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Afghanistan is a mountainous land-locked country located in Central Asia. It has a history and culture that goes back over 5000 years. Throughout its long, splendid, and sometimes chaotic history, this area of the world has been known by various names. In ancient times, its inhabitants called the land Aryana. In the medieval era, it was called Khorasan, and in modern times, its people have decided to call it Afghanistan. The exact population of Afghanistan is unknown, however, it is estimated to be somewhere around 21-26 million.

Afghanistan is a heterogeneous nation, in which there are four major ethnic groups: Pashtoons, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks. Numerous other minor ethnic groups (Nuristanis, Baluchis, Turkmens, etc.) also call Afghanistan their home. While the majority of Afghans (99%) belong to the Islamic faith, there are also small pockets of Sikhs, Hindus and even some Jews. The official languages of the country is Pashto. The capital of Afghanistan used to be Kandahar. Although it was later changed to Kabul as a capital. This country was admired by many great figures, such as the great Central Asian conqueror, Zahirudeen Babur. Unfortunately, due to many years of war, this great city has been shattered and nearly destroyed.

Today, Afghanistan is on a road to recovery, however, after decades of war, the economy is still in ruins, and its environment is in a state of crises. The country is riddled with landmines left from the war, which are still injuring and killing people on a daily basis. Currently. Afghanistan is being run by a United States backed, transitional government headed by President Hamid Karzai. Presidential elections are expected were held on October 9, 2004. Hamid Karzai won this election by using the power of Americans.

It will has two Vice Presidents, and a National Assembly consisting of two Houses: the House of People (Wolesi Jirga), and the House of Elders (Meshrano Jirga). There will also be an independent Judiciary branch consisting of the Supreme Court (Stera Mahkama), High Courts and Appeal Courts. The President has appointed the members of the Supreme Court with the approval of the Wolesi Jirga.

Country name:
conventional long form: Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan
conventional short form: Afghanistan
Region: Southern Asia, north and west of Pakistan, east of Iran
Religions: Islam
Population: 28,717,213 (July 2003 est.)
Area Total: 647,500 km2 Area Land: 647,500 km2
Coast Line: 0 km (Landlocked)
Capital: Kabul
Ethnic groups: Pashtun 85%, 12% percent are Takik, Uzbek and Turkmen make up around 3% percent of the ethnic group.
Languages: Pashto is the major language; Dari, Balochi, Pashayi, Uzbek, Turkmen, Arabic and Tajiki are also used. There are approximately 45 living languages in total and a large degree of bilingualism
Geographic coordinates: 33 00 N, 65 00 E
Currency: 1 afghani (AF) = 100 puls (1 US Dollar = 43 afghani)
Independence: 19 August
Natural resources: natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones
Average Daily Temperature
Climate: arid to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers
January: -2.8?C / 27?F
July: 24.4?C / 76?F
Annual Rainfall: 330.2mm / 13'
total: 5,529 km
Pakistan: 2,430km
Tajikistan: 1,206km
Iran: 936km
Turkmenistan: 744km
Uzbekistan: 137km
China: 76km


Image: The Afghan Empire of 1767 

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