Afghanistan Country Information

 
 
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Afghanistan Travel Information


Afghanistan (the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan) is a landlocked country in southern Asia. It shares land borders with Iran, Pakistan, the People's Republic of China, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.

As of 2009. the population of Afghanistan was estimated to be 28,150,000. Approximately 3 million people live in the country's capital, and largest city, Kabul. Kabul is thought to be one of the oldest capital cities in the world, and is believed to have been first established sometime between 2000 BC and 1500 BC. Apart Kabul, Afghanistan contains 13 other cities with populations over 100,000, the largest of which is Kandahar, which has a population of about 450,000.

Map of Afghanistan

After a prolonged period of unrest in the 1970s, Afghanistan has been almost continuously involved in civil war or foreign occupation:
  • The USSR invaded the country in 1979, and remained there until 1989. During this period, the US backed the Afghanistan resistance movement, known as the Mujahideen.

  • The Soviet backed Communist regime remained in power until 1992, until it was eventually overthrown by the Mujahideen.

  • Civil war then broke out been various Mujahideen factions, this fighting peaking in 1994.

  • The Taliban then began to develop. Eventually they took control of Kabul in 1996, and subsequently most of the country.

  • Following the 9/11 attacks on the United States, in 2001, a coalition led by the US and Britain began bombing the Taliban, and backed the Northern Alliance in the Afghan civil war. This eventually led to the overthrow of the Taliban regime, and the establishment of a new Afghan government. However, Taliban resistance to both the Afghan government and coalition forces continues to this day.

Afghanistan Country Details


Country Name Afghanistan
Political Status Country
Geographic Location Central Asia
Principal Language Pashto
Capital Kabul


Web Sites about Afghanistan


Shrine of Hazrat Ali in Mazir-e-Sharif, Afghanistan
Here are some other web sites about Afghanistan::

Blue Mosque in Mazir-e-Sharif, Afghanistan

Books about Afghanistan


Here are some books about travel to Afghanistan:

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Lonely Planet Afghanistan (Lonely Planet Travel Guides) (Country Travel Guide)
By Paul Clammer

Lonely Planet
Paperback (244 pages)

Lonely Planet Afghanistan (Lonely Planet Travel Guides) (Country Travel Guide)
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Product Description:
Discover Afghanistan

Blink as you emerge from the cliffs at the top of one of Bamiyan's enormous Buddha niches.
Stop pedalling for a moment and drift in your swan-shaped pedalo on the waters of Band-e Amir.
Utter a great smoking sigh of contentment as you puff on a sheesha at Mirwais Shandaiz.

In This Guide:

Chapters on working and safety in Afghanistan, with advice from resident expats.
Specialist contributors write on journalism, women, and trekking in the Wakhan and the Afghan Pamir.
Lonely Planet founder Tony Wheeler reflects on travel to Afghanistan over the decades.
Afghanistan, Pakistan [Tubed] (National Geographic Reference Map)
By National Geographic Maps - Reference

National Geographic Maps
Map (1 pages)

Afghanistan, Pakistan [Tubed] (National Geographic Reference Map)
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Product Description:

National Geographic's map of Afghanistan and Pakistan is the most accurate and detailed reference map available for the region, covering these two countries as well as Tajikistan and parts of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China, India and Iran. This Classic style wall map uses a bright and vibrant color palette and precise shaded relief, making it as attractive as it is educational. Accurate political boundaries are displayed on the map, including in the disputed area of Kashmir. Pinpointed are thousands of cities and towns, mountain ranges, national parks, glaciers, swamps, areas of sand, oil fields, highways and other roads, international and domestic airports, canals, railroads and waterways, including intermittent and dry salt lakes.

The map is packaged in a two inch diamater clear plastic tube. The tube has a decorative label showing a thumbnail of the map with dimensions and other pertinent information.

  • Map Scale = 1:3,363,000
  • Sheet Size = 21.5" x 32.5"
Afghanistan: A Companion and Guide (Odyssey Illustrated Guides)
By Bijan Omrani

Odyssey Books & Maps
Paperback (784 pages)

Afghanistan: A Companion and Guide (Odyssey Illustrated Guides)
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Thanks to 20 years of civil war and its association with terrorism, Afghanistan is often unjustly thought of in the West as a barbarous backwater. This guide dispels that image in a comprehensive introduction to 3,500 years of Afghan culture. Each chapter
Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Middle East Wall Map
By National Geographic Maps - Reference

National Geographic
Map (1 pages)

Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Middle East Wall Map
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National Geographic's map of the Middle East covers a broad geographic area ranging from northern Africa through the Fertile Crescent to the western edge of China and India. Includes complete coverage of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Syria, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Oman, Cyprus, and Eritrea. Also includes parts of India, China, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, and Djibouti.

Features thousands of place names, accurate political boundaries, archeological sites, and major infrastructure networks such as roads, canals, ferry routes, airports, and railroads. The region's diverse terrain is detailed through accurate shaded relief, coastal bathymetry, and symbolism for water features and other land forms. Elevations of major peaks and depth soundings are expressed in meters. The signature Classic style map uses a bright, easy to read color palette featuring blue oceans and stunning shaded relief that has been featured on National Geographic wall maps for over 75 years.

The map is packaged in a two inch diamater clear plastic tube. The tube has a decorative label showing a thumbnail of the map with dimensions and other pertinent information.

