The one minute summary on Afghanistan
This is it: one minute to the best info on Afghanistan. This info alone will put you ahead of 99% of foreigners visiting Afghanistan, garner the admiration of the locals who will instantly want to be your friends, and the envy of your fellow travelers. Read on. You’ll make friends faster that way, become a traveler instead of simply being a tourist, and also enjoy your travels a lot more.
Ahmad Shah DURRANI unified the Pashtun tribes and founded Afghanistan in 1747. The country served as a buffer between the British and Russian Empires until it won independence from notional British control in 1919. A brief experiment in democracy ended in a 1973 coup and a 1978 communist counter-coup.
The Soviet Union invaded in 1979 to support the tottering Afghan communist regime, touching off a long and destructive war. The USSR withdrew in 1989 under relentless pressure by internationally supported anti-communist mujahedin rebels. A series of subsequent civil wars saw Kabul finally fall in 1996 to the Taliban, a hardline Pakistani-sponsored movement that emerged in 1994 to end the country’s civil war and anarchy. Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks, a US, Allied, and anti-Taliban Northern Alliance military action toppled the Taliban for sheltering Osama BIN LADIN. The UN-sponsored Bonn Conference in 2001 established a process for political reconstruction that included the adoption of a new constitution, a presidential election in 2004, and National Assembly elections in 2005.
In December 2004, Hamid KARZAI became the first democratically elected president of Afghanistan and the National Assembly was inaugurated the following December. KARZAI was re-elected in August 2009 for a second term. Despite gains toward building a stable central government, a resurgent Taliban and continuing provincial instability – particularly in the south and the east – remain serious challenges for the Afghan Government.
That was it. I promised one minute.
For other condensed info check also my other posts on local culture (don’t make the mistakes I made), local food or local drinks. And when you call your friends to tell them you were by far the most knowledgeable at the party, do that with confidence that you’ll not get hit with a 6.99 per minute bill. You’ll also pick the local food from the tray, and order a local drink with confidence.
- Cultural Mistakes To Avoid in Afghanistan
- Does my current phone work in Afghanistan ? Tips to cell phone usage in Afghanistan
- Local food you should try in Afghanistan and No miss drinks in Afghanistan
Now, cheers to the most Afghanistan aware person at the cocktail party.
What are the key history moments for Afghanistan?
Mir Wais Hotak, an Afghan tribal leader, rose up against the oppressing Shi’a Safavids in 1709 and made Afghanistan an independent state by establishing the Hotaki dynasty, with its capital at Kandahar. His son Mahmud later conquered what is now Iran and Iraq but the Hotaki dynasty collapsed in 1738. In 1747, Ahmad Shah Durrani re-established an independent Afghanistan and expanded it to include what is now Pakistan as well as northeastern Iran and the Western parts of India.
Afghanistan has been the centre of many powerful empires for the past 2,000 years.
However, in the last 30 years the country has been in chaos due to major wars — from the Soviet invasion of 1979 to their withdrawal in 1989 and from warlordism to the removal of the Taliban in 2001 and the ensuing American and NATO invasion. Economically, Afghanistan is considered poor compared to many other nations of the world. The country is currently going through a nation-wide rebuilding process.
The country has a long history of warfare, mostly against invaders such as Alexander of Macedon, Persians, Arabs, Turks, Mongols, and the British. On the contrary, it was once the second major Islamic learning center after Baghdad. Many world renowned scholars, scientists, mathematicians and poets hail from what is now Afghanistan. This includes Avicenna, Al-Biruni, Rumi, and others. The Afghan Girl The June 1985 cover of National Geographic showed the most haunting image of the Afghan War: a young Afghan girl, with piercing sea-green eyes and a dilapidated hijab. The photo, taken by Steve McCurry in Pakistan in 1984, became the icon of the troubles in Afghanistan.
But, for 17 years, no one knew the girl’s name. Then in 2002, following the defeat of the Taliban, National Geographic finally located the girl and her identity: Sharbat Gula. She vividly recalled being photographed and recognized her face as the one in the photo. Today, in her honor, NG now runs a fund to educate young Afghan girls, who were denied education under the Taliban. Afghanistan remained peaceful between 1933 and the late 1970s, focusing on developing itself. After the April 1978 bloody coupe by pro-Soviet Union members, the Soviet Union invaded in December 1979 to support the new socialist government.
By February 1989 all Soviet forces withdrew from the country but fighting continued between Soviet-backed Afghan government forces and mujahideen rebels, who were funded by the United States, Saudi Arabia and others while trained by Pakistan and Iran. The Taliban grew out of this chaos in late 1994, providing a solution to what was by this time a civil war. Backed by foreign sponsors, and inspired by a conservative sect of Islam, the Taliban developed as a political force to end the civil war and bring order to the country.
They seized the capital of Kabul in September 1996 and controlled most of the country by 2000, aside from some areas in the northeast. After the September 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States, the world focused on the situation in Afghanistan. Washington accused Osama bin Laden and al Qaida for attacking the US, requested that the Taliban hand these people over to US authorities and destroy all al Qaida training camps inside Afghanistan.
The Taliban did not take the US serious and requested to see evidence before anyone can be handed over to them. The US and allies decided to take military action with support from anti-Taliban Afghans, causing the Taliban government to fall in December 2001. That same month, representatives from all ethnic groups of Afghanistan met in Germany and agreed to form a new democratic government with Hamid Karzai as Chairman of the Afghan Interim Authority. Following a nationwide election in 2004, Hamid Karzai was elected as President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan.
A year later, in 2005, legislative elections were held and the country’s parliament began functioning again. In addition to occasionally violent political jockeying and ongoing military action to root out anti-government elements, the country suffers from poverty, opium cultivation, and widespread corruption.
In 2005, Afghanistan and the US signed a strategic partnership agreement committing both nations to a long-term relationship. In 2012, the two countries signed another more important strategic partnership agreement in which Afghanistan was designated a major non-NATO ally (MNNA). Afghanistan also signed a strategic partnership agreement with India, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, and many other nations. In the meantime around 50 billion US dollars is being spent on the reconstruction of the country.
The one minute summary for Afghanistan geography
Afghanistan is a landlocked country in the heart of Asia, bordered by Pakistan to the south and east, Iran to the west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to the north. There is a short border with China to the far northeast, but in extremely inaccessible terrain.
Best places to see in Afghanistan
Afghanistan has several sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List, including: the Minaret of Jam, North of Herat the Buddhist sculptures at Bamiyan, largely destroyed by Taliban.
Almost every Afghan town has a fine mosque. Those of Herat and Mazar-i-Sharif are particularly remarkable.