Haron (left) sitting with Massoud and mujahideen for briefing.
Haron walking with Massoud and mujahideen near Taloqan.
Massoud talks with key personnel in a desolate village.
Massoud with family and friends.
Evening prayer in Northern Afghanistan.
Prayer in the midst of Jihad.
Relaxing for a moment with commanders.
Massoud watches carefully over last minute details. With Dr. Abdullah left.
Mujahideen building model garrison out of cardboard.
Attention to detail. Preparing the sand table model.
Mujahideen awaiting speech and detailed plans. Matt Gul, left.
Massoud takes on professorial role.
Zabat (right) explaining details of garrison.
A moment of humor during Massoud’s speech.
Massoud stands tall on the eve of battle.
The war is a confrontation between Communism and Islam.
I am never unhappy.
Discipline and education make our mujahideen different from others.
If a resistance movement depends on some other country … this causes the destruction of the resistance.
People think very highly of us, more than what we really are.
Commander Najmuddin who suffered a minor injury while chopping wood confers with one of his Stinger operators.
Commander Najmuddin — with a Soviet prisoner (at right), a Stinger operator (on his left) and a key aide in his tiny guest room.
Mujahideen gather as they wait in the shadow of a karaghah in the Panjshir Valley.
An Afghan child squats amid the ruins of a home bombed by Soviet Forces in the Panjshir.
A Soviet Prisoner of War sheds his uniform for casual clothes — and seems to enjoy life in Afghanistan.
Another Soviet Prisoner of War has made himself at home in the land of the mujahideen in Afghanistan.
Saranwal Mahmoud Khan — then the Emir of Panjshir, reporting to Ahmad Shah Massoud.
Saranwal Mahmoud Khan — Emir of Panjshir with an aide in 1987.
Autumn approaches the Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan in 1987.
In the far north of the Panjshir Valley, the river begins to roar south.
Winter approaches in the far north of Afghanistan.
The gang of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar’s followers who ruled an area just west of Kantiwah where BBC cameraman Andy Skrzypkowiak was murdered. I was also a target until Rahman Baig saved the moment.
Sun sets in a remote valley in Afghanistan where Rahman Baig and I tread through dangerous territory.
Rahman Baig prepares our horse as we get ready to buy a second pack animal to replace our useless donkeys.
A glorious landscape awaits us before we reach our final destination.
An early morning view as Rahman Baig (at right) and I prepare for a new day’s travel.
My newfound friend in 1987 in Afghanistan, Rahman Baig.
Our travels continue in Afghanistan with two stubborn donkeys on a treacherous trail.
The further we went, our donkeys proved only Rahman Baig could keep them moving.
Below us, a raging river where no wrong step was allowed.
Any false step on many a narrow path could have led to disaster.
Our fellow travelers on the trail carried vital loads for the mujahideen.
Above us, the snow line that awaited where every step was dangerous.
Atop one mountain pass, even Rahman Baig pauses to catch his breath.
The beauty of Nuristan lush with greenery and sparkling water.
The debate begins — as the son of a village elder enters the discussion.
Sayed Mohammad and Suffi Moussa lose an impromptu town hall debate.
Dr. Kate Cita in Nuristan — an Angel of Mercy to me and many others.
On the road again — pushing on to the next village for medical help.
Dr. Kate at work in Nuristan — saving children from the ravages of Measles.
Rahman Baig and I set off with one horse and two donkeys from Nuristan.
The wonder of a Nuristan valley, a mythical place.
Traveling through Nuristan.
Early morning mist enshrouds a valley in Nuristan.
On the move in Nuristan — loaded donkeys bringing supplies into Afghanistan.
A young boy takes good care of his little brother in a Nuristan village.
A lone house perched on the side of a mountain in Nuristan.
A community of houses in Nuristan — the upper buildings for people.
The front gate of mujahideen HQ for Jamiat-i-Islami in Peshawar.
Downtown Chitral, Pakistan: Looking for the secret way into Afghanistan.
Strolling through Chitral while I searched for a good restaurant.
On the road to Garam Chashma, still in Pakistan but not for long.
Suffi Moussa — who was to have been my horseman from Pakistan to the Panjshir.
Syed Mohammad — who was to have guided me from Pakistan to the Panjshir.
The arid mountains that lay ahead of us on the first days of the trek.
A break for breakfast on the mountainside — but only if you could eat.
At every turn, there were more mountains.
The intricate details of a sand table outlining battle plans begin with a large grid drawn in the dirt.
Mujahideen use satellite maps of the Keran and Minjon valley to match precise details on the model they are building.
Mujahideen construct models of buildings in the valley they will attack, using match boxes, cigarette packs and slips of cardboard.
Ahmad Shah Massoud inspects the sand table model, paying attention to every detail to ensure accuracy.
Moments of humor amid serious preparation — with the knowledge that not all may survive the battle to come.
Massoud pauses as he begins a lecture that will last more than two hours, giving each group of mujahideen specific assignments.
The exact details and accuracy of the sand table model gives Massoud’s mujahideen a great advantage in preparations for Keran and Minjon.
Dr. Husain (at left) and Ahmad Shah Massoud (second from left) had joined up to unify mujahideen in the North, with a goal of stretching far beyond the Panjshir Valley.
As days stretched into weeks, more and more young men converged on our village, preparing for a battle yet to come.
Over endless cups of tea sweetened with candy, Dr. Husain (at right) listens as Massoud’s key intelligence officers gather details for an imminent battle.
Driven by their faith, Massoud, Dr Husain and key commanders gather in prayer as they did five times a day, every day.
Ahmad Shah Massoud (center right), with Dr. Abdullah (center left) and other key commanders, aides and bodyguards in 1987.
A lone mujahid stops for prayer in 1987 during a day’s march down the Kochka River in Northern Afghanistan.
Almost three decades ago, no one would have immediately recognized this young man as a Presidential contender.
Relaxing and laughing in the morning light — daily life in a magnificent land.
Timeless terrain… And a loving son of Afghanistan, Rahman Baig, crossing the Hindu Kush as winter approaches in 1987.
Richard Mackenzie, at right, with Ahmad Shah Massoud in Jangal, Afghanistan the day before the Battle of Keran and Minjon in 1987.
Devotion… Anti-Soviet resistance fighters at prayer in the North of Afghanistan in 1987.
Ahmad Shah Massoud meets with a civic leader in the town of Taloqan shortly after it was captured in 1989.
<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: