Tradition & Modernization

Reconstructing Cultural Heritage

description: 
<p>Afghanistan's cultural heritage is being put back together, piece by piece.</p>
Asset Media
Media Type: 
Video
Video Still: 
http://cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/sites/cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/files/still-culturalheritage.png
Video URL: 
http://media.asiasociety.org/education/afghanistan/era4/2005.mp4
Video Thumbnail: 
http://cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/sites/cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/files/thumb-culturalheritage.png
Era: 
Afghanistan Today
Theme: 
Identity &amp; Perception
Traces &amp; Narratives
Tradition &amp; Modernization
Year: 
2005
BCE/CE: 
CE
Date Period: 
CE
More Information: 
<p>Boukhari, Sophie, and UNESCO. <i>Head of Buddhist Statue</i>. UNESCO, Kabul, Afghanistan. In <i>UNESCO</i>. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://photobank.unesco.org/exec/fiche.htm.</p> <div id="export-html"> <div class="chicagob"> <div class="hang">Cole, Henry Hardy. <i>Miscellaneous Buddhist Sculptures from Mala Tangi, Peshawar District 10031079</i>. 1883. Courtesy of the British Library Board, London.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Cole, Henry Hardy. <i>Miscellaneous Sculpture Pieces from the Upper Monastery, Nutta, Peshawar District</i>. 1883. Courtesy of the British Library Board, London.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Dupree, Nancy. <i>49-24</i>. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Dupree, Nancy. <i>49-52</i>. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Dupree, Nancy. <i>50-62</i>. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Dupree, Nancy. <i>51-100</i>. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Dupree, Nancy. <i>60-R28-8</i>. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Dupree, Nancy. <i>61-180</i>. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Dupree, Nancy. <i>Members of the Conference at the Administrative Quarters</i>. 1970. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Dupree, Nancy. <i>Pseudo-corinthian Capital from the Administrative Quarters</i>. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Dupree, Nancy. <i>Temple within the Walls of Ai Khanoum</i>. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Dupree, Nancy. <i>The Bases in the Hall of the Administrative Quarters</i>. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang"> <p>Ellis, Sean. <i>Giza Pyramids</i>. March 27, 2009. Cairo.Creative Commons: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en</p> </div> <div class="hang">Kelly, Jim. &quot;Kids with Tiled Minaret.&quot; Digital image. Pthread's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/pthread/4072962400/. <div>Creative Commons license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="hang">Kelly, Jim. &quot;Restoration Workshop.&quot; Digital image. Pthread's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/pthread/4072192491/. <div>Creative Commons license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="hang">Kelly, Jim. &quot;Some of the New Tilework.&quot; Digital image. Pthread's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/pthread/4072953984/. <div>Creative Commons license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="hang">Mahwash. &quot;Taghafol Tchi Khejlat (The Ashamed Conscience).&quot; In <i>Radio Kaboul</i>. Accords Crois&eacute;s, 2003, CD.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Manoocher, Webistan, and UNESCO. &quot;Kabul Museum - Statue Restoration.&quot; Digital image. UNESCO. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://photobank.unesco.org/exec/fiche.htm.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Manoocher, Webistan, and UNESCO. <i>Kabul Museum</i>. UNESCO, Kabul, Afghanistan. In <i>UNESCO</i>. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://photobank.unesco.org/exec/fiche.htm.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Podelco, Grant. &quot;Afghanistan: Race To Preserve Historic Minarets Of Herat, Jam.&quot; Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty. July 18, 2005. Accessed September 05, 2010. http://www.rferl.org/content/article/1059997.html.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">&quot;Preserving Afghanistan's Cultural Heritage: An Interview with Nancy Hatch Dupree.&quot; Interview by Alexis Menten. Asia Society. July 7, 2002. Accessed September 30, 2010. http://asiasociety.org/node/475.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>Q2-01268-35</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <hr /> <div class="hang">Producer: Alexis Menten</div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Video Transcript: 
<blockquote>&ldquo;I think that a country is entitled to keep its heritage. But, at the same time, in keeping their heritage they have the responsibility to protect it. This is not always possible.&rdquo; &ndash; Nancy Hatch Dupree, Director, Afghanistan Centre, Kabul University</blockquote> <p>We all know of Egypt and the preservation in the tombs. Strangely, the steppes of Central Asia, where things were frozen, are also sites of preservation. So hence we have some of the oldest remains in the world found in this part of the world. And archeology then, shows us as a window onto the past.</p> <p>Every person, every culture, and every country has a heritage. In Afghanistan, as in other countries, history is everywhere, whether artifacts and objects in museums, historical sites, or living traditions like carpet weaving.</p> <p>But these connections to history are crumbling in Afghanistan. Many of these sites were strategic. They were chosen because they were strategic, and they are still strategic, and hence they are usually in the middle of war zones. I think given the state of Afghanistan today, it&rsquo;s almost impossible for Afghans even to visit any of these sites, nor would they necessarily want to. Places like Ghazni are notoriously unsafe, and even archeologists are allowed there for an hour or two at a time.</p> <p>Unfortunately, even where historical sites have survived and are accessible, they are easy targets for looters. This practice not only removes valuable artifacts that would normally go into the hands of researchers and curators into those of private collectors, but it also destroys much of the information that artifacts can provide about where, when, and how people lived.</p> <p>This is where archeology can provide us with the context, but grave robbers want exactly the opposite. They want to destroy or remove the object from context. Museums today are much more interested in context, and they&rsquo;re trying to re-establish how were all these artworks used.</p> <p>One way to protect historical artifacts during wartime is to remove them from the country to keep them safe. But when no one is in charge, as during Afghanistan&rsquo;s civil war in the 1990s, who can authorize and organize such a move? And how can a country be sure of their return?</p> <p>In Afghanistan, these questions proved to be impossible to answer. And so after the Soviet withdrawal, when the Afghanistan descended into civil war, some of the country&rsquo;s most important artifacts were saved by the heroic actions of individuals. The director of the Kabul Museum recognizing the danger involved took what is reported to be the greatest treasure, the Bactrian gold coins of the 3rd century BCE, and stored them away in a government ministry where they survived. The result was when the Taliban were expelled from Kabul, the Bactrian gold coins were intact and returned to the museum.</p> <p>For other artifacts that were found by foreign archaeologists and removed from the country well before Afghanistan&rsquo;s present difficulties, the question of how and when they will be returned is still debated. One of the most controversial questions in art in Afghanistan today is the question of repatriation, and should objects be moved back to the places they were found? Or is it the role of the museum at large to show the world what world culture is, in which case all museums should have some objects from all periods in order to share that wealth? There are arguments that can be made on both sides, but for the safety of the objects, in the case of Afghanistan for the moment, it seems that repatriation is not a viable option.</p> <p>In addition to the threats to historical objects and sites, another concern is that living traditions, such as carpet weaving, embroidery, and metalwork, are slowly dying away due to lack of resources and markets.</p> <p>Art is a luxury. If you have to feed your family, you can&rsquo;t be making art. For local people who are displaced and living in refugee camps, unless they can find a way to sell that art, there&rsquo;s no reason to make it.</p> <p>So what can be done? In a country where the government has limited capacity, outside organizations are working with Afghans to help pick up the pieces. There has been a revival of crafts, particularly with the help of outside funding now in Afghanistan. So we have two kinds of art going on. We have the revival of crafts in some of these societies, and we have the revival of crafts to sell in order to make money for the outside.&nbsp;It&rsquo;s hopeful. We are trying to revive old crafts.</p> <p>Reconstruction of historic sites is underway across the country. But it&rsquo;s not straightforward. One of the ongoing questions in the scholarly and more general world, is what to do with these buildings and how much should they be restored. We don&rsquo;t necessarily have the same techniques that they used in earlier times. Should we add concrete to buildings that were built without it? And there is a vast and heated ongoing discussion about this. There is a counter-drive, saying this is inauthentic, and we are restoring things that we don&rsquo;t know were necessarily there. Having restored them, the next question is what do you do with them?</p> <p>Sometimes, rebuilding after war doesn&rsquo;t just mean rebuilding roads and hospitals and schools. It can be just as important to rebuild the past, which is a far more complicated and difficult task.</p>

