As the anniversary of the 9/11 attack coincided with Eid celebrations, Florida based Pastor Terry Jones announced that he would burn the Koran as a protest to plans to site a Muslim cultural centre near Ground Zero , stoking tensions in Asia. Add into the mix millions in Pakistan suffering from lack of water, food and shelter after floods, a parliament election in Afghanistan and a U. S. -led military campaign against the Taliban around Kandahar - photographers in the region had lots of raw material to work with.
Raheb's picture of relief and joy caught in the harsh light of a direct flash seems to explode in a release of tension as news spreads that Pastor Jones had cancelled his plans to burn the Koran. It has to be said that ironically earlier in the day in Pakistan US flags were burned in protest against the planned protest.
Afghan protestors shout anti U.S slogans as they celebrate after learning that U.S. pastor Terry Jones dropped his plans to burn copies of the Koran, in Herat, western Afghanistan September 12, 2010. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi
Also in Afghanistan Raheb's haunting image of the defaced election poster of an Afghan woman parliamentary candidate and the ghostly image of a US soldier shrouded in a haze of dust by Erik, who is on an embed with US forces, both caught my eye.
A damaged campaign poster for an Afghan woman parliament candidate is seen on a wall in Herat, western Afghanistan September 8, 2010. Taliban threats, shuttered polling centres and warnings of widespread fraud are clouding hopes for Afghanistan's Sept. 18 parliamentary election, a key test of an already fragile democracy, observers have warned. REUTERS/Raheb Homavandi