AFGHANISTAN 50's and 60's

A laboratory at a vaccine research center
 I first saw these images of Afghanistan in the 50's and 60's in a facebook album belonging to Mohammad Rahim. In looking for more like them, I found them again on foreignpolicy.com, along with a nice article by Mohammad Qayoumi. The article in Foreign Policy led to an interview on NPR for which you can see the transcript of here.

As Qayoumi points out, Afghanistan is generally thought of as a backward, barbaric civilization that never made it out of the dark ages. These pictures show an Afghanistan that most people would have never thought existed. There are boys scouts and girl scouts, fashionably dressed (even in the western sense) students and families, and modern (for the time) looking laboratories.

Qayoumi writes, "A half-century ago, Afghan women pursued careers in medicine; men and women mingled casually at movie theaters and university campuses in Kabul; factories in the suburbs churned out textiles and other goods. There was a tradition of law and order, and a government capable of undertaking large national infrastructure projects, like building hydropower stations and roads, albeit with outside help. Ordinary people had a sense of hope, a belief that education could open opportunities for all, a conviction that a bright future lay ahead. All that has been destroyed by three decades of war, but it was real." 

There are images included in Rahim's album that are from other sources as well, and finding others still will become something in which to lose hours and hours.
Record Store

The InterContinental built in 1969

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