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50 Years of Afghan History Come ‘In Focus’

The entrance to the Karkar coal mine around 12 kilometers northeast of Pulikhumri, the provincial town of the Northern province of Baghlan. The Karkar coal deposit at one time met the needs of Kabul city. (AFP/Getty Images)

The 1950’s and 1960’s marked a unique period of great modernization and relative peace in Afghanistan’s long, tumultuous history. The Atlantic explores mid-20th century Afghanistan on their In Focus blog:

This time was [an era] when modern buildings were constructed in Kabul alongside older traditional mud structures, when burqas became optional for a time, and the country appeared to be on a path toward a more open, prosperous society. Progress was halted in the 1970s, as a series of bloody coups, invasions, and civil wars began, continuing to this day, reversing almost all of the steps toward modernization taken in the 50s and 60s.

View over 30 high-resolution images at The Atlantic. Then take a deep dive into the history of Afghanistan, picking up where the photo series leaves off. A Darkness Visible: Afghanistan, our collaboration with renowned photojournalist Seamus Murphy, examines thirty years of Afghan history through the stories of ordinary citizens whose lives play out in the shadow of superpowers.

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