I was one of the hundreds of young photojournalists who came to this distant country in 2001 to photograph my first war; naïve, a little reckless, and mostly unprepared. At the time, the Taliban ruled most of the country. Only a thin slice of mountainous territory in the north, between Tajikistan and the Panjshir Valley, was controlled by the opposition, the Northern Alliance. My travel companions were Matthew McAllester, who was then a foreign correspondent for Newsday, and Tyler Hicks, a photographer for The New York Times.
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