ANIMALS
FUNNY
INSPIRING
LIFESTYLE
NEWS
PARENTING
RELATIONSHIPS
SCIENCE AND NATURE
WHOLESOME
WORK
Contact Us Privacy Policy Cookie Policy
© GOOD Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved.

22 photos of Afghanistan reveal what life there was really like before the wars

Unlike today, back then, both men and women dressed in western attire, attended western-style universities, and drove cars on newly-paved roads.

22 photos of Afghanistan reveal what life there was really like before the wars
Cover Image Source: circa 1975, Female students at the Polytechnical University in Kabul. (Photo by Zh. Angelov/Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Five months after President Joe Biden announced that all U.S. and nato troops would be withdrawn from Afghanistan by the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the U.S.-backed Afghan government collapsed on Sunday. The President of the country, Ashraf Ghani, fled to Tajikistan as the Taliban swiftly returned to power in the capital of Kabul and drove thousands of people into a desperate race to escape the country. Social media was filled with photos and videos of Afghans seeking refuge at Kabul's international airport out of fear of reprisal killings and world leaders criticized the U.S. for the chaotic manner in which it withdrew its military after nearly 20 years of war.



 

However, defending his decision to depart from Afghanistan, Biden asked: "How many more generations of America’s daughters and sons would you have me send to fight Afghans — Afghanistan's civil war, when Afghan troops will not? We gave them every tool they could need. We paid their salaries. Provided for the maintenance of their airplanes. We gave them every chance to determine their own future. What we could not provide was the will to fight for that future." While the president deflected blame, the truth is that Afghanistan used to be very different from the war-ravaged country it is today, before the US invasion and the Russian war.



 

According to Insider, Afghanistan was actively going through modernization and Westernization back in the 1960s. Unlike today, back then, both men and women dressed in western attire, attended western-style universities, and drove cars on newly-paved roads. However, it simultaneously also clutched its traditions and vibrant culture close to its heart. Here are 22 photos that shed light on what life was like in the area at the time:

1.  Afghan high school girls



 

2. Young photographer at Paghman Gardens, Afghanistan



 

3. Hanging out at the American International School of Kabul



 

4. Thanks to reforms by King Amanullah Khan in the 1920s, Afghanistan had a modern military



 

5. A new car drives through a freshly-built Salang Pass Tunnel



 

6. Rush hour



 

7. Decorating cakes during happier times



 

8. Sisters walking fearlessly through the streets



 

9. Big smiles



 

10. Afghan Hound



 

11. Women in short skirts and high heels walking freely down a street in Kabul

Image Source: V. Seykov/Keystone/Getty Images

12. Shopping for scarves



 

13. Sharing tea and music



 

14. Frying up dessert



 

15. Circa 1975, female students at the Polytechnical University in Kabul

Image Source: Zh. Angelov/Hulton Archive/Getty Images

16. Skinny ties



 

17. Bus driver



 

18. Female workers join the men on a march in Kabul

Image Source: Keystone/Getty Images

19. Pedestrians and traffic on a street in Kabul, Afganistan

Image Source: Keystone/Getty Images

20. Curious stares



 

21. When women didn't have to cover every inch of their bodies



 

22. And girls weren't killed for wanting an education



 

More Stories on Upworthy