General Information About Afghanistan

Afghanistan: An Introduction

by Abdullah Qazi
Last updated: January 6, 2016

Afghanistan, (which literally means Land of the Afghan) is a mountainous land-locked country located in Central Asia. It has 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 ancient times, its inhabitants called the land Aryana. 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 somewhere around 32.5 million.

Afghanistan is a heterogeneous nation, in which there are four major ethnic groups: Pashtoons, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks. Numerous other minor ethnic groups (Nuristanis, Baluchis, Turkmens, etc.) also call Afghanistan their home. While the majority of Afghans (99%) belong to the Islamic faith, there are also small numbers of Sikhs. The official languages of the country are Pashto and Dari (Afghan Persian aka Farsi). The capital of Afghanistan is Kabul, which throughout history, was admired by many great figures, such as the great Central Asian conqueror, Zahirudeen Babur. Unfortunately, due to many years of war, this great city was nearly completely destroyed. Today, it is over crowded.

Afghanistan Today

In late 2001, the Taliban were removed from power, and an interim government was created, and Hamid Karzai was chosen to lead it. Since then, parliamentary and presidential elections have been held. Hamid Karzai won the first two presidential elections, and Ashraf Ghani won the most recent one, defeating challenger Abdullah Abdullah.

Today, Afghanistan is on a road to recovery, and things have gotten a lot better since the Taliban were removed from power. However, the country still has a long way to go - corruption is a big issue, as well as the continual war with extremist militant groups (supported by outside forces) trying to take over the country. The Taliban are still conducting attacks in Afghanistan, and have managed to temporarily capture districts and even a major city. Now, ISIS (DAESH) has started operations in Afghanistan, and their fighters are waging war not just against the Afghan government, but the Taliban as well.

For a detailed statistical look at Afghanistan check out the following link:

Official Name:
English: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Pashto: د افغانستان اسلامي جمهوریت
Persian: جمهوری اسلامی افغانستان
Other Facts:
  • Nationality - noun: Afghan(s) /  adjective: Afghan
  • Population: 32,564,342 (July 2015 est.)
  • Time zone:  (UTC+4:30)
  • Internet country code: .af
  • Calling code:  +93
  • Geographic coordinates: 33 00 N, 65 00 E
  • Climate: arid to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers
  • Independence Day: August 19 (from UK control over Afghan foreign affairs)
  • Right to vote: Men & women (18 and older)
  • Currency (code): afghani (AFA)
  • Fiscal year: 21 March - 20 March


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