Jirga: A Tradition of Participation

description: 
<p>Violent headlines make Afghanistan seem like a place of uninterrupted conflict. But Afghans succeed every day in resolving conflicts and finding peace through a consensus process called jirga.</p>
Asset Media
Media Type: 
Video
Video Still: 
http://cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/sites/cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/files/still-jirga.png
Video URL: 
http://media.asiasociety.org/education/afghanistan/era4/2003.mp4
Video Thumbnail: 
http://cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/sites/cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/files/thumb-jirga.png
Era: 
Afghanistan Today
Theme: 
Identity &amp; Perception
Tradition &amp; Modernization
Year: 
2003
BCE/CE: 
CE
Date Period: 
CE
More Information: 
<p>Afghan National Orchestra, performer. &quot;Afghan National Orchestra.&quot; In <i>Music of Afghanistan</i>. Smithsonian Folkways, 1960, CD.</p> <div id="export-html"> <div class="chicagob"> <div class="hang">AfghanKabul. &quot;Malalai Joya Visits a Girls School in Farah Province in Afghanistan.&quot; Digital image. AfghanKabul's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/2083277099/. <div>Creative Commons license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="hang">&quot;Ahmad-Shah-Durani.&quot; Digital image. Wikipedia Commons. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ahmad-Shah-Durani.jpeg.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Boisvert, Ech. Sgt. Brian, U.S. Air Force, and ISAF. &quot;Untitled.&quot; Digital image. Isafmedia's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/isafmedia/4340651872/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>The Brave and Historical Speech of Malalai Joya in the LJ</i>. Watandar2000's YouTube Channel. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLC1KBrwbck.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">&quot;Demonstration in Kabul, 10 December 2009.&quot; Digital image. UNAMA's Flickr Photostream. Accessed January 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/unama/4174030722/in/photostream/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Greeson, Staff Sgt. William, and U.S. Marine Corps. &quot;Afghan Citizens Count Election Ballots during a National Election.&quot; Digital image. Official U.S. Navy Gallery's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/usnavynvns/3855795109/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>King Amanullah Addressing the Loya Jirga</i>. 1927. Khalilullah Enayat Seraj Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>Molvi Mohammad and Yunis Khalis</i>. 1989. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>Mujahideen at a Jirga</i>. 1989. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>Sl-06343</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">UNAMA. &quot;Posters.&quot; Digital image. UNAMA's Flickr Photostream. Accessed January/February, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/unama/3715331217/in/set-72157618947457368/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">UNAMA. &quot;SRSG Kai Eide Addresses National Peace Jirga of Afghanistan, Kabul: 18 June 2009.&quot; Digital image. UNAMA's Flickr Photostream. Accessed January 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/unama/3637679591/sizes/o/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">U.S. Army, and Chris Shin. &quot;Town Meeting in Afghanistan.&quot; Digital image. The U.S. Army's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/531605535.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">U.S. Department of State. &quot;Hamid Karzai Became Winner at the 2002 Loya Jirga.&quot; Digital image. Wikipedia Commons. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Hamid_Karzai_became_winner_at_the_2002_Loya_Jirga.jpg.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">U.S. Department of State. &quot;Loya Jirga 2002.&quot; Digital image. Wikipedia Commons. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Loya_Jirga_2002.jpg.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Waezi, Fardin, and UNAMA. &quot;SRSG Kai Eide Addresses National Peace Jirga of Afghanistan, Kabul: 18 June 2009.&quot; Digital image. UNAMA's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/unama/3637679589/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Waezi, Fardin. &quot;Attack in Kabul: 18 January 2010.&quot; Digital image. UNAMA's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/unama/4284846506/in/photostream/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Waezi, Fardin. &quot;Protest against Taliban.&quot; Digital image. UNAMA's Flickr Photostream. Accessed January 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/unama/4174030728/in/photostream/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Waezi, Fardin. &quot;SRSG Kai Eide Addresses National Peace Jirga of Afghanistan, Kabul: 18 June 2009.&quot; Digital image. UNAMA's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/unama/3638488514/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Waezi, Fardin. &quot;Women Protesting.&quot; Digital image. UNAMA's Flickr Photostream. Accessed January 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/unama/4146190177/in/photostream/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Wahidy, Farzana. &quot;Photo of the Day: 12 March 2010.&quot; Digital image. UNAMA's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/unama/4423950551/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"> <p>Warsame, Abdurahman. &quot;Abdullah Abdullah.&quot; Digital image. Abdurahman Warsame's Flickr Photostream. Accessed January 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/shirsoore/3946823503/.<br /> Creative Commons license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en</p> </div> <div class="hang">Wickman, Capt. Tony, and U.S. Air Force. &quot;091022-F-9933W-151.&quot; Digital image. Isafmedia's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/isafmedia/4048521207/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Wickman, Capt. Tony, U.S. Air Force, and ISAF. &quot;091022-F-9933W-134.&quot; Digital image. Isafmedia's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/isafmedia/4048522675/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Wickman, Capt. Tony, U.S. Air Force, and ISAF. &quot;091022-F-9933W-170.&quot; Digital image. Isafmedia's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/isafmedia/4048521923/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Wood, Graeme. &quot;Afghan Election Billboard, July 2009.&quot; Digital image. Gcawflickr's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3770571295.</div> <hr /> <div class="hang">Producer: Kate Harding</div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Video Transcript: 
<p>Violent headlines make Afghanistan seem like a place of uninterrupted conflict, but these stories hide the quiet ways that people succeed every day in reaching common ground.</p> <p>For centuries, Afghans have governed their affairs through a system called the jirga.</p> <p>A jirga is a meeting of elders who gather to resolve conflicts and debates. These are traditionally Pashtun, but today several ethnic groups in Afghanistan have adopted them. But a jirga is perhaps the most challenging way to govern. It requires patience, compromise, and extreme diplomacy.</p> <p>The members must rule through consensus rather than voting which means that by the end of a meeting, every single person in the room must agree on the resolution. Jirgas can go on for days until all members are united.</p> <p>A loya jirga is a larger version of the jirga. Loya jirgas are only held periodically in history, for the most important national events. In 1747 a loya jirga met to declare Ahmad Shah Durrani the leader of the Durrani Empire. And in 2002, a loya jirga confirmed Hamid Karzai as the interim president of Afghanistan.</p> <p>The key to a loya jirga&rsquo;s success depends on whether the people accept the leaders as their representatives. In the 1980s, the Marxists in power held several loya jirgas but the people rejected both the decisions and the decision-makers&mdash;and the loya jirgas were deemed failures.</p> <p>What this means is that the success of the rule of law depends on whether all the people have been heard. In the past, this meant that laws were built by listening to what constituents wanted and by meeting adversaries halfway. This is a stark contrast to the democratic system where the majority makes the decisions, and the minority must swallow its pride&mdash;or protest from the sidelines.</p> <p>As Afghanistan builds a fledgling democracy, it&rsquo;s trying hard to reconcile the jirga system with the democratic system. In 2003, a loya jirga gathered to ratify Afghanistan&rsquo;s first constitution. That constitution declared that the loya jirga would remain the most supreme legal body in Afghanistan and could even overrule the decisions of the president and the government.</p> <p>Just how to build a loya jirga is another question. After 30 years of war, its harder than ever to build consensus. When it comes to militants and insurgents, it&rsquo;s not easy to agree on who should and should not be heard. This question came to the forefront in 2003 when a young parliamentarian challenged a loya jirga.</p> <p>Afghanistan will need to decide whether consensus or majority is the most effective way to heal its fractured nation.</p> <p>In January 2010, President Karzai made a bold move that attempted to make sense of this question. He announced that he would invite Taliban leaders to an upcoming loya jirga to engage them in more peaceful discussion.</p>

