A collection of incredible old news footage and pictures of Afghanistan back in the 1950s and 1960s (more than a decade before the Soviet invasion) show a sharp contrast to the Afghanistan we see in the news today.
A country full of chaos, poverty and a huge difference between the rights for men and women. Still a lot of people don’t know that this has not always been the issue with this country. In the 1950s and ’60s women interacted freely with men and went to college where all the students wore Western-inspired clothes. Education and knowledge was valued, the country had a government that could deal with a lot of problems, and people were optimistic – they had hope and aspirations to improve their lives.
Another thing that was really happening was the beginning of the strong emancipation of women, where women were becoming part of the workforce. Many of the girls were having an opportunity to go to school and go to the universities. Most did not wear burqas to cover themselves.
The burqa, what a lot of people miss, actually came from Pakistan only about 100 years ago. It does not have roots in Afghanistan.
The scenes mostly depict daily life in the Afghan capital from holiday celebrations, to military displays, to kids heading off to school.
Judging from these vintage photos, it could be quite lovely, with stately gardens, art and architecture, and even a couple UNESCO World Heritage sites on the map.
Who would have thought that the future would bring so much misery to Afghanistan? Nobody, but that kind of misery is what you’ll get after 30 years of war.
Turkey, please take note.