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___ Afghanistan

Afghanistan is a mountainous landlocked republic in central Asia.
This page aims to give you a broad overview of Afghanistan's art, culture, people, environment, geography, history, economy and government.

Our Afghanistan page offers links and information about this country, e.g.: official web sites of Afghanistan, addresses of Afghan embassies, World heritage sites, domestic airlines, country guides, maps, and local news from Afghanistan and much more.

Herat Citadel of Alexander the Great
Citadel in Herat, an ancient site from the time of Alexander the Great.
 
 

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan | Afghanestan

Country Profile


Afghanistan Flag
New Flag of Afghanistan

Afghanistan's recent history is characterized by war and civil unrest. The Soviet Union invaded in 1979, but was forced to withdraw 10 years later by anti-Communist mujahidin forces supplied and trained by the US, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and others.
Fighting subsequently continued among the various mujahidin factions, giving rise to a state of warlordism that eventually spawned the Taliban.
Backed by foreign sponsors, the Taliban developed as a political force and eventually seized power. The Taliban were able to capture most of the country, aside from Northern Alliance strongholds primarily in the northeast, until US and allied military action in support of the opposition following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks forced the group's downfall. In late 2001, major leaders from the Afghan opposition groups and diaspora met in Bonn, Germany, and agreed on a plan for the formulation of a new government structure that resulted in the inauguration of Hamid KARZAI as Chairman of the Afghan Interim Authority (AIA) on 22 December 2001.
The AIA held a nationwide Loya Jirga (Grand Assembly) in June 2002, and KARZAI was elected President by secret ballot of the Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan (TISA). The Transitional Authority has an 18-month mandate to hold a nationwide Loya Jirga to adopt a constitution and a 24-month mandate to hold nationwide elections. In December 2002, the TISA marked the one-year anniversary of the fall of the Taliban.
In addition to occasionally violent political jockeying and ongoing military action to root out remaining terrorists and Taliban elements, the country suffers from enormous poverty, a crumbling infrastructure, and widespread land mines.
(Source: CIA - The World Factbook)

See also: History of Afghanistan

border countries: China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
 
where in Asia is Afghanistan?

Official Name:
Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Afghanestan
short form: Afghanestan
int'l long form: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
int'l short form: Afghanistan

ISO Country Code: af

Time:
Local Time = UTC +4:30h
Actual Time: Thu-Aug-21  06:52

Country Calling Code: +93

Capital City: Kabul (pop. 3 million)

Other Cities: Kandahar (226 000); Herat (177 000); Mazar-e-Sharif (131 000); Jalalabad (58 000); Konduz (57 000).

Government:
Type: Islamic Republic.
Independence: 19 August 1919.
Constitution: 4 January 2004.

Geography:
Location:
Area: 652,000 km² (249,935 sq. mi.)
Terrain: Landlocked; mostly mountains and desert.

Climate: Dry, with cold winters and hot summers.

People:
Nationality: Afghan(s).
Population: 28,513,677 (July 2004 est.). More than 3.5 million Afghans live outside the country, mainly in Pakistan and Iran, although over two and a half million have returned since the removal of the Taliban.
Annual population growth rate (2004 est.): 4.92%. This rate does not take into consideration the recent war and its continuing impact.
Main ethnic groups: Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Turkmen, Aimaq, Baluch, Nuristani, Kizilbash.
Religions: Sunni Muslim 80%, Shi'a Muslim 19%, other 1%.
Languages: Dari (Afghan Persian), Pashto.
Literacy: 30-35%; (male 51%, female 21%)

Natural resources: Natural gas, oil, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron, salt, precious and semiprecious stones.

Agriculture products: Opium, wheat, corn, barley, rice, cotton, fruit, nuts, karakul pelts, wool, and mutton.

Industries: Small-scale production of textiles, soap, furniture, shoes, fertilizer, cement; handwoven carpets; natural gas, coal, copper.

Currency: Afghani (AFN)

Afghanistan in Figures
Afghanistan key statistical data.

 

Note: External links will open in a new browser window.

Official Sites of Afghanistan

Office of the President
The Official Website of President Hamid Karzai.

Afghan National Assembly
Official website of the Parliament, the highest legislative organ of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan
Official website of the Ministry.

Diplomatic Missions
The Embassy of Afghanistan, Washington, DC
Offers news and up to date country information.
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Oslo
The Embassy is accredited to Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland.
Afghanistan embassies worldwide
List of Afghanistan embassies in foreign countries.
Foreign Missions in Afghanistan
Address list of Foreign Missions accredited in Afghanistan.

Statistics
Central Statistics Organization, Afghanistan (CSO)
Official website of the Central Statistics Organization.
Afghanistan in Figures
Afghanistan key statistical data.


More Official Websites:
 Ministries of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
List of Afghanistan's National Government Agencies and Ministries.

Maps
profile Map of Afghanistan
Detailed Map of Afghanistan.
Google Earth Google Earth Afghanistan
Searchable map/satellite view of Afghanistan.
Google Earth Google Earth Kabul
Searchable map/satellite view of Afghanistan's capital city.

Map of Central Asia and Caucasus
profile Map of Asia
Reference Map of Asia.
 

News

Bakhtar News Agency
Afghan News Agency
Benawa
News in Pashto.
Sabawoon Online
With Afghanistan news.
Afghanistan Online Press
Todays News of Afghanistan.
Afghanistan Today
Afghanistan news (in Persian).
Ariana Afghan Media
Online news.