Miracles and Other Powers of Storytelling

description: 
<p>Afghanistan has a storytelling culture: it connects Afghans to their past and to one another. Among other things, stories remind people of both the greatness and the universality of their struggles.</p>
Asset Media
Media Type: 
Video
Video Still: 
http://cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/sites/cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/files/still-storytelling.png
Video URL: 
http://media.asiasociety.org/education/afghanistan/era4/2002.mp4
Video Thumbnail: 
http://cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/sites/cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/files/thumb-storytelling.png
Era: 
Afghanistan Today
Theme: 
Identity &amp; Perception
Traces &amp; Narratives
Tradition &amp; Modernization
Year: 
2002
BCE/CE: 
CE
Date Period: 
CE
More Information: 
<p>Dupree, Nancy. <i>85-124</i>. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</p> <div id="export-html"> <div class="chicagob"> <div class="hang"><i>Folio from an Unidentified Text; The Angel Israfil</i>. 1580-90. Freer Gallery of Art / Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, DC. In <i>Freer Gallery of Art / Arthur M. Sackler Gallery</i>. http://www.asia.si.edu/collections/singleObject.cfm?ObjectNumber=S1986.219.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>G-00209-12</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>G-00209-14</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>G-00209-15</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">ISAF. &quot;Sharing Smiles.&quot; Digital image. Isafmedia's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/isafmedia/4251620972/. <div>Creative Commons license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="hang"><i>KES-763-A-162</i>. Khalilullah Enayat Seraj Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"> <p>Lemoyne, Roger, and United Nations. &quot;A Young Girl Attends School.&quot; Digital image. United Nations Photo's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/un_photo/3837229586/.Creative Commons license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en</p> </div> <div class="hang"><i>The Makhzan Al-asrar (Treasury of Secrets) by Mawlana Haydar</i>. 1577-78. Freer Gallery of Art / Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, DC. In <i>Freer Gallery of Art / Arthur M. Sackler Gallery</i>. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://www.asia.si.edu/collections/singleObject.cfm?ObjectNumber=S1986.54.</div> <div class="hang"><i>Muj_around_fire</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Omar, Mohammad, performer. &quot;Tabla Solo in the Rhythmic Cycle of Jhaptal (10-beat Cycle).&quot; In <i>Ustad Mohammad Omar: Virtuoso from Afghanistan</i>. Smithsonian Folkways, 2002, CD.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Rich, Sebastien, UNICEF, and UNAMA. &quot;Photo of the Day: 5 March 2009.&quot; Digital image. UNAMA's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/unama/3329763851/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>Sl-04715</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <hr /> <div class="hang">Producer: Kate Harding</div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Video Transcript: 
<p>Afghans are connected to their past primarily through stories.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s very much a storytelling culture. It&rsquo;s hard to overemphasize the importance of storytelling in Afghanistan and the extent to which it pervades all levels of society. But in a country where only 28% of the people can read, storytelling is especially important for conveying information and for teaching the values of the society to a new generation.</p> <p>It&rsquo;s an oral culture more than a visual culture, even more than it&rsquo;s a musical culture, although music is also important in parts of the country. But stories are the main lynchpin for understanding, not only the past but also the present.</p> <p>Stories also bring entertainment, and they work to contextualize the daily struggles of individuals within a lighter world: Afghans, for example, have a wonderful sense of humor and lots of their stories are funny stories some of them are bawdy, a little bit racy. And they find ways to entertain themselves through stories. &nbsp;</p> <p>Think about those long winter months. And Afghanistan is a cold country. Parts of it, at least, are cold during the winter, and there are long periods when people stay inside. And they find ways to entertain themselves and they have to do it themselves. There are no iPods, no DVD players. People were dependent upon the entertainment that they could provide for themselves. In a culture without much access to digital media, storytelling continues to play an important role today&mdash;for communicating with people within the culture and also for communicating with people outside of the culture.</p> <p>While storytelling can be used to make individuals feel less alone in their struggles, it can also be used to give examples of exceptional figures. In the case of Afghanistan, these exceptional figures remind the faithful of the power of God.</p> <p>In the case of Islam, one of the things that I noticed was that people, when they talked about great leaders of the past, great figures, great Islamic figures of the past, they told me about them by telling me about the miracles that they performed in the past. It struck me that miracle stories themselves were important in capturing how these, you might call traditional Afghans, viewed the importance, the role of Islamic figures, a particular genre of Islamic figures, the Sufi leaders, the mystical figures of the past. That they told stories about the miracles that they had performed.</p> <p>And those miracles themselves were interesting because within those stories you found the kinds of potency, the kinds of power that was associated with Islam, and all of that potency and power ultimately derived from God and from an understanding of God&rsquo;s role and his status as creator, and the ultimate source of all power in the universe. And these individuals were viewed as founts of that power, or vehicles of that power, expressions of that power.</p> <p>Storytelling gives Afghans hope that they are not alone, that this trail has been blazed before by both common and exceptional figures. The power of storytelling lies in its ability to be a reminder of both the greatness and the universality of their struggles.</p>

