"[B]y the time the last American combat soldier departs, at the end of next year, Afghanistan will have been at war for thirty-five years. It was Christmas Eve, 1979, when the first of eighty thousand troops from the Soviet Union swept across the border, ostensibly on a brief mission to stabilize a restive neighbor. Since then, war has never died out: the Soviets retreated, in 1989, ushering in an epoch of civil war that helped to bring the Taliban to power, in 1996. And then, in 2001, came the Americans. Entire generations of Afghans—not to mention journalists, diplomats, and aid workers—have come and gone."
Robert Nickels’ Afghanistan: A History
“The rock band Kabul Dreams performed at the Afghan Youth Voices Festival, sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development and the American Embassy. Despite being exposed to Western culture for the last decade, a new generation of Afghans still clings to their society’s conservative ways. …
Even in Kabul, one of the most liberal cities in Afghanistan, many young men and women are reluctant to embrace many of the messages that America and its allies have spent billions trying to instill. …
Efforts to alter women’s roles in society remain controversial among the younger generation, perhaps the starkest example of the West’s limited influence as coalition forces prepare to withdraw next year.”
Despite West’s Efforts, Afghan Youths Cling to Traditional Ways | NYT
Afghanistan’s Kyrgyz nomads survive in one of the most remote, high-altitude, bewitching landscapes on Earth. It’s a heavenly life—and a living hell.
Matthieu Paley | NG
Today in Kabul: boy flies a plastic bag on top of a Soviet-era military vehicle.
It doesn’t take much.
Afghan youths learn how to paint at the Behzad Art Gallery in Herat. The Taliban, ousted from power in a US-led invasion in 2001, banned girls from going to school and forbade people from painting and learn the arts.
"Afghanistan faces the daunting prospect of a drastic reduction in foreign aid, which currently makes up about 90 percent of the country’s revenue. Some have seen an economic life raft in geological surveys that indicate huge deposits of copper, iron, uranium and lithium in various parts of the country [worth as much as 3 trillion USD]. But multinational mining firms have been slow to invest in Afghanistan — not least because of questions about stability after American troops draw down.”
Dreams of a Mining Future on Hold in Afghanistan | NPR