1960s Afghanistan Had Rock ‘n’ Roll, Not Rockets (23 Photos)

Published by Stickboy on September 29th, 2010

1950s and 60s Afghanistan

Afghanistan has been described as a medieval broken 13th-century country and many assume that’s all Afghanistan has ever been – an ungovernable land where chaos is carved into the hills.

Given the images people see on TV and the headlines written about Afghanistan over the past three decades of war, many conclude the country never made it out of the Middle Ages.

1950s and 60s Afghanistan

But looking at the photographs below taken in the 1950s and ’60s from a photobook published by Afghanistan’s planning ministry we see a snapshot of a prospering, civilised country.

A half-century ago, Afghan women pursued careers in medicine; men and women mingled casually at movie theaters and university campuses; factories in the suburbs churned out textiles and other goods.

1950s and 60s Afghanistan

There was a tradition of law and order, and a government capable of undertaking large national infrastructure projects, like building hydropower stations and roads, albeit with outside help.

Ordinary people had a sense of hope, a belief that education could open opportunities for all, a conviction that a bright future lay ahead. All that has been destroyed by three decades of war, but it was real.


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