26 Interesting Facts About Afghanistan

Afghanistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located within South Asia and Central Asia. By area it is the 41st largest country in the world. Afghanistan is famous for its pomegranates in Asia. Let’s explore more about this war torn country with some interesting facts.

26 interesting facts about Afghanistan

1. Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan is its largest city.

2. Afghanistan is a land locked country. Iran, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and China border Afghanistan from all sides.

3. The people of Afghanistan are called Afghans and their currency is Afghanis. Most of the time, people get confused between the use of these two terms.

4. Agriculture is the main source of income for Afghans. Afghanistan is also rich in natural resources like natural gas and oil.

5. “Buzkashi” is Afghanistan’s national game. Players in two teams try to catch a goat while riding a horse. This game is being played for centuries and is a tough sport.

buzkashi in afghanistan
Buzkashi in Afghanistan

6. Afghanistan became independent on August 19, 1919. They fought three wars with Britain after which they declared themselves independent. They were not directly ruled by the British but their foreign affairs were influenced by the United Kingdom.

7. Afghanistan has been in news more than any country in the last decade.

8. New Year is celebrated by Afghans on 21st They call it “Nawroz”. It is a pre-Islamic festival which is celebrated by a gathering of thousands of travelers from across the Afghanistan to the city of Mazar-e-Sharif. There is a mosque in the center of the city. It is known as the Blue Mosque or ‘the Shrine of Hazrat Ali’ the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H).

Mazar-e-Sharif: The Shrine of Hazrat Ali (A.S). Image source

9. Mobile phone coverage is available in more than 90% of the country. Mobile phones are status symbols.

10. They celebrate poetry night on Thursdays in the western city of Herat. People of all age groups gather there to share modern and ancient verses of poetry, and indulge in some nice food along with some sweet tea.

11. Alexander the Great captured the city of Herat in 330BC and built its ancient citadel. Alexander had a son with a beautiful woman from the province of Balkh in Afghanistan.

12. Arnold Schwarzenegger is the poster boy in many of the muscle building centers in Afghanistan. They say he (Arnold Schwarzgenegger) looks like an Afghan.

13. Kandahar airfield is the busiest single runway airstrip in the world. Here NATO installed its first complete air traffic capability in a non-NATO country.

14. World’s largest Buddhas (two of these) were first built in Afghanistan. These statues were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001.

15. The world’s first oil paintings were drawn in the caves of “Bamiyan” around 650BC.

16. There is only one Jewish person living in Afghanistan. His name is Zablon Simintov and he is a restaurateur and an Afghan carpet trader. He was born in 1959.

17. There has been 300% increase in Opium cultivation in the Afghanistan in 2013 when compared to the last seven years before the U.S. invasion.

18. Total area of Afghanistan is 250,000 sq mi (647,500 sq km).

19. Dari Persian and Pashtu are official languages of Afghanistan.

20. Afghanistan is inhabited by – 80% Sunni Muslim, 19% Shia Muslim and 1% others.

21. Afghanistan’s national holiday is on August, 19.

22. Literacy rate in Afghanistan is 28.1%.

23. Noshaq (7,492 meters or 24,580 ft) is the highest point in Afghanistan.

24. Helmand is the longest river in Afghanistan.

25. Afghan rugs are very popular around the world.

Afghan rug

26. The average life expectancy in Afghanistan is 60.51 years (2012).

afghanistan map
26 Interesting facts about Afghanistan: Afghanistan Map

Fast facts about Afghanistan

Capital CityKabul
Largest CityKabul
Total area652,230 sq km
Population32,564,342 (July 2015 est.)
Official LanguagePashto and Dari
Languages spokenAfghan Persian or Dari (official) 50%, Pashto (official) 35%, Turkic languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%, 30 minor languages (primarily Balochi and Pashai) 4%, much bilingualism, but Dari functions as the lingua franca
BordersTajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran , Pakistan, China, India
CurrencyAfghani (AFN)
Average Life Span60.51 Years (2012)
National AnthemPashto: Milli Surood
Independence19 August, 1919
Climatearid to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers
Terrainmostly rugged mountains; plains in north and southwest
Natural resourcesnatural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones, arable land
Agricultural land58.1%
Birth rate38.57 births/1,000 population (2015 est.)
Death rate13.89 deaths/1,000 population (2015 est.)
Sex ratio1.03 male(s)/female (2015 est.)
National symbollion; national colors: red, green, black
Industriessmall-scale production of bricks, textiles, soap, furniture, shoes, fertilizer, apparel, food products, non-alcoholic beverages, mineral water, cement; handwoven carpets; natural gas, coal, copper
Exports$2.679 billion (2013 est.)
opium, fruits and nuts, handwoven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, precious and semi-precious gems
Imports$12.19 billion (2013 est.)
machinery and other capital goods, food, textiles, petroleum products
GDP - per capita (PPP)$1,900 (2015 est.)
Internet country code.af
Internet users2.69 million
percent of population: 8.3% (July 2015 est.)
Time ZoneD† (UTC+4:30)
Calling Code+93
Drives on theRight

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  1. http://www.10-facts-about.com/Afghanistan/id/68
  2. http://www.explorefacts.net/do-you-know/afghanistan-10-interesting-facts-nation/
  3. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-south-asia-13931608
  4. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zablon_Simintov
  5. http://www.unodc.org/documents/crop-monitoring/Afghanistan/Afghan_report_Summary_Findings_2013.pdf
  6. http://www.indexmundi.com/afghanistan/literacy.html