There is a lot of doom and gloom in the news reporting about Afghanistan. Two writers, Mehreen Farooq and Waleed Ziad, are fretting that we won't appreciate some of the good things about Afghanistan. They have penned an article entitled "Six Things About Afghanistan That May Surprise You", The South Asia Channel (Foreign Policy), October 27, 2014. Briefly:
1. Hardline Islamism is not the mainstream religion in Afghanistan.
2. Afghanistan has had some famous poets and artists.
3. Kabul and Kandahar were not always the backwaters of Asia.
4. While socially conservative some women have played major roles.
5. Sectarianism is not as big a problem as viewed by westerners.
6. It is possible to promote progressive values.