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From an old-style Afghan camera, a new view of life under the Taliban emerges



From an old-style Afghan camera, a new view of life under the Taliban emerges

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The odd device draws curious onlookers everywhere. From the outside, it resembles little more than a large black box on a tripod. Inside lies its magic: a hand-made wooden camera and darkroom in one.

As a small crowd gathers around the box camera, images of beauty and of hardship ripple to life from its dark interior: a family enjoying an outing in a swan boat on a lake; child laborers toiling in brick factories; women erased by all-covering veils; armed young men with fire in their eyes.

Sitting for a portrait in a war-scarred Afghan village, a Taliban fighter remarks: “Life is much more joyful now.” For a young woman in the Afghan capital, forced out of education because of her gender, the opposite is true: “My life is like a prisoner, like a bird in a cage.”

The instrument used to record these moments is a kamra-e-faoree, or instant camera. They were a common sight on Afghan city streets in the last century — a fast and easy way to make portraits, especially for identity documents. Simple, cheap and portable, they endured amid half a century of dramatic changes in this country — from a monarchy to a communist takeover, from foreign invasions to insurgencies — until 21st-century digital technology rendered them obsolete.

Using this nearly disappeared homegrown art form to document life in post-war Afghanistan, from Herat in the west and Kandahar in the south to Kabul in the east and Bamiyan in the center, produced hundreds of black-and-white prints that reveal a complex, sometimes contradictory narrative.

Made over the course of a month, the images underscore how in the two years since U.S. troops pulled out and the Taliban returned to power, life has changed dramatically for many Afghans — whereas for others, little has changed over the decades, regardless of who was in power.

A tool of a bygone era, the box camera imparts a vintage, timeless quality to the images, as if the country’s past is superimposed over its present, which in some respects, it is.

At first glance the faded black-and-white, sometimes slightly out-of-focus images convey an Afghanistan frozen in time. But that aesthetic is deceiving. These are reflections of the country very much as it is now.


During their first stint in power from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban banned photography of humans and animals as contrary to the teachings of Islam. Many box cameras were smashed, though some were quietly tolerated, Afghan photographers say. But it was the advent of the digital age that sounded the device’s death knell.

“These things are gone,” said Lutfullah Habibzadeh, 72, a former kamra-e-faoree photographer in Kabul. “Digital cameras are on the market, and (the old ones) are out of use.” Habibzadeh still has his old box camera, a relic of the last century passed down to him by his photographer father. It no longer works, but he has lovingly preserved its red leather coating, decorated with sample photos.

On Afghan city streets today, billboard advertisements have faces spray-painted out, and clothing store windows display mannequins with their heads wrapped in black plastic bags, to adhere to the renewed ban on the depictions of faces.

But the advent of the internet age and of smartphones have made a ban on photography impossible to impose. The novel sight of an old box camera elicits excitement and curiosity – even among those who police the new rules. From foot soldiers to high-ranking officials, many Taliban were happy to pose for box camera portraits.

Outside a warehouse in Kabul, a group of men watch intently as the camera is set up. At first, they seem shy. But as the first portraits emerge, curiosity overtakes their reservations. Soon, they’re smiling and joking as they wait to have their photos taken, pitching in to help when a black cloth backdrop slips off the wall. As each man steps forward for his portrait, set jaws replace tentative smiles. Adjusting their grip on their assault rifles, they look straight into the camera’s tiny lens and hold their poses.

Most of these men joined the Taliban as teenagers or in their early 20s and have known nothing but war. They were drawn to the fundamentalist movement because of their fervent Muslim faith – and their determination to expel U.S. and NATO troops who invaded their country and propped up two decades of Afghan governments that failed to crack down on rampant corruption and crime.

Bahadur Rahaani, a 52-year-old Taliban member with piercing light blue eyes beneath his black turban, says he’s happy to see the Taliban back in power. With them in government, “Afghanistan will be rebuilt,” he says. “Without them, it is not possible.”


Two years after Taliban militias swept across the country to seize power again, there are strong echoes of life as it was before U.S.-led NATO forces toppled them from government in 2001.

