The dancing boys of Afghanistan – Ghaith Abdul-Ahad – The Guardian

It was an ancient tradition banned by the Taliban but now it’s back: Ghaith Abdul-Ahad reports from northern Afghanistan on the hiring out of young male dancers by older men

The night’s rituals unfolded slowly. In a small house in a village near the town of Taluqan in northern Afghanistan, a dozen men huddled in a cold, dark room, wrapped in thick blankets and squatting on red cushions. The wind sliced through a plastic sheet nailed to a wooden frame in the mud wall, and a strong aroma of hashish lingered in the air.