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Afghanistan's Broken Postal System

Photographs by Lawrence Cohen

Lawrence Cohen, whose feature on "Afghanistan's Broken Postal System" is the front-cover feature in February's American Philatelist, beams from atop a Soviet-built T-55 tank slated for destruction under that country's Disarmament, Demobilization, and Reintegration (DDR) Program. As the U.S. Embassy Representative at the Italian-run Herat Provincial Reconstruction Team in Herat, in Western Afghanistan, in 2005-06, Cohen had a first-hand opportunity to observe postal and philatelic conditions in that strife-torn nation.

Though begun in the year 1200, the fabulous Masjid-i-Jama, or Friday Mosque, does not qualify as an old structure in Herat. An intact citadel there was begun under the administration of Alexander the Great 2,300 years ago.

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