Third-Party Event: Lecture – Motivated to get the story: Behind Russian Lines

Talk Thursday 25th October, 2007

Getting the story is what reporting is all about. Sandy Gall has done just that for the past 40 years as a foreign correspondent. Getting the story first for Reuters and then ITN has taken him all
over the world, from Europe to Africa, the Middle East, Vietnam, China, the first Gulf War and Afghanistan.

In the 1980’s Sandy became deeply involved in Afghanistan, making four long journeys into the interior on foot and horseback with the Afghan Resistance. His first and most hazardous trip was in
1982. By then the Russians, who had invaded two years before, had virtually
sealed off the country to Western journalists. The only way Sandy and the three-man television crew could get the story of what the Russians were doing was to travel clandestinely with the Afghan guerrillas, the Mujahideen, who were determined to drive the invader out of their homeland.

The documentary, “Behind Russian Lines”, was transmitted on ITV in November 1982. Afterwards Sandy was commissioned to write a book about the Panjsheri Resistance, and the publisher suggested he start an appeal. Sandy Gall’s Afghanistan Appeal (SGAA) was launched in 1983 and is still going strong, committed to improving the lives of people with disabilities in Afghanistan.