64 Facts About Afghanistan


Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central Asia and South Asia.

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Afghanistan served as the source from which the Greco-Bactrians and the Mughals, among others, rose to form major empires.

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Afghanistan would be reunited in the 19th century after wars of unification led by Dost Mohammad Khan, where he conquered the independent principalities in Afghanistan.

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Since the late 1970s, Afghanistan's history has been dominated by extensive warfare, including coups, revolutions, invasions, insurgencies, and civil wars.

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Afghanistan's economy is the world's 96th-largest, with a gross domestic product of $72.

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For its success in resisting foreign occupation during the 19th and 20th centuries, Afghanistan has been called the "graveyard of empires", though it is unknown who coined the phrase.

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An important site of early historical activities, many believe that Afghanistan compares to Egypt in terms of the historical value of its archaeological sites.

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Archaeological exploration done in the 20th century suggests that the geographical area of Afghanistan has been closely connected by culture and trade with its neighbors to the east, west, and north.

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The region of Arachosia, around Kandahar in modern-day southern Afghanistan, used to be primarily Zoroastrian and played a key role in the transfer of the Avesta to Persia and is thus considered by some to be the "second homeland of Zoroastrianism".

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Silk Road appeared during the first century BCE, and Afghanistan flourished with trade, with routes to China, India, Persia and north to the cities of Bukhara, Samarkand and Khiva in present-day Uzbekistan.

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Goods and ideas were exchanged at this center point, such as Chinese silk, Persian silver and Roman gold, while the region of present Afghanistan was mining and trading lapis lazuli stones mainly from the Badakhshan region.

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Afghanistan's troops are said to have annihilated the Khwarazmian cities of Herat and Balkh as well as Bamyan.

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However, up to the 19th century the term Khorasan was commonly used among natives to describe their country; Sir George Elphinstone wrote with amazement that the country known to outsiders as "Afghanistan" was referred to by its own inhabitants as "Khorasan" and that the first Afghan official whom he met at the border welcomed him to Khorasan.

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Afghanistan was forced to give up Torshiz, Bakharz, Jam, Khaf, and Turbat-e Haidari to the Afghans.

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Afghanistan's brothers rebelled and divided up the provinces of the empire between themselves.

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In 1838, a British expeditionary force marched into Afghanistan, invading the Principality of Qandahar, and in August 1839, seized Kabul, forcing Dost Mohammad into exile with other factions and rebels in Afghanistan, while he was replaced with the former Durrani ruler Shah Shuja Durrani as the new ruler of Kabul, and unbeknownst to him, a de facto puppet on the throne.

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Afghanistan was known as the "Iron Amir" for his features and his ruthless methods against tribes.

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Afghanistan fought for Article 68 of Afghanistan's 1923 constitution, which made elementary education compulsory.

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Afghanistan abandoned the reforms of King Amanullah in favor of a more gradual approach to modernization, but was assassinated in 1933 by Abdul Khaliq, a fifteen-year-old Hazara student who was an Amanullah loyalist.

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Afghanistan was replaced in 1953 by Mohammed Daoud Khan, the king's cousin and brother-in-law, and a Pashtun nationalist who sought the creation of a Pashtunistan, leading to highly tense relations with Pakistan.

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However, Afghanistan remained neutral and was neither a participant in World War II nor aligned with either power bloc in the Cold War thereafter.

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Afghanistan had, therefore, good relations with both Cold War enemies.

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In October 2001, the United States invaded Afghanistan to remove the Taliban from power after they refused to hand over Osama Bin Laden, the prime suspect of the September 11 attacks, who was a "guest" of the Taliban and was operating his al-Qaeda network in Afghanistan.

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Afghanistan remained one of the poorest countries in the world because of a lack of foreign investment, government corruption, and the Taliban insurgency.

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The number of NATO troops present in Afghanistan peaked at 140, 000 in 2011, dropping to about 16, 000 in 2018.

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On 28 December 2014, NATO formally ended ISAF combat operations in Afghanistan and transferred full security responsibility to the Afghan government.

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Western nations have suspended most humanitarian aid to Afghanistan following the Taliban's takeover of the country in August 2021 and the World Bank and International Monetary Fund halted payments.

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On 11 November 2021, the Human Rights Watch reported that Afghanistan was facing widespread famine due to an economic and banking crisis.

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The region centered at Afghanistan is considered the "crossroads of Asia", and the country has had the nickname Heart of Asia.

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Geography in Afghanistan is varied, but is mostly mountainous and rugged, with some unusual mountain ridges accompanied by plateaus and river basins.

