I grabbed a bunch of random photos from the time I lived in Afghanistan and stuck them here. Some are similar to the ones on other pages but all provide a feel for what it was like. It was an austere location, hot, dusty and situated in somewhat of a valley surrounded by mountains.
I was in a tent for several months sleeping on a bunk bed. I had to grab flip flops and wander across the camp to where the showers and toilets were but at least I had access to them. It was a fascinating time and I learned quite a bit about the country, the people and its culture. I think I indicated earlier that ancient is a good word to use for a variety of reasons.
They are stuck in a period left behind by western civilization centuries ago and there are certainly good reasons for it. There is a struggle going on in the background that quite often bubbles to the surface and that is for food, water, shelter, safety and all the basic necessities we take for granted in the west. I think Abraham Maslow developed a triangle outlining the progression of human requirements. As I recall you don’t think about for instance self-actualization until long after basic requirements like food and shelter are addressed.
These people it doesn’t appear will get beyond the first component of that triangle any time soon due to the ongoing violence and struggle for political power. I think I mentioned that various forces have rolled through the country over the centuries and attempted to control it with varying degrees of success. So far all have failed but left behind remnants of themselves that shows up in the people, culture, language and attitudes. War and fighting seem to be very much a part of their culture and if you read about their history, you know why.
I indicated earlier it is virtually impossible to govern as the forces throughout history can certainly attest to. And the reasons for this are many, geography, infrastructure, language, culture, I could go on. The mentality is very local, probably at the family or tribal level for security reasons among others.
Anyhow, it is an extremely fascinating, beautiful and dangerous place all at the same time.