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Life before the Taliban: 23 Fascinating Photos Of 1960s Afghanistan

These amazing photos of Afghanistan in the 1960's, taken by University Professor Dr. Bill Podlich from Arizona shows a completely different picture of the war-torn country that we see in the news today. 


Fun in the sun: Jan (left) and Peg (right) Podlich at Paghman Gardens, which was destroyed during the years of war before the 2001 U.S. invasion of Afghanistan


Friends: Pictured are Afghan girls coming home from school. The girls, as well as boys, were educated up to the high-school level, and although both sexes wore uniforms, the girls were not allowed to wear a chadri on their way to secondary school. Able young women attended college, as did the men

Hanging out: Hoards of happy citizens gather on large trucks, which served as portable grandstands

Peaceful: Men relax in the shade overlooking Istalif, a centuries-old centre for pottery, located northwest of Kabul

Family bond: Two colourful sisters, hand in hand, pose for a photograph in Kabul, surrounded by trading locals

Shopping trip: One of Dr Podlich's daughters, Jan, smiles during a trip to Istalif, a village 18 miles northwest of Kabul



A class at the American International School of Kabul where Peg and Jan attended. After class the girls were supervised by Indian ladies wearing saris, and were driven with about 20 students back through Kabul

Picnic In Afghanistan shows a group of young Afghans sharing tea and music in their free-time

Topping up: Men stand next to their parked vehicles in a petrol station, with the rolling landscape visible behind them in the distance

Tasty feast: A smiling Afghan boy is pictured decorating mounds of different cakes piled high on plates 

Splashing around: Men and boys playing, washing and swimming in the waters of the Kabul river



Play time: Young students in blue uniforms can be seen dancing to music in a school playground

Not a bad commute: Young Afghans walking home with spectacular scenery visible in the distance


Pictured is an Afghan teacher. The Higher Teachers’ College was a two-year institution for training college-level teachers

A car park of the American International School of Kabul, which the Podlich girls attended. The school no longer exists, although alumni stay in touch through Facebook and hold reunions every few years at different cities around the U.S


Picturesque: Pictured is Masjid Shah-e-do Shamsheera in Kabul, which is a yellow two-story mosque in the centre of the city

Cooking: A smiling man is pictured frying Jilabee, a sweet dessert, on an outdoor fire, with children gathered around

Time to study: A chemistry lesson in full flow in a mud-walled classroom, with a small board covered in equations


Journeying: Peg Podlich, in the sunglasses, taking a family trip on a bus  from Kabul to Peshawar in Pakistan

 As well as building a relationship with the Afghans he encountered, the amateur photographer set out to document their way of life

The Salang Tunnel, located in Parwan province, is a link between northern and southern Afghanistan, crossing the Hindu Kush mountain range under the difficult Salang Pass. The Soviet-built tunnel opened in 1964

A Buddha statue in Bamiyan Valley- a Unesco World Heritage Site. The two largest statues (not pictured here) were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001


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