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Afghanistan receives heavy snow during the winter in the Hindu Kush and Pamir Mountains, and the melting snow in the spring season enters the rivers, lakes, and streams.

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The lower areas of northern and western Afghanistan are the driest, with precipitation more common in the east.

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Endemic fauna of Afghanistan includes the Afghan flying squirrel, Afghan snowfinch, Afghanodon, Stigmella kasyi, Vulcaniella kabulensis, Afghan leopard gecko, Wheeleria parviflorellus, amongst others.

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Afghanistan has a wide variety of birds despite its relatively arid climate – an estimated 460 species of which 235 breed within.

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Forest region of Afghanistan has vegetation such as pine trees, spruce trees, fir trees and larches, whereas the steppe grassland regions consist of broadleaf trees, short grass, perennial plants and shrublands.

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Afghanistan had a 2018 Forest Landscape Integrity Index mean score of 8.

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The population of Afghanistan increased steadily until the 1980s, when civil war caused millions to flee to other countries such as Pakistan.

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Afghanistan's healthcare has recovered since the turn of the century, causing falls in infant mortality and increases in life expectancy, although it has the lowest life expectance of any country outside Africa.

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Afghanistan remained for years, being the caretaker of the only remaining Afghan synagogue.

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Urbanization in Afghanistan is different from typical urbanization in that it is centered on just a few cities.

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Education in Afghanistan includes K–12 and higher education, which is overseen by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education.

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Top universities in Afghanistan are the American University of Afghanistan followed by Kabul University (KU), both of which are located in Kabul.

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The National Military Academy of Afghanistan, modeled after the United States Military Academy at West Point, was a four-year military development institution dedicated to graduating officers for the Afghan Armed Forces.

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Traditional instrument of governance in Afghanistan is the loya jirga, a Pashtun consultative meeting that was mainly organized for choosing a new head of state, adopting a new constitution, or to settle national or regional issue such as war.

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Present Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan is currently internationally unrecognized, but has had notable unofficial ties with China, Pakistan, and Qatar.

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Under the previous Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, it enjoyed cordial relations with a number of NATO and allied nations, particularly the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, and Turkey.

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In 2012, the United States and the then-republic in Afghanistan signed their Strategic Partnership Agreement in which Afghanistan became a major non-NATO ally.

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Armed Forces of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan captured a large amount of weapons, hardware, vehicles, aerocrafts, and equipment from the Afghan Armed Forces following the 2021 Taliban offensive and the Fall of Kabul.

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Since May 2022, all women in Afghanistan have been required by law to wear full-body coverings when in public.

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Da Afghanistan Bank serves as the central bank of the nation and the Afghani is the national currency, with an exchange rate of about 75 Afghanis to 1 US dollar.

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Afghanistan is a member of WTO, SAARC, ECO, and OIC.

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Between 2012 and 2019, the saffron cultivated and produced in Afghanistan was consecutively ranked the world's best by the International Taste and Quality Institute.

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In 2011, Afghanistan signed an oil exploration contract with China National Petroleum Corporation for the development of three oil fields along the Amu Darya river in the north.

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The National Museum of Afghanistan is located in Kabul and hosts a large number of Buddhist, Bactrian Greek and early Islamic antiquities; the museum suffered greatly by civil war but has been slowly restoring since the early 2000s.

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Telecommunication services in Afghanistan are provided by Afghan Telecom, Afghan Wireless, Etisalat, MTN Group, and Roshan.

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Air transport in Afghanistan is provided by the national carrier, Ariana Afghan Airlines, and by the private company Kam Air.

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Afghanistan contains many remnants from all ages, including Greek and Buddhist stupas, monasteries, monuments, temples and Islamic minarets.

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Much of lapis lazuli stones were earthed in modern-day Afghanistan which were used in Chinese porcelain as cobalt blue, later used in ancient Mesopotamia and Turkey.

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Lands of Afghanistan have a long history of art, with the world's earliest known usage of oil painting found in cave murals in the country.

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Afghanistan has around 350 radio stations and over 200 television stations.

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Radio Television Afghanistan, originating from 1925, is the state public broadcaster.

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Many Bollywood film stars have roots in Afghanistan, including Salman Khan, Saif Ali Khan, Aamir Khan, Feroz Khan, Kader Khan, Naseeruddin Shah, Zarine Khan, Celina Jaitly, and a number of others.

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Several Bollywood films have been shot inside Afghanistan, including Dharmatma, Khuda Gawah, Escape from Taliban, and Kabul Express.

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Traditional and the national sport of Afghanistan is buzkashi, mainly popular in the north, but having a following in other parts of the country.

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