On many days the sky in Kabul is full of small kites. The children here love flying kites. The reality here is that most children don’t have very many toys and there are only very rarely any playgrounds. So for many kids flying a kite is something that is inexpensive, can be done anywhere and is a lot of fun. Kite flying is also competitive. The kids are very very good at controlling their kites. They try to fly their kite so it’s string crosses another’s. Then the pull quickly and thereby try to cut the other kite’s string. The kite string is coated with fine glass particles that makes it easier to cut with. And yes it also makes it quite easy to cut your fingers. Therefore the kids put tape, cloth or plastic bags around their hands to protect themselves. Below are several not very good pictures of kids flying kites in Kabul. In the first the boy is flying his kite from the roof of his home, in the second you (hopefully) can see a boy right in the middle launching his orange, blue and white kite and in the third, if you look closely, you should see many boys on their roofs and up on the rocks flying kites.
On Aug 15th, the day Kabul fell to the Taliban, Basir and his family made their first attempt to get into the airport and onto a plane. It would be nearly a month before they escaped into Pakistan. Over the next weeks they would be beaten at Taliban checkpoints, endure crushing crowds and be threatened and sworn at by soldiers from around the world.