A look back at the work of Shah Marai, AFP photojournalist killed in Kabul

Agence France-Presse’s chief photographer in Kabul, Shah Marai, who was killed covering a suicide bombing on Monday, was a charismatic, courageous journalist who was dedicated to reporting on Afghanistan’s wrenching conflict.

The 22-year veteran of the agency leaves behind two wives and six children, including his only daughter, born earlier this month — an event that brought him great joy and was celebrated with cake at the Kabul bureau just over a week ago.

He was killed, along with at least five media colleagues, when a suicide bomber detonated himself among the crowd of journalists who had arrived to cover an earlier blast.

Marai’s versatility and easy camaraderie was demonstrated in a message moments before the second attack, in which he reassured an AFP video colleague who was stuck in traffic and could not reach the scene.

“No worry man, I am here,” the 41-year-old said by WhatsApp, adding that he was shooting video in addition to taking photos.

His powerful photographs testify to the unimaginable violence he witnessed over the years — as well as the fragile moments of beauty and joy in a country pummeled by decades of war.

Here is a look at some of Marai’s work, with their original captions, including this past week’s burials of the victims of the deadly bombing at the voter registration center in Kabul.

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<p>An Afghan trader waits for customers early in the morning at a livestock market ahead of the sacrificial Eid al-Adha festival in Kabul on October 2, 2014. Muslims across the world are preparing to celebrate the annual festival of Eid al-Adha, or the Festival of Sacrifice, which marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and commemorates Prophet Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice his son to show obedience to God. (Photo: Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
The work of slain photojournalist Shah Marai

An Afghan trader waits for customers early in the morning at a livestock market ahead of the sacrificial Eid al-Adha festival in Kabul on October 2, 2014. Muslims across the world are preparing to celebrate the annual festival of Eid al-Adha, or the Festival of Sacrifice, which marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and commemorates Prophet Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice his son to show obedience to God. (Photo: Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>An Afghan vendor holds a sheep as he waits for customers at a livestock market ahead of the Eid al-Adha Muslim festival, on the outskirts of Kabul on August 30, 2017.<br> Muslims across the world are preparing to celebrate the annual festival of Eid al-Adha, or the Festival of Sacrifice, which marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and in commemoration of Prophet Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice his son to show obedience to God. (Photo: Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
The work of slain photojournalist Shah Marai

An Afghan vendor holds a sheep as he waits for customers at a livestock market ahead of the Eid al-Adha Muslim festival, on the outskirts of Kabul on August 30, 2017.
Muslims across the world are preparing to celebrate the annual festival of Eid al-Adha, or the Festival of Sacrifice, which marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca and in commemoration of Prophet Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice his son to show obedience to God. (Photo: Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>The shadows of Afghan police officers are seen near the site of an attack on the Spanish embassy compound in Kabul on December 11, 2015. Insurgents have launched an attack on a Spanish embassy compound in Kabul on December 11, Afghan officials said, following reports of gunfire and a massive car bomb in the centre of the city. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images) </p>
The work of slain photojournalist Shah Marai

The shadows of Afghan police officers are seen near the site of an attack on the Spanish embassy compound in Kabul on December 11, 2015. Insurgents have launched an attack on a Spanish embassy compound in Kabul on December 11, Afghan officials said, following reports of gunfire and a massive car bomb in the centre of the city. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images)

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GRAPHIC WARNING

<p>Afghan relatives react as they stand near the body of Saeed Jawad Hossini, 29, who was killed in a suicide attack on a minibus carrying employees of Afghan TV channel TOLO in Kabul on January 21, 2016. Seven employees of popular Afghan TV channel TOLO were killed on January 21 when a Taliban car bomber rammed into their minibus in Kabul, just months after the militants declared the network a legitimate “military target”. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images) </p>
The work of slain photojournalist Shah Marai

