Afghanistan old and new

Afghanistan, Old and New




kite rooftop comfortable (2)
restore trauma Golden Age
former diplomat dream (2)
troops proper hide/hid/hidden
faculty polish (2) second hand
extra wake up punishment
left (2) bring up underground (2)
hope appear in terms of
veil dress (2) participate
escape affair (2) constitution
vote focus (2) segregation
brave naughty according to
live (2) diplomat fight/fought/fought
loud imagine good/better/best
enable grade (2) smoke (2)
gold guess (2) way of life
hippy keep (2) accompany
local isolation movement (3)
sort of equality discrimination
rural obedient in order to
cleric memory a world away
tribal follow (2) tradition
worry echo (2) buy/bought/bought
reality class (2) sell/sold/sold
elite proclaim response
arrest ideology narrow (2)
blame strange defend (2)
protest extreme manage (2)
coup mature take power
found monarchy overthrow
cousin spring (2) depose
decide order (2) my time has come
guard takeover courageous
royal regime battle
radical transform implement
reform hesitate eradicate
palace target (2) opposition
pray aim (2) repression
jail advocate propaganda
brutal identify disappear
drop mullah headmaster
knock nail (2) take/took/taken
group come back lead/led/led
amid public (2) come/came/come
regime descent hear/heard/heard
armed activist organize
holy revolution insurgency
worry goal (2) liberation
pure advisor send/sent/sent
seize beat (2) dramatic (2)
gaze airborne (2) division (2)






“Afghanistan has a natural beauty. With all it’s mountains and rivers close to the cities, it may be one of the most beautiful countries in Asia.

“I have memories of studying and us going to school. In Kabul, everyone would go up to the rooftops and fly kites, in all these different colors.”

Zohra Yusuf Daoud, (1954), Media Advisor to the Afghan First Lady: “Living in kabul was so romantic. We were happy in kabul: cinemas restaurants hotels. It was better than Europe, I guess.

Now I think that we were already feminist without knowing the word of feminists.

Suddenly it was a bad trauma.”

Shukria Barakzai, Diplomat and Former Politician: “I have a dream: to have my country back. Do you think that’s too much? That’s too big?

When Taliban beat me on the street, it was it was very difficult. I had a proper burka. I hid my beautiful hands with nails nail polish that they shouldn’t see it. They beat me and they asked me why I am on the street without male member of my family, without my mahram

I’m not saying I was very problematic, but I love to answer them. I said I tried to find someone from second hand market, but I couldn’t. And that was they start beating me extra, in the middle of the street, in front of probably 400 eyes or 500. For no reason.

And immediately after that punishment, it was like a wake-up call: wake up! Wake up. I woke up. I start my underground school teacher. I bring up the girls, and I told them, “Look girls, this is not who you are. When I was your age, I was a good basketballer. I was a good volleyballer. And I was listening to the music. And I had the good skill of writing.”

And they were just looking to me in a very strange way. ‘How was that possible? Really? It’s possible? Did you wear skirts? You never cover your head?’

‘Yes it was normal’

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There was a time when Afghanistan was at peace, and its women looked to the future with hope.

In the 1960s, Queen Humaira appeared in public without a veil. Her husband, King Zahir Shah, opened up the country to the world after centuries of isolation, and enabled women to participate in public life.

Sima Samar, Studied Medicine in Kabul in the 1970s. Minister of Women’s Affairs, 2001 to 2003:

Sima Samar, Minister of Women’s Affairs, 2001 to 2003: “In 1964 women in Afghanistan according to the constitution got the right to vote. In Afghanistan there were no segregation between men and women.

Honestly I was focusing on my studies, but I was quite, how to say, I was a little naughty. I would say we were going to cinemas. We were escaping some classes.”

Pink. Zohra Yusuf Daoud, (1954), Media Advisor to the Afghan First Lady: “We saw French movies. We saw Europe and America through movies.

But we never thought to go to America or go to Europe because we were happy in Kabul. You know we read history in school, and always, of course, we thought Afghans are very brave people: you know we fought against the British, we fought against Genghis Khan, we fought against Alexander the Great.

And war was something very far away from us, from me.”

Shukria Barakzai, Diplomat and Former Politician: “Kabul was a totally a different place. You can’t believe, you can’t even imagine it was better than Europe, I guess. I would say it was a modern city with lots of restaurants, Jazz music live.

Inside whenever the door was open, two things I remember: first the big, loud live Jazz sound music which was playing live. Plus lots of smoke; people over there inside of that room has been smoking a lot.

Zohra Yusuf Daoud, (1954), Media Advisor to the Afghan First Lady: “One class of the society called us “Westernized people” because we dressed like Western people. We lived like Western people. And we were listening to their music.

We thought this is a way of life for us.

When I was in a 12th grade in high school, one thing good thing happened to me, I became Miss afghanistan in 1972. They call this the ‘Golden Age’ because we were poor but we were happy.”

Sima Samar, Minister of Women’s Affairs, 2001 to 2003: “And then it was Hippie Time. There were a lot of tourists coming to different parts of the country. They were traveling with the local bus with their long hair and their the hippie style clothes.

And they were going to the historical places that we have: to Bamiyan to see the Buddhas and to Herat.”

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Accompanying the Hippies to Afghanistan were also echoes of the Western world’s protest movement. Students began talking about revolution, communism and women’s rights.

Sima Samar, Women’s Rights Activist: “In terms of the women’s movement it was all over. We start to be, to say that there should be more equality between men and women, and it should not be any discrimination.

Now I think that we were already feminists without knowing the word of feminists. I had to marry in order to go to university. My husband was teaching at the university. From the beginning, I told him that I cannot be an obedient wife, so I can be a good friend.

