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War
Lisa Ling
United StatesGALLERYCONVERSATION
Sure, one could say reality TV or hip hop music, as they have each had a distinctive impact on how we live, how we dress, and how we...
I was born as the Vietnam War was nearing its end, and my concept of war as a child came from Hollywood films such as Full Metal Jacket and Born on the Fourth of July. Little did I know at the time that war would come to play a tremendous role in so many aspects of my life.
I always knew that I wanted to pursue journalism as a career, and I was fortunate enough to get a job as a reporter for a news program seen in schools across the country. However, I never imagined I would end up in Afghanistan covering its civil war during my freshman year of college. Afghanistan was a place that most Americans could barely identify on a map but one with which we were deeply enmeshed.
Stepping off the plane in Jalalabad, one of Afghanistan’s major cities, was like entering the twilight zone. It was 1994, and the country had been in a constant state of war since 1979, when the Soviet Union first tried to conquer it. Hardly any buildings were intact; they had been bombed out over and over again. The remains of the standing structures were riddled with bullet holes. I was immediately surrounded by throngs of young boys fully armed with Kalashnikov assault rifles and bazookas.
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