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Historical Photos of a Bygone Age in Afghanistan

PRI's The World: Historical Photos of a Bygone Age in Afghanistan

President Qayoumi’s photo collection of Afghanistan in the 1950s and ’60s shows a modern nation (courtesy of Mo Qayoumi).

Posted by PRI’s The World Aug. 9, 2013.

View related photos and listen to this radio story, summarized below. 

By Mark Patch

Professor Mo Qayoumi grew up in Afghanistan in the 1950s and 60s before leaving the country to study and work in the US and the Middle East.

He remained abroad from his homeland until 2002, when he returned to a very different nation than the one he remembered.

He is now the president of San Jose State University, but for the past several years has been collecting and publishing pictures of the Afghanistan he once knew on the internet.

In an era when prominent Afghan scholars and policymakers frequently label the nation medieval, it’s his effort to show a side of the country that the many people have long forgotten.

And some never even knew existed.