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Photographer's Note

Imagine the Nazis returning to power in Germany in the 1960's? Unthinkable, impossible, you may say, but that's basically what has happened these last few days when the medieval extremist Taliban movement has taken back power in Afghanistan.

These are sad days for those who wanted poor Afghanistan to have a better future. I visited Afghanistan twice in the early 1970's and again twice in the early 2000's, one time actually during the first Taliban regime. Among all the nearly 100 countries I have seen, Afghanistan has probably made the deepest impressions on me.

I have posted many photos from Afghanistan, but among those I had scanned I found a few that I didn't show here before, mainly because they are technically totally hopeless. I post them now just to honour the peaceful Afghanistan of the "good old days" before Soviet invasion, civil war, Taliban rule and the failure of the US and the international community to help this country create a stable democracy.

You may well think these photos are too bad to be shown on TE. Okay, I don't completely disagree, but I post them anyway.

The main photo shows one of the main streets in Herat in western Afghanistan, the first city I saw after arriving from Iran in late August 1972. I will never ever forget the overwhelming experiences of those first few days: the fragrance of the pine trees lining the streets, the sounds of birds that were not drenched by the noise of cars, the displays of water melons and other fruits, the friendly smiles – and the sounds of The Beatles and Simon & Garfunkel in the basic but clean hotel where I was staying.

Two more, equally bad photos from Herat in 1972 can be seen in the WS. They were all scanned years ago from Agfacolor CT 18 slides. Maybe I could have made better scans now, but the photos from almost 50 years ago are buried so deep down in my archive that I didn't bother looking for them.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 11809 W: 564 N: 22655] (98098)
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