According to COUNTRYAAH.COM, Afghanistan is a country in Central Asia that borders Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan in the north. In the east, it shares a short border section with China, while the entire south of the country borders on Pakistan. In the west, Afghanistan shares the border with Iran.
Archaeological finds indicate that people settled in the region as early as 50,000 years ago. After a Buddhist period, Islam came to the country that developed into a cultural and economic center in the heyday of Islam. In the 18th century the Pashtuns took control of the country and in the middle of the 19th century the influence of the West began to increase. After the country was ruled by Mohammed Sahir Shah as a constitutional monarchy between 1933 and 1973, it was run as a republic in the following decades.
Since the 1990s, the country has been constantly fighting between the Taliban movement and a democratically-oriented government, which also plays a role in world politics.
Afghanistan has an area of some 650,000 km². About three quarters of the area is covered by the Hindu Kush and the Sefid cow, making it difficult to access mountainous areas. From a climatic point of view, the northern part of the country belongs to the temperate zone, while the south already belongs to the subtropics. Despite the low proportion of levels that can be used for agriculture, large parts of the population work in agriculture. Droughts and wars have severely weakened this sector in recent years.
A growing proportion of people are now also active in industry and the service sector. Industry benefits above all from mineral resources such as iron, copper, coal and natural gas. The country also has oil reserves. Due to the ongoing wars in the country, tourism is of very little economic importance.
Population in Afghanistan
Almost 30 million people live in Afghanistan. About 80 percent of the population lives in the country and only a few in the cities. The population is made up of different ethnic groups and tribes. The largest ethnic groups are the Pashtuns, the Tajiks, the Hazara, the Uzbeks as well as the Aimaks and Turkmens.
While the Pashtu and Dari languages are considered official languages, around 50 different languages are spoken in Afghanistan with an estimated 200 dialects. While there is a wide variety of languages in the country, almost all Afghans can be assigned to Islam in their religion. Most of the Muslims are Sunnis. However, a small part also belongs to the Shiites.
The larger cities in Afghanistan, each with a population of over 100,000, include Kabul, Kandahar, Herat, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad and Kunduz. Kabul is the country’s capital, where about 3 million people live.
The city has a relatively good infrastructure and is well connected to the rest of the country thanks to Ring Road, the highway network in Afghanistan. Kabul is considered the country’s economic and cultural center.
But the other major cities are also of great importance to the country. For example, there are many banks and university faculties in Herat. Mazar-e-Sharif, on the other hand, is an important place of pilgrimage for the Afghan Muslims and has several hospitals, a university and various power plants. Kunduz is particularly important for agriculture, because the region is considered very fertile.
The country has a long cultural history. Findings indicate that Afghanistan around 200 BC. BC was a center for Buddhist teachings. The Buddha statues of Bamiyan, which were located in the Bamiyan valley, bear witness to this.
The statues were a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but were finally destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. In addition to the Bamiyan Valley with its archaeological sites, the Jam Minaret is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The minaret was built in the 12th century and, like the Bamiyan Valley, is on the Red List of World Heritage in Danger.
In addition to these historical buildings, Afghan culture is also characterized by various musical and literary styles. Instruments commonly used in music are, for example, the dhol, the sorna or the rubab. The national dance is the Atan, which consists of different sequences of steps depending on the region.
Literature is also one of the traditional arts in Afghanistan. Poetry in the Pashto and Dari languages is particularly well respected. An important part of Afghan culture is the traditional riding game Buzkashi.