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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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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Product Description:
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
An Unexpected Light: Travels in Afghanistan
By Jason Elliot

Jason Elliot
Released: 2011-08-02
Paperback (512 pages)

An Unexpected Light: Travels in Afghanistan
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  • An Unexpected Light Travels in Afghanistan
Product Description:

With a New Afterword by the Author

Part travelogue, part historical evocation, part personal quest, and part reflection on the joys and perils of passage, this acclaimed synthesis of description and insight remains as relevant today as when it first appeared. Jason Elliot's An Unexpected Light is a remarkable, poignant book about Afghanistan and a heartfelt reflection on the experience of travel itself.

Three Years in Afghanistan: An American Family's Story of Faith, Endurance, and Love
By Matthew Collins

Collins Matthew
Paperback (316 pages)

Three Years in Afghanistan: An American Family s Story of Faith, Endurance, and Love
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  • Three Years in Afghanistan An American Family s Story of Faith Endurance and Love
Product Description:
Afghanistan is a land of conflict and massive human needs, but it is much more than that. A place of veiled beauty, its people are resilient with deeply held traditions, generous hospitality, and a sense of leeriness toward the West. In the summer of 2004, humanitarian aid worker Matthew Collins, his wife Christine, and their one-year-old daughter Ellie moved to Afghanistan. This memoir describes their first three years trying to make a difference in this incredible country. From harrowing moments of danger, to light-hearted and heartbreaking cultural encounters, they learn to overcome the challenges of fear and culture shock through faith, endurance, and love.
Silk Road, The―Central Asia, Afghanistan and Iran: A Travel Companion
By Jonathan Tucker

I.B.Tauris
Paperback (240 pages)

Silk Road, The―Central Asia, Afghanistan and Iran: A Travel Companion
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Stretching from the ancient Chinese capital of Xian across the expanses of Central Asia to Rome, the Silk Road was, for 2,000 years, a vibrant network of arteries that carried the lifeblood of nations across the world. Along a multitude of routes everything was exchanged: exotic goods, art, knowledge, religion, philosophy, disease and war. From its earliest beginnings in the days of Alexander the Great and the Han Dynasty, the Silk Road expanded and evolved, reaching its peak under the Tang and Byzantine empires and gradually crumbling with the decline of the Mongol empire. In this beautifully illustrated book, which covers the Central Asian section of the Silk Road–from Lake Issy Kul through Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara, the Kyzyl Kum Desert, Khiva and Merv to Herat, Kabul and Iran–Tucker uses traveler’s anecdotes and a wealth of literary and historical sources to celebrate the cultural heritage of the countries that lie along the Silk Road and illuminate the lives of those who once traveled through the very heart of the world.
Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil
By Deborah Rodriguez

Random House Trade Paperbacks
Released: 2007-12-18
Paperback (320 pages)

Kabul Beauty School: An American Woman Goes Behind the Veil
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Product Description:
Soon after the fall of the Taliban, in 2001, Deborah Rodriguez went to Afghanistan as part of a group offering humanitarian aid to this war-torn nation. Surrounded by men and women whose skills–as doctors, nurses, and therapists–seemed eminently more practical than her own, Rodriguez, a hairdresser and mother of two from Michigan, despaired of being of any real use. Yet she soon found she had a gift for befriending Afghans, and once her profession became known she was eagerly sought out by Westerners desperate for a good haircut and by Afghan women, who have a long and proud tradition of running their own beauty salons. Thus an idea was born.

With the help of corporate and international sponsors, the Kabul Beauty School welcomed its first class in 2003. Well meaning but sometimes brazen, Rodriguez stumbled through language barriers, overstepped cultural customs, and constantly juggled the challenges of a postwar nation even as she learned how to empower her students to become their families’ breadwinners by learning the fundamentals of coloring techniques, haircutting, and makeup.

Yet within the small haven of the beauty school, the line between teacher and student quickly blurred as these vibrant women shared with Rodriguez their stories and their hearts: the newlywed who faked her virginity on her wedding night, the twelve-year-old bride sold into marriage to pay her family’s debts, the Taliban member’s wife who pursued her training despite her husband’s constant beatings. Through these and other stories, Rodriguez found the strength to leave her own unhealthy marriage and allow herself to love again, Afghan style.

With warmth and humor, Rodriguez details the lushness of a seemingly desolate region and reveals the magnificence behind the burqa. Kabul Beauty School is a remarkable tale of an extraordinary community of women who come together and learn the arts of perms, friendship, and freedom.


From the Hardcover edition.
Afghanistan
By Freytag-Berndt und Artaria

Freytag-Berndt und Artaria
Map (1 pages)

Afghanistan
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Explore Afghanistan with this Freytag&Berndt road map. The best way to plan your trip, prepare your itinerary, and to travel independently in this Asia country.

Inset map of Kabul ; place name index on the other side of the map. Touristic information: airports, castles, archaeological sites, oil fields, spas, Unesco World Heritage sites, border-crossing.

The legend is in English, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Spanish, Polish, Hungarian, Czech, and Slovak. All places are indicated in Roman script.
The Places In Between
By Rory Stewart

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

The Places In Between
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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.
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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  • ELAND
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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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