Having managed to talk her way into some of the most dangerous hot spots in Northern Afghanistan and then Kabul, award-winning journalist Irris Makler not only covered the day-to-day war but befriended and uncovered the stories behind the scenes of Afghani women caught in the crossfire.
Entering a war zone as a freelancer without any of the back-up or safety nets provided by a major network, Irris was literally a woman on her own in a man's world, but through her tenacity, considerable powers of persuasion and obvious talent for nosing out a story - helped along by fluent Russian - she ended up filing for European, American and Australian television and radio. Her Australian outlets included Channel 9's 'The Today Show' and 'The Australian'.
It was not easy being a woman alone on the ground in Afghanistan, where local women were rarely allowed to venture outside their home, but Irris had one distinct advantage over her male colleagues. She could interview Afghan women, whereas men were not allowed to even approach them, nevermind talk to them.
The stories of these women, many of them heroes in their own right, and the journey they take Irris on as she reassesses her life alongside theirs and copes with the constraints and often crazy circumstances of being a lone woman in a war zone, sets this story apart and makes for compelling reading - often very frightening and sad, but also at times surprisingly funny.
While Irris witnessed the US air strikes, explored the ruins of Osama Bin Laden's Al Quaeda training camps, she also met some of the most extraordinary women she has encountered in two years of covering this region. This is as much their story as hers.