Here are the top 28 fun and interesting facts about Afghanistan:
#1 It is a landlocked country whose borders are touched by Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, China, Uzbekistan, Iran, and Pakistan. It is one of the oldest archaeological and historical sites on Earth since humans have been living in these lands for more than 50,000 years. In 1747, Ahmad Shah Durrani unified the Pashtun tribes and founded this country.
#2 Despite its fiercely independent inhabitants and mountainous terrain, it has been invaded numerous times throughout its history.
#3 For instance, in 300 BCE, Alexander the Great and his army from Macedonia occupied this country. Genghis Khan’s Mongols invaded this country in the 13th century. The Soviet Union arrived in 1979 and left in 1996.
#4 In 1996, Pakistan, The United States, Iran, China, and Saudi Arabia provided funding and arms to the Soviet opposition. In 1996, after Soviet troops left, Taliban took control of the capital. On August 19, 1919, this country became independent.
#5 The country is divided into 34 administrative provinces, each of them having a capital city of its own. Under the new constitution, the president and the 2 vice presidents are elected every 5 years.
#6 Kabul is the capital city of this country and is situated on a barren plateau (approximately 5,800 feet above sea level). Since the removal of the Taliban in late 2001, Kabul slowly began rebuilding itself with help from the international community.
#7 For example, in the present day, the capital has a golf club, numerous museums, a zoo which once housed the famous lion Marjan as well as shopping centers, like – the Park Mall, Roshan Shopping Center, and Majeed Mall.
#8 Almost 99 percent of the locals are Muslims. The rest 1 percent of the population are Sikhs, Hindus, and Jews.
#9 Buzkashi, the national game, is considered the world’s wildest game. Buzkashi involves riders on horseback fighting to grab a goat carcass and gallop to drop it in a chalked circle. In the past, this fast and furious game could go on for a few days, however, now match times have been placed.
#10 Opium cultivation in this land increased by 300 percent in 2013 when compared to the 7 years period before the United States invasion. The amount of opium Afghans produce in a year far exceeds world demand for illicit opiates. Interestingly, about 85% of the heroin sold in the European Union comes from opium grown in these lands.
#11 Around 650 BC, the world’s 1st oil paintings were drawn in the caves of Bamiyan. Initially used for retreat and deep meditation, in the present days some of these caves are the home of many Afghan families who can’t afford conventional housing.
#12 On October 7, 2001, the United States launched Operation Enduring Freedom to battle terrorist groups in this country and throughout the world. The U.S. has authorized about $557 billion to fund this war.
#13 Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Osmani, a senior Taliban leader, is killed in an airstrike by the US, in December 2006.
#14 Since the beginning of this war, over 40 countries have contributed with troops to the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.
#15 Barack Obama visited this country for the first time in March 2010. He told President Karzai to clean up government corruption.
#16 The International Council on Security and Development conducted a survey in 2010, which concluded that approximately 92 percent of Afghan men have never heard of the attacks on 9/11.
#17 Obama announced that 10,000 troops would leave this country by the end of the year 2010. The United States withdrew the last of the remaining combat troops who were deployed in this country in September 2012.
#18 This nation has only two railway links (85 km long) and no passenger trains.
#19 Afghan women have the right to vote since 1920’s.
#20 On March 21, Afghans celebrate their new year – Nawroz. This day also marks the beginning of spring when the sun is observed to be directly over the equator of the Earth. During the Taliban rule, it was considered an “ancient pagan holiday centered on fire worship” and was banned.
#21 The official languages of this country include – Dari, Pashtu, Turkmen, and Uzbek. They speak other languages as well, like – Persian, in total about 30 different minor languages.
#22 It has 14 ethnicities which include – Turkmen, Pashai, Hazara, Balock, Arab, Tajik, Brahui, Pushtan, Uzbek, Pamiri, Aimaq, Nuristani, and Gujjar.
#23 The official currency is Afghani. It is subdivided into 100 pul.
#24 For over 2,000 years, this country was a busy section of the Silk Road, a network of trade routes created during the Han Dynasty. On this route, merchants have traveled overland between India, China, and Europe.
#25 Natural resources found in these lands include – copper, coal, lithium, iron ore, chromite, uranium, zinc, gold, barites, talc, lead, sulfur, marble, and precious stones.
#26 It is one of the leading producers worldwide of melons, pomegranates, grapes, and apricots.
#27 Jalaluddin Rumi is a 13th-century Persian poet who has been acknowledged the greatest mystical poet of all time. Rumi was born in Balkh, present-day Afghanistan.
#28 Azita Ghanizada, an American actress, was also born in this country, but she was raised in northern Virginia. Azita has appeared in numerous television series.