Afghan relatives react as they stand near the body of Saeed Jawad Hossini, 29, who was killed in a suicide attack on a minibus carrying employees of Afghan TV channel TOLO in Kabul on January 21, 2016. Seven employees of popular Afghan TV channel TOLO were killed on January 21 when a Taliban car bomber rammed into their minibus in Kabul, just months after the militants declared the network a legitimate “military target”. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Afghan boy five-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi, a young Lionel Messi fan, plays football in Kabul on February 1, 2016. Barcelona star Lionel Messi is hoping to arrange a meeting with an Afghan boy who shot to fame after pictures of him dressed in a striped plastic bag jersey went viral, Kabul’s football federation said on February 1. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images) </p>
The work of slain photojournalist Shah Marai

Afghan boy five-year-old Murtaza Ahmadi, a young Lionel Messi fan, plays football in Kabul on February 1, 2016. Barcelona star Lionel Messi is hoping to arrange a meeting with an Afghan boy who shot to fame after pictures of him dressed in a striped plastic bag jersey went viral, Kabul’s football federation said on February 1. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images)

<p>An Afghan amputee man waits at one of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) hospitals for war victims and the disabled in Kabul on April 3, 2016.<br> The ICRC orthopaedic project was set up in 1988 in Kabul. (Photo: Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
The work of slain photojournalist Shah Marai

An Afghan amputee man waits at one of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) hospitals for war victims and the disabled in Kabul on April 3, 2016.
The ICRC orthopaedic project was set up in 1988 in Kabul. (Photo: Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Afghan security forces keep watch in Daykundi province on May 11, 2016.<br> Nili, the capital of Daykundi, one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, is located about 310 kilometres west of Kabul. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images) </p>
The work of slain photojournalist Shah Marai

Afghan security forces keep watch in Daykundi province on May 11, 2016.
Nili, the capital of Daykundi, one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, is located about 310 kilometres west of Kabul. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images)

<p>An Afghan man leads his cows as a rainbow forms in the background in Daykundi province on May 11, 2016.<br> Nili, the capital of Daykundi, one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, is located about 310 kilometres west of Kabul. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images) </p>
The work of slain photojournalist Shah Marai

An Afghan man leads his cows as a rainbow forms in the background in Daykundi province on May 11, 2016.
Nili, the capital of Daykundi, one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, is located about 310 kilometres west of Kabul. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images)

<p>An elderly father (C) mourns at the grave of his son in Kabul on October 12, 2016, after he was killed in an attack by gunmen inside the Karte Sakhi shrine late on October 11.<br> Grieving worshippers on October 12 described desperately trying to shelter their children against a hail of gunfire in Kabul that killed at least 18 people gathering to mark Ashura, one of the most important festivals of the Shiite calendar. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images) </p>
The work of slain photojournalist Shah Marai

An elderly father (C) mourns at the grave of his son in Kabul on October 12, 2016, after he was killed in an attack by gunmen inside the Karte Sakhi shrine late on October 11.
Grieving worshippers on October 12 described desperately trying to shelter their children against a hail of gunfire in Kabul that killed at least 18 people gathering to mark Ashura, one of the most important festivals of the Shiite calendar. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images)

<p>An Afghan child who works as a balloon vendor waits for customers in Kabul on December 6, 2016. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images) </p>
The work of slain photojournalist Shah Marai

An Afghan child who works as a balloon vendor waits for customers in Kabul on December 6, 2016. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images)

<p>An Afghan policeman watches as a cache of alcohol and drugs burns on the outskirts of Kabul on December 20, 2016.<br> Ninety eight tons of opium, heroin, hashish and alcoholic drinks were set on fire, officials said. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images) </p>
The work of slain photojournalist Shah Marai

An Afghan policeman watches as a cache of alcohol and drugs burns on the outskirts of Kabul on December 20, 2016.
Ninety eight tons of opium, heroin, hashish and alcoholic drinks were set on fire, officials said. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images)

<p>An Afghan amputee man waits at one of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) hospitals for war victims and the disabled in Kabul on April 3, 2016.<br> The ICRC orthopaedic project was set up in 1988 in Kabul. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images) </p>
The work of slain photojournalist Shah Marai

