Afghanistan's Transition: Peering inside the Golden City


You see all kinds of faces in the markets of Kabul: Tajiks, Hazaras, Pashtuns and Uzbeks. There are many ways to be an Afghan. The ethnic divisions also offer many ways to fight over being an Afghan, and the cracks grow wider as the foreign troops prepare to leave. For a better understanding of these tensions, Graeme Smith takes us to the Golden City, a Pashtun enclave at the edge of Kabul.

GoldenCity_Embed.jpgAcross Afghanistan, ordinary citizens -- from young professionals, to market vendors and the unemployed -- are bracing for the full impact of the 2014 foreign troop withdrawal.

What will that deadline truly mean for them? Only time will tell. But for a better understanding of Afghanistan's economic prospects, we spoke to Paul Fishstein.

Paul is a visiting fellow at the Feinstein International Centre at Tufts University. He is also the former director of  the Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit, an independent policy research institution in Kabul. He was in London, England.

Afterwards, we headed to the Golden City, a Pashtun enclave at the edge of Kabul. We received a tour from Junior, who is Pashtun and a former interpreter for the Canadian military. Men with AK-47s guard his neighbourhood, one of the many gated communities that are becoming more popular as everybody grows nervous about what's next.

Last Word: "When This War Ends" - Caitlin Smith

Graeme Smith is not the only person in his family working on a project connected to Afghanistan. Another Smith has been trying to make sense of Canada's role in the country. Our last word went to Graeme's little sister, Caitlin Smith. Her opera "When This War Ends" is about the war in Afghanistan.

Clip from "When This War Ends"
Music and lyrics by Caitlin Smith
Performed by the Spectrum Music Ensemble

This segment was produced by The Current's Shannon Higgins.

Other segments in this special:
Afghanistan's Transition: A Special Edition of The Current in Kabul
Afghanistan's Transition: On the road in Kabul

To add your thoughts to anything you hear on the show, tweet us @thecurrentcbc. Or on Facebook. Or email us from our website. And if you missed the conversation on yesterday's edition of The Current, you can hear it on our podcast.

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