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Pakistani journalist wins awards for Afghanistan War documentary series

Pakistani journalist and filmmaker Shehzad Hameed Ahmad won three awards at this year’s New York Festival and two at Germany’s World Media Festivals 2020, according to Gulf News

Ahmad’s documentary series, which include titles like Caught in the Crossfire and The Battle for Kabul, depicted human suffering in the Afghanistan War and took home honors global issues, political and international affairs categories. 

Ahmad also directed and produced Whiter Shade of Terror, a documentary on the Christchurch mosque shooting, according to Masala!

The 34-year-old filmmaker who now lives in Singapore was born in Nigeria and received a masters in journalism and documentary from New York University. 

To film the Afghanistan War, Ahmad and his crew stayed 15 days in the country, which he called a “heartbreaking” experience.   

“From boarding the plane to Kabul, where I was joined by young, tattooed American troops sitting beside me, discussing money issues at home, to the Humvees and Chinooks that greeted me upon landing at the tarmac, it all felt like right out of a Hollywood movie,” Ahmad said. 

Caught in the Crossfire highlights the stories of a journalist, female street artist and an Army cadet. The follow-up film, Battle for Kabul examines the loss of soldiers and peace efforts with a broader lens.

Afghanistan War is the longest war fought by the United States. Ahmad said he wanted to humanize the war’s human casualties and cost through his series. 

“My films humanize these numbers to show the real people lost, dreams shattered, family members taken away,” Ahmed said. “I hope governments will one day realize that dialogue is the only way forward.”

Ahmad also received the Silver World Medal in the history and society category at New York Festivals 2019 for another documentary, The News International reports.

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