…” Gayle Lemmon

Her exclusive story on Bibi Aisha, the teenager whose nose and ears were cut off in retaliation for her escape attempt from an abusive marriage in southern Afghanistan, gained international media attention.

Since 2005 she’s been researching women entrepreneurs in post-conflict economies. Her book on one courageous survivor, The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, will be published mid-March. A Publishers’ Weekly review says it “offers inspiration through the resourceful, determined woman at its heart.”

I interviewed Gayle about her powerful reporting last year. In that article she described Kamila, the dressmaker, as an amazing person whose business created jobs and hope for 100 women in her neighborhood during the Taliban years.

Gayle was determined to tell Kamila’s story. I’ve wanted to find out more about this brave and intrepid woman ever since that last interview… [Read more…]