For centuries Afghans have been isolated from much of the rest of the world.
GV EXTERIOR: Blue Mosque Kabul
SV: Man and then women approaching Mosque
SV: Bus letting off passengers.
SV: European woman walking along street with veiled woman
GV: Veiled woman walking down street
GV: Woman in modern dress, walking down street
SV: Street scenes (2 shots)
GV: Village by river in mountain valley
GV AND SV: Barber, cutting villager's hair
SV: Children posing for camera
SCU: Old man
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Background: For centuries Afghans have been isolated from much of the rest of the world. But in recent years there have been more and more influence from outside and now, the role of the Soviet Union introduces a new element in a way of life heavily influenced by tradition.
SYNOPSIS: Islam has governed Afghanistan's life for centuries. In Kabul as elsewhere, Moslems attend daily prayers. And in the mountains, Islam is also influential; some tribesmen recently asked President Zia ul-Haq in neighbouring Pakistan for assistance in a Holy War against Soviet troops. They argue that the Soviet Union is atheist, so it is God's will that it should be defeated.
In concessions designed to reduce religious opposition the new government of President Babrak Karmal has promised freedom of worship and no action against religious leaders who have fled but who wish to return. And the faithful, including those who show they practice Purdah by wearing veils, are further persuaded by denunciations of previous regimes and the removal of political slogans and portraits from public places.
Modern fashion and attitudes have begun to influence the cities, but many villages retain stern traditional values which previous governments in Kabul found were durable when they attempted to repress them.
Resistant high walls, further evidence of the Purdah system, defend tradition.
The recent events in Afghanistan have introduced new tensions to international relations but seemingly have left the citizens behind the walls of the ancient, isolated villages largely untouched. It is here also that in the past, foreign influences have met tough resistance at the hands of hardy tribesmen familiar with their rugged terrain.