General Information

Afghanistan is known as the crossroads of Asia. It is bordered in the north by Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan, in the west by Iran, in the south by Pakistan, and China to the east. For more than 2000 years, this area has been the site of ancient trade routes collectively known as the Silk Road. Always an important link between east and west, Afghanistan remains a critical and dynamic place on earth.

Full Name

Islamic State of Afghanistan

Capital City

Kabul

Area

652,000 sq km
251,737 sq miles

Population

29,863,000

Time Zone

GMT/UTC +4.5 ()

Languages

Pashto and Dari are Afghanistan’s official languages. Afghanistan’s Consitution stipulates that all other languages are “official” in the areas in which they are spoken by a majority of the population. Dari is spoken by more than one-third of the population and Pashto is spoken throughout Kabul and eastern and southern Afghanistan. Many Afghans are multi-lingual. Tajik and Turkic languages are spoken widely in the north. Smaller groups throughout the country also speak more than 70 other languages and numerous dialects.

Currency

Afghanistan afghani (Afg)

1 US Dollar = 50.22000 Afghanistan Afghani

1 Afghanistan Afghani (AFA) = 0.01991 US Dollar (USD)

Electricity

220V 50HzHz

Country Dialing Code

93

Source: Lonely Planet

People

Afghanistan's ethnically and linguistically mixed population reflects its location astride historic trade and invasion routes leading from Central Asia into South and Southwest Asia. The two official languages of the country are Dari and Pashto. Smaller groups throughout the country also speak more than 70 other languages and numerous dialects.

Afghanistan is an Islamic country. An estimated 80% of the population is Sunni, following the Hanafi school of jurisprudence; the remainder is predominantly Shi'a.

Geography and Climate

Afghanistan is a beautiful country with soaring mountains and steep plateaus. The terrain contains numerous mountain ranges, but also deserts, rivers, lakes, plains and forests. Afghanistan has a relatively dry climate with four distinct seasons. Summers are hot with plenty of sunshine; during the spring flowers bloom across the country; falls are mild; and winters are cold with snow in most areas. Average rainfall is 250 mm per year, but amounts vary greatly regionally.

Archaeology

During the past fifty years, an ever-increasing number of archaeological expeditions have come to Afghanistan. As a result, the country’s heritage has become ever more rich and varied, and new discoveries are being made each year. Many of these artifacts are displayed at the Kabul Museum. As late as 1957 the world knew nothing of the existence of the Minaret of Jam. Standing at the very heart of the remote province of Ghor, it is the second tallest minaret in the world.