Faces of… Afghanistan

While we were never actually in Afghanistan, our route along the Panj River Valley shared between Tajikistan and Afghanistan kept us within sight and often literally a stone’s throw of Afghanistan for days. Due in equal parts to chance and planning, we were also in the Tajik town of Ishkashim on the day of the cross-border market located in the no-man’s land between the Tajik and Afghan border posts, set up with the assistance of the Aga Khan Foundation (post on the Aga Khan to come) and western donors. As it turned out, the sellers were almost all Afghan men crossing the border to sell Afghan and Iranian goods (including such mundane items as Iranian soft drinks, but also including clothes, machine-made carpets and traditional medicines) while the customers were almost all Tajik women.

The northern part of Afghanistan is largely populated by Farsi/Dari-speaking Tajik people (just like Tajikistan), but some of the individuals pictured seemed to reply to our questions that they were Pashtun, and so I was left uncertain as to their ethnic backgrounds. If you can tell, please enlighten us and comment!