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Flashback
A Century of Photos
JANUARY 2002


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JANUARY 2002
January Flashback
Friends in High Places

The king of Afghanistan perused his own copy of the Geographic for photographer/writers Jean and Franc Shor in April 1949. The husband-and-wife team had arrived in Kabul to ask the permission of Mohammad Zahir Shah—a longtime Society member—to be the first Westerners to fully explore the mountainous Wakhan corridor. "He alone was giving us the chance to continue our journey," wrote Jean Shor. "I wanted to give him something in return, so I handed him our Polaroid camera. He seemed a little startled. . . . How was I to know that kings customarily accept presents only from other kings?"

The Shors' article "We Took the Highroad in Afghanistan" appeared in November 1950, but this photograph was never published in the magazine. The king, now 87, was deposed in a 1973 coup. He is currently helping plan a new government for his country.

 


 
 
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