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Trek of Tears
The photographs honored with a Pulitzer Prize for spot news photography were the result of one young woman's desire to show the tragedy of ethnic conflict in Central Africa to readers in Pittsburgh. A native of Murrysville, photographer Martha Rial traveled 9,000 miles to Rwanda and Burundi, where she was reunited with her sister Amy, a public-health nurse with the International Rescue Committee in Kibondo, Tanzania.

During her three weeks in central Africa, Martha became our eyes on a land in the midst of historic and cataclysmic change -- people suffering, succumbing and, yes, surviving, in their own private ways.

We offer the original report online, in tribute to her fine work, and as a reminder that at a time of plenty for many Americans, many others in the world suffer depredations that are beyond our comprehension. 

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Martha Rial

Martha Rial, age 36, has been a staff photographer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette since 1994. Before joining the Post-Gazette, Rial was a staff photographer at the Ft. Pierce Tribune in Ft. Pierce, Fla. and the Journal Newspapers in Alexandria, Va.

Rial is a graduate of the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and later attended Ohio University's School of Visual Communication. Her work has been recognized by the Pittsburgh Chapter of Women in Communication, the Press Club of Western Pennsylvania and Pittsburgh's Black Media Federation.

All articles and photographs are copyrighted 1998 to PG Publishing Co., all rights reserved. You cannot re-transmit, print or photocopy the materials on this site for re-distribution in any medium without the written permission of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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