Afghanistan is a South Asian country. Located to the west of the Himalayas, it has a total surface area of 647,500 km 2 . It borders Pakistan to the south and southeast, Iran to the west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to the north, and China to the northeast. The most important cities are Kabul, the capital, with 2 272 000 residents (2004), Kandahar (359 700 residents) (2004), Herat (176 600 residents) (2004), and Mozar-i-Sharif (254 300 hab.) (2004).
The climate is arid and semi-arid continental. Average temperatures vary between -8 ºC and 2 ºC, in January, and between 16 ºC and 33 ºC, in July. Precipitation, which occurs mainly in winter, reaches values of the order of 370 mm per year. It is a very mountainous country, with a predominance of plateaus and mountains, which reach more than 7000 m in altitude, so temperatures in winter are generally very low.
Of the animal species of economic interest, the caraculo sheep stands out, whose soft and beaded wool is used in the manufacture of carpets and coats. Afghanistan’s economy is mainly based on subsistence agriculture. The cultivated products are wheat, corn, potato, barley, grape, melon, plum, quince, apricot and fig. There are also many medicinal plants that are not known in the West. Industrial production is underdeveloped and includes textiles, pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals, cement, leather goods, glassware, bicycles and food products. The main riches of the subsoil are coal, natural gas, oil, iron and copper. The biggest importers of Afghan goods are Germany and Saudi Arabia.
Environmental indicator: no data (1999).
The country has a population of 31 056 997 residents (est. 2006), which corresponds to a density of 46.22 residents/km2, with an estimated 46 million in 2025. These figures do not include the millions of refugees in Pakistan and Iran. Afghanistan has a birth rate of 46.6% and a mortality rate of 20.34%. Average life expectancy is 43.34 years. There are several ethnic groups, but the majority are Pachtun (53%), Tajiks (20%) and Uzbeks (9%). The official languages are Dari, of Persian origin, and Pachtun. Sunni Muslims account for 84%, while Shia Muslims account for 16%.
Afghanistan has been a very coveted country over time. From Darius of Persia, to the English, through Alexander the Great, the Arabs and the Tatars, the country was successively occupied. In 1979 it was the Soviets’ turn. They supported a weakened Marxist government, but had to face guerrilla attacks from some resistant tribes. The country was divided between supporters of Marxism and resistance fighters, while millions of civilians fled to Pakistan and Iran. After several years of struggle, the former Soviet Union withdrew its 100,000 soldiers from Afghanistan. In April 1992, some rebel factions took over Kabul, overthrew the Communist government and established a provisional Islamic Republic. The rival rebel groups did not accept this situation.
In 1996, a group of Islamic fundamentalists – the Taliban – seized Kabul and instituted an oppressive, extremist fundamentalist policy that continued until 2001, when a series of events led to its downfall. The terrorist attack on the USA on September 11 of the same year, claimed by Al-Qaeda, and the ensuing war on terrorism initiated by the USA, led to military intervention in Afghanistan and the fall of the Taliban regime in the country. For Afghanistan democracy and rights, please check homeagerly.
Since then, a post-Taliban transitional government has been instituted with the participation of members of the Northern rebel group. In June 2002 Karzai was elected, by secret ballot, President of the Islamic State of Transition of Afghanistan. In December 2002, the transitional government marked the first anniversary of the fall of the Taliban. Following some political instability and constant military actions to completely eliminate terrorism, the country is struggling with problems of poverty, deficient infrastructure and the many mines scattered throughout the country.
- Countryaah.com: Offers a full list of airports in the country of Afghanistan, sorted by city location and acronyms.
- Abbreviationfinder.org: Provides most commonly used abbreviations and initials containing the country name of Afghanistan. Listed by popularity.
1UpTravel.com – Maps of Afghanistan
Browse a collection of city, country, regional, thematic and historical maps of the country. Includes the maps of Herat, Kabul, Jalalabad and Afghanistan-Pakistan border.
