Kabul-based, Afghani photographer Ahmad Masood, is spending a month based in Berlin.
On my first day of work in Berlin: a very different city from my city, Kabul, Afghanistan, I covered a demonstration by students demanding improved conditions at schools and universities. I have covered some hardcore protests in Afghanistan, where about 8 out of 10 resulted in death or serious injuries. This time I was in Germany and I didn’t expect any violence.
We arrived at the scene. There were many young men and women gathered with banners and some armed with whistles in their mouths. People were laughing and smiling. There was music playing on a loud speaker. If that was not enough, some protesters were blowing their own trumpets and other instruments. It was just like a party. The students looked to be in pretty good condition, so I was wondering “Why? What are you complaining about?”.
The police were quiet and peaceful, kindly giving way to the marching, bustling and whistling demonstrators. To my surprise the police stopped me from taking their pictures.
So, before it began it finished and the only serious issues were as follows: police confiscated a banner which was not allowed, there was a colored flare fired and a couple of water balloons were thrown at the very well-behaved police.