KABUL — Nearly everyone here knows the legend. Kabulis recite it at random moments, whenever they catch sight of Sher Darwaza Mountain in the distance. Look closely, they tell visitors, and you will see an ancient wall running along the mountain’s edge like the teeth of a saw. This is the Great Wall of Kabul. And according to local lore, it holds terrible secrets.The legend is usually dated to the sixth or seventh centuries, when Kabul’s ruthless king allegedly forced his male subjects to build the Great Wall to protect the city from invaders. Those who would not work on the wall were sealed inside it.
“Maybe something like that happened,” said Aziz Ahmed Panjshiri, a historian. “We have many legends about the cruel king. But it belongs to history to make clear what was the reality.”A few years ago, history got some help.