The men, eyes rimmed with kohl and hands stained henna-red, wear their best robes for the festival of Eid al-Fitr, marking the end of Ramadan. Little girls in spangled dresses sparkle like mermaids.
But the hovels they live in are barely fit for the sheep that they once herded in their troubled homeland far to the south, now a battleground between British troops and Taleban guerrillas.
The men cluster round visitors, begging for money to feed their families or look for their kidnapped children. One shows a photo of dead infants, relatives killed in a US airstrike. The 800 families in the camp live entirely off charity, with no running water, sanitation or other facilities.
“We are starving, no one is helping us,” shouted Wakil, a farmer. “If the Government does not help us, we’ll go back and join the Taleban.” As his neighbours angrily denounced President Karzai’s rule, Wakil admitted that he did not like the Taleban. But he added: “We just want anyone who can bring security.”
The Taleban have changed a great deal since the US-backed Northern Alliance drove them from power in 2001. No longer the rulers of the land, their leadership lives in exile across the border in Pakistan and their enforcers of strict Islamic codes are now fighting a bitter insurgency in the mountains, deserts and farmlands.