Obeidullah Shanawaz’ farm is a mini-monument to recent Afghan history. The wealthy farmer took me on a walking tour of seemingly barren fields that will soon be sprouting winter wheat and vegetables.
“Over here,” he says, “are stables once owned by the king.” That would be stables built around 1900. “Over here,” he says somewhat more grimly, pointing to a splintered frame, “is where the warlords fired rockets at my front door.”
Shanawaz’ farm, on the outskirts of Kabul, was in firing range of warlords battling for control of the city in the early 1990s. After the Soviet Union withdrew in 1989 and the government they left behind fell in 1992, warlords who now belong to the Northern Alliance began a bitter civil war that caused more destruction to the cities than ever occurred during the Soviet occupation.