A Soviet-organized regime, led by Parcham's Babrak Karmal but inclusive of both factions (Parcham and Khalq), filled the vacuum. A 2010 earthquake left 11 Afghans dead, over 70 injured, and more than 2,000 houses destroyed. Kabul is the capital and largest city.  In 2012, Afghanistan recorded 240 cases of honor killing, but the total number is believed to be much higher. An inscription on the tombstone of Darius I of Persia mentions the Kabul Valley in a list of the 29 countries that he had conquered. Afghan classical music has close historical links with Indian classical music and use the same Hindustani terminology and theories like raga. The country’s forbidding landscape of deserts and mountains has laid many imperial ambitions to rest, as has the tireless resistance of its fiercely independent peoples—so independent that the country has failed to coalesce into a nation but has instead long endured as a patchwork of contending ethnic factions and ever-shifting alliances. , According to Transparency International, Afghanistan remains in the top most corrupt countries list. Afghanistan is bordered by Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan to the north, Iran to the west, and Pakistan to the south and east. Afghanistan is located in Asia, in GMT+4:30 time zone (with current time of 04:14 AM, Monday). Its capital and largest city is Kabul. Graduate sues over 'four-year degree that is worthless' New report reveals 'Glee' star's medical history.  The majority of Afghans supported the American invasion of their country. Afghan presidents may serve a maximum of two 5-year terms. Soon after, the Persian and Afghan forces invaded India.  The dance is considered part of Afghan identity. , Dari and Pashto are the official languages of Afghanistan; bilingualism is very common. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership. Afghanistan, landlocked multiethnic country located in the heart of south-central Asia. The first Afghan newspaper was published in 1873, and there are hundreds of print outlets today. Definition: This entry identifies the country's regional location, neighboring countries, and adjacent bodies of water. Articles from Britannica Encyclopedias for elementary and high school students.  Nearly a hundred new parties were registered after the law came into effect, and party activity increased in the 2014 elections, but party influence remained limited.. There are over 100 hospitals in Afghanistan, with the most advanced treatments being available in Kabul.  Between the 16th and 18th century, the Uzbek Khanate of Bukhara, Iranian Safavids, and Indian Mughals ruled parts of the territory. The mountainous region of Ḥazārajāt occupies the central part of the country and is inhabited principally by the Ḥazāra. , Excavations of prehistoric sites suggest that humans were living in what is now Afghanistan at least 50,000 years ago, and that farming communities in the area were among the earliest in the world. Freedom of expression and the press is permitted and promoted in the current 2004 constitution, so long as it does not threaten national or religious integrity or does not defame individuals. It is bounded to the east and south by Pakistan (including those areas of Kashmir administered by Pakistan but claimed by India), to the west by Iran, and to the north by the Central Asian states of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. Under the rule of Shah Rukh the city served as the focal point of the Timurid Renaissance, whose glory matched Florence of the Italian Renaissance as the center of a cultural rebirth.  Government officials estimate that 30% of the country's untapped mineral deposits are worth at least $1 trillion. Nevertheless, some 20,000 foreign tourists visit the country annually as of 2016. pp.96, Periods of World History: A Latin American Perspective – Page 129, The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia – Page 465, The Oxford Dictionary of Islam by John L. Esposito, p.71. , Taliban forces meanwhile began regrouping inside Pakistan, while more coalition troops entered Afghanistan to help the rebuilding process. Between 2012 and 2019, the saffron cultivated and produced in Afghanistan was consecutively ranked the world's best by the International Taste and Quality Institute. The mountainous region of Ḥazārajāt occupies the central part of the country and is inhabited principally by the Ḥazāra. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan to the east and south; Iran to the west; Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan to the north; and China to the northeast. Later, the Samanids extended their Islamic influence south of the Hindu Kush.  