Connect to share and comment

Nancy Dupree's love affair with Kabul

Through war, and time, an influential archeologist endures.


“I’m a people person,” says Nancy, who apologizes that she doesn’t have much time to talk as she is heading out to a party at the embassy to meet the newly appointed American Ambassador, Karl Eikenberry, who also served as the commanding general in Afghanistan.

Right away, she wants to get into it.

Nancy still has a lot of fire in her voice and she has some stern criticism of the U.S. military and diplomatic approach in Afghanistan.

“They make strategies for people who they don’t talk to,” she says, sitting on a couch in the parlor where we are talking and leaning forward with intensity.

“They sit behind the fortress with razor wire walls of the Embassy. And the rest make their strategy from behind desks thousands of miles away … They don’t seem to realize that the strategy has to be about the people,” she says.

She checks her watch and says, “Sorry, I have to go put on my face now and get ready for all the diplomats. Too many of them, if you ask me.”

Moments later she heads out through the steel gate, looking elegant in a long, traditional embroidered gown. She slides into the back seat and she and her driver head out down the crowded, chaotic and sometimes-perilous streets of Kabul, the city she loves.

More GlobalPost dispatches about Afghanistan:

Marines (hopefully) learn more than "Hello" in Pashto

Last call in Kabul

An accordion journey