News / Asia

    Afghan Resort Struggles to Recover from Taliban Attack

    Bethany Matta
    In June, Taliban militants stormed a hotel at the Qargha Lake resort area a short drive from Kabul.  At least 18 people died in the 12-hour assault, which the Taliban said was aimed at punishing people for partying, drinking alcohol and other un-Islamic activities. The popular resort is working on making a comeback
     
    Like many of the Taliban's high-profile sieges, the Qargha Lake attack played out on TV.  

    Viewers who witnessed it will never forget the images of people clinging to the wall of the Spozhmai restaurant at Qargha lake, as attackers on the terrace above carried out their killing spree.   

    Today, for those living and working in Qargha, life is slowly returning to normal
     
    Most of the Spozhmai restaurant has been reconstructed, but there are still signs of the attack
     
    The floor remains stained from pools of blood.  The bullet holes have not yet been repaired.  And areas bombed out by the attackers' hand grenades can still be seen.
     
    While the restaurant has returned to serving officials and middle-to-upper-class Afghans, the number of guests is down by more than 50 percent.
     
    "There are two kinds of people," said Asadullah, the restaurant's manager.  "There are those who have lived through 30 years of war; the attack has not affected these people.  But, the other people who have not lived through the war; they are scared.  The people who come here, they come for picnics, they are not those people fighting on the front line, it has affected them greatly."

    Faridoon, the restaurant's accountant says he is used to attacks like the one at Qargha.  But, still, he says, his life has been changed forever.

    "I lost my brother in the attack, he was 23 and has two children," recalled Faridoon.  "Two of our guards were killed and some of our guests."

    Restaurants around the lake that serve traditional Afghan foods such as kebab and roasted chicken have also seen a decrease in business.
     
    A worker at one of them says business is good at night, but there are fewer patrons during the day.

    "After the attack, business has decreased by about 30 percent," noted one of the restaurant workers.

    Security is tighter. More checkpoints have gone up and so has the number of guards patrolling the area.
     
    Nabi, a cook at one of the lakeside restaurants, was also working the night of the attack.

    "My family is happy I have a job and can go to work, but security-wise, of course, all Afghans are worried when someone in their family leaves the house," Nabi explained.
     
    While some Afghans do leave their home and risk a trip to Qargha Lake, there are many others staying at home.  It’s another reminder that nearly 11 years after the U.S.-led invasion, security fears still overshadow much of Afghanistan's daily life.

    You May Like

    No More Space Race for US, Rivalry Gives Way to Collaboration

    What began as a struggle for dominance in space between two world powers has changed entirely to one of joint efforts

    Beijing Warns Critics Over South China Sea Dispute

    Official warns critics that the more they challenge China's position regarding disputed territories in one of world’s busiest waterways, the more it will push back

    Move Over Millennials, Here Comes iGeneration

    How the first generation to be born, almost literally, with a smartphone in hand, might change America

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Image Recognition Market Seen Doubling by 2020i
    X
    Ramon Taylor
    May 05, 2016 10:05 PM
    From auto tagging on Facebook to self-driving cars, image recognition technology as it exists today is still in its beginning phases, experts say — and will soon change the way users and corporations interact with the physical world. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
    Video

    Video Image Recognition Market Seen Doubling by 2020

    From auto tagging on Facebook to self-driving cars, image recognition technology as it exists today is still in its beginning phases, experts say — and will soon change the way users and corporations interact with the physical world. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports.
    Video

    Video Child Labor in Afghanistan Remains a Problem

    With war still raging in Afghanistan, the country also faces the problem of child labor as families put their school-age children to work to help make ends meet. But, thanks to VOA's Afghan Service, two families whose children had been working in a brick-making factory - to earn their livings and pay off family debts - now have a new lease on life. Zabihullah Ghazi reports.
    Video

    Video Kurdish Troops Recount Firefight Which Killed US Navy SEAL

    A U.S. Navy SEAL killed Tuesday, when Islamic State fighters punched through Kurdish lines in northern Iraq, was part of a quick reaction force sent to extract other U.S. troops trapped by the surprise offensive. VOA's Kawa Omar spoke with Kurdish troops in the town of Telskuf -- the scene of what U.S. officials called a "dynamic firefight."
    Video

    Video British Lawmakers Warn EU Exit Talks Could Last A Decade

    Leaving the European Union would mean difficult negotiations that could take years to complete, according to a bipartisan group of British lawmakers. While the group did not recommend a vote either way, the lawmakers noted trade deals between the EU and non-EU states take between four and nine years on average. Henry Ridgwell reports on the mounting debate over whether Britain should stay or exit the EU as the June vote approaches.
    Video

    Video NASA Astronauts Train for Commercial Space Flights

    Since the last Shuttle flight in 2011, the United States has been relying on Russian rockets to launch fresh crews to the International Space Station. But that may change in the next few years. NASA and several private space companies are developing advanced capsules capable of taking humans into low orbit and beyond. As VOA's George Putic reports, astronauts are already training for commercial spacecraft in flight simulators.
    Video

    Video US Worried Political Chaos in Iraq Will Hurt IS Fight

    The White House is expressing concern about rising political chaos in Iraq and the impact it could have on the fight against the Islamic State. The U.S. says Iraq needs a stable, central government to help push back the group. But some say Baghdad may not have a unified government any time soon. VOA's White House correspondent Mary Alice Salinas reports.
    Video

    Video Press Freedom in Myanmar Fragile, Limited

    As Myanmar begins a new era with a democratically elected government, many issues of the past confront the new leadership. Among them is press freedom in a country where journalists have been routinely harassed or jailed.
    Video

    Video Taliban Threats Force Messi Fan to Leave Afghanistan

    A young Afghan boy, who recently received autographed shirts and a football from his soccer hero Lionel Messi, has fled his country due to safety concerns. He and his family are now taking refuge in neighboring Pakistan. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from Islamabad.
    Video

    Video Major Rubbish Burning Experiment Captures Destructive Greenhouse Gases

    The world’s first test to capture environmentally harmful carbon dioxide gases from the fumes of burning rubbish took place recently in Oslo, Norway. The successful experiment at the city's main incinerator plant, showcased a method for capturing most of the carbon dioxide. VOA’s Deborah Block has more.
    Video

    Video EU Visa Block Threatens To Derail EU-Turkey Migrant Deal

    Turkish citizens could soon benefit from visa-free travel to Europe as part of the recent deal between the EU and Ankara to stem the flow of refugees. In return, Turkey has pledged to keep the migrants on Turkish soil and crack down on those who are smuggling them. Brussels is set to publish its latest progress report Wednesday — but as Henry Ridgwell reports from London, many EU lawmakers are threatening to veto the deal over human rights concerns.
    Video

    Video Tensions Rising Ahead of South China Sea Ruling

    As the Philippines awaits an international arbitration ruling on a challenge to China's claims to nearly all of the South China Sea, it is already becoming clear that regardless of which way the decision goes, the dispute is intensifying. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
    Video

    Video Painting Captures President Lincoln Assassination Aftermath

    A newly restored painting captures the moments following President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination in 1865. It was recently unveiled at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, where America’s 16th president was shot. It is the only known painting by an eyewitness that captures the horror of that fateful night. VOA’s Julie Taboh tells us more about the painting and what it took to restore it to its original condition.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora