Many Afghans love birds and keep them as pets – some as omen of good luck. Hence, bird-selling has been a thriving business in the major cities of Afghanistan. Kabul’s Kah Frooshi or Bird Market in the old city area is visited by hundreds of bird-lovers every day.
Mohammad Sabir owns a shop in the Bird Market. For him, it is a way to support his family. “I sell different kinds of birds such as pigeons, canaries, and finches; and I like it. Selling birds for me is a business and for the buyers it is a hobby.”
According Mohammad Rahim, president of the Bird Sellers Union, there are at least 200 kinds of birds and other pet animals sold in the Kah Frooshi.
“Some of the birds are from Parwan, Kabul and Logar provinces while others have been imported from Germany, Poland and Netherland. The residents of Kabul mostly visit the market on weekends or during holidays,” Rahim said to Sada-e Azadi magazine.
The exotic species are more expensive than the native ones, costing thousands of afghanis. For example, canaries from Poland, Germany or Netherland may cost up to 40,000 afghanis a bird.
Yet, as they say, you cannot put a value on passion; people pay the price and take a pet bird home.
Ahmad Javid lives in Kabul and is fond of canaries. “The bird’s sounds and songs give us a message of peace and life. I advise other Kabulis to pay a visit to the Bird Market, at least once in a month, to enjoy the world of birds.”