I have been doing posts on Afghanistan since almost a year now. And, it gives me great pleasure to read about the this new face of Kabul, a city that is home to 5 million people. It is among the fastest developing cities in the world, and has seen its population increase 5 times in the last decade. Unlike most other Muslim countries, Afghanistan was a progressive country till the 1970s. Women were educated, liberated, worked outside their homes in high positions in respected professions. Infrastructure, commerce and trade were booming. Kabul was a fashionable, progressive, cosmopolitan city in South Asia. Three decades of incessant war has transformed its beautiful façade. Most parts of Kabul were destroyed in the war and left in ruins.
The last decade after the overthrow of Taliban has seen the city make massive strides. Infrastructure is an area of special focus. Roads, buildings, offices, and schools are being actively built and restored. One can see major construction activity going on in today’s Kabul. Reconstruction is of prime importance to rejuvenate the economy and give a new life to businesses and commerce. Of course, this effort has a long way to go. Most of the asphalting of roads, street lighting and construction has happened in the affluent areas. The poor complain of very bad living conditions. Kabul is picturesque in its location surrounded as it is by the mountains. But, its elevated location also makes it difficult for vegetation to thrive. As a city of the future, it needs to urgently address the basic needs of roads, clean drinking water, greenery, sanitation, efficient garbage disposal and pollution-free environment. It will require months and years of efforts to bring it on par with some of the best cities in the world.
It is also an ancient city with a culture that is over 3000 years old. A lot of this cultural heritage needs to be restored and nurtured. The city’s growth must be planned to avoid the problems of congestion and haphazard development later. Today’s Kabul is in a state of frenzied activity with large scale construction going on everywhere. Since last year, the city has shown amazing improvements, but there is still a long way to go for Kabul to recapture the glory of an era gone by.
Watch this amazing video above to see the transformation happening in Kabul.
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