A Visit to the Tajik-Afghan Border, Where Time Stands Still

Life in the Pamir Manountains in Tajikistan regressed by decades after the collapse of the Soviet Union. A trip to one of the world's most isolated regions

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Remnants of a Kushan fort in the Wakhan Valley in Pamir.
Remnants of a Kushan fort in the Wakhan Valley in Pamir.
Ronit Vered
Ronit Vered
Photos: Ronit Vered, Noam Backner
Ronit Vered
Ronit Vered
Photos: Ronit Vered, Noam Backner

TAJIKISTAN - The white flag of the Taliban flutters above the Afghan side of the Friendship Bridge spanning the two banks of the Panj River, which was opened in 2004 as a symbol of the increasingly close relations between Tajikistan and Afghanistan at the time. Although a few dozen meters separate the neighboring countries, it’s hard to make out the black letters of the Shahadah – the Muslim declaration of faith – inscribed on the flag as it flaps in the breeze. Only its dazzling whiteness catches one’s eye.

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