The Persistence of War

description: 
<p>Imagine three decades of war by looking at wartime photographs taken by Afghans.</p>
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Media Type: 
Video
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http://cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/sites/cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/files/still-persistanceofwar.png
Video URL: 
http://media.asiasociety.org/education/afghanistan/era4/1995.mp4
Video Thumbnail: 
http://cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/sites/cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/files/thumb-persistanceofwar.png
Era: 
Afghanistan Today
Theme: 
Geography &amp; Destiny
Tradition &amp; Modernization
Year: 
1995
BCE/CE: 
CE
Date Period: 
CE
More Information: 
<p><i>0096</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</p> <div id="export-html"> <div class="chicagob"> <div class="hang"><i>0122</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>0124</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>0126</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>0152</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>0167</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>0191</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>0203</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>0206</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>0218</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>0222</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>10-16</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>1081-33</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>1170-17</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>1179-22A</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>118-34</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>161-9</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>456-28</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>804-23A</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>89-3A</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>G-00193-35</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>G-00194-22</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>H-00211-24</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Mahwash. &quot;Gar Konad Saheb-E-Man (If My Eyes Meet The Ones Of The Lord).&quot; In <i>Radio Kaboul</i>. Accords Crois&eacute;s, 2003, CD.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>Q-00497-08</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>Q-00504-03a</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>Q2-01268-08</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>Q2-01276-24</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>Sl-03283</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>Sl-06139</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>Sl-06209</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>V2-01412-30</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>V2-01417-10</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <hr /> <div class="hang">Producer: Grace Norman</div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Video Transcript: 
<p>It&rsquo;s hard for Americans to appreciate the impact of 30 years of war.</p> <p>Imagine the number of casualties, the number of refugees, the amount of weapons that have flooded into this country, the breakdown of the central government, the anarchy that&rsquo;s existed in many parts of the countryside.</p> <p>Afghanistan is a war more than any other reason because people have interfered with Afghanistan.</p> <p>Afghans have to take responsibility as well, but when you look at who the key players are, who the key people responsible for the war in Afghanistan, they are people who prior to 1978 were unimportant people. The way that they became important people was because they gained the sponsorship of one or another foreign interest groups. So without that support, then they&rsquo;d never materialize. They&rsquo;d never become the people that they became. They&rsquo;d never become important political actors.</p> <p>If left to their own devices Afghans would have indigenous Afghan leaders who would emerge out of indigenous Afghan institutions and processes.</p> <p>But because of the interference of outside actors, people like Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, or Mullah Mohammad Omar or Osama bin Laden who is one of those outside actors, those are the people who have created the problems in Afghanistan.</p> <p>When you don&rsquo;t have a central government, when the central government is broken down or as it was during the Soviet period confined to cities and bases, then those people become more and more important in the country. And nowadays the means of destruction are not in the hands of armies; they are in the hands of independent actors.</p> <p>When I first went to Afghanistan in 1982, by and large the only weapons you saw were old army surplus Lee-Enfield rifles. And within a year, this is about 1982, 1983, within a year there was a flood of AK-47 Kalashnikov machine guns that flooded into Pashawar, Pakistan and ultimately over the border into Afghanistan. And of course by any price of those AK-47s on the market went plummeting.</p> <p>They became widely available, along with rocket propelled grenade launchers and other kinds of instruments that a small group of people could harness. So it didn&rsquo;t take, maybe back in the days of Abdul Rachman, you had to have horses and you had to have sabers and only major political figures, warlords if you want to use that term or dynastic contenders, only those people could really put troops in the field.</p> <p>But now starting in the late &lsquo;70s, you could have small groups of people who could devastate a whole area, who could gain control of a whole area.After the Soviets withdrew this became particularly true.</p> <p>When I visited Afghanistan in 1995 I was with a former Mujahedin commander for the Hesbius Lamie party and he had a Toyota Hilux pickup truck, and he had five guys in the back of the pickup truck with Kalashnikovs, and with those five guys and his pickup truck he could control an area probably of 20 kilometers.</p> <p>Assuming that there weren&rsquo;t other commanders with their Toyota pickup trucks and their five guys with Kalashnikovs in the back.</p> <p>So violence, the means of violence became distributed, they became disseminated, diffuse throughout the social fabric. And where did those guys come from? Where did that Toyota pickup truck come from, where did those AK-47s come from? They came from abroad. They came from somebody else who wanted to influence events in Afghanistan.</p>

Wealth and Warlords

description: 
<p>Who are the Afghan warlords?</p>
Asset Media
Media Type: 
Video
Video Still: 
http://cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/sites/cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/files/still-warlords.png
Video URL: 
http://media.asiasociety.org/education/afghanistan/era4/1992.mp4
Video Thumbnail: 
http://cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/sites/cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/files/thumb-warlords_0.png
Era: 
Afghanistan Today
Theme: 
Identity &amp; Perception
Tradition &amp; Modernization
Year: 
1992
BCE/CE: 
CE
Date Period: 
CE
More Information: 
<p><i>50-50</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</p> <div id="export-html"> <div class="chicagob"> <div class="hang"><i>59-R19-16</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>83-1663</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>A69-561</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Awalmir. &quot;Esta De Qasam Wi.&quot; Radio-Television Afghanistan Archives.&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>H-00240-10</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>K-00313-01</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>Sl-00001</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>Sl-05563</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>Sl-05765</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <hr /> <div class="hang">Producer: Alexis Menten</div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Video Transcript: 
<p>Afghan society is an intricate web in which multiple relationships connect individuals to the whole. These include not only relationships to family, ethnic groups, and the land, but also relationships based on power and authority.</p> <p>In traditional Afghan society, say for example, among the Pashtuns, when leaders had greater wealth and greater prestige, greater status, greater authority among their people, they also tended to recycle that prestige and that wealth back into the community.</p> <p>One way they did that was through hospitality. And men who were of notable ancestry, of notable prestige, of authority, had maintained guesthouses. And people who were poorer than them would often avail themselves of the hospitality of the leader, and come frequently to sit in his house, to sit and chat with the people who were there, to receive the food that was offered at lunchtime, for example.</p> <p>Because there were few ways for these leaders to horde their wealth, it was more strategic to use it to acquire obligations from others in their community. And as a result, there were strong ties within the community to the leader. And if over time, people received hospitality from an individual over and over and didn&rsquo;t return it, that reciprocity would be broken and it would be understood that those people were essentially clients. They were obliged to that leader. And he could ask them to do favors for him or to do services for him.</p> <p>Once the Soviet-Afghan War began, these relationships between wealthy leaders and the people of their community began to change.</p> <p>When we turn to the concept of warlords, I think we really are dealing with a different sort of phenomenon, and one that has been perverted by the situation of Afghanistan over the last 30 years. At that point or shortly after that period, the Pakistan government, and with the assistance of the Americans, the Saudis and other foreign interests, began to funnel money, weapons and other kinds of support to Mujahideen, to Resistance Fighters who were opposed to the Marxist government in Afghanistan and to their Soviet sponsors.</p> <p>Now the leaders who had wealth&mdash;and therefore positions of authority&mdash;were war leaders.</p> <p>Suddenly people who did not have an established position in Afghanistan, who were not tribal leaders, were being given great wealth that gave them a disproportionate power over other Afghans. And they used that wealth in part to try to defeat the Soviet-backed government in Afghanistan; in part to try to defeat their rivals; and to gain more power for themselves.</p> <p>After the Soviets withdrew, the support to the mujahideen was also withdrawn. Now the war leaders had to find their own sources of wealth to maintain their power. And those people were preying, essentially preying on the people. They became predators who were trying to take advantage of their lost wealth; take advantage of the people in order to gain wealth for themselves. And so those are the people who are really called warlords now.</p>