Once more, the country is ruled by a fundamentalist movement that has restored many of the strict rules it imposed in the 1990s. The first Taliban regime was notorious for destroying art and cultural patrimony it deemed un-Islamic, such as the giant ancient buddhas carved into cliffs in Bamiyan. They imposed brutal punishments, chopping off hands of thieves, hanging supposed blasphemers in public squares and stoning women accused of adultery.

Once again, executions and lashings are back. Music, movies, dancing and performances are banned, and women are again excluded from nearly all public life, including education and all but a few professions.

The return to fundamentalist policies has chased away Western donors, aid workers and trade partners. Poverty has spiraled to crisis levels, fueled by the ban on women working, deep cuts in foreign aid and international sanctions. But there is nearly universal relief that the relentless bloodshed of the past four decades of invasions, multiple insurgencies and civil war has largely ceased.

There are still sporadic bombings, most attributed to enemies of the Taliban, the extremist group Islamic State-Khorasan Province, or IS-K. But Afghans interviewed say their country is more peaceful than they’ve known for decades.

The United Nations recorded 1,095 civilians killed in deliberate attacks between Aug. 15, 2021, when the Taliban reclaimed power, through May 30, 2023. That’s a fraction of the annual civilian death toll over two decades of war between U.S.-led NATO forces and insurgents.

Even those who dislike the current regime say banditry, kidnapping and corruption, which were rampant under the previous governments, have been largely reined in.

But less crime and violence does not necessarily translate to prosperity and happiness.


In a three-story building tucked in a Kabul alleyway, a group of women work silently at a loom. Zamarod’s hands move swiftly, nimble fingers flitting between strands of yarn as she knots colored wool around them, making a carpet. Her movements are rapid, almost brusque, but her voice is soft and sad. “My life is like a prisoner,” she says. “Like a bird in a cage.”

The 20-year-old had been studying computer science, but the Taliban banned women from universities before she could graduate. Now she and her 23-year-old sister work in a carpet factory, falling back on a skill their mother taught them as children. They are among very few women who can earn money outside the home and, like others, asked that only their first names be used for fear of retribution for speaking out.

Women have experienced the starkest changes since the Taliban’s return. They must adhere to a strict dress code, are banned from most jobs and denied simple pleasures such as visiting a park or going to a restaurant. Girls can no longer attend school beyond sixth grade, and women must be escorted by a male relative to travel.

For all intents and purposes, women have been being erased from public life.

Even in this environment, Zamarod hasn’t given up on her dream of graduating. “We have to have hope. We hope that one day we will be free, that freedom is possible,” she says. “That’s why we live and breathe.”

In another room, 50-year-old Hakima is introducing her teenage daughter Freshta to weaving. It is their only way of eking out a living, though she still dreams her 16-year-old daughter will someday become a doctor. “Afghanistan has gone backwards,” she says, donning an all-encompassing burka to pose for a portrait. “People go door to door for a piece of bread and our children are dying.”

While the clock has turned back for women who’ve lost financial independence and a voice in public life and government, in conservative, tribal parts of the country, expectations for women have always been different and have changed little over the years — even during U.S. and NATO military presence.

Even so, education is a priority for many Afghans. In dozens of interviews across the country, nearly everyone — including some members of the Taliban — said they wanted girls and women to be educated. Most said they believed the education ban was temporary, and that older girls would eventually be allowed back into schools. They say keeping girls and women confined at home doesn’t help the country, or its economy.

“We need doctors, teachers,” says Haji Muhibullah Aloko, a 34-year-old teacher in the village of Tabin, west of Kandahar. Women must be educated “so that Afghanistan improves in every sector.”

The international community has withheld recognition of the Taliban and pressed its leadership to roll back their restrictions on women — to no avail.

“That is up to Afghans and not foreigners, they shouldn’t get involved,” Taliban government spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid says during an interview in Kandahar, the birthplace of the movement in southern Afghanistan and a stronghold of conservative values.

“We are waiting for the right moment regarding the schools. And while the schools are closed now, they won’t be forever,” he says. He won’t give a timeline but insists “the world shouldn’t use this as an excuse” not to recognize the Taliban government.


The village of Tabin lies deep in the Arghandab River valley, a fertile swath of fruit orchards and irrigation canals cutting through Kandahar Province’s dusty desert.