An Afghan amputee man waits at one of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) hospitals for war victims and the disabled in Kabul on April 3, 2016.
The ICRC orthopaedic project was set up in 1988 in Kabul. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images)

<p>An Afghan vendor sells candy floss as he walks on the streets of Kabul on January 5, 2017. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images) </p>
The work of slain photojournalist Shah Marai

An Afghan vendor sells candy floss as he walks on the streets of Kabul on January 5, 2017. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images)

<p>An Afghan health worker administers the polio vaccine to a child during a vaccination campaign in Kabul on February 28, 2017.<br> Polio, once a worldwide scourge, is endemic in just three countries now – Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images) </p>
The work of slain photojournalist Shah Marai

An Afghan health worker administers the polio vaccine to a child during a vaccination campaign in Kabul on February 28, 2017.
Polio, once a worldwide scourge, is endemic in just three countries now – Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Two Afghan men weep for their relatives in front of the main gate of a military hospital in Kabul on March 8, 2017, after a deadly six-hour attack claimed by the Islamic State group.<br> More than 30 people were killed and around 50 wounded in an insurgent attack on Afghanistan’s largest military hospital in Kabul on March 8, the defence ministry said. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images) </p>
The work of slain photojournalist Shah Marai

Two Afghan men weep for their relatives in front of the main gate of a military hospital in Kabul on March 8, 2017, after a deadly six-hour attack claimed by the Islamic State group.
More than 30 people were killed and around 50 wounded in an insurgent attack on Afghanistan’s largest military hospital in Kabul on March 8, the defence ministry said. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Wounded Afghan women and men gesture at the site of a car bomb attack in Kabul on May 31, 2017.<br> At least 40 people were killed or wounded on May 31 as a massive blast ripped through Kabul’s diplomatic quarter, shattering the morning rush hour and bringing carnage to the streets of the Afghan capital. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images) </p>
The work of slain photojournalist Shah Marai

Wounded Afghan women and men gesture at the site of a car bomb attack in Kabul on May 31, 2017.
At least 40 people were killed or wounded on May 31 as a massive blast ripped through Kabul’s diplomatic quarter, shattering the morning rush hour and bringing carnage to the streets of the Afghan capital. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images)

<p>An Afghan man runs away as dust blows in the aftermath of the third blast at a Shiite cultural centre in Kabul on December 28, 2017.<br> At least 40 people were killed and dozens more wounded in multiple blasts at a Shiite cultural centre in Kabul on December 28, officials said, in the latest deadly violence to hit the Afghan capital.<br> (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images) </p>
The work of slain photojournalist Shah Marai

An Afghan man runs away as dust blows in the aftermath of the third blast at a Shiite cultural centre in Kabul on December 28, 2017.
At least 40 people were killed and dozens more wounded in multiple blasts at a Shiite cultural centre in Kabul on December 28, officials said, in the latest deadly violence to hit the Afghan capital.
(Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images)

<p>An Afghan man walks during the first day of the Nowruz (Noruz), or Persian New Year, in a hilltop overlooking of Kabul on March 21, 2018. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images) </p>
The work of slain photojournalist Shah Marai

An Afghan man walks during the first day of the Nowruz (Noruz), or Persian New Year, in a hilltop overlooking of Kabul on March 21, 2018. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images)

<p>A sandal is seen laying on the ground along a road at the site of a suicide bombing attack in Kabul on March 21, 2018.<br> A suicide bomber on March 21 killed at least 26 people, many of them teenagers, in front of Kabul University, officials said, as Afghans took to the streets to celebrate the Persian new year holiday. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the deadly attack — the fifth suicide bombing in the Afghan capital in recent weeks — via its propaganda arm Amaq, SITE Intelligence Group said. The Taliban earlier denied involvement on Twitter. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images) </p>
The work of slain photojournalist Shah Marai

