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.
William Simpson’s Afghanistan: Travels of a Special Artist and Antiquarian during the Second Afghan War, 1878-1879
Helion and Company
Released: 2016-06-07
Hardcover (312 pages)

William Simpson’s Afghanistan: Travels of a Special Artist and Antiquarian during the Second Afghan War, 1878-1879
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‘Left London, on a journey with Kabool as my objective via Brindisi and Bombay’. With these words written on Tuesday October 15, 1878, the Scottish artist William Simpson (1823-1899), commenced a daily journal which he later entitled Diary of a Journey to Afghanistan during the Campaign of 1878-79. Simpson was no stranger to the life of a ‘special’ having previously covered military campaigns in Abyssinia, France, and California on behalf of his employer, the Illustrated London News. Earlier, his efforts in the Crimean War had already established his reputation for accuracy and an eye for detail. As an ‘embedded’ artist with the Peshawar Valley Field Force, Simpson recorded the events leading up to the signing of the Treaty of Gandamak in May 1879 which brought the first phase of the Second Afghan War to a close. During his six months in Afghanistan, he sent back numerous sketches, drawings and watercolors accompanied by detailed captions to his newspaper in London. This period could be described as a ‘phony war’ as the British waited for the various tribal leaders to come into camp in Jalalabad and swear their allegiance to the British Government. The inactivity of the army with only the occasional punitive expedition to alleviate the boredom allowed Simpson to pursue his antiquarian interests by exploring caves and excavating several ancient Buddhist burial monuments known as stupas. In addition to the finely detailed and exquisite pictures, Simpson’s diary contains accounts of his studies of these ancient sites as well as commentaries on the people and places he observed. Upon his return to England, he collected all his original sketches, drawings and watercolors sent to ‘News and mounted them in two large albums, one dealing with the war, the people and the country, the other containing all his archaeological pictures. The diary paints a rare picture of the life of a 19th century ‘special’ artist in a war zone and the mechanics and editorial decisions that went into the pictorial coverage of a colonial war. It also offers a unique insight into early colonial archaeology undertaken by Simpson and a number of British officers while on campaign continuing the tradition of oriental scholarship among army officials. While much of this revolved around ‘treasure hunting’ Simpson went beyond this to understand the Buddhist culture that created the many monuments surrounding the Jalalabad Valley. This edition of the diary benefits from an extensive introduction and appendices.
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.
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.

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

CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Paperback (316 pages)

Three Years in Afghanistan: An American Family s Story of Faith, Endurance, and Love
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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.
Afghanistan
By Reise Know-How Verlag

Reise Know-How Verlag
Map (1 pages)

Afghanistan
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Afghanistan, Pakistan [Tubed] (National Geographic Reference Map)
By National Geographic Maps - Reference

National Geographic Maps
Map (1 pages)

Afghanistan, Pakistan [Tubed] (National Geographic Reference Map)
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National Geographic's map of Afghanistan and Pakistan is the most accurate and detailed reference map available for the region, covering these two countries as well as Tajikistan and parts of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, China, India and Iran. This Classic style wall map uses a bright and vibrant color palette and precise shaded relief, making it as attractive as it is educational. Accurate political boundaries are displayed on the map, including in the disputed area of Kashmir. Pinpointed are thousands of cities and towns, mountain ranges, national parks, glaciers, swamps, areas of sand, oil fields, highways and other roads, international and domestic airports, canals, railroads and waterways, including intermittent and dry salt lakes.

The map is packaged in a two inch diamater clear plastic tube. The tube has a decorative label showing a thumbnail of the map with dimensions and other pertinent information.

  • Map Scale = 1:3,363,000
  • Sheet Size = 21.5" x 32.5"
Travels into Bokhara: The Narrative of a Voyage on the Indus
By Alexander Burnes

Brand: Eland Books
Paperback (244 pages)

Travels into Bokhara: The Narrative of a Voyage on the Indus
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Product Description:
Sent to India aged just sixteen to make his fortune, Alexander Burnes soon revealed an extraordinary talent for languages, combined with a boyish charm, insatiable curiosity, and irrepressible enthusiasm. By the age of 26 he had so impressed his superiors that he was entrusted with the task of delivering a gift of horses from King William IV to the Maharajah of Lahore. In reality he was acting as a diplomat and spy. Having succeeded, he was then dispatched on a much more dangerous mission, to explore the political and ethnic realities amongst the Khanates of Afghanistan and Central Asia. This travelogue brings the heady sense of excitement, risk, and zeal of Alexander Burnes' missions.

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