Deconstructing Kabul

The eyes of this city have seen what no other can imagine or supersede. Civil unrest has played a large role in determining its economical, political and social growth and war has torn open scars across its face. Despite the odds against it, stacked ever so high, there is blinding evidence of human resilience and spiritual endurance.—All photos and captions by Annie Zaman

The logo of Afghan premier league. The football league of Afghanistan is a new big thing in town. The teams from all over Afghanistan were selected through a TV reality show on Tolo TV.
The logo of Afghan premier league. The football league of Afghanistan is a new big thing in town. The teams from all over Afghanistan were selected through a TV reality show on Tolo TV.
The first Mogul emperor of India, Zaheerudin Babur is buried in these gardens. It has a small mosque built by the sixth emperor Shah Jahanthat.
The first Mogul emperor of India, Zaheerudin Babur is buried in these gardens. It has a small mosque built by the sixth emperor Shah Jahanthat.
Mazar e Sharif won. An Afghan from Mazar e Sharif celebrates his team's win in the semi finals. Mazar lost in finals.
Mazar e Sharif won. An Afghan from Mazar e Sharif celebrates his team's win in the semi finals. Mazar lost in finals.
Too much glitter is not gold: The common perception that Kabul is full of rubbles is not true. There are big shopping malls and wedding halls across the city. Afghans love big weddings and gold.
Too much glitter is not gold: The common perception that Kabul is full of rubbles is not true. There are big shopping malls and wedding halls across the city. Afghans love big weddings and gold.
Kabul is the fifth fastest growing city in the world. The city is expanding in all directions and even climbing.
Kabul is the fifth fastest growing city in the world. The city is expanding in all directions and even climbing.
The ruins of Darul Aman Palace had many stories to tell. It has seen the fire in 60s, communists in 70s, civil war in 89 and later Taliban.
The ruins of Darul Aman Palace had many stories to tell. It has seen the fire in 60s, communists in 70s, civil war in 89 and later Taliban.
This was built by King Amanullah in 1920s as a part of his efforts to modernize Afghanistan. The Palace now stands in ruins.
This was built by King Amanullah in 1920s as a part of his efforts to modernize Afghanistan. The Palace now stands in ruins.
Preserving traditional music.
Preserving traditional music.
Kandahar supporters. The football ground was full of spectators and to my surprise they came prepared with flags, placards and smiles.
Kandahar supporters. The football ground was full of spectators and to my surprise they came prepared with flags, placards and smiles.
Buddhas in Bamyan were destroyed by Taliban but there is still a treasure stored in the Kabul museum. There are excavations going on in different places in Afghanistan.
Buddhas in Bamyan were destroyed by Taliban but there is still a treasure stored in the Kabul museum. There are excavations going on in different places in Afghanistan.
The Mazar e Sharif team celebrates with their coach.
The Mazar e Sharif team celebrates with their coach.
The Mogul emperor had a wish to be buried in Kabul. He was first buried in Agra and later moved here. One can read in Persian on his tomb "If there is a paradise on earth, it is this, it is this, it is this.
The Mogul emperor had a wish to be buried in Kabul. He was first buried in Agra and later moved here. One can read in Persian on his tomb "If there is a paradise on earth, it is this, it is this, it is this.
In the Chicken Street. Home to everything from jewellery to carpets to antiques. I am told, the shuttlecock burqas are meant to cover the wine bottles. Kabuli shopkeepers sell it proudly.
In the Chicken Street. Home to everything from jewellery to carpets to antiques. I am told, the shuttlecock burqas are meant to cover the wine bottles. Kabuli shopkeepers sell it proudly.
This was built by King Amanullah in 1920s as a part of his efforts to modernize Afghanistan. The Palace now stands in ruins.
This was built by King Amanullah in 1920s as a part of his efforts to modernize Afghanistan. The Palace now stands in ruins.
Afghans love preserving what they still have.
Afghans love preserving what they still have.
This old car is a reminiscent of Russians. It is parked in a private property of a friend outside Kabul city.
This old car is a reminiscent of Russians. It is parked in a private property of a friend outside Kabul city.
The shuttlecock burqas are getting shorter with time. One sees even men looking down upon women in burqas. The younger generation prefers wearing western clothes with head scarves.
The shuttlecock burqas are getting shorter with time. One sees even men looking down upon women in burqas. The younger generation prefers wearing western clothes with head scarves.
Kabul is infamous for its musicians. After Taliban left, musicians have started coming back to the city. Many are from Peshawar who prefer living there now.
Kabul is infamous for its musicians. After Taliban left, musicians have started coming back to the city. Many are from Peshawar who prefer living there now.

Comments (5) (Closed)


danial tariq
Nov 13, 2012 04:07pm
A smiling Kabul our wish
Cherian (Melbourne)
Nov 13, 2012 10:43am
Great photos. A thriving Kabul and Afghanistan brings smile to my face
Ghani Dotani
Nov 12, 2012 07:08pm
Late ISI cheif, General Akhtar Abdul Rehman (who died in a plane crash along with dictator Gen. Zia) once said,"Kabul must burn". True, Kabul, under his direction was burnt, but patriotic Afghans/Pashtoonstook upon themselves the gigantic task of rebuilding this devastated city. Today Kabul, which a decade ago was almost completely destroyed, gives the look of a city full of life. The face of Kabul today is totally changed. Bravo the people of Afghanistan and the international community without whose help Afghanistan would not have emerged from the unprecedented devastation.
Haider
Nov 12, 2012 12:24pm
Good to see Kabul coming back to life after the horrendous civil war and the brutal Taliban era. All prayers for the Afghans. I hope their country is able to get back to its feet once again.
understandingtheneighbour
Nov 12, 2012 02:21pm
fantastic pictures