Most Afghan-Americans, when coming to Afghanistan felt very far away, hungrily gleaned their information from family stories, and books by non-Afghans. Tom Goutierre helped with his Journal of Afghanistan and the Duprees helped with their anthropological books.
I recently purchased ‘An Historical Guide to Afghanistan’ by Nancy Hatch Dupree, from a little kid on the street. It was published in 1970 and it simultaneously makes me happy that it was written, we need to be reminded that it is possible to have prosperity and peace; and heartbreakingly sad, we’re so far away from 1970 Kabul.
I can’t help but be sad when I read this:
The city is ringed with mountains, gleaming emerald green in spring; glistening white in winter. Even in summer barrenness they have an ever-changing beauty, turning from deep purple to brilliant pink under the rising and setting sun.
I guess (and hope), years from now, when Kabul’s mountains are emerald green and glistening white again (Inshallah), I can say, I loved you when you were dusty, brown, dirty, and cloaked in desperate hope.