Afghanistan is one of the places I always wished to go to. Little I know about it. Besides the contemporary wartime and a short recall history in my mind, that runs from the ’80s till today, I had no idea how marvelous this country is. For some reason, my thoughts reminded me, a glimpse of stories my grandpa used to tell us when we were kids. Afghanistan’s spectacular beauty stuns unexpectedly most of us, as we expect violence, suffering, and terrible poverty.
Back in 2013, I discovered one of the most incredible videos, capturing astonishing Afgan beauty. Nonetheless, that same year, the video won the CNN Journalist Award prize. Shot in 2011, on the streets of Kabul and Mazar-e Sharif by Lukas and Salome Augustin, the video captures the natural beauty and its landscape, human faces, and expressions we have almost forgotten by our busy daily lives. “Each of us has his own impression of Afghanistan that is predominantly marked with pictures of foreign forces, explosions, and terror, we were privileged to have access to capture daily life and portrait some people of Afghanistan.”
It was not always that way. Before the decades of fighting that have ripped the country apart, it was a well-known if rather an exotic stop on the 1960s tourist trail. Snowcapped mountains, relics from empires thousands of years old, deserts and lush valleys lured hippies in long-distance buses and richer visitors on the national airline. Afghanistan is slowly getting back on its feet, with the hope to be once again that marvelous place of cultural heritage.
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