These Photos Of Afghanistan Before The Taliban, Will Break Your Heart

What do you picture when I say the word ‘Afghanistan’? Rubble? Violence? Death? That’s what Afghanistan’s turned into since the Taliban took over, since it became a war-ravaged country.


But before this? Before the Taliban first entered the country in 1996, Afghanistan was beautiful. A country still trying to find its place in the world, but a safe haven for its people. Photograhper Bill Podlich first took photos of the country in the 1960s – and while his work is the most prominent in capturing a pre-Taliban Afghanistan, images from other decades echo what he first noticed: Afghanistan was so much more than a war-torn country.

Both men and women alike could follow their ambition.

Tourists at Paghman Gardens.

Women could wear things they liked- be it traditional or western wear.

Roads were well-constructed, and people could travel in safety.

Afghan men sharing tea, and just…celebrating life.

There was co-education and young children could play together in peace.

Confidence and freedom – personified.

And gatherings took place with joy.

Public workers weren’t violent.

Girls also wore a combination of traditional and western wears. They could walk the streets and enjoy education.

Citizens could shop and roam the streets – more importantly, children could do the same.

Even if there weren’t always classrooms, children were still educated.

Students at the Higher Teachers College Of Kabul.

There was ample of time for happiness.

Non-Afghans could study as well. International contact was prevalent.

Infrastructure was nothing less than beautiful.

And the natural scenery? Well, that was stunning.