About.com – Afghanistan Map
View a political map of Afghanistan to learn more about the geography of a country that has been at war for decades.
Afghan-Info.com – Map Menu
Presents not only city and country maps of Afghanistan, but maps that show military strikes, refugee movements and land characteristics.
Afghan-Info.com Maps Directory
Learn more about the geography and politics of Afghanistan with the help of these maps, including regional, military, refugee, and general versions.
Afghanistan – Afghan Geography
Afghan Web provides a general country map, a breakdown of provinces, a topographical map and maps outlining environmental factors.
Afghanistan Online – General Map
Map shows several cities and rivers as well as the Hindu Kush and Paropamisus mountain ranges.
Asiasource.org- Map of Afghanistan
Browse the Afghanistan’s map, territorial infrastructure, and communication style.
BBC News – Afghanistan Regional Map
View a high-quality graphic map of Afghanistan and the central Asia region to include Iran, Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. With capitals listed.
CNN – Map of Afghanistan
CNN provides several maps of Afghanistan and its surrounding region. Includes relief maps of Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Country Watch – Afghanistan Country Map
View a detailed, color-coded country map of Afghanistan in PDF format. Zoom in and out, print and save a copy.
GlobalSecurity.org – Maps of Afghanistan
Provides an impressive gallery of maps for Afghanistan, including political maps, topography and other physical maps like land use, ethnic groups and population density.
Intelliweather – Afghanistan Satellite Map
View a large and colorful satellite image of central Asia, clearly detailed along with its bordering and regional neighbors.
Lib Utexas- Map of Afghanistan
Offers map of Afghanistan highlighting its various cities and capital,Kabul.
Lonely Planet – Afghanistan Map
Map includes major cities and waterways and all of the country’s borders.
Magellan Geographix – Afghanistan Map
Map details the location of many cities and rivers in the country as well as portions of its border areas.
Mapquest.com- Map of Afghanistan
View a colorful map of Afghanistan with different level zoom facility.
Maps.com – Afghanistan Maps & Facts
Provides access to professional quality physical and political maps of Afghanistan, plus country facts and business traveler information.
Matthew White – Afghanistan Map, Soviet Phase
Displays a sporadically spotted political map composed of various military factions, such as Fundamentalists and Communists, during the Soviet occupation of 1979-1989.
Media Maps – Afghanistan
Check out a map of Afghanistan and the borders it shares with Pakistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan.
Monterey Institute of Internat’l Studies – Map of Afghanistan
View a color geo-political map of Afghanistan and countries it shares borders with. Also see alleged Taliban terrorist bases and air strips.
MSN Encarta – Map of Afghanistan
Large, finely-detailed political map of Afghanistan shows the country’s topography, population centers, and rivers. Click on a city or village for more details.
Nat’l Space Society, The – Satellite Image of Afghan-Paki Border
View a satellite image of the physical contours around the southwestern area of Afghanistan along the border with Pakistan, where Taliban forces are in control.
Odci.gov- Map of Afghanistan
Discover a map of Afghanistan with its different districts and capital.
Perry-Castaqeda Library Map Collection – Afghanistan
Select from a current and archived map collection, and find large, small, color-coded, sketched, graphically-rendered political and physical maps of Afghanistan.
ReliefWeb Map Centre – Afghanistan
Supplies a series of general and emergency situation maps for the country of Afghanistan. Includes news articles on items occurring in the country and surrounding areas.
UNHCR – Maps of Afghanistan
Displays a regional map of central Asia, including Afghanistan, plus refugee population maps.
University of Texas Library – Afghanistan-Pakistan Border
Provides a detailed map of the mountainous border region between the two countries.
University of Texas Library – Map of Afghanistan
Comprehensive directory, mostly originating from US Central Intelligence Agency resources, contains historical, regional and thematic maps.
University of Texas Library – Relief Map of Afghanistan
View a map of the country and portions of its neighboring countries. Includes roads and railroads.