Kabul Jan


Ali Hamed Haghdoust

Kabul  Afghanistan - winter 2013. Kabul is the capital of Afghanistan that is one of the most challenging places in the world and very historic city of the region, that has been built almost 4000 years ago that's always alive, Kabul’s population was 500,000 just after the fall of the Taliban, today it is 5 million. Around 1.5 million people come to Kabul from other parts of Afghanistan every year looking for work. Many families move from cold areas to warm areas, as they do not have any way of keeping themselves protected from the cold weather in the hard winter. Afghans rarely have electric or gas heating; they rely on burning wood, so during the long winters it always smells of firewood and cold air coming down from the mountains. Three million refugees have returned from Iran and Pakistan. They live in tents in refugee camps in Kabul and other urban areas. The extreme poor live in absolute poverty. The majority of these people are landless and homeless. Kabul is better off than anyplace else in Afghanistan, yet hardship is visible on the streets. Downtown is crowded, so there's always noise and people and cars moving around. In Kabul center, big houses and businesses are being built. The city nurtures a micro-economy of independent businessmen and women, Thousands of shop owners open their doors for business every morning. Security is seen everywhere, all the time: a reminder of the never-ending threat of an attack. Yet life goes on even in the face of an uncertain future. Today, in the post-Taliban era, daily life for most Afghans revolves around the exigencies of rebuilding a war-ravaged state. On the brighter side of daily life, the ban enforced by the Taliban on most forms of entertainment has been lifted, and the social atmosphere has become more relaxed. Afghans are again enjoying their life. They are trying for better future with composure.