Lights and Shadows of a Shattered City

Photo essay: Daily life in Afghanistan's capital

by Princess

Having the local artisans so close to where we worked was very convenient. It meant that we could draw up a detail of a door handle or latch, walk down the street to the blacksmith and ask them to make it for us. As most local artisans did not know how to read drawings, often our ideas had to be communicated to them verbally.Taking advantage of my ‘Farsi skills’, my colleagues often asked me to accompany them to various workshops >>> more

Kabul diaries: First impressions -- The lock down -- The bar -- Friday hamam -- Istalif walk -- An Otherwise Peaceful Place -- Conversation with an ex-soldier -- Lost in translation --


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by Princess on

Monda jan, Shoma lotf dareed! 



Wonderful photo essay

by Monda on

Princess, I have been looking at these photos since they were published... looking at them again today I could clearly smell the khesht, air, people and food - my favorite shots are 3, 18, 121, ah I got so many of them never mind they're all great. 

I'm saving your Diaries and photos for myself And a second cousin who worked a few years in Afghanistan and fascinated with the place and its people. 


Thank you.

by Princess on

Mr. Ghahremani and Abarmand, Thank you for your interest.

For anybody who is interested this is a link to a fantastic Intelligence Squared debate on Afghanistan.


It is several months old from before the August elections, but between them, the speakers highlight all the issues and mistakes made.


Princess, great job

by Abarmard on

Wish you a safe return. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

Fathali Ghahremani

Wow! this was great.

by Fathali Ghahremani on

What an excellent combination of pictures and articles.  I could not stop reading them today. 


Ey baba

by Princess on

JJ jan, khejalatam midiya.


Jahanshah Javid

Kabul diaries

by Jahanshah Javid on

I challenge anyone to find a similar comprehensive diary of daily life in Afghanistan. Almost like writing from Paris during the occupation in World War II.


Thank you again for all your warm comments.

by Princess on

Red Wine jan, I am glad you liked the photos.

Anonymous jan, Yes, I did have the chicken kabobs. Delicious! Thanks for recommending them. And I agree if a fraction of the money is spent on improving people's lives in a tangible way, the Taliban would lose any ground they are standing on.

Zal, Thanks for showing interest. Yes, they are tired and weary, but hope keeps them going.

Irandokht jan, You are very kind. I am pleased if I could play a small role in putting the attention on the people of Afghanistan, even for a brief period. Thanks for your interest.

Yolanda, thank you for your continuous support.

Dear Bambi, if by nice neighbourhoods you mean anything like the posh areas of Tehran, no I don't think you would find that in Kabul. Thanks for commenting. 


Thanks again for sharing

by bambi on

Thanks again for sharing your experience and the the photos.   I find them very informative.  They remind me of some remote Iranian villages, that have been neglected.  I really wonder if there are any nice neighborhoods over there at all, or if most of Kabul is like this.



by yolanda on

 Hi Princess,

      Thank you for your photo collection!

1) The kids in #26, #37, and #103 are cute and cheerful!

2) It is very kind of you to take a picture for the shy boy in #47. It is very interesting that he wore a jacket with South Korean flag.

3) The restored Peacock house is beautiful both inside and outside! Great job!

4) #100 looks like either handdrums or tamborines, they look beautiful!

5) It is amazing that jewelry business is good in #91, not sure if it is affordable or not! Everywhere I go, I buy necklaces. I bought a lot of necklaces from American Indians.

Thank you so much!


Delaram Banafsheh (Yolanda)

"Cactus in the Desert"


ID, such cute comments and observations you make

by Zal on

"upsetting hot they treat the very little left of the river". Well excuse them for not catching up with the latest environmental thought while they were busy getting bombed and chased.

"I learned so much and have a better appreciation of our neighbors who have been mistreated throughout the history."... You never had any idea who Iran's neighbors were, what time it is/was or what planet we are on. Do you?

Thanks for the laugh



Thank you

by IRANdokht on

WOW khasteh nabashi! You gave us a complete tour of the city, the market, the back alleys, the river, the buildings and their mostly happy faces... I felt saddened by the destruction, the dry dirt and the poverty. Hopefully the Afghan people would have a chance to clean up and rebuild their cities and villages. It's upsetting to see how they treat the very little that's left of the river. 

Through your writing and your pictures, I learned so much and have a better appreciation of our neighbors who have been mistreated throughout the history.  

Thanks so much for taking me there.



Nice Pix. The Graveyard of Empires

by Zal on

Looks tired and worn.



Very nice photos! Did you try their chicken kabobs or in London?

by Anonymouse on

There is a lot to be done and so much money is spent and not much to show for in return.  NATO and US can start with small stuff, like buying hard hats, paying people to clean up town, plant trees and from the looks of it build dozens and dozens of public rest rooms right where they use it as natural public rest rooms.

Of billions and billions of dollars being spent and billions and billions more ear marked to be spent, what can they show for it?  Perhaps repatriation of refugees who are now refugees in their own country.

So what did you take back as souvenier(s)?  

Everything is sacred.

Red Wine


by Red Wine on

Princess jan,i enjoyed very much to watch to each photo which you pout it here...

Thank you so much Lady :=) .