Watched The Beauty Academy of Kabul last night. It is a documentary about a team of American and ex-pat Iraqi hairdressers who set up, you guessed it, a beauty Academy in Kabul, Afghanistan. The shots of the city and surrounding coutryside were remarkable. Everything is brown - the buildings are brown, the hills are brown, the clothes, the people - all brown. There is almost a total absence of green. Its like looking at another world.
What really struck me, though, was the first 5 minutes. The movie opens with scenes from Afghanistan, 1970. Men and women are going out, dancing at nightclubs - there are ladies' fashion shows - women are attending college and becoming doctors - you know, normal stuff we take for granted.
20 years later, women are beaten for showing a bare ankle - there is no music - no dancing - no education for women.
That's when it hit me - it is possible for a country, a culture, to go backwards.
I have always assumed that since we have equality in America that we will always have equality in America. Not necessarily so. Each and every generation has to stand up and pledge to defend that which has been handed to them.
There are those who would like to pull the free societies of the west backward in time, thought and understanding. And they are actively trying to do just that.
Places like Afghanistan should serve as a warning to all free peoples - progress is not inevitable - cultures can go backwards.