Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, is a growing city with an estimated population of 5 million. Many flee here from violence in their home provinces to find a peaceful life and economic opportunities.
Over half the city's population lives in illegal or unplanned housing, work is scarce, the city has been repeatedly struck by suicide bombers, gunmen and rocket attacks that usually kill more Afghan civilians than foreign soldiers. The capital is facing problems from rampant official corruption to a drug problem that has only increased in recent years.
Burnt-out Soviet tanks are left discarded in some of the finest neighborhoods, the distant thunder of explosions is background music to an early morning commute. It is a harsh reality, with little respite and for many, faith is the only refuge.
On a Friday afternoon, the Muslim day of rest, many can be found spending time with friends at a local pool, flying kites or visiting a nearby lake. For some there are dog fights, and the country's only golf course is located on the outskirts of the city.
In these moments, the conflict seems a very distant thing. But reminders of war's long-held grasp on Afghan society are hard to miss.