Rise of the Taliban

description: 
<p>The Taliban became notorious for their authoritarian rule, harboring terrorists, and insurgency against the American-led coalition. But in the beginning, they were considered a force for good.</p>
Asset Media
Media Type: 
Video
Video Still: 
http://cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/sites/cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/files/still-riseoftaliban.png
Video URL: 
http://media.asiasociety.org/education/afghanistan/era4/1990.mp4
Video Thumbnail: 
http://cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/sites/cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/files/thumb-riseoftaliban.png
Era: 
Afghanistan Today
Theme: 
Geography &amp; Destiny
Identity &amp; Perception
Tradition &amp; Modernization
Year: 
1990
BCE/CE: 
CE
Date Period: 
CE
More Information: 
<p><i>151</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</p> <div id="export-html"> <div class="chicagob"> <div class="hang"><i>88-221</i>. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Bluuurgh. &quot;Taliban in Herat.&quot; Digital image. Wikipedia Commons. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Taliban-herat-2001_retouched.jpg.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Dupree, Nancy. <i>0030</i>. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Dupree, Nancy. <i>1102-27</i>. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Dupree, Nancy. <i>80-554</i>. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Dupree, Nancy. <i>84-376</i>. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Dupree, Nancy. <i>88-73</i>. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Dupree, Nancy. <i>A Sign for a Mosque and Madrassah by Saudis</i>. 1988. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Dupree, Nancy. <i>R7-5</i>. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>K-00305-27</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>K-00315-19a</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>L-00335-21</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>L-c-00351-04</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Logari, Durai. &quot;More Nare Kele.&quot; Radio-Television Afghanistan Archive.&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">UNAMA, and Eric Kanalstein. &quot;Photo of the Day: 4 January 2010.&quot; Digital image. UNAMA's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/unama/4243349911/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">UNAMA, and Fardin Waezi. &quot;Attack in Kabul: 18 January 2010.&quot; Digital image. UNAMA's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/unama/4284846506/in/photostream/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">UNAMA, and Fardin Waezi. &quot;Attack in Kabul: 18 January 2010.&quot; Digital image. UNAMA's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/unama/4284846506/in/photostream/.</div> <hr /> <div class="hang">Producer: Alexis Menten</div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Video Transcript: 
<p>The Taliban have become infamous across the world for their authoritarian rule over Afghanistan in the 1990&rsquo;s, for harboring Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda, and for their ongoing insurgency against the American-led coalition. But when they originally took power in Afghanistan, they were seen as a force for good.</p> <p>When the Marxists took power in 1978, a large percentage of the population, 3 &frac12; million people over the next five years, fled into Pakistan; and an estimated million people fled to Iran. At the time, that was probably close to 20, 25% of the Afghan population became refugees.</p> <p>There were reportedly originally more than 100 Afghan political parties in existence in Peshawar, Pakistan across the political spectrum&mdash;nationalistic, regional, tribal, socialist, conservative. But the Pakistan government decided that they were only going to recognize seven official political parties. All seven of those parties were Islamic. So it was really the decision of the Pakistan government that indicated or that determined that it was only going to be Islamic parties that became legitimate representatives of the Afghan people.</p> <p>During this period of time, the Saudis and other outside groups had funded religious schools. And so there were a large number of religious madrasas that had sprung up to deal with the younger generation of refugee males.</p> <p>I think that&rsquo;s significant because a lot of those people, while they were Afghan they spoke Afghan languages, they were nominally Afghan in terms of their culture, many of them had never actually been in Afghanistan. They had never been, many of these young men had never grown up in villages, they&rsquo;d never been around their aunts and their sisters and the normal range of females of different ages and different relationships to themselves that somebody growing up in a village would have. A lot of them had been in boarding schools and religious schools only among other boys for most of their lives.</p> <p>After the Soviets withdrew in 1989, Afghanistan entered into a period of chaos.</p> <p>What followed from 1989 until 1992 was a period in which the Islamic political parties that had first taken root in Peshawar in Pakistan started fighting amongst themselves. And all through that period up until 1995 they were fighting amongst themselves, and because they were no longer receiving funding from abroad, and at least not in the same amounts as they had been, they also started preying on the Afghan people. Started looking for revenues by taking the resources from the people themselves.</p> <p>The Taliban initially came to end this chaos and to eliminate these warlords and commanders who were taking advantage of the Afghan people. It was only later when the Taliban came to power that they became more rigid, more autocratic, more authoritarian in the rule, and particularly in Kabul, which was a more liberal city, a more modern city, through this whole period of the Soviet occupation, particularly women had been educated and had roles in ministries and other occupations.</p> <p>They really clamped down on the role of women in social life. And it was then that the Taliban got their reputation as being backward and particularly despicable in relation to their treatment of women.</p> <p>But initially it&rsquo;s important to recall that they were considered by Afghans a force of good, of reclaiming morality in the country.</p>