A report titled Body Count concluded that 106,000–170,000 civilians have been killed as a result of the fighting in Afghanistan at the hands of all parties to the conflict.  Historically, the ethnonym Afghān was used to refer to ethnic Pashtuns. Although Ḥazārajāt is located in the heart of the country, its high mountains and… Read More By the early 21st century an entire generation of Afghans had come to adulthood knowing nothing but war. Along the Amu Darya in the north and the delta of the Helmand River in the southwest, the elevation is about 2,000 feet (600 metres). There are several other stadiums throughout the country, including the Ghazi Amanullah Khan International Cricket Stadium near Jalalabad. The sector employs at least 120,000 people nationwide. Dwyer Airport is a military airport under the control of Marine Expeditionary Brigade, located south west of Lashkargah in southern Afghanistan.  The national team plays its home games at the Ghazi Stadium in Kabul, while football in Afghanistan is governed by the Afghanistan Football Federation. He was known as the Iron Amir for his features and his ruthless methods against tribes.  Settled life emerged in the region 9,000 years ago, evolving gradually into the Indus civilization (Shortugai site), the Oxus civilization (Dashlyji site), and the Helmand civilization (Mundigak site) of the 3rd millennium BCE. Some of the famous artists of classical music include Ustad Sarahang and Sarban. , Afghanistan's official New Year starts with Nowruz, an ancient tradition that started as a Zoroastrian celebration in present-day Iran, and with which it shares the annual celebration along with several other countries. Afghanistan is a landlocked country located in Central Asia.  Non-governmental charities such as Save the Children and Mahboba's Promise assist orphans in association with governmental structures.  However, many of its historic monuments have been damaged in modern times due to the civil wars. , In September 2014 Ashraf Ghani became president after the 2014 presidential election where for the first time in Afghanistan's history power was democratically transferred. , Tourism is a small industry in Afghanistan due to security issues. The Afghan Ministry of Foreign Affairs continues to develop diplomatic relations with other countries around the world.  Some of the major national construction projects include the $35 billion New Kabul City next to the capital, the Aino Mena project in Kandahar, and the Ghazi Amanullah Khan Town near Jalalabad. Afghanistan is located in southern Asia.  An additional 3 million or so Afghans are temporarily housed in neighboring Pakistan and Iran, most of whom were born and raised in those two countries. The National Military Academy of Afghanistan, modeled after the United States Military Academy at West Point, is a four-year military development institution dedicated to graduating officers for the Afghan Armed Forces. Find out where is Afghanistan located. , Mohammed Zahir Shah, Nadir Shah's 19-year-old son, succeeded to the throne and reigned from 1933 to 1973. He moved to end his country's traditional isolation by establishing diplomatic relations with the international community, particularly with the Soviet Union and the Weimar Republic of Germany. The lands of Afghanistan have a long history of art, with the world's earliest known usage of oil painting found in cave murals in the country. Neighbouring countries are: China, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan & Uzbekistan. , Another civil war broke out after the creation of a dysfunctional coalition government between leaders of various mujahideen factions. In 2013, Afghanistan's football team followed as it won the SAFF Championship.. In 1978, after a second coup, Afghanistan first became a socialist state, evoking the Soviet–Afghan War in the 1980s against mujahideen rebels. The ANP consists of two primary branches, the Afghan Uniformed Police and the Afghan Border Police.  The country is generally arid in the summers, with most rainfall falling between December and April. Endemic flora include Iris afghanica.  English is also understood by some of the population, and has been gaining popularity as of the 2000s.  Presidential elections use the two-round system; if no candidate receives a majority of the vote in the first round, a second round will be held featuring the top two candidates. High mountain passes, generally situated between 12,000 and 15,000 feet (3,600 to 4,600 metres) above sea level, are of great strategic importance and include the Shebar Pass, located northwest of Kabul where the Bābā Mountains branch out from the Hindu Kush, and the storied Khyber Pass, which leads to the Indian subcontinent, on the Pakistan border southeast of Kabul. Does Yemen take its name from the Arabic word meaning "northerly?" The country uses its own space satellite called Afghansat 1, which provides services to millions of phone, internet, and television subscribers. The following is a list of all the 34 provinces in alphabetical order: Afghanistan became a member of the United Nations in 1946.  