In the Life

Afghanistan

Afghanistan is a country little known by people in the outside world. Whenever the name Afghanistan is spoken, only the worst and most unfavorable images come into everyone’s mind. In reality, Afghanistan is an ancient country in Asia that houses a multitude of social and cultural forces. Many kinds of people with their own types of natural beauty live here. So here I am going to give some knowledge that I personally obtained from careful examination about my lovable country to those Afghans and to anybody who is interested to know about Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is a country located in the center of Asia and is mostly known as the “crossroads of Asia.” The area is completely covered with high mountains, and is located between many different Islamic countries such as Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan, and Uzbakistan. The total area of Afghanistan is approximately 720.000 sq km, which is composed of 34 provinces. Its population is 20.4 million, and includes the ethnic groups of the Tajiks, Pushtuns, Turkmans, Blucjis, Uzbeks, Hazara, Nuristanies, and others. The two main languages are Pushtu and Dari. Its religion is Islam. Afghanistan’s climate is dry and hot in the summer and cold in the winter, with snow. Kabul is the capital. Other big cities include Herat, Kandahar, Balkh, Jalalabad, Badakhshan, Kunduz.

The natural beauty of Afghanistan is in the long rivers, the blue lakes, the multi-colored mountains, and much more. The major rivers of Afghanistan are: the Amu Darya, the Helmand, Hari Rod, and the Kabul River.

Kabul
Kabul is a fast growing city where tall modern buildings nuzzle against bustling bazaars. A place where avenues are filled with many different styles of clothes and with beautiful and handsome faces. The city is ringed with mountains gleaming emerald green in spring and white in winter.

The major places in Kabul are:

  1. Balahisar, one of the most historic places until 1880 when it was destroyed during the 2nd Anglo-Afghan war.
  2. Arg: Amis Bdur Rahman (1880-1901) built this place, which includes Salam Khana (hall of salutation) and Dilkosha Palace (Heart’s Delight Palace). Presently it houses the presidential offices.
  3. Bagh Bala is a graceful, many-domed palace that glimmers on a hill to the north of Kabul. It was built as a summer residence.
  4. The national museum is located at Darulaman Palace of Kabul. The museum’s collection hosts artifacts illustrating Afghanistan’s past from prehistory to modern times.
  5. Mosques: Kabul has many big mosques, including Masjid Pule Khest, Masjid Shah-du-Shamshira, Masjid Sherpor, and Masjid Syed Majnon Shah.

In Afghan folklore it is said that “eventually everything comes to Kabul!” Nothing could be more true of Afghanistan’s bustling capital city. It is a major trading city between east and west. Even today, it is still the central market place for all Afghanistan, though it has changed due to tall modern buildings and busy traffic.

Economy
The Afghanistan economy is based on agriculture and small-scale industry. Our products are fresh and dry fruit, karakul, hand woven carpets and rugs, cotton furs, and a large variety of handicrafts. Valuable goods are imported from other countries while karakul, precious stones, carpets, and dry and fresh fruit are exported.

Government
Since 1964, Afghanistan has been a constitutional monarchy with an elected parliament and a senate.

Banks
Exchange and other financial facilities are provided by banks. Da Afghanistan Bank, Bank Mili, Pashtany Bank, Kabul Bank, and, recently, Mywand Bank that all are located in Kabul and in other cities. There is also the world’s oldest money market in Kabul which is called Serai Shazada.

Country Life
Since Afghanistan’s economy is primarily agricultural, rural life is still the center of the country’s socio-economic activities. So urban life is much less than rural life.

Entertainment
Afghanistan offers a variety of folkloric events including traditional afghan music and dances called (Attan), animal fights, and tent pegging. The most conspicuous event is Bazkashi (a horse game which is not in any other country of the world).

Public Holidays
Afghanistan’s holidays are the 21 March (Nowroz or New Year), 27 May (Independence Day), 9 September (National Assembly Day), 3 March (the Prophet p.b.u.h birthday), the 3 days for Eid-ul-Feter, and the 3 days for Eid–ul-Adha.

Transportation
Afghanistan’s international airlines include Ariana Afghan, Kam Air, Pamir Airways, and Bukkhtar.

Education
Afghanistan’s first school that also changed to high school was Habibia school, which was made in 1903 by Sardar Habibullah khan in Kabul. There also are many more schools and universities, but the major university is Kabul University. Kabul University accepts both male and female students, and the degree is accepted all over the world.

Sports
Afghanistan also has team sports such as football, cricket, and volleyball. In each of these sports, teams have selected to contribute in international competitions and have received different medals.

Foods
Afghanistan’s local foods are very popular among Afghan people as well as those of neighboring countries. The most delicious foods are quabili pilau, bolani, manto, ashak, and kabab. The most famous places in all over the country are chai khanas (tea houses) that serves traditional Afghan foods and tea at a very reasonable price.

Media
The media of Afghanistan is rapidly developing. In the last six years (since 2002-2003) both print media such as newspapers and magazines, along with various TV channels and radio stations have been established that mostly cover 80% of Afghanistan. The most popular channels that are working inside country and are also available internationally are Tolo TV, Aryana TV, and ATV.

by Ellaha