Occupy Sarai Shahzada!

The street on the right bank of the river goes to Sarai Shahzada. Kabul / Sep. 2010

Since the Occupy Wall Street movement is now a global phenomenon with similar rallies taking place from Ottawa to London, Rome, Sydney and Tokyo, someone just suggested on Facebook that Afghans should occupy Sarai Shahzada, the chaotic quarter of Kabul where the notorious money exchange moguls are located. At first the idea seems funny, but it’s not.

If the Kabulis are to occupy somewhere in the city, I think Sarai Shahzada should be the place. The money exchange business forms the backbone of the Afghan traditional economy. Those guys in the Sarai are more influential than the recently established private banks in the country (actually most of these banks emerged from Sarai Shahzada). Apart from running hawala which is believed to be misused by terror networks for years, the Sarai has been serving as the main bazaar for the curropt officials and drug lords  who go there for money loundering and exporting dirty cash abroad.

Therefore it is very legitimate if Afghans come out on streets and occupy the Sarai as a protest against the corruption and the increasing wealth inequality in the country. Afghans should stop blaming the will of God for their miseries and start using their minds. Open your eyes and look at those loads of bundled Dollars behind the shop windows, where did they come from?

People, occupy Sarai Shahzada!

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