Journalist does more than take famous photos

Manpreet Romana isn't employed currently but is well-known for photographing an explosion in Afganistan. "I had to stay still," Manpreet said, "because I didn’t know if I was shaking or the ground was shaking." | Submitted photo by Maral Deghati

Story by Ryan Bramhall

Manpreet Romana was at the right place at the right time.

On July 14, 2009, Romana was embedded with U.S. Marines in Afghanistan   photographing soldiers and the lives of Afghans. He’d been with the brigade for five days, and was walking alongside soldiers for four hours when he saw a convoy of trucks coming the other way. He told a fellow journalist to stop so he could get a shot of the soldiers walking while the convoy passed them.

When the soldiers walked 30 meters ahead, he heard a blast and saw smoke through his Nikon D3.

“I heard a loud explosion,” Romana said, “probably the loudest explosion I will ever hear.”

He was the first photojournalist to shoot an improvised explosive device (IED) in wartime.

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Indian scarf seller shares family business secrets

A scarf seller at the Dilli Haat market describes how he and his family make wool scarves.

Story and video by Ryan Bramhall and Bethany Trueblood

Abdul Wahid Ashraf was one of many lucky vendors who received a stall in the Dilli Haat market for 14 days after entering a lottery system. He and his family live in Kashmir, a state surrounded by the Himalayan Mountains. Kashmir, Ashraf’s home state, is well known for producing India’s famous Kashmiri shawls. It is there where Ashraf and his family spend their time hand-making shawls for New Wahid Arts, their very own full family business.

Ashraf’s fabric of choice is pashmina, which, as he puts it, is “the very finest of wool from Kashmir.” Pashmina is soft wool from a Ladakh goat.

Ashraf works as a vendor in Dilli Haat, which is a popular tourist marketplace in Delhi. He has just started work here three days ago.

Dilli Haat works like a lottery – businesses throughout India put their name into a drawing and if they are picked, that lucky business may sell its product in the marketplace for a total of fifteen days. The more workers a business has, the greater its chance is of being picked. Luckily for Ashraf, his family-owned and operated business reaches a total of more than 40 workers – giving New Wahid Arts multiple opportunities throughout the year to sell hand-made shawls and get money for their employees’ hard work.

Ashraf says his business is doing well for the three days he has worked there, but he knows that business in a shop that sells shawls is not as profitable in the summer monsoon months as it is in the winter.