Mohammad Kabir, 105 in a garden he created in the courtyard of the ruined Darulaman Palace for the soldiers stationed there. ‘I’m a poor man but can live without food as long as I am surrounded by greenery and flowers,’ he says. He attributes his youthful looks to working with nature. Once considered to be a ‘City of Gardens’ nestled in the breadbasket of Central Asia, Kabul is struggling to define itself as a developing modern city in a maelstrom of pollution, traffic, road construction and security checkpoints not to mention the occasional insurgent attack and ongoing instability. But behind the razor wire and ten foot high walls of private residences are verdant serenities, a world a way from the bedlam outside as Afghans continue to keep the garden tradition alive. As the young soldiers stationed at Darulaman palace say, ‘Green is happiness, green is peace. Who doesn’t like that?’

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