Astonishing Pictures Of Afghanistan From Before The Wars

October 12, 2013 7:57 pm Comments Off on Astonishing Pictures Of Afghanistan From Before The Wars Views: 9610

afghanistan-blondeBefore the U.S. invasion, before the Russian war, before the Marxist revolution, Afghanistan used to be a pretty nice place.

An astonishing collection of photos from the 1960s was recently featured by the Denver Post.

Amateur photographer, and college professor, Dr. William Podlich took a leave of absence from his job at Arizona State to work with UNESCO in Kabul, bringing his wife and daughters with him.

Later, son-in-law Clayton Esterson revived the later doctor’s photos and put them on the web. The response was amazing.

Esterson told the Denver Post: “Many Afghans have written comments [on our website] showing their appreciation for the photographs that show what their country was like before 33 years of war. This makes the effort to digitize and restore these photographs worthwhile.”

On the left is a picture showing the photographer’s daughter in a pleasant park. On the right is that same park 40 years later.

On the left is a picture showing the photographer's daughter in a pleasant park. On the right is that same park 40 years later.

via LIveleak

Even in the 60s, this blonde attracted looks in Afghanistan.

Even in the 60s, this blonde attracted looks in Afghanistan.

Dr. Bill Podlich

Many wore nice western clothes in the 60s.

Many wore nice western clothes in the 60s.

Dr. Bill Podlich

Afghanistan had a modern military since reforms by King Amanullah Khan in the 1920s.

Afghanistan had a modern military since reforms by King Amanullah Khan in the 1920s.

Dr. Bill Podlich

A nice car drives through a nice tunnel.

A nice car drives through a nice tunnel.

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Girls and boys in western style universities and schools were encouraged to talk to each other freely.

Girls and boys in western style universities and schools were encouraged to talk to each other freely.

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

There was also a Girl and Boy Scouts of Afghanistan.

There was also a Girl and Boy Scouts of Afghanistan.

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Much of Afghan culture retained its traditional dress and style. Even in Kabul, the bazaars remained much the same.

Much of Afghan culture retained its traditional dress and style. Even in Kabul, the bazaars remained much the same.

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Following World War II, which Afghanistan stayed out of, the Soviets and Americans competed for rights to build Afghan roadways.

Following World War II, which Afghanistan stayed out of, the Soviets and Americans competed for rights to build Afghan roadways.

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Unlike current roads in Afghanistan, roads in the 60s were well kept and generally free of wear and tear.

Unlike current roads in Afghanistan, roads in the 60s were well kept and generally free of wear and tear.

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Kids grew up in a safe environment, unafraid of extremist influence.

Kids grew up in a safe environment, unafraid of extremist influence.

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Signs of prosperity dotted the urban landscape, showing off a solid upper class of Afghanistan.

Signs of prosperity dotted the urban landscape, showing off a solid upper class of Afghanistan.

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

One of a few American schools in Afghanistan shows just how stable the country once was.

One of a few American schools in Afghanistan shows just how stable the country once was.

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Fruit markets stayed largely the same, despite all the advancements, and they became a staple of Afghan culture.

Fruit markets stayed largely the same, despite all the advancements, and they became a staple of Afghan culture.

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Still much of the city maintained its cultural identity through architecture.

Still much of the city maintained its cultural identity through architecture.

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Even so, there was much western influence in the newer homes and businesses.

Even so, there was much western influence in the newer homes and businesses.

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Women weren’t required to wear burqas, but some would still cover up by choice.

Women weren't required to wear burqas, but some would still cover up by choice.

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Elementary education, even out in the rural areas, was standard. Kids and citizens alike felt opportunity hinged on education.

Elementary education, even out in the rural areas, was standard. Kids and citizens alike felt opportunity hinged on education.

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Nationalism grew, as people identified with the nation rather than with tribes.

Nationalism grew, as people identified with the nation rather than with tribes.

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

There were movie theaters, libraries, chemistry labs, and on the outskirts of the city, large factories, churning out products.

There were movie theaters, libraries, chemistry labs, and on the outskirts of the city, large factories, churning out products.

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

While urban Afghanistan became modern, rural Afghanistan contained these quaint scenes.

While urban Afghanistan became modern, rural Afghanistan contained these quaint scenes.

Dr. Bill Podlich

Afghanistan had a national identity, and national style, despite all the ‘western’ influence.

Afghanistan had a national identity, and national style, despite all the 'western' influence.

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

Dr. Bill Podlich

An Afghan fair, complete with a ferris wheel.

An Afghan fair, complete with a ferris wheel.

Dr. Bill Podlich

Yes, both rural and urban, western and south asian, it seemed all of Afghanistan …

Yes, both rural and urban, western and south asian, it seemed all of Afghanistan ...

Dr. Bill Podlich

… was on the road to prosperity … until the wars began …

... was on the road to prosperity ... until the wars began ...

Dr. Bill Podlich

You’ve seen Afghanistan how it used to be …

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