Aug. 27, 2021
Best of the Week — First Winner
Intrepid AP journalists work the streets of Kabul documenting Taliban troops, daily life
When the Taliban overran Kabul on Aug. 15, no one in the city knew if the Taliban would resume the brutal practices that carried them to power in 1996 — or would they show some restraint?
Kabul video journalist Ahmad Seir and photographer Rahmat Gul remember the previous Taliban rule, but like their AP colleagues, they were determined to record history. The pair took to the streets. Despite being beaten with rifle butts at a Taliban checkpoint near the airport, they persisted, eventually gaining the trust of Taliban fighters at a checkpoint near AP’s office. Seir and Gul went on Taliban patrols, delivering unique video and photos of the militiamen now in command of Afghanistan.
Those rare images, along with spot features that included daily life in the capital and an interview with a female activist now in hiding, played at the very top of AP’s offerings for the week and reflected the tireless efforts of everyone in AP’s Kabul office who pushed aside their own fears and personal concerns to continue reporting in all formats.
For their historic and important work, thorough professionalism and unbound bravery, Seir and Gul share AP’s Best of the Week honors.