Afghanistan has been a strategically important location throughout history. The land served as “a gateway to India, impinging on the ancient Silk Road, which carried trade from the Mediterranean to China”. Sitting on many trade and migration routes, Afghanistan may be called the ‘Central Asian roundabout’ since routes converge from the Middle East, from the Indus Valley through the passes over the Hindu Kush, from the Far East via the Tarim Basin, and from the adjacent Eurasian Steppe.
The Arab invasions influenced the culture of Afghanistan , and its pre-Islamic period of Zoroastrian, Macedonian, Buddhist and Hindu past has long vanished. Turkic empire-builders such as the Ghaznavids and Timurids made the region now called Afghanistan of major importance.
Excavations of prehistoric sites by Louis Dupree and others suggest that humans were living in what is now Afghаnistan at least 50,000 years ago, and that farming communities in the area were among the earliest in the world. An important site of early historical activities, many believe that Afghanistan compares to Egypt in terms of the historical value of its archaeological sites
When you think of Afghanistan before war, you probably don’t think of short skirts, nice cars and liberal lifestyles, these fascinating pictures show that Afghаnistan before war in the 1960s was a very different country than the one that exists today.
The pictures were taken by American university professor Dr. Bill Podlich, who in 1967 took a two-year leave of absence to work for UNESCO in Afghanistan before war. He served as the Expert of Principles of Education at the Higher Teachers College in Kabul, and during this time he took many photographs of life as it was back then. The Soviets invaded only a decade later and Afghanistan was pulled into war, and following Taliban rule and the US invasion in 2001, the country now bears little resemblance to the peaceful and prosperous nation that you can see in these pictures below.