  • Map Scale = 1:6,083,000
  • Sheet Size = 30.25" x 23.5"
The Places In Between
By Rory Stewart

Mariner Books
Released: 2006-05-08
Paperback (297 pages)

The Places In Between
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Product Description:
In January 2002 Rory Stewart walked across Afghanistan-surviving by his wits, his knowledge of Persian dialects and Muslim customs, and the kindness of strangers. By day he passed through mountains covered in nine feet of snow, hamlets burned and emptied by the Taliban, and communities thriving amid the remains of medieval civilizations. By night he slept on villagers' floors, shared their meals, and listened to their stories of the recent and ancient past. Along the way Stewart met heroes and rogues, tribal elders and teenage soldiers, Taliban commanders and foreign-aid workers. He was also adopted by an unexpected companion-a retired fighting mastiff he named Babur in honor of Afghanistan's first Mughal emperor, in whose footsteps the pair was following.

Through these encounters-by turns touching, con-founding, surprising, and funny-Stewart makes tangible the forces of tradition, ideology, and allegiance that shape life in the map's countless places in between.
Afghanistan: A Companion and Guide
By Bijan Omrani

Brand: Airphoto International Ltd.
Paperback (768 pages)

Afghanistan: A Companion and Guide
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Product Description:

Thanks to 20 years of civil war and its association with terrorism, Afghanistan is now unjustly thought of in the West as a barbarous backwater. Afghanistan: A Traveler's Companion & Guide aims to dispel this image in a comprehensive introduction to 3,500 years of Afghan culture.

Starting with a full history of the country from 1500 BC, each chapter looks at the major cities and regions, describing their distinctive cultural and ethnic traditions, their associations with poets, artists, musicians, travelers and holy men, as well as warriors and conquerors. Ancient and modern sources from Afghanistan are extensively quoted, as well as the thoughts, musings and experiences of writers from America, Europe, Russia, China, India and the Middle East, including such luminaries as Wilfred Thesiger and Bruce Chatwin.

Experienced Afghan traveler Matthew Leeming contributes detailed information for those who intend to visit the country as tourists, with guides to specific cities and areas, as well as more general advice. A number of short specialist appendices by leading experts further illustrate matters such as archaeology, architecture, carpets, miniature painting, calligraphy, music, flora and fauna. Wonderfully illustrated with superb images from world-renowned photographers such as Michael Yamashita and Roland and Sabrina Michaud. Also includes engravings, etchings, paintings and priceless museum artifacts.

     • Written by authors with both academic and first-hand knowledge of the country
     • Essential reading for anyone with an interest in Afghanistan's history
     • Includes stunning contemporary photography from world-renowned photographers such as Michael Yamashita and Roland and Sabrina Michaud
     • Rare archive material includes black-and-white photography by Wilfred Thesiger
     • Literary excerpts from Herodotus to Robert Lowell, Robert Byron, Peter Levi and Bruce Chatwin
     • The most comprehensive coverage, from Alexander the Great to the new constitution
     • 110 stunning color photos

This lavish guide reveals the immense treasury of cultural, historical and natural wealth-too frequently forgotten-that is Afghanistan. 110 full-color photos; maps and illustrations
I Am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan
Ingramcontent
Released: 2015-03-17
Paperback (160 pages)

I Am the Beggar of the World: Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan
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  • I Am the Beggar of the World Landays from Contemporary Afghanistan
Product Description:

An eye-opening collection of clandestine poems by Afghan women

Because my love's American,
blisters blossom on my heart.

Afghans revere poetry, particularly the high literary forms that derive from Persian or Arabic. But the poem above is a folk couplet―a landay, an ancient oral and anonymous form created by and for mostly illiterate people: the more than 20 million Pashtun women who span the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan. War, separation, homeland, love―these are the subjects of landays, which are brutal and spare, can be remixed like rap, and are powerful in that they make no attempts to be literary. From Facebook to drone strikes to the songs of the ancient caravans that first brought these poems to Afghanistan thousands of years ago, landays reflect contemporary Pashtun life and the impact of three decades of war. With the U.S. withdrawal in 2014 looming, these are the voices of protest most at risk of being lost when the Americans leave.
After learning the story of a teenage girl who was forbidden to write poems and set herself on fire in protest, the poet Eliza Griswold and the photographer Seamus Murphy journeyed to Afghanistan to learn about these women and to collect their landays. The poems gathered in I Am the Beggar of the World express a collective rage, a lament, a filthy joke, a love of homeland, an aching longing, a call to arms, all of which belie any facile image of a Pashtun woman as nothing but a mute ghost beneath a blue burqa.

Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle
By Dervla Murphy

imusti
Paperback (254 pages)

Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle
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Originally published in 1965, it is the diary of her bicycle trek from Dunkirk, across Europe, through Iran and Afghanistan, over the Himalayas to Pakistan and India. Murphy's immediate rapport with the people she alights among is vibrant and appealing and makes her travelogue unique. Venturing aloneaccompanied only by her bicycle, which she dubs Rozthe indomitable Murphy not only survives daunting physical rigors but gleans considerable enjoyment in getting to know peoples who were then even more remote than they are now.--Publishers Weekly. ""This book recounts a trip, taken mostly on bicycle, by a gritty Irishwoman in 1963. Her route was through Yugoslavia, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and ended in New Delhi. She carried a pistol, got sunstroke, and suffered the usual stomach disorders. She endured bad accommodations but reaped much local hospitality, too, including a dinner with the Pakistani president. Most of the book concerns the high mountain country of Afghanistan and Pakistan...A spirited account.""--Library Journal.

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