Courage Through Danger (Season Two)

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I found myself in a dangerous situation for the first time in October 2001, covering protests in Jacobabad, about 350 km to the southwest. The authorities ceded an air base to US forces following the 9/11 attacks. The demonstrators were protesting against the use of this base to carry out strikes in Afghanistan. The police charged, beating the protesters with sticks and firing tear gas. There were 14 wounded and 200 arrests. The police did not discriminate against all those who crossed his path, including reporters and cameramen. I found myself in the middle, not knowing what to do. I continued to work. I was afraid of not getting out of there alive. This is the first time I have experienced fear while working. What a difference with weddings, where everyone is cheerful, nicely dressed, smiling, women taking out their finest gold and silver jewelry, with shimmering robes embroidered with pearls.

I entered journalism after a year, in 1997, when an international media called us to have images of a marriage ceremony bereaved by the collapse of the roof of the house, 80 kilometers away, To Dera Ghazi Khan. My boss took me because the place is very conservative, and he knew that he would not be allowed, as a man, to enter the house of the family.

The roof had collapsed under the weight of the guests. A dozen women and children had been buried under the rubble. I filmed and took pictures. Then I followed Iqbal and other photographers on other events.

Following the news has given me a lot of surprises and shocks.

I found myself in a dangerous situation for the first time in October 2001, covering protests in Jacobabad, about 350 km to the southwest. The authorities ceded an air base to US forces following the 9/11 attacks. The demonstrators were protesting against the use of this base to carry out strikes in Afghanistan.

The police charged, beating the protesters with sticks and firing tear gas. There were 14 wounded and 200 arrests.

The police did not discriminate against all those who crossed his path, including reporters and cameramen. I found myself in the middle, not knowing what to do. I continued to work. I was afraid of not getting out of there alive. This is the first time I have experienced fear while working. What a difference with weddings, where everyone is cheerful, nicely dressed, smiling, women taking out their finest gold and silver jewelry, with shimmering robes embroidered with pearls.

Here, on the other hand, it was a complete chaos. With the police and demonstrators overflowing with anger, the scuffle, eyes pricked by tear gas. The danger was everywhere.

And yet, I had to keep my cool and work. I got there. What a reward to see what I had filmed retransmitted on international news channels. That motivated me enormously. Because I managed to do not only a good job but under conditions as difficult as for a male journalist.

It is difficult to describe how strong this emotion can be for a woman in Pakistan: to feel the equal of a man. It was then that I realized that my vocation was in the coverage of the news. That I could make a name for myself in this challenging adventure. And that I will get more respect for what I am than by remaining a wedding videographer for the part reserved for women.

As I then explained it to my family after a brutal demonstration, where I was molested and broken my camera: I feel alive when I work in a dangerous situation. It makes me stronger.

This year, the most dangerous moment occurred when I went to the house of a man, killed in an acid.

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Source by Cyprian Ogba

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