Meeting her: Karate-fighting Afghan actress doubles as real-life police officer

Reporters on the Job: When I first met Saba Sahar, one of Afghanistan’s most popular actresses and filmmakers, known for her roles as a karate-fighting cop, she was in a police uniform. But she wasn’t getting ready for a shoot – she had just come home from work. Ms. Sahar is one of the country’s few female police officers, as well as one of its few female directors. She told me that, at first, no police officer under her command would listen to orders from a woman, but after a few daring operations where she equaled or surpassed them in bravery, she slowly won their respect.

She used her training to win the respect of male actors as well. While some required stunt doubles, she did not. And she proved it: After I had finished interviewing her, she jumped in the air and executed a neat roundhouse kick, landed, and bowed!

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