With the help of Germany, Afghanistan built its first hydroelectric power plant (pictured) in the early 50s. At that time it was considered a work of art. Now it still works, but, unfortunately, over the past eight years, the Afghan government hasn’t built any other power plants. The only finished governmental project is the expansion of the shipping line to Uzbekistan.
A clothes factory. Some time ago, there was a feeling that Afghanistan had the bright future – its economy was booming.
Then the greater part of cotton processed in this factory was cultivated by hand. But 30 years of war destroyed both the industry and supply channel.
Comparing with the 50s-60s, fewer women now work outside the home. Besides, they look much more conservative than what you can see in the picture.
The radio of the 60s broadcast the world and local news, music programs, jokes, political debates and even children’s programs. Radio Kabul (whose old offices you can see in this photo) was launched in the 1930s.
In today’s Afghanistan, there are a lot of private radio stations, satellite and television programs. However, the access to radio and television depends on electricity and that’s why their audience is limited. Only few families have generators at home.
During the annual Independence Day of Afghanistan Kabul was lit up with lights for nine days in the 60s. Now it’s always dark at night. The streets are empty, the night life isn’t even mentioned.
Boutiques used to be very common for the Kabul of 50s-60s.
As well as music stores that brought the Afghan teenagers rhythms and energy of the music of the Western world.
Today, furniture stores, like this one, are a real rarity. The greater part of furniture is made outside of Afghanistan.
Fruit markets seem the only thing that remained the same in modern Afghanistan.
The level of education of the administration of Kabul is now much lower than 50 years ago. Then, most officials had master degrees or doctorates. The Western style clothes were the norm. Today, the meeting of the government in Kabul is held among men with long beards, in turbans and traditional dresses.
The once strong and active defense forces of Afghanistan now faded in history. After the withdrawal of the Soviet troops from Afghanistan, Pakistan destroyed the armed forces of the country. The civil war of the 1990s, the constant pressure from the Taliban and the American intervention made the local security forces very difficult to organize, even considering that security remains the major concern of the country.
Now, it is hard to say exactly who is to blame for the decline of Afghanistan but we can say for sure that once a developing country is now destroyed almost completely.