International News Sources

Afgha.com
Up-to-date Afghanistan news.
Al Jazeera
Arab News Network based in Qatar.

Guardian Unlimited
Afghanistan news by the UK based Guardian.
Eurasianet: Afghanistan
News and Special Report by Eurasianet.org.
Reuters AlertNet - Afghan turmoil
Reuters news.
Yahoo! News Search-Afghanistan
Press agencies news on Afghanistan .
 

 

Arts & Culture

Afghanistan Digital Library
The ADL will retrieve and restore works published in Afghanistan between 1870 and 1930, and will make them available via the Internet.

Lemar Aftaab
Online magazine with Afghanistan fiction, poetry and visual arts.

Mediothek Afghanistan
Mediothek Afghanistan promotes peace building in five provinces of Afghanistan and is dedicated to rebuilding the fabric of Afghan society.

The Survival Guide to Kabul
The online version of the first guide to the city in almost 30 years.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Afghanistan:
The Cultural Landscape and Archaeological Remains of the Bamiyan Valley 
represent the artistic and religious developments which from the 1st to the 13th centuries characterized ancient Bakhtria, integrating various cultural influences into the Gandhara school of Buddhist art.
The area contains numerous Buddhist monastic ensembles and sanctuaries, as well as fortified edifices from the Islamic period. The site is also testimony to the tragic destruction by the Taliban of the two standing Buddha statues, which shook the world in March 2001.


Minaret and Archaeological Remains of Jam
The 65m-tall Minaret of Jam is a graceful, soaring structure, dating back to the 12th century. The innovative architecture and decoration of the Minaret of Jam played a significant role in the development of the arts and architecture of the Indian sub-continent and beyond.

On UNESCO's tentative list:
The city of Herat
The city of Herat, which is currently the regional capital of western Afghanistan, has long been of strategic, commercial and cultural significance to the wider region. Although the city has developed extensively in modern times, and has suffered the ravages of conflict, the site is unique in that it has largely retained its historical footprint, and many significant Islamic monuments have survived.
 

Afghan Woman
Modern Afghan Woman
Image: EurasiaNet.org

MoJ
Minaret of Jam Image © UNESCO/ Mario Santana Quintero
 

Business & Economy

Da Afghanistan Bank
Central Bank of Afghanistan.

Afghanistan Investment Support Agency
Afghanistan's investment promotion and support agency.

Afghan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (ACCI)
Official website of the chambers.

Afghanistan Investment and Reconstruction Task Force
The AIRTF provides information and counseling to companies pursuing business opportunities in Afghanistan (by U.S. Department of Commerce).

Transportation
Ariana Afghan Airlines
Afghanistan's national carrier.
 
 

Destination Afghanistan

Afghanistan related Sites
Afghanan
Afghan Portal - Cultural and Community Portal for Afghans.
Afghan Network iNteractive
Another Afghan community site.
Afghanistan Online
Comprehensive information on the Land of the Afghans.
Afghanonline
Website of Afghans around the world.
 
 

Education

The American University of Afghanistan
The private university is planning four-year liberal-arts degrees in Business Administration and Information Communication Technology with all classes to be taught in English.

Kabul University
Kabul University is the oldest and largest institution of tertiary education in Afghanistan.
 

 

Environment

Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development
Official website of the Ministry.


Afghanaid
Afghanaid is focusing on long term sustainable development in rural areas.

Afghanistan's Natural Heritage Problems and Perspectives
At the time that environmental concern and sustainable development is the agenda of international community, our war-ravaged land is facing a devastating social as well as environmental crisis in her history. A report by Daud Saba.

 
 

Search

Afghana
Afghanistan Search Engine and web directory.
Afghanistan Online
Afghanistan portal and Afghanistan related directory.

Additional Information on Afghanistan

Human Rights
Amnesty International: Afghanistan
Amnesty International Reports.
Human Rights Watch on Afghanistan
Background Briefings.
IRINnews Afghanistan
UN humanitarian news and analysis.

Press freedom
Reporters sans frontières - Afghanistan
Annual report about Press freedom in the country.

Afghanistan: The war logs
Secret military files have been opened up by Wikileaks in a joint venture with the Guardian, the New York Times and Der Spiegel.

BBC News - Country profile: Afghanistan
With links to Afghanistan related news and background information.

Open Directory: Afghanistan

Wikipedia: Afghanistan

The World Factbook -- Afghanistan


 




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Baron de Coubertin would have loved to use them all.

Why is it, that Gay and Lesbian people still are victims of persecution, harassment, and assaults occasioning actual bodily harm or worse?
Our world would be much poorer and colder without the creativity and ingenuity of the colorful LGBT* culture.
So, get up, stand up, and don't let it happen again and again and again.

Nature made sure, that all men are able to love each other without distinction of gender. This ability empowers humans to care for and to help each other. Natures gift simply secures the survival of the species.
But in some societies this natural law has been neglected by religions, governments and other interest groups in favour for better controllable straight-laced communities.

But if you know what life is worth, You will look for yours on earth
(lyrics from the song Get Up, Stand Up)
Bob Marley



* LGBT - acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender

Declaration of Human Rights

Article I
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Article 2
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms set forth in this Declaration, without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.