Workers pave the ground of the Darul Aman Palace under reconstruction in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, Aug. 8, 2019. The reconstructed Darul Aman Palace with white and yellow color, located on a hilltop in the western edge of Kabul, will reopen its gate to the public later this month, as the capital city is under tense reconstruction to change its war-battered face. (Xinhua/Rahmatullah Alizadah)
by Abdul Haleem, Jawed Omid
KABUL, Aug. 10 (Xinhua) -- The reconstructed Darul Aman Palace with white and yellow color, located on a hilltop in the western edge of Kabul, will reopen its gate to the public later this month, as the capital city is under tense reconstruction to change its war-battered face.
Once the symbol of power and modernism, the castle, built by King Amanullah Khan just a year after Afghanistan's independence, had been badly damaged during the factional fightings in the 1990s. It has been rebuilt over the past three years and the government planned to reopen it on the country's Independence Day which falls on Aug. 19.
"The work for the reconstruction of Darul Aman Palace commenced in 2016 and so far 95 percent of its work has been completed and the remaining task will be finished within days," Jawed Hemmad, who is in-charge of the castle's reconstruction, told Xinhua, adding that all the engineers and workers hired in the project were Afghans.
According to the official, the government allocated 20 million U.S. dollars for the rebuilding of Darul Aman Palace, and his team spent 10 million U.S. dollars to rebuild the castle in its original shape.
About 60 percent of the 150-room Darul Aman Palace, which had served as government guesthouse, cabinet meeting place and defense ministry in different periods, was destroyed during the factional fightings.
Although Afghanistan remained under the shadow of conflicts and violence, like many war-weary Afghans, Hemmad is hopeful that the country would soon embrace lasting peace and be able to rebuild all its historic monuments.
Some in the country are against the rebuilding of historic constructions, saying the bitter outcome of the war should be shown to future generations. But the government has been keen to wipe out the legacy of the destructive wars by renovating key castles, parks and roads.
"We are proud of our achievement that we Afghans were able to rebuild our historic monument with less fund and good quality," said Hemmad.
"The first floor and second floor of the 150-room castle will be used as national cultural museum after inauguration and the third floor would serve as guesthouse for the ranking guests of Presidential Palace."