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Showing posts with label Culture. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Culture. Show all posts

Afghanistan Before The Wars

These photos were made in 1967 by professor of Arizona State University, Podlich, during a two-year trip in Afghanistan with UNESCO while teaching at the Higher Teachers College in Kabul. He visited Afghanistan with his wife, and two teenage daughters Peg and Jan. This family is happy to share  these photos and their impressions with the world to show how this country looked like before terrible wars.





Of her father, Dr. William Podlich (second from left), Peg Podlich said: "He had always said that since he had served in WWII...he wanted to serve in the cause of peace. In 1967, he was hired by UNESCO as an expert on principles of education for a two-year stint in Kabul.... Throughout his adult life, because he was interested in social studies, whenever he traveled around [in Arizona, to Mexico, and other places] he continued to take pictures. In Afghanistan he took half-frame color slides [on Kodachrome] and I believe he used a small Olympus camera."





"I grew up in Tempe, Arizona, and when my dad offered my younger sister, Jan, and me the chance to go with him and our mother to Afghanistan, I was excited about the opportunity," says Peg Podlich (right). "I would spend my senior year in high school in some exotic country, not in ordinary Tempe.... Of course, there were loads of cultural differences between Arizona and Afghanistan, but I had very interesting and entertaining experiences. People always seemed friendly and helpful. I never got into any real difficulties or scrapes, even though I was a fairly clueless teenager! Times were more gentle back then."

Peg Podlich (in sunglasses) during a family trip by bus from Kabul to Peshawar, Pakistan.



Jan Podlich is pictured during a shopping trip to Istalif, a village about 30 kilometers northwest of Kabul. "We arrived in Kabul one sunshiny morning in June.... My dad met us and was able to whisk us through the customs. We proceeded into Kabul in a UN 'kombi' (kind of an old-school SUV). I was tired, but I can remember being amazed at the sight of colorful (dark blue, green, and maroon) ghosts that were wafting along the side of the road. My dad explained there were women underneath those chadris and that some women had to wear them out in public. We never called the garments burqas."

Afghan men gaze out over the village of Istalif, some 30 kilometers northwest of Kabul.





Afghan schoolgirls return home after attending school, an act that the Taliban would ban some 30 years later. "Afghan girls, as well as boys, were educated up to the high school level, and although girls [and boys] wore uniforms, the girls were not allowed to wear a chadri (burqa) on their way to secondary school," says Peg Podlich. "Able young women attended college, as did the men."
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Young Afghan students dance on a school playground as a teacher and a student accompany on instruments.


Men and boys washing and swimming in the Kabul River.

Afghan students learn chemistry in a mud-walled classroom.

"For the year that I was in Kabul, my family lived in a house in Shar-e Naw, up the road from the Shar-e Naw Park," says Peg Podlich. "My parents had lived in Denver, Colorado, in the 1940s. My mother would say that Kabul reminded her of Denver: about a mile in altitude, often sunny, with beautiful mountains in the distance. I thought it seemed somewhat like Arizona because of the arid landscape and lack of rain. Since I was born [in Arizona], it was very easy for me to appreciate the stark beauty of the landscape there in Afghanistan."









Shah-Do Shamshira Mosque, near the Kabul River


A boy decorates cakes, cookies, and other sweets.






"In the spring of 1968, my family took a public, long-distance Afghan bus through the Khyber Pass to visit Pakistan (Peshawar and Lahore)," Peg Podlich remembers. "The road was rather bumpy in that direction, too. As I recall it was somewhat harrowing at certain points with a steep drop off on one side and a mountain straight up on the other! I remember that before we left Kabul my father paid for a young man to go around the bus with a smoking censor to bless the bus or ward off the evil eye. I guess it worked -- we had a safe trip."

The 2.6-kilometer-long Salang Tunnel, which passes beneath the Hindu Kush mountain range, was built with the help of the Soviet Union. It opened in 1964.







Young boys walk home on the outskirts of Kabul.






A smaller Buddha statue in the Bamiyan Valley


"The Higher Teachers College was a two-year institution for training college-level teachers, located at Seh Aqrab Road and Pul-e Surkh Road, on the west side of Kabul, near Kart-e Sei," recalls Peg Podlich. In this photograph, a Mr. Bahir (left), who was William Podlich's counterpart at the college, and an Afghan teacher pose outside the school.

Young Afghans gather to share tea, sing, and play music.







A merchant fries jalebi, a sweet Afghan dessert, over an open fire.

"In the spring of 1968, my family took a public, long-distance Afghan bus through the Khyber Pass to visit Pakistan (Peshawar and Lahore)," Peg Podlich remembers. "The road was rather bumpy in that direction, too. As I recall it was somewhat harrowing at certain points with a steep drop off on one side and a mountain straight up on the other! I remember that before we left Kabul my father paid for a young man to go around the bus with a smoking censor to bless the bus or ward off the evil eye. I guess it worked -- we had a safe trip."

Two sisters pose for a photograph on a street in Kabul.


