In the book Shadow City: A Woman Walks Kabul, author Taran Khan explores post-Taliban Kabul [Photo courtesy publisher Chatto & Windus, an imprint of Vintage]

My arrival coincided with a season of returns. Before I came to Kabul, I had met Afghan refugees who had fled during the Taliban rule to Delhi. They had been part of an exodus that commenced in the 1970s, at the onset of the country’s spiral of conflict.

By 2006, however, the direction of movement was reversed. Nearly 3 million refugees had come back to the country in the years following the defeat of the Taliban.


Many of them were drawn to the capital for its relative security and the opportunities it offered. The majority were subsistence

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