At a time prior to one of the so called great powers on this planet decided it wanted to control.
June 18, 2010 The Afghanistan of Mohammad Qayoumi’s memory is far from that of a “broken 13th century country,” as it was recently described by British Defense Secretary Liam Fox.
Qayoumi, now a university president in America, grew up in Kabul in the 1950s and ’60s. It was a period of calm and prosperity – and even optimism – before the Soviet invasion.
And thanks to a batch of vintage photos, Qayoumi has opened a window into that world with a photo essay recently published in Foreign Policy. The images depict a world that is slick, modern – even Western.
The photos show women in demure scarves, but also in pencil skirts and other fashions of the 1950s and ’60s. And just as striking is what some of the women are doing: buying records. Back then, Qayoumi tells NPR’s Deborah Amos, Afghans favored songs by Western pop singers like Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley and Tom Jones.