The mission of ImagineAsia,
a 501(c) non-profit organization
founded by Steve McCurry,
is to
 provide  opportunities to
children and youth in Afghanistan.

Amina & Halima 17 06 15 3.jpgMen haggle over prices at the market.
Amina, Bamiyan

One of the programs sponsored by IA is the Young Women’s Photography Initiative.  The goal of the program is to give students the opportunity to document their communities by giving them the tools to create their own art.

Madina, Bamiyan

“Photography is one of the ways to show or reflect the
realities of our community to others.”
 -Marzia, YWPI student 

S13.Zainab Akbary_019.JPG Retouched_Kacy Edelmayer 5.10.18
Zainab, Mazar-i-Sharif

Participants are enabled to have a voice as they “see” their
neighborhoods and communities in new ways.

S13.Zainab Akbary_001R
Zainab, Mazar-i-Sharif
S13.Zahra Adeli_001.JPG NOPSD
Zahra, Mazar-i-Sharif
S13.Karima_001.JPG NOPSD
Karima, Mazar-i-Sharif

Ranging from street photography and landscapes to
portraits and candids, the images radiate with
resiliency and hope of each young photographer.

S12.Zahra Hassin Ali_017R
Zahra, Herat
S12.Zahra Hassin Ali_003R
Zahra, Herat
S12.Shokofa Mokhtary_006.JPGNOPSD
Shokofa, Herat
S12.Hania Akbary_023.JPGNOPSD
Hania, Herat
S12.Hania Akbary_014.JPGNOPSD
Hania, Herat
Sughra, Kabul
S10.Mahsuoma Sataya_017.JPGNOPSD
Mahsuoma, Kabul
S10.Fatema_001RRetouched_Kacy Edelmayer 12/26/2017
Fatema, Kabul
S9.Mariam Rajabi_003R
Mariam, Kabul
S7.Rizagul_069_R.jpgPSD Retouched
Rizagul, Kabul

The students’ photos portray universal themes and
reflect the resiliency of their culture,
which gives them a powerful voice. 

Kobra, Bamyian
Unknown, Bamyian
IMG_1008 Shringul 2 3day.jpg
Shrin, Bamiyan
Amina, Bamyian
Rizagu, Kabul

“It encourages me to search and find new and
real things in my community.”
-Naderah, YWPI student

 The pictures captured by these students are remarkable because they have never used a camera prior to the class.

The teachers were Mariam Alimi and Gulbuddin Elham.



By Steve McCurry

Steve McCurry has been one of the most iconic voices in contemporary photography for more than thirty years, with scores of magazine and book covers, over a dozen books, and countless exhibitions around the world to his name.

To read more about Steve go to

38 replies on “ImagineAsia”

I’m really impressed! Yes, a great opportunity for young people to find a way of expression, in their hard daily reality. Afghanistan is such a lovely place and gives wonderful opportunities to “freeze” special moments of daily routine into a picture. You’re amazing Steve, we do need more people like you (but as well on top of governments) we could have a better world!
Be blessed :-)claudine

By encouraging Afghan girls to express themselves artistically, you have opened opportunities that could change their lives. Keep up the excellent work. (I witnessed first hand the plight of young girls while working next door in Pakistan in 1970s. They had no opportunities to look forward to, not even school!

”When the student is ready the teacher will appear”
Thank you Stevebhai for these superb images. Your students are doing brilliantly , after all they have a great teacher. The facial expressions are astounding.
Best Wishes,

Thank you for providing these young women with potentially life changing opportunities to change their lives for the better. Already each photograph conveys a strong message and stark reminder of how much we take for granted.

Steve, I thank you for the foresight to put cameras into the hands of these young Afghani women. To be able to declare what is important by the click of a shutter has given them the inviolable right to declare what THEY think is interesting, important, unsettling, beautiful or true. Thank you for recognizing that need and providing the young ladies the wherewithal to feel their self-worth. (I must add that I’m a huge fan of your work. When I see a new McCurry photo or one I’ve not seen before, I just think “He’s done it again!!” Wishing you all the best, Sonia)

Your projects and pictures are always a source of inspiration for the photographic community. Congratulations and good luck with the project!

Still working on the quilt of Steve’s photos.  It is now generally called the Steve McCurry quilt.  I think I have 3 portraits to go before I will start to put it together.  These photos are lovely and such a way to give back

Life is a Journey Carol Fagan 07 8787933 mob 021319448

A wonderful way to support these young photographers and the communities that Steve has portrayed so beautifully. The faces and expressions are so unique and the focus of giving artistic expression is so important in a world where there is beauty as well as the ugliness that is often portrayed

I am so humbled when I know of people like yourself, the teachers and students working so hard to bring meaning to life and culture. Thank you for this. The pictures are marvelous. Clearly your students are imitating the master. Well done!

You and your students are making a difference in the world. Hopefully, if people see the beauty of other cultures it will lead to world peace someday. Thank you.

To say these students’ photos are “remarkable” is quite an understatement! The depth and humanity of their work is overwhelming. What a beautiful thing you’ve brought into the world … and what a legacy you’re creating.

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