Blog · March 9, 2022

Kabul’s Carpet and Antique Dealers Struggle after Foreigners Flee

‘Hippie Trail’ Fame

Chicken Street was hugely popular in the 1960s and ’70s among Kabul’s “hippie trail” visitors, who stayed in nearby guesthouses and shopped for clothes and hashish.

Tourism plummeted during and after the Soviet-Afghan war that started in 1979, but the street experienced a rebound after the US invasion in 2001.

Wahab said that, despite the recent lack of custom, he remained “very optimistic” that trade would pick up in the coming months.

“Our business only depends on security. If the security is good, foreigners will come, and then they will buy carpets or other textiles that are available in Afghanistan.”

Another dealer, 64-year-old Qadir Raouf — who owns a family carpet shop across the street — agreed.