Five thousand Jews left Afghanistan in 1948 to settle in the newly-created State of Israel. In 1979, as Soviet tanks rolled down the Salang Pass, most of the remaining Jews also emigrated, some to India, some to Central Asia. By the time Afghanistan was reinvaded in 2001, only two Jews remained.

On Peshawar road we encountered a scene which would be unusual anywhere else: bearing down on us on both sides of the road was a procession of cars, lorries, carts, tongas, motorbikes and SUVs, with passengers hanging out of windows, standing on roofs, dancing and chanting. The merry crowd carried no banners, signs or placards to broadcast the cause of their jubilation. It was six am.