But around it, the remnants of war are everywhere. The derelict remains of American combat outposts have faded warnings of mines and grenades spraypainted on their wind-blown blast walls. Tangles of abandoned razor wire litter the ground. Bombed-out houses lie in ruins. And there’s the ubiquitous presence of armed young men adjusting from a life of fighting to one of living in peace.

The new jobs — policing streets, guarding buildings, collecting garbage — are the mundane, necessary tasks of governing. It’s less dramatic than waging war, but there is palpable relief to be free of the violence.

Without fear of airstrikes or bullets, children shriek in delight as they splash about in an irrigation canal, leaping into the murky water from a bridge.

“Life is much more joyful now. Before there used to be lots of brutality and aggression,” 28-year-old Abdul Halim Hilal says, sheltering from the blazing sun under a mulberry tree before posing for a portrait. “Innocent people would die. Villages were bombed. We couldn’t bear it.”

He joined the Taliban as a teenager, believing it was his moral duty to fight foreign troops. He lost as many as 20 friends to the war, and more were wounded. He’s stung by the memory of his dead brothers-in-arms when he sees their fatherless children, but he’s comforted by an unshakeable belief that their sacrifice was worth it.

“The ones that were killed were fighting to sacrifice themselves for the country,” he says. “It’s because of the blood they gave that we’re now here, giving interviews freely, and the Muslims here are living in peace.”

A villager walks by, glancing at the gaggle of curious children and adults gathered around the box camera. “It’s so strange,” he mutters. “We used to fight against these foreigners, and now they’re here taking pictures.”

Mujeeburahman Faqer, a 26-year-old Taliban fighter, now mans an uneventful security checkpoint in Kabul. Like many others, he’s struggling to adapt to a peacetime mentality, because all he’s ever known was war. “I had prepared my head for sacrifice,” he says, “and I am still ready.”


Security has improved since the end of the insurgency against U.S. forces. But with peace came an economy in freefall.

When the Taliban seized power again in 2021, international donors withdrew funding, froze Afghan assets abroad, isolated its financial sector and imposed sanctions.

That squeeze, combined with the near-total ban on women working, has crippled the economy. Per capita income shrank by an estimated 30 percent last year compared to 2020, according to the United Nations Development Program.

Nearly half of Afghanistan’s 40 million people now face acute food insecurity, the U.N.’s World Food Program says. Malnutrition is above emergency thresholds in 25 of 34 provinces.

Struggling to survive is something Kasnia already knows at age 4. In a brick factory outside Kabul, she scoops out a chunk of mud with her tiny hands, kneading it until it is pliable enough for a brick mold. After countless repetitions, her movements are automatic. She works six days a week from sunrise until sunset, with brief breaks for breakfast and lunch, toiling next to her siblings and her father — one family among many in a sprawling factory where children become laborers at age 3.

“Everyone wishes that their children study and become teachers, doctors, engineers, and benefit the future of the country,” says her father, Wahidullah, 35, who goes by one name, as do his children.

Even with the entire family working, there’s often not enough money for food and they live hand to mouth on credit from shopkeepers. Of his three sons and three daughters, all except the youngest one are brickmakers.

“When I was young, my dream was to have a comfortable life, to have a nice office, to have a nice car, to go to parks, to travel around my country and abroad, to go to Europe,” he recalls. Instead, “I make bricks.” There is no bitterness in his voice, just acceptance of an inevitable fate.

Many Afghans have resorted to selling their belongings — everything from furniture to clothing and shoes — to survive.

When the Taliban banned movies, Nabi Attai had nothing to fall back on. In his 70s, the actor appeared in a dozen television series and 76 films, including the Golden Globe-winning 2003 movie “Osama.” Now he is destitute.

His home, tucked in a warren of steep alleys, is now nearly devoid of furniture, which he sold in the bazaar to feed his extended family. Sold, too, is his beloved TV.

After 42 years of acting, Attai has no work. Neither do his two sons, who were also in the movie and music business. Attai is glad the streets are now safe, but he has 13 family members to feed and no way to feed them.

He asked local authorities for any job, even collecting garbage. There was nothing. So he started selling his belongings. “I have no hope right now,” he says. Even begging is now punished by imprisonment under the Taliban.

