The notorious Charahee Qambar IDP camp
(IDP= internally displaced persons) rested on the outskirts of Kabul. The residents were from southwestern Helmand Province
where U.S. and NATO forces had been battling the Taliban for years. While Kabul residents understood their tragic plight
, the IDPs were mostly illiterate poppy
famers— considered uncivilized, radicalized, and from Taliban country. Rumors of killings and kidnappings
abounded, and people with common sense stayed far away.
I was determined to visit. These people needed friends and Najib needed to expand his networks. Common sense had never really been my thing either.
Peering out our car window from the edge of the camp, we couldn’t see anything but mud. Mud ground, mud walls, and hundreds of little mud-hut houses that stretched on as far as the eye could see. Like other IDP camps in the Kabul area, they were forced to use the only resource available to build their homes: mud.