On the outskirts of Kabul, far from the dust, smoke and pollution kicked up by military convoys, impromptu Taliban assaults and the always-gridlocked traffic, 30 unlikely fellows share a sanatorium.
They are almost all former fighters who battled for the Taliban or for various ethnic militias during the 1980s and 1990s. Once fierce enemies, their hatred for each other has been tempered over time by personal tragedies. At different times and in different battles, rockets or bullets crippled each of the residents of Arayeshgahe Falja. In an instant, their lives were transformed through wounds that caused the loss of mobility. “The sun rises, the sun sets, and most likely we’ll still be here,” one said.
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Iason Athanasiadis is an Istanbul-based freelance journalist.