The first written mention of Afghanistan dates back to the 6th century BC. e. It is clear that in fact the history of this country goes deeper for many centuries. Until now, in Afghanistan you can meet the descendants of the Greeks who came there with Alexander the Great. In this ancient country, despite numerous wars, many unique sights have been preserved. In addition, there are excellent conditions for mountaineering and rock climbing. Unfortunately, due to the political situation, Afghanistan remains closed to foreign tourists for the time being.
Geography of Afghanistan
Afghanistan is located at the crossroads of South, Central and West Asia. In the south and east, Afghanistan borders with Pakistan and China (in the east), in the west – with Iran, in the north – with Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. There is no access to the sea. The total area of this country is 647,500 sq. km., and the total length of the state border is 5,529 km.
Most of Afghanistan is occupied by mountains, but there are valleys, steppes and deserts. The Hindu Kush mountain range stretches from northeast to southwest. The highest point in the country is Mount Noshak, whose height reaches 7,492 meters.
In the north of Afghanistan there is the Amu Darya River. Other large Afghan rivers are Harirud, Helmand, Farahrud and Hashrud.
According to itypemba.com, the capital of Afghanistan is Kabul, which is now home to about 700 thousand people. According to archeology, an urban settlement on the site of modern Kabul already existed in the 2nd century AD.
Official language of Afghanistan
Afghanistan has two official languages, Pashto and Dari (Farsi), both of which belong to the Iranian group of the Indo-European language family.
Almost all the inhabitants of Afghanistan profess Islam, the vast majority of them are Sunnis, and about 15% are Shiites.
State structure of Afghanistan
According to the current Constitution of 2004, Afghanistan is an Islamic republic in which Islam is the state religion. The head of the country is the President, elected for 5 years.
According to equzhou.net, the bicameral parliament in Afghanistan is called the National Assembly, it consists of two chambers – the House of Elders (102 people) and the House of the People (250 deputies).
To make particularly important decisions (for example, to approve the Constitution) in Afghanistan, a council of elders called the “Great Assembly” gathers. The history of the “Great Assemblies” goes back centuries and is lost somewhere in the 15th century.
Climate and weather
Most of Afghanistan is located in a subarctic mountain climate (winter is dry and cold). In the rest of the Afghan territory, the climate is desert and semi-desert. Mountains and valleys on the border with Pakistan are exposed to monsoons from the Indian Ocean in summer. In summer the air temperature reaches +49C, and in winter – -9C. Most of the precipitation falls between October and April. In the mountains, the average annual precipitation is 1,000 mm, and in deserts and semi-deserts – 100 mm.
Rivers and lakes
In the north of Afghanistan, the Amu Darya flows, the tributaries of which are lost in the Hindu Kush. In general, many Afghan rivers are replenished with water flows from the mountains. Other large Afghan rivers are Harirud (flowing from the central part of the country to the west, forming the border with Iran there), Helmand, Farahrud, Kabul and Hashrud. By the way, the Kabul River crosses the border with Pakistan and then flows into the Indus River.
Afghan lakes are small in size. Of these, the Zarkol lakes (borders with Tajikistan), Shiveh in Badakhshan and the salt lake Istadeh-ye Moqor, located south of Ghazni, should be distinguished.
Culture of Afghanistan
Afghanistan is made up of various ethical groups. Therefore, the culture of this country is very diverse.
One of the most important holidays for the Afghans is Navruz, but this is understandable, because. they are mostly Muslims (some experts argue that Navruz is not a Muslim holiday). In general, Afghans celebrate all major Islamic holidays – Mawlid an Nabi, Eid al-Ada and Eid al-Fitr (we have already mentioned Navruz).
Many Afghan holidays are domestic in nature (they are celebrated in the family circle).
Pashtuns, Tajiks and Uzbeks live in Afghanistan. This means that Afghan cuisine is a fusion of the culinary traditions of these three nations. In addition, Afghan cuisine is clearly influenced by India. It was from India that spices (saffron, coriander, cardamom and black pepper) came to Afghanistan. Afghans prefer dishes that are neither too spicy nor too hot.
