Kabul residents outraged by Taliban’s decision to rename city roundabouts, areas

Residents of Kabul have expressed outrage over the Taliban’s decision to rename several parts of the city, stating that they will not use the new names. The renaming has been labeled as “unacceptable” by many.

The Taliban recently renamed the “Deh Afghanan” area of Kabul to “Farhang Square” and changed the name of Education Square to “Kitab (Book) Square.” The decision was announced by the Taliban-run Ministry of Culture and Information.

The ministry claimed that these places in Kabul were originally named based on “ethnic preferences” and justified the renaming as part of an effort to address this issue.

However, Kabul residents insist on recognizing Deh Afghanan by its original name, which dates back to the era of Emir Abdul Rahman Khan in the late 1800s. “Changing the names of places that have been known for decades, across many generations, even from the time of our grandfathers, serves no purpose. Changing the name from Deh Afghanan to Farhang Square is impossible. I myself will never call it that,” said one resident.

“If they change the names, it will take another decade for people to get used to these new names,” another resident remarked.

In the nearly three years since taking control, the Taliban has renamed many areas, including changing Ahmad Shah Massoud Square to “Public Health Square,” Abdul Ali Mazari Square to “Quran Square,” Abdul Haq Square to “Makroyan Sewom Square,” Faiz Mohammad Katib Hazara Road to Char Qala-e Chahardi Road, and Pul-e Sukhta to Pul-e Najaat.

They have also renamed other locations, such as Hamid Karzai International Airport to Kabul International Airport. Observers have noted that the Taliban has primarily renamed locations that were named after their opponents and other Afghan politicians.

Deh Afghanan, located in downtown Kabul in PD 2, is believed by historians to date back to the Mongol era and gained prominence during the reign of Amir Abdul Rahman Khan. This central area of Kabul holds many of the old city’s stories and traditions. Key landmarks such as the Kabul Serena Hotel, the Ministry of Education, large commercial centers, Zarnegar Park, and the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology are located here.