Over the past year, he has become frail. His cheeks are sunken, his frame thinner. There’s a sadness in his eyes that rarely leaves, even when he recounts his glory days.

“We made good movies before,” he says. “May God have mercy that music and cinema will be allowed again, and the people will rebuild the country hand in hand, and the government will come closer to the people and embrace each other as friends and brothers.”


The shimmering lights of wedding halls cut through the gloom as night encroaches on Kabul, pinpricks of glitz in the darkness.

Despite the economic slump, wedding halls are doing a brisk trade, buoyed in part by wealthier Afghan emigres returning home for traditional marriage ceremonies now that the security situation has improved.

Weddings are a big part of Afghan culture, and families sometimes bankrupt themselves to ensure a lavish party for hundreds or even thousands of guests.

Construction of the Imperial Continental wedding hall began four years ago but was disrupted by the COVID pandemic and the Taliban takeover. The opulent venue finally opened its doors last year.

Manager Mohammad Wesal Quaoni, 30, cuts a dapper figure in a sharp suit as he sweeps through the glamorous, cavernous halls, juggling four weddings in one night. The former Kabul University lecturer in economics and politics is trying to ensure the business thrives amid the country’s economic woes. It’s not easy.

“Business is weak,” he says, and onerous government rules and regulations don’t help. The Taliban are raising taxes, but he says there isn’t enough commerce to support a healthy tax base.

The ban on music and dancing doesn’t help. Gone are the live musicians and even the DJs who would bring in extra revenue, Quaoni says. Weddings are segregated by gender but, for once, there’s sometimes a bit more fun for the women.

Occasionally women and girls enjoy taped music in the ladies’ section. “If they want, they do it,” restrictions or not, he said. “Women will be women.”

Five hundred miles west of the capital, on the outskirts of the city of Herat, businessman Abdul Khaleq Khodadadi, 39, has an entirely different set of challenges.

Rayan Saffron Company, where he is vice president, exports the prized spice to customers, mainly in Europe and the U.S. But the Taliban takeover and ensuing sanctions left many foreign clients reluctant to do business with an Afghan company – even though it’s one of the few still allowed to employ women, whose hands are deemed more suitable than men’s to extracting and handling the delicate crocus flowers.

The isolation of the banking sector has also left many Afghan companies with no way to trade except through a third country, usually Pakistan, which significantly increases costs. Then there’s drought that has decimated crops, including saffron.

His company had aimed to increase their production this year. Instead, their production fell to half of what it was three years ago, he says.

Khodadadi says he is determined to persevere. For him, successful businesses are the best way to heal Afghanistan’s wounds.

In the chaotic early days of the Taliban takeover, Khodadadi felt intense pressure to join the tens of thousands of people who fled, he says. He had a visa and family and friends urged him to leave, but he refused to go.

“It was very, very hard,” he recalls. “But … if I leave, if all the talented people, educated people leave, who will make this country? When will this country solve the problems?”


This story was supported by funding from the Pulitzer Center. The AP is solely responsible for all content.


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Louis Philip was born in Greece, raised in Germany, educated in England and now resides in Canada. He has been writing since learning to read. He had published and has appeared in anthologies.

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A tourist outraged by her $1,000 restaurant bill called the police after her group was served nearly 8 pounds of Alaskan king crab



A tourist outraged by her $1,000 restaurant bill called the police after her group was served nearly 8 pounds of Alaskan king crab
  • A Japanese tourist upset with a $1,000 restaurant bill said she called the police about it.

  • Junko Shinba was visiting Singapore and said she wasn’t informed of the cost of the meal beforehand.

  • She told AsiaOne she didn’t expect her dish of Alaskan king crab to weigh nearly 8 pounds.

A Japanese tourist who discovered her restaurant bill had soared to $1,000 took the matter up with the police, saying she wasn’t properly informed of the meal’s cost.

Junko Shinba, who was visiting Singapore, was dining at the Seafood Paradise restaurant on August 19 when she learned that the chili-crab dish she ordered cost about $680, the Singaporean outlet AsiaOne reported.

Shinba, 50, told AsiaOne a waiter had suggested the dish, which is famed in Singapore and the neighboring country Malaysia.

