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The magazine of the art-form of the photo-essay “A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine.  Fabulous!” Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film & documentary maker
Mar 2014 back issue
Bodybuilding Kabul, Afghanistan Back to menu
by Corentin Fohlen
This is a story about bodybuilding in the many weight and fitness rooms of Kabul. Under Taliban rule, muscle building was tolerated.  At the time, it was sufficient to respect a dress code; it was mandatory to wear sweat pants, to have a beard and to train without music. Since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, fitness rooms have multiplied in the Afghan capital and now number more than 200.
The gym "Gold's Gym" in the center of Kabul.
Bawar Khan Hotak is a former "Mr. Muscle" in Afghanistan. After the period of the Taliban, he created his own gym in Kabul. One of the most famous is the "Gold's Gym" where many young people go daily to train. Bawar is accompanied by his bodyguard.
Bawar Khan Hotak visits his own bodybuilding club, "Gold’s Gym"
Prayer time between exercises.
Prayer time between exercises.
First female bodybuilding competition, organized by Bawar Khan Hotak, and framed by a security. Under Taliban rule women were banned from participating in such a sport.
Female body building is allowed after the fall of the Taliban.
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