A sandal is seen laying on the ground along a road at the site of a suicide bombing attack in Kabul on March 21, 2018.
A suicide bomber on March 21 killed at least 26 people, many of them teenagers, in front of Kabul University, officials said, as Afghans took to the streets to celebrate the Persian new year holiday. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the deadly attack — the fifth suicide bombing in the Afghan capital in recent weeks — via its propaganda arm Amaq, SITE Intelligence Group said. The Taliban earlier denied involvement on Twitter. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images)

<p>A wounded Afghan woman receives treatment at a hospital following a suicide bombing attack in Kabul on March 21, 2018.<br> A suicide bomber on March 21 killed at least 26 people, many of them teenagers, in front of Kabul University, officials said, as Afghans took to the streets to celebrate the Persian new year holiday. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the deadly attack — the fifth suicide bombing in the Afghan capital in recent weeks — via its propaganda arm Amaq, SITE Intelligence Group said. The Taliban earlier denied involvement on Twitter. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images) </p>
The work of slain photojournalist Shah Marai

A wounded Afghan woman receives treatment at a hospital following a suicide bombing attack in Kabul on March 21, 2018.
A suicide bomber on March 21 killed at least 26 people, many of them teenagers, in front of Kabul University, officials said, as Afghans took to the streets to celebrate the Persian new year holiday. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the deadly attack — the fifth suicide bombing in the Afghan capital in recent weeks — via its propaganda arm Amaq, SITE Intelligence Group said. The Taliban earlier denied involvement on Twitter. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images)

<p>An Afghan man digs a grave for one of the 57 victims of a bomb blast before the burial a day after the attack on a voter registration centre in Kabul, on April 23, 2018. – Hundreds of grieving Afghans buried their loved ones in Kabul on April 23 amid growing anger over a suicide attack on a voter registration centre that killed 57 people including children and wounded over 100. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images) </p>
The work of slain photojournalist Shah Marai

An Afghan man digs a grave for one of the 57 victims of a bomb blast before the burial a day after the attack on a voter registration centre in Kabul, on April 23, 2018. – Hundreds of grieving Afghans buried their loved ones in Kabul on April 23 amid growing anger over a suicide attack on a voter registration centre that killed 57 people including children and wounded over 100. (Photo: Shah Marai/ AFP/Getty Images)

<p>Afghan Shiite mourners carry the coffin of one of the 57 victims of a bomb blast before the burial a day after the attack on a voter registration centre in Kabul, on April 23, 2018. – Hundreds of grieving Afghans buried their loved ones in Kabul on April 23 amid growing anger over a suicide attack on a voter registration centre that killed 57 people including children and wounded over 100. (Photo: Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images) </p>
The work of slain photojournalist Shah Marai

Afghan Shiite mourners carry the coffin of one of the 57 victims of a bomb blast before the burial a day after the attack on a voter registration centre in Kabul, on April 23, 2018. – Hundreds of grieving Afghans buried their loved ones in Kabul on April 23 amid growing anger over a suicide attack on a voter registration centre that killed 57 people including children and wounded over 100. (Photo: Shah Marai/AFP/Getty Images)

<p>This file photo taken on April 17, 2012 and released by the Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Monday, April 30 , 2018, shows AFP photographer Shah Marai at the AFP bureau in Kabul. Agence France-Presse’s chief photographer in Kabul, Shah Marai, was killed April 30, AFP has confirmed, in a secondary explosion targeting a group of journalists who had rushed to the scene of a suicide blast in the Afghan capital. (Photo:Johannes Eisele/AFP via AP) </p>
Slain photojournalist Shah Marai

This file photo taken on April 17, 2012 and released by the Agence France-Presse (AFP) on Monday, April 30 , 2018, shows AFP photographer Shah Marai at the AFP bureau in Kabul. Agence France-Presse’s chief photographer in Kabul, Shah Marai, was killed April 30, AFP has confirmed, in a secondary explosion targeting a group of journalists who had rushed to the scene of a suicide blast in the Afghan capital. (Photo:Johannes Eisele/AFP via AP)

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