And we have to have 50 percent rights, both of us. So we really had 50 percent, and we were famous within the family, that when the family were seeing us they were saying how is the other 50 percent?”

Rural Afghanistan home to 80% of the population was a world away from Kabul and one in which many were uncomfortable with these changes. Here people follow tribal traditions and the teachings of Islam. Women were often isolated and could be bought and sold into marriage.

The Muslim clerics were worried about developments in the capital.

Zohra Yusuf Daoud, (1954), Media Advisor to the Afghan First Lady: “We were sort of sleeping those days; we didn’t see the reality unfortunately because of our class differences.”

Also in response to the Western lifestyle of the kabul elite, the early 70s saw the founding of the first Islamic organizations in the country. Their aim to defend traditional lifestyles. It was the birth of political Islamism in Afghanistan.

Shukria Barakzai, Diplomat and Former Politician: “Politically they put Muslims plus Islam in a very narrow road. That’s why Afghanistan society in early 70s was split badly with two groups: Islamic and Communists, so left and right.

The Islamic movement was blaming the Communists, that they are saying this and they were blaming that. This blaming game between Left and Right, political ideology started from the very beginning, which is both of the more extremist and immature to lead the country, immature to guide the people, immature to keep the great value of national unity among the people.”

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Taking everybody by surprise, the Afghan Communists managed to take power. First in 1973 they supported a military coup to overthrow the monarchy; the country was proclaimed a republic with its first ever president, Muhammad Daoud Khan, the cousin of the deposed king.

Then in the spring of 1978, the Communists decided that their time had come and seized power for themselves. In just one night, they killed Daoud Khan and 23 members of his family.

They called the bloody takeover the April Revolution.

Radio Announcer: “Tanks loyal to young communist army officers now guard the palace where President Dauod, the last of the Afghan Royal Family ruled. Inside he and his family including his young grandchildren were shot dead when his palace guard lost their courageous battle to defend him.”

The new government tried to transform Afghanistan into a communist country through radical reforms. To implement these changes, the new regime did not hesitate to eradicate any and all opposition. Islamists and Muslim clerics were the first targets of repression.

Shukria Barakzai, Diplomat and Former Politician: “I remember when i was just only in a fourth grade, and I was like almost nine-year-old girl. And that there was a kind of propaganda that if you pray, they will arrest you at school.

That was unbelievable that if you pray you will go to jail.

Sima Samar, Human Rights Advocate: That was the most brutal time of the history in the country. Thousands of people from all work of life were taken and disappeared.

And they identify anyone who was not with them. A mullah was taken from the school in Helmand. The headmaster was taken. The teacher who was teaching our religious subjects was taken. And we heard the rumor that when they were taken from Helmand to bring to Kabul, on the way to Kabul they would drop from the plane.

My husband was a normal teacher in the science faculty. They came to our house and took my husband. They knocked our door and they came in and it was a group of people who were lead by his student. And he never came back. I never never heard from him.”

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In 1979 amid growing public descent towards the communist regime, Islamic activists organized an armed insurgency. Its members called themselves mujahideen, fighters of the holy war.

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, Islmist Party Leader: “This revolution is an Islamic revolution and it has its special aims and goals which is to establish an Islamic, a pure Islamic system in Afghanistan, freedom of Afghanistan and liberation of Afghanistan.”

In Moscow, Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev was worried. Afghanistan was a neighboring, communist state. And a successful Islamic Revolution could in his eyes send a dangerous message to the 50 million Muslims living in the USSR.

So he decided to send in troops to restore order.

Newscater: “Soviet troops have been arriving in increasing numbers since early December Then on Christmas Eve ,the arrivals increased dramatically. For two days and nights, Soviet planes landed at Kabul airport, bringing an airborne division of around six thousand men. Helicopters too landed in front of the astonished gaze of airport passengers.”

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Politics, Government.
Afghanistan is a beautiful country, with beaches, and a tropical climate and vegetation. True or false?

Infrastructure, Facilities. In the past (the sixties to late seventies), was Kabul, Afghanistan very traditional, conservative, Islamic and medieval? Did women in Kabul wear hijabs, niqabs and burkas (headscarves and veils)?

Education, Schools, Universities. Since the mid-1990s, has life in Kabul remained the exactly the same, mostly the same, slightly different, very different or completely different?

Building, Skyscraper. In the 1960s to early 1970s, was there lots of violence and oppression in Afghanistan?

Newspaper, TV and Radio Stations. What sort of activities did women do in before the 1990s? Did everyone want to escape to Europe and the United States?

Transportation Network. Fifty years ago, Afghanistan was very isolated and no one knew where the country was. Is this right or wrong?

Clinic, Hospital. Was the entire country Westernized? Was everyone in Afghanistan living like Americans and Europeans?

Communications, Mail, Telephone. Did all Afghans think and feel alike? Did everyone have the same ideals, values, vision and outlook?

Electricity, Water Supply. The situation has remained the same in Afghanistan. Is this correct or incorrect? Do most Afghans like the current situation or are they nostalgic?
Road, Street, Boulevard. I am surprised and shocked by this video. Yes or no?

Bridge, Tunnel. What is your impression of Afghanistan? What do you associate with Afghanistan? What comes to mind when you think of Afghanistan?

City Center, Plaza, Public Square. Has your city or country changed over the decades? Have your grandparents or great-grandparents experienced profound changes during their lives?

Airport, Airfield, Runway. I have visited Afghanistan. True or false? Do you know anyone who has been to Afghanistan?

Shop, Store, Market. Would you like to visit Afghanistan? Would you like to live there?

Restaurant, Cafe, Bar. What might happen in the future?

Factory, Manufacturing Plant. What should the Afghan government, people and international community do?

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