B.C. photographer raises money to help Afghan guide

·2 min read
Seth Scott is donating the proceeds from sales of photos, like this one, taken on a trip to Afghanistan last year to raise money for the guide that helped him during his two-week stay. (Seth Scott - image credit)
Seth Scott is donating the proceeds from sales of photos, like this one, taken on a trip to Afghanistan last year to raise money for the guide that helped him during his two-week stay. (Seth Scott - image credit)

Last fall, photographer Seth Scott travelled to Afghanistan to document and learn about the history and culture of the country.

While there, a local guide helped him navigate his surroundings, and over Scott's two-week visit, the two became friends, sharing interests and stories that would unite them in a few short days.

Now, as tensions and safety concerns mount in Afghanistan amid the Taliban takeover in Kabul, loved ones are rushing to find ways to get their friends and families out of the country.

Scott's guide, who is in his mid-20s, has worked with foreign journalists, tourists and documentarians like Scott.

The Taliban have said it would "pardon" Afghans with ties to international organizations. However, there have been reports of Taliban taking down names and seizing residential properties.

As of Monday, officials said that Canada has evacuated 1,700 Canadians and eligible Afghans from Kabul.

Out of concern for his safety, Scott's guide has limited contact with his international colleagues, and he's asked Scott for help to escape his home country.

"I was following quite closely as the Taliban were moving in on Kabul, and he messaged me about 48 hours before and was asking me if I knew of any government officials that could help him or if I could send any money to assist," Scott told On the Island guest host Kathryn Marlow.

Seth Scott
Seth Scott

Scott was unable to contribute financially, but out of concern for his friend, decided to start a fundraiser.

He approached the owner of a photography store in Campbell River to get support to launch a fundraiser selling prints online from Scott's trip to Afghanistan, with proceeds going to the guide and his family.

"I wouldn't have any of these photos if it wasn't for him, you know," Scott said.

"He's the one that took me, translated and he assisted me to take every single one of the photos that I'm selling. So in a way, I feel like I owe this to him."

Seth Scott
Seth Scott

The challenge, Scott said, could be getting the money to his guide. Banks have collapsed in Afghanistan, and if he tries to send money, his Western name could be a red flag for the Taliban, and the guide could be arrested.

However, he's hoping to be able to get the funds to him in a few weeks.

If he can't, he says he plans to donate the money to a non-profit organization that is helping people in Afghanistan.

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