But this dish was cooked with an Alaskan king crab, which costs diners about $20 per 100 grams at Seafood Paradise, AsiaOne reported. Chili crab is typically cooked with mud crabs.

Shinba told AsiaOne the waiter highlighted the crab as a dish priced at $20 “without explaining that they charge per 100 grams.”

Paradise Group, which owns Seafood Paradise, told Insider in a statement that restaurant staff had twice communicated the dish’s cost to Shinba’s group, and that its staff pointed to per-gram prices on the menu to help the diners understand.

“To prevent any miscommunication, the staff even brought the whole Alaskan king crab to the table before preparation,” it added.

But Shinba said she wasn’t told “the whole crab would be cooked only for us” and assumed her group would be given only a portion of the crab, AsiaOne reported.

An image of the receipt provided to AsiaOne by Shinba showed the Alaskan king crab cost about $680, meaning it weighed about 3.5 kilograms or 7.7 pounds.

“There were three plates full of crab and many other dishes — we were unable to finish everything,” she told the outlet.

Combined with the cost of other dishes, the total bill for Shinba’s table came to about $1,000 on the receipt.

Shinba then asked Seafood Paradise to call the police, and officers later arrived on the scene, AsiaOne reported.

After some discussion, Shinba’s group was given a discount of about $78, and her friend paid for the meal with his credit card, the outlet said.

Paradise Group said its restaurant manager assisted Shinba in making a police report and offered the discount “out of goodwill.”

Shinba also contacted the Singapore Tourism Board about the incident, and her case was referred to the Consumers Association of Singapore, AsiaOne reported.

Crab dishes at Seafood Paradise typically cost about $7.90 to $8.60 per 100 grams, though its snow-crab dishes are priced at $19.60 per 100 grams. The cost of its Alaskan king crab is listed as “seasonal” on the restaurant’s menu.

A representative for the Singapore Police Force declined to comment on Shinba’s case, citing the confidentiality of its police investigations.

A representative for the Consumers Association of Singapore did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

September 20, 2023: This story was updated to include comments from Paradise Group.

Read the original article on Insider

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Is the ‘egg diet’ a safe way to lose weight? An expert weighs in




Boiled Chicken Eggs on the blue plate boiled eggs TikTok diet

Welcome to TikTok Debunked, a series where Yahoo Canada digs into the truth behind popular TikTok health, beauty and food trends.

Is the “10-day egg diet” a safe and effective way to lose weight? Yahoo Canada investigated the TikTok trend. (Photo via Getty Images)

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact a qualified medical professional before engaging in any physical activity, or making any changes to your diet, medication or lifestyle.

TikTok’s obsession with health, food and lifestyle can often be motivating, inspiring and exciting.

From drinking chia seed water to lose weight, or using berries to naturally dye your hair, the app is a place for people to learn new tips and tricks on the daily.

On the other hand, some viral trends can be questionable. One of those fads is the “10-day egg diet,” where people mainly eat eggs for 10 days in a row to help them lose weight. The fad has been around for years, but had a resurgence this year.

But, is the diet safe and sustainable? Should you try it? Read on for everything you need to know, including a dietitian’s opinion.

The claim — and how it started

  • For 10 days straight, dieters eat mainly eggs for three meals a day. The trend does allow apples, oatmeal and green tea, but it focuses on egg consumption.

  • In one of the most viral videos of the trend posted by @mercygirldevell, receiving 1.8 million views, the creator a three boiled eggs and green tea for breakfast, three more boiled eggs and an apple for lunch and plain oatmeal for dinner.

  • “Lose 10kg in 10 days with me,” the user wrote on the screen, referring to the trend’s supposed capacity to help you lose weight quickly.


  • The TikTok search “egg diet” has over 191 million views, with videos from dietitians, fitness fanatics and curious users trying out the trend.

  • Despite the popularity of the diet, some TikTokers and health experts expressed concern that it fuels restrictive eating and eating disorders.

    • For example, TikTok user @oaklandgrammy explained in a video, which garnered over 300,000 views, the egg diet resulted in body dysmorphia and obsessive behaviour about food and exercise.