Soviets Withdrawal: Void After Victory

description: 
<p>The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979. Ten years later, they withdrew defeated. But what resulted was not the peace that everyone had hoped for.</p>
Asset Media
Media Type: 
Video
Video Still: 
http://cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/sites/cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/files/still-voidvictory.png
Video URL: 
http://media.asiasociety.org/education/afghanistan/era4/1989.mp4
Video Thumbnail: 
http://cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/sites/cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/files/thumb-voidvictory.png
Era: 
Afghanistan Today
Theme: 
Geography &amp; Destiny
Tradition &amp; Modernization
Year: 
1989
BCE/CE: 
CE
Date Period: 
CE
More Information: 
<p>Dupree, Nancy. <i>80-655-4</i>. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</p> <div id="export-html"> <div class="chicagob"> <div class="hang"><i>H-00214-30</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Kingruedi. &quot;Evstafiev-afghan-apc-passes-russian.&quot; Digital image. Wikipedia Commons. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Evstafiev-afghan-apc-passes-russian.jpg. <div>Creative Commons license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/deed.en</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="hang"><i>Q-00481-27</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>Q2-01283-33</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>Q2-01290-06</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>Sl-06216</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>Stone Upon My Soul (Russian Propaganda Film Showing Soviet Withdrawal from Afghanistan)</i>. Salvaged and cleaned up by Gregory Whitmore. Williams Afghan Media Project, previously unpublished.&nbsp;</div> <hr /> <div class="hang">Producer: Alexis Menten</div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Video Transcript: 
<p>The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan in 1979. Ten years later, in 1989, they withdrew defeated. How did it come to this?</p> <p>After the Soviet invasion, there was prolonged fighting throughout the 1980s. The Soviet-Afghan War was really a kind of stalemate&mdash;neither side could defeat the other.</p> <p>Eventually, a variety of factors ended the stalemate. One important one was the decision of the American government to provide stinger shoulder-launched surface-to-air missiles that neutralized the one big advantage that the Soviets had, which was their helicopters. And when they were neutralized, the Mujahiedeen began to take control of the countryside and really to push the Soviets into their bases and into the cities.</p> <p>Ultimately another advantage that the Mujahideen had was that they were going to stay longer than the Soviets were. And this coincided with a period where the Soviet Union was suffering severe economic consequences of their own internal problems, the war was unpopular and ultimately within a year after their departure from Afghanistan the Soviet Union began to break apart.</p> <p>The end result though was not the peace and prosperity that all had longed for. The freedom may have been won but it was won at a cost and what was left behind when the Soviets withdrew were a group of political parties, all of whom wanted power for themselves.</p> <p>Translated lyrics of Russian song:&nbsp;</p> <p class="rteindent1"><strong><span><em>In Afghanistan<br /> </em></span></strong><strong><span><em>in the black Tulip<br /> </em></span></strong><strong><span><em>with vodka in our glasses<br /> </em></span></strong><strong><span><em>we float silently over the earth<br /> </em></span></strong><strong><span><em>mournful bird, flies over the border<br /> </em></span></strong><strong><span><em>toward the Russian dawn</em></span></strong></p> <p class="rteindent1"><strong><span><em>Carrying her boys home<br /> </em></span></strong><strong><span><em>soldiers return, to their beloved motherland<br /> </em></span></strong><strong><span><em>to lie in the earth<br /> </em></span></strong><strong><span><em>on a leave without end<br /> </em></span></strong><strong><span><em>torn to pieces<br /> </em></span></strong><strong><span><em>never to embrace<br /> </em></span></strong><strong><span><em>over the oasis of Jalabad.</em></span></strong></p> <p class="rteindent1"><strong><span><em>Our tulip tilted on one wing<br /> </em></span></strong><strong><span><em>we cursed our job<br /> </em></span></strong><strong><span><em>again the boy has led his men to death<br /> </em></span></strong><strong><span><em>in Shindad,&nbsp;</em></span></strong><strong><span><em>Kandahar, and Begram.</em></span></strong></p> <p class="rteindent1">&nbsp;</p>

Perseverance of a People

description: 
<p>During the Soviet War, millions of refugees began to flee Afghanistan. They went to Pakistan and Iran where they lived in massive settlements along the borders. During Taliban rule, their numbers increased. Millions remain displaced today.</p>
Asset Media
Media Type: 
Video
Video Still: 
http://cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/sites/cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/files/still-perseverance.png
Video URL: 
http://media.asiasociety.org/education/afghanistan/era4/1985.mp4
Video Thumbnail: 
http://cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/sites/cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/files/thumb-perseverance.png
Theme: 
Geography &amp; Destiny
Identity &amp; Perception
Traces &amp; Narratives
Tradition &amp; Modernization
Year: 
1985
BCE/CE: 
CE
Date Period: 
CE
More Information: 
<p><i>1139-22A</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</p> <div id="export-html"> <div class="chicagob"> <div class="hang">&quot;Dastgah-e Mahur: Tasnif &quot;Mahd-e Honor&quot;&quot; In <i>Music of Iran I</i>. King Record, 1989, CD.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Dupree, Nancy. <i>82-3180</i>. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Dupree, Nancy. <i>85-34</i>. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Dupree, Nancy. <i>88-484</i>. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>H-00230-16</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>H-00230-29</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>H-00230-35</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>H-00231-31</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>H-00233-16</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">ISAF. &quot;100109-F-3231D-132.&quot; Digital image. Isafmedia's Flickr Photostream. http://www.flickr.com/photos/isafmedia/4275299735/. <div>Creative Commons license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="hang">ISAF. &quot;100109-F-3231D-230.&quot; Digital image. Isafmedia's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 4, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/isafmedia/4275297941/. <div>Creative Commons license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="hang">ISAF, and U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Monica R. Nelson. &quot;081031-N-6651N-118.&quot; Digital image. Isafmedia's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 4, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/isafmedia/3040036131/in/set-72157609526139956/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">ISAF, and U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Monica R. Nelson. &quot;081031-N-6651N-138.&quot; Digital image. Isafmedia's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 4, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/isafmedia/3040877890/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">ISAF, and U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Monica R. Nelson. &quot;081031-N-6651N-153.&quot; Digital image. Isafmedia's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 4, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/isafmedia/3040880454/in/set-72157609526139956/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">ISAF, Tech. Sgt. Efren Lopez, and U.S. Air Force. &quot;091103-F-9171L-074.&quot; Digital image. Isafmedia's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 4, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/isafmedia/4085601238/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Kanalstein, Eric. &quot;Http://www.flickr.com/photos/un_photo/4176333167/.&quot; Digital image. United Nations Photo's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 4, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/un_photo/4176333167/. <div>Creative Commons license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/deed.en.</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="hang"><i>L-00345-01</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Morrison, U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Jerry, U.S. Department of Defense, and ISAF. &quot;08.12.2009.GATES.KARZAI.1.&quot; Digital image. Isafmedia's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/isafmedia/4170969805/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Nelson, Navy Mass Communications Specialist Petty Officer 1st Class Monica R., and ISAF. &quot;081031-N-6651N-183.&quot; Digital image. Isafmedia's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 4, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/isafmedia/3040047679/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Nelson, U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Monica R. &quot;081031-N-6651N-176.&quot; Digital image. Isafmedia's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 4, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/isafmedia/3040046369/in/set-72157609526139956/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Nelson, U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Monica R., and ISAF. &quot;081031-N-6651N-078.&quot; Digital image. Isafmedia's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 4, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/isafmedia/3040028919/in/photostream/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Nelson, U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Monica R., and ISAF. &quot;090418-N-6651N-001.&quot; Digital image. Isafmedia's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 5, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/isafmedia/3454878183/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>News Broadcast</i>. Peshawar: Williams Afghan Media Project.</div> <div class="hang">Purschwitz, Lance Cpl. James, and Navy Visual News Service. &quot;091029-M-2581P-478.&quot; Digital image. Isafmedia's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 4, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/isafmedia/4081580955/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>&quot;Save Me From My Friends!&quot;</i> In <i>Afghanistan Old Photos</i>. Accessed September 4, 2010. http://www.afghanistan-photos.com/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>Sl-04717</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>Sl-04719</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">USAID. &quot;Afghan Refugees Returning from Pakistan in 2004.&quot; Digital image. Wikipedia Commons. Accessed September 4, 2010. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Afghan_refugees_returning_from_Pakistan_in_2004.jpg.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>V2-01440-05</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <hr /> <div class="hang">Producer: Kate Harding</div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Video Transcript: 
<p>During the Soviet War, millions of refugees began fleeing Afghanistan. They went to Pakistan and Iran, where they lived in massive settlements along the borders. During Taliban rule, their numbers increased.</p> <p>When the Americans came, the refugees began returning to Afghanistan, along with a new generation of foreign-born offspring. Since 2002, an estimated 5 million people have returned to Afghanistan.</p> <p>But still many of these returnees remain homeless and displaced in their own country. The influx of people has put new pressure on a system that is already stretched to its capacity. Millions remain displaced and are in desperate need of food, clean drinking water, and shelter.</p> <p>In the 1980s, when the flow of displacement was just beginning, anthropologist David Edwards worked among Afghan refugees in Peshawar, Pakistan.</p> <p>What was remarkable to me was just how adaptable Afghans were, that whole families picked up and took their essential belongings, which they could fit on a few horses or donkeys or camels, cross the border, and within a matter of a few weeks were&mdash;first, often they were given tents by the UNHCR&mdash;the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.</p> <p>Within a matter of a few weeks they were building walls around those tents, and houses with rooms, and after a while the tents were gone. The tents provided emergency shelter briefly, but for the most part they knew how to make their own houses out of mud, out of wood. And they were able to get food and other supplies and water. Imagine that in America. What would happen if 3 &frac12; million people were thrown on their own devices&mdash;they had to suddenly survive.</p> <p>I think one of the misconceptions about Afghans that&rsquo;s developed over the last few years is the idea that they are treacherous or deceitful, that they change sides, that you&mdash;one of the phrases you hear is you can&rsquo;t buy an Afghan, you can only rent one.</p> <p>All of those ideas, I think, misconceive the nature of Afghan culture and also of Afghan history. They are a small nation and they have been manipulated by great powers for generations.</p> <p>The only way that they have been able to survive intact is by maintaining a flexibility and adaptiveness.</p> <p>I think that if you look at the structure of the tribe, for example, it&rsquo;s really all about adaptation. The tribe can expand when opportunities allow it to expand, and it can shrink and contract when opportunities disappear.</p> <p>Afghans have shown an incredible adaptability over time, and environmental&mdash;the problems of when there are great droughts, when foreign conquerors overrun the country, the tribes somehow survive.</p> <p>They&rsquo;ve survived being refugees in Pakistan for 20 years; they&rsquo;ve survived so many different kinds of problems that other forms of social organization would not have survived. So I think you have to understand the one important element about the Afghan survival and their ability to deal with the awful situation that they&rsquo;ve found themselves in so often, is their ability to be flexible. And part of that flexibility is being careful about political allegiances; recognizing that people who are making promises today will probably not be around tomorrow, so that all those promises are contingent.</p> <p>And I think one thing Afghans recognize is that history is contingent. It&rsquo;s dependent upon variables that are outside their control. And to offer undying allegiance to an imperial power is madness, because imperial powers have shown over and over again that they are not gonna be around after awhile.</p> <p>But for now, the question of Afghanistan&rsquo;s displaced masses is one that is felt not just by Afghanistan but by many countries, as the world tries to decide which borders will be open to Afghans seeking a home.</p>

