The last six months in Helmand, Afghanistan have born witness too many sights and events. One of which was the opportunity to visit the countries capital city-a mere plane journey away.
3,500 years old Kabul is situated in the North East of the country. It is one of the fastest growing cities in the world and is home to over 3 million people. It sits at around 1800m above sea level-roughly 400m higher than Ben Nevis-making it one of the world’s highest capital cities.
After the events of the past decade and beyond, it is quite easy for us to judge Afghanistan and its people. Isn’t it a war torn sand pit whose people care little for their neighbour or their country and simply allow themselves to be overrun by extremists? If you ever have the opportunity to pass through the streets of its capital you’d be surprised.
The city is like two worlds colliding. Corrugated metal buildings are dwarfed by high rise flats. Electricity pylons, transmitter masts, cars… as many cars as any busy city centre, even billboards advertising broadband internet. Ironic when our own country still sports areas out of reach of ultra-fast fibre optics.
I was surprised to see school children in their uniforms going to and from lessons, popcorn being sold from the side of the road and the full body burka being swapped out in favour of the head scarf. It’s a far cry from the visions of many.
It’s a site I may never have the opportunity to see again in my lifetime, so please, allow me to share some of my imagery with you.
KABUL AT SUNRISE
CHILDREN SIT AND CHAT
A MAN LIGHTS THE BURNER ON HIS POPCORN STALL
CHILDREN WALK TO SCHOOL
TIMES OF CHANGE
TWO MEN WALK HOME FROM WORK
SCHOOL CHILDREN IN UNIFORM
Imagery by Paul Shaw.
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