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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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 1:1,000,000 Travel Map (International Travel Maps)
By ITM Canada

ITMB Publishing Ltd
Map (2 pages)

Afghanistan 1:1,000,000 Travel Map (International Travel Maps)
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Double sided map, scale 1:1,000,000, with inset street maps of central Kabul and Kandahar. Includes a comprehensive place name index. It is a bit difficult to credit Afghanistan having touristic potential at the moment, but it is an extremely important country right now, and that justifies a very good map of the country. This is our third edition of this country and each one keeps getting better. We can t justify sending a researcher into a combat zone to gather data, but we are thankful to those aid workers and soldiers who have added to our information base and helped make this map more useful. In this edition, we are showing some new roads, reflecting the reality that the country is succeeding in improving its infrastructure in spite of a very tense political situation. We have also placed more focus on the borderlands with Pakistan as that country has been immersed in the Afghan conflict. This edition is dedicated to the Canadian forces, both military, police, and civilian, who are trying so hard to bring peace and stability to southern Afghanistan and who have suffered more than 100 casualties to date. This is not to minimize the enormous contributions being made by many tens of thousands of men and women of other nations, or their equally heavy losses, but as a Canadian, I feel closer to our own. The map also shows a good inset map of Kabul and a recent cover picture taken by one of our helpers.
Of Love & War
By Lynsey Addario

Penguin Press
Released: 2018-10-23
Hardcover (272 pages)

Of Love & War
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From the Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist and New York Times bestselling author, a stunning and personally curated selection of her work across the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa

Pulitzer Prize–winning photojournalist and MacArthur Fellow Lynsey Addario has spent the last two decades bearing witness to the world’s most urgent humanitarian and human rights crises. Traveling to the most dangerous and remote corners to document crucial moments such as Afghanistan under the Taliban immediately before and after the 9/11 attacks, Iraq following the US-led invasion and dismantlement of Saddam Hussein’s government, and western Sudan in the aftermath of the genocide in Darfur, she has captured through her photographs visual testimony not only of war and injustice but also of humanity, dignity, and resilience.
 
In this compelling collection of more than two hundred photographs, Addario’s commitment to exposing the devastating consequences of human conflict is on full display. Her subjects include the lives of female members of the military, as well as the trauma and abuse inflicted on women in male-dominated societies; American soldiers rescuing comrades in the Korengal Valley of Afghanistan, and Libyan opposition troops trading fire in Benghazi. Interspersed between her commanding and arresting images are personal journal entries and letters, as well as revelatory essays from esteemed writers such as Dexter Filkins, Suzy Hansen, and Lydia Polgreen. A powerful and singular work from one of the most brilliant and influential photojournalists working today, Of Love & War is a breathtaking record of our complex world in all its inescapable chaos, conflict, and beauty.
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
An Unexpected Light: Travels in Afghanistan
By Jason Elliot

Picador
Released: 2011-08-02
Paperback (512 pages)

An Unexpected Light: Travels in Afghanistan
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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.

Afghanistan - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
By Nazes Afroz

Kuperard
Released: 2013-12-03
Paperback (168 pages)

Afghanistan - Culture Smart!: The Essential Guide to Customs & Culture
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Afghanistan is situated at the crossroads of Asia, a strategically important location that connects the Middle East with Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent. Down the ages it has been subjected to continuous foreign invasion and intervention—from Alexander the Great to Genghis Khan, and as a pawn in the struggle between the British and Russian Empires—making its people wary of outsiders. That history is being repeated in the twenty-first century.   Afghanistan has always been seen from the outside as a realm of much intrigue and many myths. The Afghans tried to keep their distance from the outside world—especially from the Europeans who, whether in pursuit of imperial goals or simply as explorer–travelers, attempted to enter and traverse the land. Their very elusiveness attracted Westerners to this landlocked country of high mountains and breathtaking beauty, where age-old customs and traditions were zealously guarded, sometimes at the cost of many lives.   The Afghan people are a tapestry of ethnicities woven over time—Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks, and many smaller ones. Society is organized mainly along ethnic and tribal lines, but ethnic identity becomes irrelevant when a common enemy threatens to take control of the country. There are also many shared values and unwritten codes of conduct that govern interpersonal relations, which are not taken lightly. Visitors are struck by the simplicity, hospitability, dignity, and generosity of the Afghan people, and often confounded by customs that they find hard to understand.   Culture Smart! Afghanistan is a unique introduction to the background, habits, traditions, idiosyncrasies, suspicions about foreigners, and patterns of behavior of the Afghan people. It offers visitors invaluable information and insights that will help them to interact with Afghans, to interpret their behavior, and to behave appropriately in their company, whether in personal or business exchanges. Once the ice is broken, the rewards will be great.
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.
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

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