Religious Authority

description: 
<p>Islam in Afghanistan is deeply connected to power. But there are different types of power. Religious leaders have not often become political leaders&mdash;that is, until the Taliban.</p>
Asset Media
Media Type: 
Video
Video Still: 
http://cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/sites/cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/files/still-religiousauthority.png
Video URL: 
http://media.asiasociety.org/education/afghanistan/era4/1983.mp4
Video Thumbnail: 
http://cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/sites/cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/files/thumb-religiousauthority.png
Era: 
Afghanistan Today
Theme: 
Identity &amp; Perception
Tradition &amp; Modernization
Year: 
1983
BCE/CE: 
CE
Date Period: 
CE
More Information: 
<p>Bluuurgh. &quot;Taliban in Herat.&quot; Digital image. Wikipedia Commons. Accessed September 4, 2010. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Taliban-herat-2001_retouched.jpg.</p> <div id="export-html"> <div class="chicagob"> <div class="hang">Burke, John. <i>Besutee Hazara Chiefs [Hazaras of Besud]</i>. 1879. Courtesy of the British Library Board, London.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Burke, John. <i>High Priests and Moolahs of Kaubul.</i> 1879. Courtesy of the British Library Board, London.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Dupree, Nancy. <i>85-124</i>. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Dupree, Nancy. <i>A Sign for a Mosque and Madrassah by Saudis</i>. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>G-00190-01</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>H-00211-14</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">ISAF, and 55th Combat Camera. &quot;090920-A-2794B-004.&quot; Digital image. Isafmedia's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 4, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/isafmedia/4031004291/. <div>Creative Commons license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/deed.en</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="hang">ISAF, and Tech. Sgt. Brian Boisvert. &quot;091027-F-2703B-014.&quot; Digital image. Isafmedia's Flickr Photostream. Accessed September 4, 2010. http://www.flickr.com/photos/isafmedia/4057143999/.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>KES-956-A-325</i>. Khalilullah Enayat Seraj Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Mahwash. &quot;Taghafol Tchi Khejlat (The Ashamed Conscience).&quot; In <i>Radio Kaboul</i>. Accords Crois&eacute;s, 2003, CD.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Rattray, Lieutenant James. <i>Mosque and Tomb of the Emperor Soolta Mahmood of Ghuznee</i>. 1848. Courtesy of the British Library Board, London.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>Sl-02184</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>Sl-04739</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <hr /> <div class="hang">Producer: Alexis Menten</div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Video Transcript: 
<p>Islam in Afghanistan is deeply connected to power. But there are different types of power. Religious leaders have not often become political leaders&mdash;that is, until the Taliban.</p> <p>Afghans are connected to their past primarily through stories. It&rsquo;s very much a story-telling culture.</p> <p>People, when they talked about great Islamic figures of the past, they told me about them by telling me about the miracles that they performed in the past. Those miracles themselves were interesting because within those stories you found the kinds of power that was associated with Islam, and all of that potency and power ultimately derived from God and from an understanding of God&rsquo;s role and his status as creator, and the ultimate source of all power in the universe. And these individuals were viewed as founts of that power, or vehicles of that power, expressions of that power.</p> <p>In more modern times in Afghanistan, people who are knowledgeable about Islam and who were trained in madrasas claim some authority.</p> <p>In some cases the people who have that background have very little authority, and are little more than prayer leaders in a village. In other cases, those people have considerable status and considerable prestige because of their learning. And people will go to them for advice, and in the case of disputes they are consulted.</p> <p>Until recently in Afghanistan, religious leaders were not thought of as potential leaders of the country.</p> <p>Even, for example, during the Second Anglo-Afghan War, when there wasn&rsquo;t a sitting king in Kabul, and the British were essentially forced out; and there was a period of time when the tribes controlled Kabul. And it was never considered that one of their religious leaders who was leading the revolt or the uprising against the British, it was never conceived that one of these religious figures would become King of Afghanistan.</p> <p>So religious figures in Afghanistan have tended to be kingmakers, rather than kings.</p> <p>The line between religious power and political power began to blur in the 1980s. From the refugee community in Pakistan, Islam emerged as a powerful organizing force to unite opposition against the Soviets.</p> <p>When I arrived in Peshawar, all of the political parties that existed were Islamic, and all the talk was about jihad, about this Islamic resistance and about the role of Islam.</p> <p>Mosques and madrasas, or Islamic schools, were the main public institutions in every refugee camp.</p> <p>It was clear that Islam had become the single most important political idiom that was organizing people and rationalizing what they were doing, and providing the glue for this resistance against the Soviets and the Marxist government in Afghanistan.</p> <p>The melding of religion and politics created a strong united front against the Soviet invasion. But it also created something else&mdash;a new generation of men who equated the power of Islam with political authority: the Taliban.</p>

