Entertainment, Kabul-style

Over the last decade, the international community has poured money into making Kabul safer. The army and police force have benefitted from advanced training and better equipment, but the threat of insecurity still looms. People remember the slew of terrorist attacks on soft targets in the capital, which continue to happen with alarming regularity.

In spite of the trauma associated with these memories, or perhaps because of them, resillient Afghans are carving out a space for fun amidst the chaos that everyday life can bring in a country dealing with a violent insurgency. Away from the judgemental eye of conservative parents, young people gather with friends to listen to music, play video games or smoke hookah. Kabulis are looking for ways to relax and put aside their worries, if only for a few hours. There is an array of options: in recent years, a water park, bowling alley, and karaoke bar have opened up in the city. One of the latest additions to the entertainment scene is Kabul Paintball Park, an outdoor arena where visitors use weapons that shoot paint instead of bullets.