The country's maternal mortality rate is 396 deaths/100,000 live births and its infant mortality rate is 66 to 112.8 deaths in every 1,000 live births.  The Afghan Sports Federation promotes cricket, association football, basketball, volleyball, golf, handball, boxing, taekwondo, weightlifting, bodybuilding, track and field, skating, bowling, snooker, chess, and other sports. , Attan is the national dance of Afghanistan, a group dance popularly performed by Afghans of all backgrounds.  Afghan Christians, who number 500–8,000, practice their faith secretly due to intense societal opposition, and there are no public churches.  Press restrictions have been gradually relaxed and private media diversified since 2002, after more than two decades of tight controls.  In 2007, a 30-year lease was granted for the Aynak copper mine to the China Metallurgical Group for $3 billion, making it the biggest foreign investment and private business venture in Afghanistan's history. This area is a part of the much larger Central Asian Steppe, from which it is separated by the Amu Darya. Afghanistan is a country located in the South Central Asia.  The majority of electricity production is via hydropower, helped by the amount of rivers and streams that flow from the mountains. Afghanistan is a unitary presidential Islamic republic. The remaining Afghans are culturally Persian and Turkic. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login).  Bagram Air Base is a major military airfield. Snow leopards, Siberian tigers and brown bears live in the high elevation alpine tundra regions. , According to the Human Development Index, Afghanistan is the 15th least developed country in the world. It was reported in 2006 that nearly 60% of the Afghan population lives within a two-hour walk of the nearest health facility. Some of the reforms that were put in place, such as the abolition of the traditional burqa for women and the opening of several co-educational schools, quickly alienated many tribal and religious leaders, and this led to the Afghan Civil War (1928–1929). Humans lived in what is now Afghanistan at least 50,000 years ago. Parliamentary elections have only one round and are based on the single non-transferable vote system, which allows some candidates to be elected with as little as one percent of the vote.  The country also has a national team in the sport of futsal, a 5-a-side variation of football.  The National Museum of Afghanistan is located in Kabul and hosts a large number of Buddhist, Bactrian Greek and early Islamic antiquities; the museum suffered greatly by civil war but has been slowly restoring since the early 2000s. The Zunbils and Kabul Shahi were first conquered in 870 CE by the Saffarid Muslims of Zaranj. Ancient Eastern Iranian languages may have been spoken in the region around the time of the rise of Zoroastrianism. More than 50% of the total land area lies above 6,500 ft. (2,000 m). The northern plains region is intensively cultivated and densely populated. , On August 14, 2020, UN Human Rights Council experts issued a joint statement urging Afghanistan officials to prevent the killings of human rights defenders as there have been nine deaths of human rights defenders since January 2020. Over the next decade, ISAF and Afghan troops led many offensives against the Taliban, but failed to fully defeat them. Kabul; Kandahar; Herat; Mazar-i-Sharif Faced with the overwhelming armed opposition, Amanullah Khan abdicated in January 1929, and soon after Kabul fell to Saqqawist forces led by Habibullah Kalakani.  Taking control of Kandahar city that year, they conquered more territories until finally driving out the government of Rabbani from Kabul in 1996, where they established an emirate that gained international recognition from only three countries. The country has numerou… Following Alexander's brief occupation, the successor state of the Seleucid Empire controlled the region until 305 BCE when they gave much of it to the Maurya Empire as part of an alliance treaty. In 2016, Afghanistan had 0.43 global hectares of biocapacity per person within its territory, much less than the world average of 1.6 global hectares per person. Afghanistan is located in Central Asia. Trees are rare, and only in the rainy season of early spring is the soil covered with flowering grasses and herbs. 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