    • Personal trainer @adampoehlmann_pt agreed, saying the fad can cause unhealthy relationships with food and lead to unsustainable weight loss.

What TikTok users are saying

On TikTok, users were either for or against the diet.

On one side, some TikTokers said the diet helped them quickly lose weight.

“I did this to lose weight for a family wedding, and it really did work!” wrote one user in the comments.

“It’s hard, but trust the process because the egg diet worked for me,” shared someone else.

On the other hand, many people wondered about the safety of the diet and whether you still receive all your required nutrients.

“There’s no way this is a good idea? There’s not enough protein, or iron, or other vitamins and minerals, right?” penned a TikToker.

“No way I could eat eggs all day for 10 days. Is this even verified by science? Why not just go into a calorie deficit to lose weight instead?” asked another.

An expert weighs in

A detail of cracked egg falling into the pan as woman holds egg shells in both hands.

The TikTok egg diet requires people to eat mostly eggs for 10 days straight to lose weight. Social media is divided on if it works or not. (Photo via Getty Images)

Yahoo Canada spoke to registered dietitian and food influencer Abbey Sharp to get to the bottom of the trendy diet.

In her opinion, this is just another example of a “mono diet” that helps to prevent overeating.

“You’re going to eat the bare minimum number of eggs to numb the hunger which is likely to result in a significant calorie deficit,” Sharp explained

While eggs are incredibly nutritious — a source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins A, D and E, choline, iron and folate — Sharp said eating mostly eggs isn’t the way to go.

“The bigger issue is that consuming an excess of eggs displaces other important nutrients that you can’t get from eggs, like fibre,” she revealed.

The bigger issue is that consuming an excess of eggs displaces other important nutrients that you can’t get from eggs.Abbey Sharp

Moreover, the dietitian explained there’s no such thing as a “perfect food” that offers all the nutrients your body needs to thrive.

Specifically, limiting your diet can “increase the risk of malnutrition or under-nutrition” and can be “disruptive to the gut microbiome which depends on diet diversity,” according to Sharp. This could also lead to constipation due to the lack of fibre.

Sharp added the diet is unsustainable as once you stop eating eggs, you’ll gain all the weight back.

As such, she said it’s not a safe or nutritious way to shed pounds. Instead, she recommends people follow a balanced diet that includes fibre rich carbs, protein and healthy fats.

Instead of relying on eggs to lose weight, Sharp suggests people follow a balanced diet. (Photo via Getty Images)

Instead of relying on eggs to lose weight, Sharp suggests people follow a balanced diet. (Photo via Getty Images)

Is it debunked?

Eggs are a versatile and tasty option for many people. From omelettes to quiches and more, it’s a breakfast (or lunch) staple around the globe.

However, after digging into the “10-day egg diet,” Yahoo Canada has debunked this trend.

This is because eating mostly eggs for a period of time is an unsustainable weight loss method, and doesn’t offer all the essential nutrients your body needs to thrive.

Sharp wants readers to know that while TikTok is a great place to find food ideas and inspiration, you should always take the app with a grain of salt.

“Most creators on TikTok are not credible nutrition professionals. And even if they are, it’s impossible to give individualized advice or advice in enough context to build out a plan that will uniquely work for you,” she concluded.

Let us know what you think by commenting below and tweeting @YahooStyleCA! Follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

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Are We Witnessing History Repeat Itself?



Are We Witnessing History Repeat Itself?

There seems to be a new fascination with the Roman Empire these days. On TikTok, a trend has emerged where users ask their boyfriends, fathers, brothers and other men how often they think about the Roman Empire. The answer is often surprising — some men say that they think about the fallen empire every day.

This trend has taken the platform by storm. The hashtag #romanempire has over 1.1 billion views on TikTok.

Don’t Miss:

While modern-day internet trends like this highlight the persistent fascination with the Roman Empire, it is not just its grandeur and military might that captures attention. Its economic challenges, particularly the inflation that plagued the empire, offer insights that resonate today.

Here’s a look at the intriguing story of inflation in the Roman Empire.

Currency Debasement

Established in 753 B.C., Rome’s initial days as a monarchy witnessed the bronze aes as its primary currency. The republic era began in 509 B.C., and by 211 B.C., the silver denarius took center stage, initially made of 95% silver.

