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Wazhmah Osman is a New York City based documentary filmmaker. She has a masters degree in Middle Eastern Studies from New York University and currently is a PhD candidate in Culture and Communication also at NYU. She is also completing the Culture and Media Program in Anthropology. Before going back to school she worked for six years at Millennium Film Workshops and Cooper Union School of the Arts as a film technician, film instructor, and curator. Her short film Buried Alive has been widely circulated by numerous human rights organizations in an effort to shed light on the Taliban's brutal campaign against women.
Wazhmah shooting at her aunt's girls school. In the Summer of 2004, filmmaker Kelly Dolak and I set out to make an independent film that explored whether Afghan women's lives had actually improved as a result of the US military intervention. We spent 3 months in Afghanistan traveling all over the country and shooting around the clock. Along the way, I was forced to face my past. Vivid memories of the bombing of my school when I was in first grade, the disappearance of my father, escaping into Pakistan when the Soviets invaded, all resurfaced. There were awkward moments when I was forced to put down the camera as filmmaker and become its reluctant subject. I began to accept this role and when we returned to the States, in the editing room we realized that the story of Afghanistan has rarely been told by the people who have lived it.