Kabul - A City of Hope and Fear
Photographer and Filmmaker John D McHugh has been documenting life in Afghanistan’s capital city, its slow rise out of conflict, and the hints of impending disaster that many feel is just around the corner.
‘As the city holds it breath, waiting for the next assault, one man refuses to give up on Kabul. It is the city’s mayor Muhammad Yunus Nawandish, who is dedicated to putting the capital back on its feet after so many years of destruction and decay.
He spends hours every day on the road, inspecting infrastructure construction projects, badgering suppliers and contractors, keeping the pressure up on his officials. He is renowned for his hands on approach, fond of turning up unannounced at building sites and catching municipal staff unawares.
He is also dedicated to fighting corruption, particularly tackling what he calls “the land mafia,” which makes getting anything done in Kabul so difficult. With warlords illegally grabbing land for development, often for putting up their own absurdly extravagant houses, the mayor’s determination is admirable, but very dangerous. “Because the fight against corruption and the land mafia is not so easy, I purchased a piece of land for my grave,” he says, without a trace of fear.’
Read more at Al Jazeera People & Power