A childhood in old Kabul

They say the city you most fondly remember is the one you grew up in. In my case that’s Kabul. I spent my formative years in the Afghan capital in the mid-1960s. It was a very different time and Afghanistan a very different country. But the Kabul that’s imprinted on my mind belongs to that decade.

It was a happy city. No other description does it justice. Of course, it was poor, conservative and hierarchical but people were always smiling. They were warm, welcoming, courteous and generous. This was most obvious in their attitude to children. Everyone called me ‘bacho’.