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General Information About Afghanistan




Afghanistan: An Introduction

Afghanistan (Land of the Afghan) is a mountainous land-locked country in Central Asia with a history and culture that goes back over 5000 years. Throughout its long, splendid, and sometimes chaotic history, this area of the world has been known by various names. In the ancient times, the land was called Aryana by its inhabitants. In the medieval era, it was called Khorasan, and in modern times, its people have decided to call it Afghanistan. The exact population of Afghanistan is unknown, however, it is estimated to be around 21-26 million.

It is a heterogeneous nation, the four major ethnic groups are: Pashtoons, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks. Numerous other minority ethnic groups (Nuristanis, Baluchis, Turkmens, etc.) also call Afghanistan their home. The majority of Afghans (99%) belong to the Islamic faith, however, there are also small pockets of Sikhs, Hindus and even some Jews. The official languages of the country are Pashto and Dari (Afghan Persian). The capital of Afghanistan is Kabul, and these days, due to many years of war, the city remains shattered and destroyed. However, throughout history, Kabul was admired by many great figures, such as the great Central Asian conqueror, Zahirudeen Babur.

Today, Afghanistan is in a disastrous state: the economy is in ruins, its people are dying of war and hunger, and its neighbors are taking advantage of its instability. Currently there is no one group or government that rules over the entire country. The majority of Afghanistan, including its major cities (Kabul, Kandahar, Mazar-e-Sharif, and Herat) are under Taliban rule, whose leader goes by the name of Mullah Omar. The rest of the country is under the control of the United Front, headed by Burhanuddin Rabbani; his administration is recognized by the United Nations, USA, and the rest of the world as the legitimate government in Afghanistan.. Only Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates recognize the Taliban. The Taliban have recently declared the country an Emirate, however, to their opponents, it is still called the Islamic State of Afghanistan.


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