Afghanistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia. The name Afghanistan means the ‘Land of Afghans.’ In the year 1747, Ahmad Shah Durrani established his empire here, with the capital at Kandahar. In due course of time, the capital was shifted to Kabul. In 1919, after the third Anglo-Afghan war, the country acquired full independence from United Kingdom, which exercised control over its foreign affairs. However, since late 1970s, the country is experiencing constant civil war. In 2001, US led invasion toppled the Taliban government. In 2005, Unites States and Afghanistan signed a strategic long-term agreement, as per which multi-billion US dollars have been given to the country as aid to assist in the process of reconstruction. Given below are some more fun and interesting facts about Afghanistan.
Image: By Sgt. Trey Harvey (U.S. Armed Forces) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Interesting & Fun Facts about Afghanistan
- The modern state of Afghanistan was founded by Ahmad Shah Durrani in 1747.
- The official name of Afghanistan is Islamic State of Afghanistan.
- Initially, the capital city of Afghanistan was Kandahar. It was later shifted to Kabul.
- The official languages of Afghanistan are Dari (Persian) and Pashto, while the currency is Afghani.
- In Afghanistan, the meal is incomplete without ‘naan,’ which is a flat, unleavened bread.
- The highest mountain range of Afghanistan is Hindu Kush, which rises above 18,000 feet.
- Afghanistan shares border with six countries, namely, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, China, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan.
- Buzkashi, meaning "goat grabbing", is the national sport of Afghanistan.
- Gudiparan Bazi or Kite Flying is another popular sport in Afghanistan.
- Opium is the fastest and largest growing crop in Afghanistan.
- The Minaret of Jam, in the Hari River valley, is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
- For a long period of time, the foreign affairs of Afghanistan were under the control of the United Kingdom. It was only on August 19, 1919, after the third Anglo-Afghan war, that the country regained sovereignty over its foreign affairs.
- The term ‘Afghanistan’ means the ‘Land of Afghans’. Afghans is an alternative name for Pashtuns, the founders of the country, who also from its largest ethnic group.
- The highest point in the country is formed by Nowshak, which is situated at 7,485 m (24,557 ft) above sea level.
- The endorheic Sistan Basin in Afghanistan is regarded as one of the driest regions in the world.
- Afghanistan is spread over an area of approximately 249,984 sq miles (647,500 km²) and forms the 41st largest country in the world (after Burma).
- The country stands bordered by Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in the north, Iran in the west, Pakistan in the south and the People's Republic of China in the east.
- Afghanistan’s natural resources include gold, silver, copper, zinc, and iron ore in the southeast; precious and semi-precious stones (such as lapis, emerald, and azure) in the northeast; and potentially significant petroleum and natural gas reserves in the north. The country also has uranium, coal, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, and salt.
- The country has been divided into 34 administrative provinces (welayats), each of them having a capital of its own. Each province is sub-divided into many provincial districts, with each covering a city or several townships.