Seeing Red

description: 
<p>What began as an experiment in political democracy resulted in a Marxist overthrow of government.</p>
Asset Media
Media Type: 
Video
Video Still: 
http://cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/sites/cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/files/still-seeingred-2.png
Video URL: 
http://media.asiasociety.org/education/afghanistan/era3/1973.mp4
Video Thumbnail: 
http://cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/sites/cms.afghanistan.asiasociety.org/files/thumb-seeingred.png
Era: 
Afghanistan in the World
Theme: 
Tradition &amp; Modernization
Year: 
1973
BCE/CE: 
CE
Date Period: 
CE
More Information: 
<p>Agapkin, V., writer. <i>Proshaniye Slavyanki</i>. 1912. Accessed September 4, 2010. http://www.sovmusic.ru/english/download.php?fname=slavank2.</p> <div id="export-html"> <div class="chicagob"> <div class="hang">Cel&middot;l&iacute;. &quot;Ex&egrave;rcit Al Z&oacute;calo-28 D'agost.&quot; Digital image. Wikipedia Commons. Accessed September 4, 2010. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Ex%C3%A8rcit_al_Z%C3%B3calo-28_d%27agost.jpg.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Dupree, Nancy. <i>49-16</i>. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Dupree, Nancy. <i>Daoud Leaving after Being Elected President</i>. 1977. Dupree Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Ericd. &quot;May 68 Poster 1.&quot; Digital image. Wikipedia. Accessed September 4, 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:May_68_poster_1.png.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Eskaybe. &quot;Zaher Shah Kennedy.&quot; Digital image. Wikipedia Commons. Accessed September 4, 2010. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Zaher_Shah_Kennedy.jpg.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">GeorgHH. &quot;Day after Saur Revolution in Kabul.&quot; Digital image. Wikipedia Commons. Accessed September 4, 2010. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Day_after_Saur_revolution_in_Kabul_%28773%29.jpg. <div>Creative Commons license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="hang"><i>H-00214-29</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">HenryHartley. &quot;Mohammed Daoud Khan.&quot; Digital image. Wikipedia Commons. Accessed September 4, 2010. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mohammed-Daoud-Khan.jpg. <div>Creative Commons license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/deed.en</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="hang"><i>K-00301-08</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">&quot;King Zahir Shah of Afghanistan in 1963.&quot; Digital image. Wikipedia. Accessed September 4, 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:King_Zahir_Shah_of_Afghanistan_in_1963.jpg.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>Q-00500-26</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">&quot;RyszardSiwiecSelfImmolation.&quot; Digital image. Wikipedia. Accessed September 4, 2010. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:RyszardSiwiecSelfImmolation.jpg.</div> <div class="hang">Safi1919. &quot;Daoud Khan and Asif Khan.&quot; Digital image. Wikipedia Commons. Accessed September 4, 2010. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Daoud_Khan_and_Asif_Khan.jpg. <div>Creative Commons license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/deed.en</div> <div>&nbsp;</div> </div> <div class="hang"><i>Sl-02408</i>. AMRC Collection, Williams Afghan Media Project, Williams College, Williamstown, MA.<br /> &nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">Unknown photographer. <i>Zahir Shah Taking the Throne</i>. 1933. Kabul.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang"><i>Sakata Field Recordings Reel 2-5</i>. Hiromi Lorraine Sakata, 1971.</div> <div class="hang">&nbsp;</div> <div class="hang">U.S. Army. &quot;Vietnamprotestors.&quot; Digital image. Wikipedia Commons. Accessed September 4, 2010. http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vietnamprotestors.jpg.</div> <hr /> <div class="hang">Producers: Alexis Menten and Kate Harding</div> </div> </div> <p>&nbsp;</p>
Video Transcript: 
<p>Mohammad Zahir Shah became king when he was just 19.</p> <p>His reign marks the longest period of peace and prosperity Afghanistan has seen in modern times, from 1933 to 1973.</p> <p>During his reign, he succeeded in bringing peaceful reforms to Afghanistan.</p> <p>One of the critical developments during the reign of Zahir Shah was the decision to promulgate a constitution, to institute a new constitutional monarchy in Afghanistan.</p> <blockquote>&ldquo;&hellip;to achieve justice and equality; to establish political, economic, and social democracy; to organize the functions of the state and its branches to ensure liberty and welfare of the individual, and the maintenance of the general order; to achieve balanced development of all phases of life in Afghanistan; and to form, ultimately, a prosperous and progressive society based on social cooperation and preservation of human dignity&hellip;&rdquo;</blockquote> <p>This happened in 1964. A commission was established to create a constitution, it was ratified, and with that constitution came the beginnings of parliamentary elections and the establishment of political parties and newspapers, many of which were associated with political parties.</p> <p>The late 1960s was a time of political agitation all around the world. University students were demonstrating in Paris, Prague, and the United States &amp;mdash and Afghanistan was no exception.</p> <p>Constitutional monarchy was the incremental way that the government imagined itself progressing, but the students wanted change fast. And they had reasons for concern. For one thing even though there was a constitutional monarchy it was still very much an autocratic form of government. The political, the parliamentary system was quickly paralyzed and ineffective.</p> <p>The students were also not finding when they were graduating from the university that there were jobs waiting for them, or good jobs waiting for them. So there were economic, political and other concerns and in the spirit of the times, students wanted change fast and they wanted revolutionary change.</p> <p>The Soviets were importing pamphlets from, in local languages, that advanced the Communist cause, and these were fueling efforts by the student population in particular to radically change Afghanistan.</p> <p>And so very quickly what began as an experiment in political democracy became the reality of political polarization and because the parliamentary system was not responsive, the students and other people who wanted radical change went underground and began to seek their fortunes through covert overthrow of the government.</p> <p>In 1973, Zahir Shah&rsquo;s own cousin, Mohammed Daoud Khan, staged a bloodless coup and took over the government. He abolished the monarchy and formed a republic, declaring himself not king but president of Afghanistan. But he made a fatal mistake when he decided to make this new republic an autocratic, one-party system.</p> <p>That decision alienated the country&rsquo;s other parties, especially the Marxists. And only five years after Daoud took power, the Marxists stormed the palace gates and assassinated him.</p> <p>Some say their takeover of the government was strongly backed by the Soviets, while others say the coup caught Moscow completely by surprise. Regardless, the communist takeover paved the way for the Soviets to have a clearer role in the country.</p> <p>That meant that in the coming decade, the new Great Game between the Soviets and the Americans would continue&mdash;in Afghanistan.</p>
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