66 Interesting Facts About Afghanistan

Last updated on May 18th, 2019

40. Fasting and praying during the month of Ramadan is a mandatory act except for a few such as foreigners, and those who are sick, traveling or having some other issues.

41. The family is an important aspect of Afghanistan’s culture. Men are laden with the responsibility to earn while women are expected to stay home and serve the family. However, in modern Afghanistan, you may also find some women working in the cities and earning a living for themselves and their families.

42. In most of the cases, the family lives together in the same house. Upon marriage, the son and his wife live separately in a different room in the house under the same roof.

43. Hospitality plays a significant role in the country’s culture and tradition. The visitors are treated with the utmost respect and are offered the best that the household has.

44. Women are highly respected in society and are not expected to mix with the members of the opposite sex, except out of marriage or direct family relations.

45. Women are also expected to wear clothes that honor their modesty and are not revealing. Tight clothes and western dresses are not much welcomed in society, at least in rural areas. Headscarves for women are advisable.

46. Direct eye contact between men and women is not considered acceptable and must be avoided.

47. Gifts are a means of strengthening the relationship between a visitor and his/her host. The visitors can carry a small gift for the host when invited for tea or food.

48. Afghanistan is a multicultural and multi-ethnic country.

49. In the past few years, an estimated 2.6 million Afghans left their home country and sought refuge in others.

50. A handshake is the most usual form of greeting in Afghanistan’s culture. Some people also place their hand on their heart and nod slightly to show respect and approval to the other party. However, shaking hands between the members of the opposite sex is not usual and is avoided.

51. Food is generally served on the floor, on clothes made from various materials. Making use of the right hand while eating the food is the norm, and the food is generally shared from the same dish unless required otherwise.

52. The host does their best to serve the best possible food, and special attention is paid to fill the visitor’s plate when it is empty.

53. While consuming food, it is also a norm to sit in a respectable position and not with your feet facing people or your legs outstretched.

54. Marriage is considered an important element of one’s life in Afghanistan. Divorce is rare and is not much welcomed in society.

55. Polygamy is permissible in Afghanistan however it is rare. Many of the marriages are consummated between cousins.

56. Marriages are three-day lavish ceremonies during which a marriage contract is signed and the couple is brought together.

57. Living together in a common house is encouraged but never forced. Depending on the financial condition or personal preference, the sons of the family can live separately or with his father, mother and other siblings.

Afghanistan on the map

58. The total area of Afghanistan is 652,230 sq km.

59. Dari Persian and Pashto are official languages of Afghanistan.

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

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

62. Literacy rate in Afghanistan is 38.2%.

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

64. Helmand is the longest river in Afghanistan.

65. Afghan rugs are very popular around the world.

66. The average life expectancy at birth in Afghanistan is 52.1 years (2018).

Afghanistan – the country at a glance

Independence19 August, 1919 (from the UK)
Table last updatedMay 17, 2019
Capital CityKabul
(34°32′N 69°08′E)
Largest CityKabul
(34°32′N 69°08′E)
Total area652,230 sq km
Population34,940,837 (July 2018 est.)
Population growth rate2.37% (2018 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
Suffrage18 years of age; universal
Literacy rate38.2%
BordersTajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Iran , Pakistan, China, India
Government typepresidential Islamic republic
PresidentAshraf Ghani
Chief Executive OfficerAbdullah Abdullah
National symbollion
National colorsred, green, black
CurrencyAfghani (AFN)
Mean elevation1,884 m
Highest pointNoshak 7,492 m
Lowest pointAmu Darya 258 m
Life expectancy at birth52.1 Years (2018)
National AnthemPashto: Milli Surood
Terrainmostly rugged mountains; plains in north and southwest
Climatearid to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers
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 rate37.5 births/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Death rate13.2 deaths/1,000 population (2018 est.)
Sex ratio1.03 male(s)/female (2018 est.)
GDP - per capita (PPP)$2,000 (2017 est.)
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$784 million (2017 est.)
opium, fruits and nuts, handwoven carpets, wool, cotton, hides and pelts, precious and semi-precious gems
Imports$7.616 billion (2017 est.)
machinery and other capital goods, food, textiles, petroleum products
Internet country code.af
Time ZoneD† (UTC+4:30)
Calling Code+93
Drives on theRight
Data sourcesCentral Intelligence Agency, Wikipedia.org