Monday, July 20, 2015

Afghanistan Before All Hell Broke Loose

Roger Cohen, a New York Times columnist, links Afghanistan and the Grateful Dead in his latest column and the connection goes way back.

"We had not planned to be in Afghanistan for the 1973 coup. In fact we had not planned much of anything. But that’s the way it turned out. When the Afghan king, Mohammad Zahir Shah, was ousted after a 40-year reign, we were in Kandahar in the courtyard of some hotel trying to learn how to ignore the flies. Another guest, who’d mastered the fly trick and attained imperturbability, had a short-wave radio. It picked up the BBC World Service news. 
A coup? My two friends and I were on the hippie trail." 
(Roger Cohen, Afghanistan, Empires and the Grateful Dead, NYT, July 20, 2015)
I traveled through Afghanistan a year later, when the king's first cousin and successor, Mohammed Daoud Khan, had been in power for a year and a couple of months. This was despite the coup a relatively peaceful time in Afghanistan's history.

If you want to read more about my 1974 journey, follow the link below:

Taking the Bus from Stockholm to New Delhi.