Srinagar, Dec 24: After winning accolades for his coverage of heart-wrenching Rohingya crisis in Bangladesh, Kashmiri photo-journalist’s work has been featured by world’s top magazine, Time in its annual ratings.
Dar Yasin, a Srinagar based staffer for the Associated Press (AP), is a battle-hardened photo-journalist, who has worked in world’s intense conflicts including Afghanistan and Iraq.
In its announcement about the top ratings photographs around the world, the Time.com wrote: It was a relentless year for news. For many, the beginning of Donald Trump’s polarizing presidency in January set a tone of heightened tension, but it went beyond that. The wildfires and mass shootings, hurricanes and wars—tragedies and milestones that could happen in any year—felt amplified.
Dar Yasin was interviewed by the magazine for his work on Rohingyas for which he spent days together in Bangladesh which hosts most of the fleeing Rohingyas from Myanmar currently.
About his photo which was selected as one of the top ten photos, Dar Yasin in his own words tells Time.com:
It was my birthday, Aug 1, and my kids were making plans for the evening as we were having breakfast. Soon after, I got a call from a fellow photojournalist about a gun battle raging in south Kashmir and I rushed out. By the time we got there, protests had already spread around to nearby villages. Two top militants had been killed and a couple of residential houses were destroyed with explosives during the operation.
The media usually covers the funerals of militants and civilians in these situations, so we hung around and covered the funeral of one the militant. Then we got news that a civilian had also been killed in one of the villages nearby. I reached the house of Firdous Ahmad Khan, a 30-year-old, who according to the police was killed in the crossfire between militants and security forces. The villagers alleged he was killed during the clashes with police, not during the gun battle.
His family was quite obviously in shock and devastated with their loss, and I saw the deceased’s pregnant wife and his sisters wailing while other relatives and villagers comforted them. I quickly shot a few frames and left as I didn’t want to intrude on a very private moment of inconsolable grief and loss of a loved one. Their cries were all I could hear on the ride home.
As I entered my house, tired and still shaken, my wife and kids came rushing out to hug me. Before I knew it, I was in the midst of my own birthday party celebrations. I smiled and went through the evening with a smile on my face and anguish in my heart. At the time, I remember how hard I struggled to reconcile the horrific scenes of fighting and killing and grieving with the fact that, there I was a little while later, in the cocoon of my own family—at least outwardly—celebrating my own birthday. It was a birthday I won’t forget.