Amazyble





2014 - Satellite Imagery - Arabian Ramadan and Eid at Night

The Lights of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr
Color bar for The Lights of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr
acquired 2012 - 2014 download large image (1 MB, JPEG, 3099x3323)
                           
In December 2014, scientists using a NASA-NOAA satellite announced that they had detected significant changes in the amount and distribution of nighttime lighting during holiday seasons in the Middle East and North America. For instance, nighttime lights in some Middle East cities were 50 to 100 percent brighter during the holy month of Ramadan.


The maps on this page show changes in lighting intensity and location on the Arabian Peninsula and in the countries along the eastern Mediterranean coast. They are based on data from the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) on the Suomi NPP satellite. The maps compare the night light signals from the months of Ramadan in 2012–2014 (parts of July and August in these years) to the average light output for the rest of 2012 to 2014.


Green shading marks areas where light usage increased during the holy days; yellow marks areas with little change; and red marks areas where less light was used.


The VIIRS instrument on Suomi NPP can observe faint light signals on the night side of our planet, including reflected moonlight, airglow, auroras, and manmade light sources. In 2012, scientists assembled a new composite map of Earth at night created from averaged data from 22 nights of VIIRS data. The new 2014 analysis of holiday lights uses a new algorithm that filters out moonlight, clouds, and airborne particles to show city lights on a nightly basis.


The idea to examine holiday lights arose in 2012 out of an issue with some nighttime images of Cairo, Egypt. A science team led by Miguel Román of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center noticed a discrepancy in city light signals while performing quality checks on early mission data. The science team realized that there was either an error in the data or an unknown signal that they should study further.


After digging deeper, the team found that the large increase in light output around the Egyptian capital corresponded with the holy month of Ramadan. The change made sense because Muslims fast during daylight in Ramadan, pushing meals, social gatherings, commerce and other activities into nighttime hours. To confirm that the nighttime signal was not merely an instrument artifact, the team examined all of the nighttime data from spring 2012 through autumn 2014.


They found that the peaks in light use closely tracked the Islamic calendar, as Ramadan shifted earlier in the summer each year.


Light use in Saudi Arabian cities, such as Riyadh and Jeddah, increased by 60 to 100 percent throughout the month of Ramadan. Light use in Turkish cities, however, increased far less. Some regions in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon did not have an increase in light output—and some even demonstrated a moderate decrease, possibly due to unstable electrical grids and conflict in the region. Click on the large, downloadable map for a closer view of the differences.


acquired 2012 - 2014


“Even within majority Muslim populations, there are a lot of variations,” said Eleanor Stokes, a Yale researcher and collaborator with Román. “What we have seen is that these lighting patterns track cultural variation within the Middle East.”


These variations appear even at the neighborhood level. Román and Stokes compared night lights data from Cairo with socioeconomic data, voting patterns, access to public sanitation, and literacy rates. Some of the poorest and most devout areas observed Ramadan without significant increases in light use throughout the month, choosing—whether for cultural or financial reasons—to leave their lights off at night. But during the Eid al-Fitr celebration that marks of the end of Ramadan, light use soared across all study groups, as all the neighborhoods appeared to join in the festivities.


“Whether you are rich or poor, or religious or not, everybody in Egypt is celebrating Eid al-Fitr,” Román said. This is telling Stokes and Román that energy use patterns are reflecting social and cultural identities, as well as the habits of city dwellers, and not just price or other commercial factors.


NASA Earth Observatory





Historical Photos of Pilgrims from 10 Countries During Hajj (1880)

These fascinating photos from 1880 feature pilgrims from 10 countries during Hajj. Back then, before the advent of modern transport such as commercial air travel, the journey to Hajj was far more difficult and perilous and these pilgrims would have undertaken journeys of weeks or months to reach Makkah.
An interesting observation about these photos is the different clothing the pilgrims are wearing reflecting the customs of their place of origin. However during Hajj, such nationalities disappear as each person wears two pieces of un-stitched clothing making it difficult to identify their nationality. Hajj brings all nations and peoples together where the young, the old, the poor and the rich stand before Allah as equals.
These photos were taken when the Ottoman caliphate still existed and pilgrims were able to travel hassle free without passports and visas through borderless lands.

Basra, Iraq

basra hajjis 1880

Baghdad, Iraq

baghdad hajjis 1880

Aceh, Indonesia

aceh hajjis 1880

Sumatra, Indonesia

sumatra hajjis 1880

Bahrain

bahrain hajjis 1880

Zanzibar

zanzibar hajjis 1880

Yemen

yemen hajjis 1880

Morocco

morocco hajjis 1880

India

india hajjis 1880

Bukhara, Uzbekistan

bukhara hajjis 1880

Makkah

makkah 1880

Malaysia

malay sheikh hajjis 1880
Photos courtesy of:  Museum of Islamic Art (MIA), Qatar


http://ilmfeed.com/fascinating-photos-pilgrims-10-countries-hajj-1880/

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