Gold coins were minted in substantial numbers under Roman leader Julius Caesar. The gold aureus, a significant coin of the era, held a value equivalent to 25 silver denarii.

Fast forward to 54 A.D., and Emperor Nero’s reign became synonymous with the notorious practice of coin clipping. By reducing the precious metal content while maintaining face value, Nero introduced the empire to the perils of currency debasement and the specter of inflation.

While the empire grappled with a manageable inflation rate for a while, the Crisis of the Third Century in 235 A.D. brought with it significant political and military disturbances. This led to increased government spending and more aggressive coin debasement.

Diocletian attempted to rectify the situation through the introduction of the gold solidus, but it was in small issues. It was under Constantine’s rule that the empire experienced some economic stability, although Rome’s grandeur would continue to wane, leading to its eventual fall in 476 A.D.

While there was no such thing as the consumer price index in ancient times, some historians have estimated that Roman inflation reached 15,000% between 200 A.D. and 300 A.D.

Inflation In The American Empire

Fast forward to today, and rising prices remain a concern for people in the most powerful empire of the modern world: the United States of America.

In August, the U.S. consumer price index increased by 3.7% from a year ago. While this headline inflation figure is down from its 40-year high of 9.1% last June, the prices of many necessities, like food and shelter, remain elevated.

Last year, billionaire investor Carl Icahn noted that rampant inflation was a key factor that brought down the Roman Empire. He also warned investors that “the worst is yet to come.”

“We printed up too much money and just thought the party would never end,” he said.

Icahn also cautioned that “inflation is a terrible thing” and “you can’t cure it.”

The U.S. dollar has long held its position as the world’s primary reserve currency. It’s also considered a safe-haven currency because of America’s robust economy and stable political system. But contrarian thinkers have been sounding the alarm on the greenback’s dominance.

For instance, renowned global investor and economist Marc Faber recently said that the U.S. dollar “will become over time — not tomorrow, but over time — a worthless currency.”

Faber suggested that investors should look outside not just America but also its allies.

“My view is that as inflation will reaccelerate in the future, that investors should have money outside of the U.S. dollar region, and that includes the close allies and vassal states or provinces of the U.S., that are Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand — the woke countries are all in the American empire,” he said.

A Long Way To Go?

While inflation has been an ongoing concern, history tells us that the downfall of an empire could take time.

Nero, recognized as the first to practice coin clipping, rose to power in 54 A.D. Although Rome faced significant challenges, especially during the Crisis of the Third Century, it persisted until its eventual fall in 476 A.D., lasting over 400 years after Nero.

America began its rise to imperial power in 1898 following the Spanish-American War and achieved global dominance post-World War II.

As for currency debasement, President Franklin D. Roosevelt took the U.S. off the gold standard in 1933. And in 1971, President Richard Nixon completely removed the dollar’s link to gold.

Today, the U.S. dollar is fiat money — like most global currencies. While some experts have been predicting the dollar’s demise, compared to the timeline of the Roman Empire, America could still be in its early stages.

Read next:

Image by Clarence Alford from Pixabay

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This article The Roman Empire’s Financial Collapse: Are We Witnessing History Repeat Itself? originally appeared on


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Former Workers’ Party Member of Parliament Yaw Shin Leong dies at age 47

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Oil prices dive on big US crude stock build, record output Oil prices dive on big US crude stock build, record output
News3 weeks ago

Oil prices dive on big US crude stock build, record output

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‘Biggest waste of money out there’: Suze Orman slams CNN host for leasing a car — but as vehicle prices and auto loan rates hover near record highs, is leasing actually a bad money move? ‘Biggest waste of money out there’: Suze Orman slams CNN host for leasing a car — but as vehicle prices and auto loan rates hover near record highs, is leasing actually a bad money move?
News3 weeks ago

Suze Orman slams CNN host for leasing a car — but as vehicle prices and auto loan rates hover near record highs, is leasing actually a bad money move?

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A drug called Captagon may have helped fuel Hamas' attack on Israel A drug called Captagon may have helped fuel Hamas' attack on Israel
News3 weeks ago

A drug called Captagon may have helped fuel Hamas’ attack on Israel

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