The most popular dishes among Afghans are Qabli Pulao (boiled rice with carrots, raisins and lamb), Kabab (mutton skewers), Qorma (meat with vegetables and fruits), Mantu dumplings, Shorma soup. By the way, Afghans love to eat Qorma with Chalow rice. There are three types of bread in Afghanistan – Naan, Obi Naan and Lavash.
An integral part of the Afghan diet is fresh and dried fruits (grapes, apricots, melons, plums, pomegranates, various berries).
Traditional non-alcoholic drinks – kefir, whey, tea.
Landmarks of Afghanistan
In ancient times, the territory of modern Afghanistan was part of some of the most ancient states in the world. The ancient Greeks, led by Alexander the Great, reached these lands (and conquered them). Unfortunately, due to numerous wars, many Afghan historical and cultural monuments have already been irretrievably lost. However, this country still retains unique sights. The Top 10 most interesting Afghan sights, in our opinion, may include the following:
- Wazir Akbar Khan Mosque in Kabul
- Sherpur Mosque in Kabul
- Fortress of Ghazni
- Mausoleum of Timur Shah in Kabul
- Fort in Nuristan
- Puli Khishti Mosque in Kabul
- Tomb of Ahmad Shah Massoud in Panjshir
- Mausoleum of Emir Abdurrahman in Kabul
- The ruins of the Takhti-Pul mosque in Balkh
- Palace of Emir Habibullah near Kabul
Cities and resorts
The largest cities in Afghanistan are Herat, Kandahar, Mazar-i-Sharif, Jalalabad, Kutsnduz and, of course, the capital is Kabul.
In Afghanistan, there are excellent conditions for mountaineering and rock climbing. In the northeast of the country is Mount Nushak, which is part of the Hindu Kush mountain system. Many climbers dream of conquering this peak, but due to the political situation, this is not yet feasible.
A few years ago, the Afghan authorities opened the Abi-Wakhan mountain route, which runs through the territory of the picturesque gorge of the same name. Once a section of this route was part of the Great Silk Road. However, tourists are not yet in a hurry to come to Afghanistan.
From Afghanistan, foreigners usually bring handicrafts, carpets, Afghan sheepskin coats, national men’s clothing, knives, etc.
Banks and shops in Afghanistan are open from Monday to Thursday (some are open on Fridays). Stores in different regions of Afghanistan have their own working hours.
Ukrainians need to apply for a visa to visit Afghanistan.
Currency of Afghanistan
Afghani is the official currency in Afghanistan (international designation: AFN). Credit cards are not common.
You can import foreign currency into Afghanistan without restrictions, but it must be included in the declaration. You can take out foreign currency as much as it was imported into the country. But the local currency can be imported (or exported) to Afghanistan in the amount of no more than 500 afghani.
It is forbidden to import literature that contradicts the norms of Islam. It is forbidden to export antiques.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
Address of the Embassy of Afghanistan in Ukraine:
Index: 03037, Kiev, U.Gromovoy St., 14
249-66-63 email: [email protected]
The interests of Ukraine in Afghanistan are represented by the Embassy of Ukraine in Turkmenistan:
Index: 744001, Ashgabat, st. Azadi, 49
Phone: (312) 39-12-40
Email. mail: [email protected]
102 – call for an ambulance
119 – call for the Police and Fire Brigade
Time in Afghanistan
The difference with time in Kyiv is +2.5 hours. Those. if in Kabul, for example, it is 09:00, then in Kyiv it is only 06:30.
Tipping is not common in Afghanistan.
Doctors recommend that all tourists before visiting Afghanistan be vaccinated against typhoid fever, malaria, rabies, polio, hepatitis A and B, and especially against diphtheria and tetanus.
The political and military situation in Afghanistan is such that it is quite dangerous for tourists to travel around this country. those. In recent years, foreign tourists have been very rare in this country.