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Korengal Valley, Afghanistan. Author Matthew Moeller. No Copyright
Korengal Valley, Afghanistan. Author Matthew Moeller

Afghanistan: mountains and ancient traditions

Afghanistan (Afghānestān Jomhūriyāt) is a presidential Islamic republic in Central Asia, with capital Kabul, the country is bordered to the north by Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan, to the west by Iran, to the south and east by Pakistan, to the north-east by China.

Afghanistan administratively includes 34 provinces (Badakhshan, Badghis, Baghlan, Balkh, Bamiyan, Daykondi, Farah, Fariab, Ghazni, Ghor, Helmand, Herat, Jozjan, Kabul, Kandahar, Kapisa, Khost Province, Konar, Kunduz, Laghman, Logar, Nangarhar, Nimroz, Nuristan, Paktia, Paktika, Panjshir, Parwan, Samangan, Sar-e Pol, Takhar, Uruzgan, Wardak, Zabul).

The capital is Kabul, other cities are Kandahar, Herat and Mazar-e Sharif. The territory of Afghanistan is mainly mountainous, characterized by the Hindu Kush mountain range that runs through the country into northern and central section in the east-west direction, in the north the Hindu Kush meets the chains of Pamir and Karakoram. Mount Nowshak (7,485 meters) in the Hindu Kush chain, is the highest mountain in the country.

Afghanistan Map

Afghanistan Map

In the south-west the Hindu Kush branches off in several secondary chains between these the Koh-i-Baba massif which exceeds 5,000 metres in height. The southern part of Afghanistan is made up of vast areas such as the desert plateau of Rigestan and the Sistan depression, an endorheic basin where flow the water of the Helmand, Farah and Khash rivers. The country is crossed by four major rivers, Amudarya river, which flows along the border with Tajikistan, Harirud river, Kabul river and Helmand river.

The Afghan economy, among the poorest in the world, is based on breeding (sheep (karakul sheep), goats, cattle), agriculture is poor (wheat, barley, rice, corn, fruit (apples, oranges, peaches, grapes), cotton, flax, sugar beet, sesame, potatoes). The resources of the subsoil produce gold, lead, copper, natural gas, lapis lazuli, iron, oil. Among the industrial activities, the most important are those relating to the processing of agricultural products and the manufacture of textiles.

  • Area: 652,225 sqkm. (Arable 12%, Pastures 46%, Forests and Woodlands 3%, Uncultivated and Unproductive 39%).
  • Population: 31,900,000 (2007 data) (Pashtun 42%, Tajik 27%, Hazara 9%, Uzbek 9%, Aimak 4% , Turkmen 3%, Baloch 2%).
  • State Capital: Kabul.
  • Languages: The official languages are Pashto and Persian (Dari).
  • Religion: Muslim 99% (Sunni 84%, Shi’a 15%).
  • Currency: Afghani (AFN)
  • Time: UTC +4,30 hours.

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