A photo of an Afghani girl taken in the mid-1980s, and again in the mid-2000s, by National Geographic. She was between 28 and 30 when the second photo was taken seventeen years after the first. I remember well being captivated by her photo when it appeared on the cover of National Geographic in 1985 (and very quickly in many other media).
A picture of Kabul, Afghanistan, 40 years ago and today:
Afghanistan’s decades of sorrow began with a coup against the king by his brother-in-law in 1973. The Soviets invaded in 1979, which led to nine years of war. Following the Soviet pull-out, the Taliban came to power. The United States and its coalition invaded in 2001.
I thought this was an interesting tidbit:
In August 2001, U.S. State Department official Christina Rocca met with the Taliban, at their last negotiation over U.S. energy giant Unocal’s planned oil and gas pipeline through Afghanistan. She said, “Accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs.”
One day before the September 11 attacks in 2001, on September 10, the George W. Bush administration agreed on a plan to oust the Taliban regime in Afghanistan by force if it refused to hand over Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Many noted that of the 19 men who hijacked planes on September 11, none were Afghans (fifteen of the hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, two from the United Arab Emirates, one from Egypt, and one from Lebanon). None lived in Afghanistan (they lived in Hamburg). None trained in Afghanistan (they trained in Florida). None went to flight school in Afghanistan (that training occurred in Minnesota).