Afghanistan. Country Profile. GEOGRAPHY: Slightly smaller than Texas Southern Asia: north and west of Pakistan and east of Iran Central Asia: Bordered on the north by– Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan as well as on the northeast a tiny border with China
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Country Profile GEOGRAPHY: • SlightlysmallerthanTexas • Southern Asia: north and west of Pakistan and east of Iran • Central Asia: Bordered on the north by– Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan as well as on the northeast a tiny border with China • High snow-capped mountains—Hindu Kush, also called the “Roof of the World” and is traversed by deep valleys
People and Language ETHNICITIES: • About 30 million • Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks, Aimaqs, Baluchs and others… • Live in urban and rural areas • Rural: Tribal system– Jirga or Council
LANGUAGE: • Over 70 languages and dialects • Pashto and Dari (Afghan Persian) are the two main official languages • Share some languages with neighboring countries
FOOD: • Nice and delicious food • Usually eat on the floor using Toshak • Nan, Qabuli Palaw, Kabab, Manto, Ashaq and Piraki are the Afghan traditional food • The best fruit in the region: Afghan apples, grapes, pomegranate, melon, watermelon, raisins, pistachio and almonds are the most famous ones.
Short History • 5,000 years of history • Independence day, August 19, 1919 from U.K. • The Soviet invasion 1979 • The Mujahideen takes over and the civil war starts 1992 • The Taliban (students) takes over 1996 • The U.S. and International Coalition overthrow the Taliban in 2001 • Presidential and parliament election in 2004 and 2005– Hamid Karzai was elected as a first democratic president of Afghanistan.
Life Under the Taliban, 1996-2001 • Brutally oppressed the Afghan people (specially women) • Prevention of girls from going to school and women from working outside • Pakistan, Iran and other neighbor's intervention • Dictatorship • Fear • Terror and country’s isolationism
Post Taliban Afghanistan, 2001-2005 • About 6.5 million children who were banned from attending schools are now going back to school after 5 years • Establishment of the Ministry of Women Affairs for the first time in its history • More than 6 million Afghan refugees who were living in Pakistan and Iran are now returning home and half of them already returned. • Building the infrastructure of the country
Afghan Kids • Struggling to find a loaf of bread • Helping their mom or dad to earn some money-- average 6$ per month • Carpentry is most common in the north • Feeding animals in nomadic lives • Moreover, asking for one Afghani, 2 cents, on the streets • No electricity at night, no heat in winter, no shelter in summer…
Hope for Tomorrow! • In addition to all these problems, poverty and inconvenience, BUT, they still go to school… • They still struggle for learning and earning something… • They still do not feel tiered walking hours to get to school… under the burning sunshine and freezing cold, bare feet…