“In this picture, I’m traveling in a Chinook U.S. military helicopter. I had never been in a helicopter before. I had been chosen to serve as “a bridge between Afghans and Americans” on the U.S. ambassador’s diplomatic mission to a Taliban stronghold after an incident that resulted in civilian casualties. I had arrived in Kabul just a few days before and I was traveling to Kunar (a remote and dangerous border province). I was kind of scared at this point, thinking about my family in New York and that I might get killed during the first week of my fieldwork,” writes Wazhmah Osman about this May 2009 photograph.
During her years as a doctoral student in media studies, Osman made the documentary film, Postcards from Tora Bora, and received the NYU-University of Cambridge Mainzer Fellowship in Gender Studies. Her dissertation, ‘Thinking Outside the Box: Television and the Afghan Culture Wars,’ explores the culture wars around gender and sexuality that television incites in Afghanistan.
Wazhmah Osman is one of 2,565 students graduating from the Steinhardt School this week.