Kabul was a fascinating city that embraced both ancient traditions and the new lifestyles that had arrived from the modern world. In the 1970’s, women were medical doctors and entrepreneurs, and girls were enrolled in schools for a full education and trained for professional jobs. It was a robust time, full of hope. Share Nau, the new part of the city, reflected a connection to Western cultures, with the likes of Mercedes cabs, modern office buildings, boutique hotels, and women in modern dress—even above-the-knee skirts! Kabul was at a crossroads of the world and a major stop on the Silk Road, and that was known as The Heart of the Silk Road. There was a vast and fascinating, ancient history in this region, that was full of legends and stories that I was very excited to begin learning about.
My hosts in Kabul, Afghan businessman D’jan Sharafi and his French wife, Janine Noori, and their two daughters generously welcomed me into their home for gatherings and dinners. It was wonderful to be part of a family while I was there, which made my visit very personal. In knowing them and visiting unusual parts of the city, I too became a small part of Kabul. How special it was to get the Sharafi’s insider’s view and feel a part of this new, distant world I was now enveloped in. Their welcome was a gift.