Shattered by internal conflict and foreign interference for centuries, Afghanistan made various tentative steps towards modernism in the mid-20th century.
In the 1950s and 1960s, some changes were made towards a more progressive lifestyle while trying to maintain respect for the conservative factions of the society.
It was a brief, relatively peaceful time when modern buildings were constructed in Kabul alongside older traditional mud structures, and burqas became optional for a time. The country appeared to be on a path towards a more open and prosperous society.
Here are pictures of Afghanistan from the mid-20th century:
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