National Geographic : 2007 Oct
PHOTO JOURNAL LANA K. SLEZIC The floury handprints of female cooks decorate the soot-blackened walls of a mosque kitchen in Kabul. "There were ten shallow cauldrons, each over its own fire," Slezic says. "Women came to prepare a special sweet when their prayers were answered or problems resolved. As soon as one finished cooking, another would begin." Young girls in their dressed-up best gather for a squirming, giggling portrait during prepa rations for a family celebration in Kandahar. "I was a guest at the party, and I'd spent time with the family, so they were at ease with me," Slezic recalls. "And we were in a walled courtyard - with no men around."