The Taliban government and on celebrations the flagging economy have seemingly put a dampener this year.
In Karte Sakhi in western Kabul, Groups of women bustle through the female entrance of Sakhi Shah-e Mardan Shrine, which marks the arrival of spring, where many Afghans gather every year to celebrate Nowruz. They rush towards the mosque located inside the shrine premises wearing colorful dresses donned with sequins, various poses for selfies, and TikTok videos.
To power 20 years, this is the first Nowruz since the Taliban returned in a United States-led invasion after they were toppled.
On celebrations this year, the Taliban administration and the flagging thrift have ostensibly put a dampener. While the scenes in Afghanistan and mosque feel much like any other Nowruz at the shrine, today the numbers – even at peak hour on the eve before Nowruz – are fewer than last year.
In the spring breeze, Colorful flags flutter outside the Shia shrine and in surrounding neighborhoods, mosques, and on the streets. Street vendors and ice cream to women pushing children on tricycles at the bazaar sell sweets.
The shrine was attacked during the Nowruz celebrations in 2018. According to ISIL (ISIS); claimed at least 31 people were killed in the attack.
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