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In Kabul, Cemeteries a Part of Afghan Daily Life

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — One of the graves had broken open in Kabul’s Nader Shah Hill Cemetery, exposing a near-complete skeleton at the bottom of the pit in the hard earth. The boys, who had been playing nearby, were not impressed.

“There’s a lot of ruined graves, it’s not unusual,” one boy, around 10, said with a shrug as they looked down at the bones. The only reason the kids came over, interrupting their soccer game, was to see what an Associated Press photographer was taking pictures of.

When asked if they were scared by it, the boy and his friends cracked up laughing.

“Why should we be afraid? A skeleton isn’t alive,” he said. “We see these every day.” It was no more startling than the scorpion that another kid showed off crawling on his sleeve.

There are cemeteries all over Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul, many of them filled with the dead from the country’s decades of war. They are incorporated casually into Afghans’ lives. They provide open spaces where children play soccer or cricket or fly kites, where adults hang out, smoking, talking and joking, since there are few public parks.

Source: The Associated Press