Monday, 13 June 2011

Kabul Hustle

Kabul is a hustle.  But with a little scratch, a little nerve, a little luck and, yes, perhaps a little graft, all things are possible.

The economy grew by a blistering 22.5 percent last year, agriculture alone by 53 percent thanks to ample wet weather.  The service sector bounded by double digits and mining, the purported panacea the country’s been longing for, jumped by a third.

Security, however, is at its worst since 2001, Afghanistan continues to provide 90 percent of the world’s heroin, the country ranks as second most corrupt and relies more heavily on foreign aid than any other.

It’s in front of such a backdrop that everyday Afghans have been eking out an existence through the nearly 10-year war.

A recent Guardian article illustrates how this drama is playing out in the capital of Kabul:
The 10-year international effort has seen Kabul change from being a moribund city of fewer than 400,000 to a bustling metropolis of 4.5 million flush with cash. The last two years have seen an explosion in conspicuous consumption. There are blocks of luxury apartments under construction, giant video hoardings advertising energy drinks, BMWs and Hummers blasting their way through the traffic with overpowered horns. Miralam Hosseini, 56, sells at least two $140,000 4x4s every week. Across the street from his showroom, an electronics shops stocks the latest 52in flat screen.
To read the rest of this article, visit, where it was originally published.

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