Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

Categories: Asia | History

University professor Bill Podlich from Arizona took a whole series of pictures in 1967 while he was living and working in Afghanistan with his family — his wife and two daughters.

The stunning photographs of Afghanistan from the 1960s are so different from the images of a war-torn state that it seems they are two different countries.

Dr. Bill Podlich was filming Kodachrome. In his pictures, Afghanistan appears to us as a calm and peaceful country that will soon be destroyed by the Taliban regime.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

The daughters of Professor Bill Podlich Jan and Peg in Pagman Gardens, which was one of the most popular vacation spots in Kabul. The gardens were completely destroyed during the war.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

Afghan schoolgirls go home. Girls, as well as boys, studied in schools and wore school uniforms, entered universities. Women rarely wore the burqa in major cities.

Now in Afghanistan, women are required to wear a burqa, appear only accompanied by their husband or relatives, and education for the female population is not welcome.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

Quite happy people gathered on heavy trucks, which were used as stands.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

Men are resting in the shade. Below you can see the settlement, which has been the center of pottery art for many centuries.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

Sisters holding hands, Kabul.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

One of the daughters of a professor at a local market in the city of Istalif, which was one of the most beautiful places in the country. The city was destroyed during the war.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

During a lesson at the American International School in Kabul, which was attended by the professor's daughters.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

Men on a picnic drink tea and listen to music.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

The queue at the gas station.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

A boy decorates cakes.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

People swim in the Kabul River.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

Schoolchildren dance on the playground.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

Young Afghans are returning home. There is a stunning landscape in the background.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

An Afghan teacher.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

Parking in front of the American International School in Kabul, where Professor Podlich's daughters studied. The school also no longer exists.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

One of the professor's daughters is Peg.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

Students of the Pedagogical College in Kabul.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

The mosque of Shah-do-Shamshir (the lord of the two swords) in Kabul. It was near the mosque in 2015 that a mob lynched 27-year-old Farhanda Malikzada after her dispute with an amulet dealer who accused the woman of burning the Koran. This case showed the real situation regarding women's rights in Afghanistan.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

A man prepares a sweet dessert jalebi on an open fire.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

During a chemistry lesson.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

On the bus going from Kabul to Peshawar, Pakistan.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

Royal Hill in Pagman Gardens.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

All that remains of one of the Buddha statues in the Bamiyan Valley, which was erected in the VI century AD. In 2001, both statues were destroyed by the Taliban.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

During road repairs.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

Afghan Army parade in Kabul.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

The Salang Tunnel, which connects the northern and southern parts of the country, was built by Soviet specialists in 1964 under the impassable Salang Pass.

Short skirts, roadside picnics and smiling children — what was Afghanistan like before the Taliban

Keywords: Afghanistan | Muslims | Taliban

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