Mark Byrnes is a former senior associate editor at CityLab who writes about design and architecture.
Few are certain of Afghanistan's future once foreign troops leave. Four Kabul investors went ahead and built a water park anyway.
Afghanistan's future stability remains unclear at best, but that didn't stop four local investors from pooling together $5 million to build the new Kabul Water Park.
The 24,760-square-foot facility comes with all the standard bells and whistles of your typical water park, including huge slides, a wave pool, and kids area. Admission costs 500 Afghanis ($9) and comes with a full body search from armed guards before entering. Men and women are separated, but girls can use the same areas as the opposite sex until the age of 10.
For Mahmod Najafi, one of the water park's managers, the investment is a statement. "My message to other Afghan businessmen is that if we don't invest because of concerns about 2014, we will remain backward," he tells Reuters. "Every Afghan has to work individually to promote this country."