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Last Updated: Thursday, 9 June, 2005, 09:56 GMT 10:56 UK
Conflict diaries: Evening in Kabul
Each day this week, the BBC is looking at the everyday lives of people living in some parts of the world that are worst-affected by conflict.

Here, kitemaker Mohammed Naim, who lives in the Afghan capital Kabul, talks about his evening and how he tries to have fun amid the problems.

Kabul hills
Mohammed flies his kites on the hills around Kabul
To make a kite, we use a special type of colourful tissue paper. There is an order to follow when we are putting the kite together, and it's important that the finished square shape is equal in length and width.

I have been coming to this hill for the past four years, with my brother, Abdul.

I come here on Fridays for fun, along with the children and the other people.

In winter, it's very cold but the sun shines brightly up here. It's warmer, the snow thaws quickly and so people like to come. In the summer as people are busy with their daily lives and the weather is hot, people just come here on Fridays

Kite shop

Before the civil war, back in the days of the famous singer Ahmad Zahir, people were flying kites all over Afghanistan - in Jalalabad, Kabul, the provinces, in the open fields.

My brother Abdul was the only friend I had during my childhood. And kite flying was the only pastime I had.

There has been war in Afghanistan for such a long time that people have got used to it to a certain extent.

Paper kite
People are flying kites now because they feel free
I remember once during the civil war Kabul was shelled with rockets, but we continued to fly our kites. The children did too.

One day Abdul was seriously injured. He decided he wanted to fly his kite from the roof of our house, and fell down two stories.

Another time he hurt himself trying to rescue a kite that was stuck on the rocks of a mountain side near our house.

The two of us made kites in order to sell them. I started making kites when I was 12-years-old.

We had a small shop in our village that sold kites. But we weren't able to sell all the kites we made, so we had to take some of them to the bazaar.

By selling the kites, we could support our family and were able to pay for school expenses. People liked the kites made of coloured tissues and would run after them to and try to catch them once they had been set free.

Flying again

During the days of the Taleban, flying kites was banned. It was impossible to fly kites. You couldn't even fly them secretly as the Taleban's informants were everywhere.

The people needed to entertain themselves but they were not allowed.

After the Taleban the people's spirit is alive again
Today in Kabul people feel safer than in the provinces.

In Kabul, for example, people can fly kites, but in many provinces they can't, because of the situation there.

People are flying kites now because they feel free. The people's spirit is free now.

After the Taliban the people's spirit is alive again. They were dead and now they are alive.

And now the Taleban have gone we can continue our profession.

Conflict Diaries are broadcast on the BBC World Service's Outlook programme at 1106 GMT every day this week.



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