Photographer Thijs Broekkamp went recently on a trip in Central Asia as part of a special photography project, with the goal of showing what countries of this area really look like. In most cases, people think of these countries as hotbeds of danger and of primitive people. This gets in the way of understanding and tolerance between different cultures. As part of the journey, Thijs came to Afghanistan, where he found a spectacular welcome, authentic meetings and real connections with locals, who have changed his perspective and made him see things differently. He hopes his photos will do the same for you.
The Blue Mosque in Mazar e Sharif. This is a place where one can see the truth of Afghanistan, away from the war.
It's Friday, and large groups of friends and families gather at the mosque and talk and socialize after the prayer.
A site not seen on media: Afghan children playing, people taking photos or talking and laughing. These are the sights you won't see.
Sitting around and chatting while drinking some tea. This is a major ingredient of an Afghan life.
A student using this quiet place - The Herat Mosque - to study.
Bazaars are a big part of any village or city in Afghanistan. It is the perfect place ot see daily life going on.
The Kabul bird market is an old, ancient market, but still very popular.
Smoking hasj (hashish) is a very ancient custom in Afghanistan, it even predates Islamic dogma, and is very common in Afghanistan.