I think that more often than not, people underestimate me.
Where in the world would I rather be than on the front line of history?
If I'm doing a story on how a single mother copes in a refugee camp, I'll go to her tent; I'll follow her when she's working, see what her daily life is like, and try to pack that into one composition, with nice light, in one frame.
I was kidnapped by Sunni insurgents near Fallujah, in Iraq, ambushed by the Taliban in the Korengal Valley in Afghanistan, and injured in a car accident that killed my driver while covering the Taliban occupation of the Swat Valley in Pakistan.
Americans are really lovely people - friendly, kind and willing to help you out.
Don't expect things to happen fast. Be empathetic with the people you are photographing. Don't be concerned about money.
Every story takes its toll on me and leaves an impression on me.
For a journalist who covers the Muslim world, we have responsibilities to be familiar with that culture and to know how to respond to that.
I didn't know a single female photographer who covered conflict who even had a boyfriend, much less a husband or a baby.
I didn't want my gender to determine whether or not I could cover breaking news.
I got rejected from journalism school!
I had first visited Kurdistan in 2003 before the invasion of Iraq, camping out in Erbil and Sulaimaniya while waiting for Saddam Hussein's fall.
I had imposed unspeakable worry on my husband, Paul de Bendern, on more occasions than I could count.
I knew that my interest lied in international stories. I was interested in how women were living under the Taliban, for example.
I started freelancing for the Associated Press. I had a great mentor there who sort of taught me everything.
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