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AFGHANISTAN. Afghanistan: Geography. Located in Central Asia Bordered by six countries: China Iran Pakistan Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan. Afghanistan: Geography. Landlocked nation (slightly smaller than Texas) Total Population: 31 million Capital: Kabul. Afghanistan: Geography.

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AFGHANISTAN


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    1. AFGHANISTAN

    2. Afghanistan: Geography • Located in Central Asia • Bordered by six countries: • China • Iran • Pakistan • Tajikistan • Turkmenistan • Uzbekistan

    3. Afghanistan: Geography • Landlocked nation (slightly smaller than Texas) • Total Population: 31 million • Capital: Kabul

    4. Afghanistan: Geography • Rugged mountains • Hindu Kush: main mountain range across Afghanistan and into Pakistan • Climate: cold winters and hot, dry summers

    5. Afghans: A Diverse People • Major Ethnic Groups: • Pashtuns 42% • Takiks 27% • Uzbeks 9% • Hazaras 9% • Others 13%

    6. Afghans: A Diverse People

    7. Languages • Many Afghans are bilingual • The main languages spoken by Afghans are: • Dari (official language) 50% • Pashtu (official language) 35% • Turkic languages 11%

    8. Religion • Islam is the religion practiced by most Afghans; it is central to Afghans' identity • 99% of Afghans are Muslim

    9. Rural Life • Most Afghans live in rural areas • About ¾ of the population consists of farmers and nomads • Only 12% of the land, however, is arable • What problems might this lead to?

    10. Sport/Pastime • Bazkashi, the national sport of Afghanistan, is a team game played on horseback • Kite-fighting is also a popular pastime among Afghan youth where participants try to cut through the strings of their opponents' kites

    11. Afghan History • Afghanistan's location along the Silk/Spice Road has allowed the country to serve as an important link between east and west throughout history

    12. Afghan HistoryThis location, however, has meant significant intervention from outsiders • Great Britain & Russia fought over Afghanistan as far back as the 18th & 19th centuries • Soviet Union invaded in 1979 and installed a Communist government • From 1979-1989, Afghanistan became a battleground of the Cold War between the US-USSR (with the U.S. supporting Afghans who resisted the Soviets)

    13. Afghan History • Soviet Union withdrew in 1989, but civil war erupted among factions of guerilla fighters known as 'mujahedin' • Civil war continued until 1996, when hard-line group known as the Taliban seized power • Taliban imposed a strict interpretation of Islam

    14. Taliban • Limited women's ability to work in public places • Banned girls from attending school • Required women to wear burqas in public (photos) • Required men to wear beards • Banned music, sports • Allowed al-Qaeda & Osama bin Laden to operate within the country

    15. Refugee Crisis • During the 23 years of conflict, roughly 4 million Afghans became refugees • Most refugees fled to two main countries: • Iran • Pakistan • There are also an estimated 200,000 Afghans living in the U.S.

    16. The link between September 11 and Afghanistan • Afghans did NOT carry out the terrorist attacks on the U.S. • Al-Qaeda, a terrorist network operating within Afghanistan and other places, did • Many Afghans expressed their solidarity with the people of the U.S. after Sept. 11 • After September 11, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan and toppled the Taliban for sheltering Osama bin Laden • U.S. and NATO forces remain in Afghanistan today

    17. Afghanistan Today • Afghanistan now faces a number of challenges as it tries to rebuild after years of war. Some of these challenges include: • Poverty • Education • Health • Gender equity • Governance

    18. Poverty • At least 2/3 of Afghans live on less than $2 a day • Only 23% of Afghans have access to safe water • Only 12% of Afghans have access to sanitation • Only 6% of Afghans have access to electricity

    19. Education • 67% of boys go to school, while only 37% of girls do (US Dept of State) • Constraints to school attendance: • Lack of teachers • Distance between home and school • Cultural constraints for girls • Not enough school buildings (esp. for girls)

    20. Health • Average life expectancy for Afghans is 42, more than 25 years younger than the average American (World Health Organization) • One in four children dies before the age of 5 (USAID) • Many Afghans lack access to basic medical care

    21. Gender Equity • Women have been a marginalized group in Afghanistan • Cultural restrictions lead to difficulty accessing education and health services • Only 10% of Afghan women can read and write • Yet, Afghan women are important contributors to household income, especially in rural areas

    22. Government • In October 2004, Hamid Karzai was elected President of Afghanistan. • Parliamentray elections were held in 2005. • Local warlords, however, still hold power in many parts of the country. This contributes to the insecurity in Afghanistan.

    23. Despite these challenges, Afghans remain hopeful about the future

    24. THE END • What have you learned about Afghanistan?