Last updated on April 18th, 2023
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.
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 43%.
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 53.25 years (2021).
About the flag of Afghanistan
1. Design and Symbolism
The flag of Afghanistan reflects its state after sweeping changes in 2021. It is now called the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, which raises the flag of the Taliban.
The current design features the Shahada in black script on a white field. It is an Islamic oath and creed which declares that there is only one God and that Muhammad (P.B.U.H) is his messenger. According to traditional schools, an honest recitation is all it takes for an individual to become a Muslim.
The white field represents “the purity of faith and government” of the Islamic Movement of Taliban. It reverses the typical color scheme for jihadist groups that prefer a black field. It comes from the 7th century Umayyad Caliphate which was responsible for taking Islam to the country.
Afghanistan initially adopted this design on October 27, 1997. They reinstated it on August 15, 2021.
3. Technical Details
The official flag uses a proportion of 1:2. A variant flag with the same ratio has an elevated Shahada to make room for the script “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” at the bottom.
In 1994, the Taliban emerged from student militias in Islamic schools. They took over key cities and drove out the government with the help of Pakistan. In 1997, the Taliban flag became the flag of Afghanistan.
In 2001, the US launched a military offensive to overthrow the Taliban after it coddled Osama Bin Laden – the prime suspect in the 9/11 Attacks. Western forces worked with the local resistance movement to end the regime. An interim government ran the country with assistance from the United Nations.
In 2002, the flag changed to a vertical tricolor and a golden coat of arms. It resembles older Afghan flags in which the black remembers the past kingdoms, the red represents the blood spilled for independence, and the green signifies hope for the future. The flag of Germany inspired this tricolor design after King Amanullah Khan visited Europe in 1928.
Meanwhile, the Taliban regrouped in Pakistan. When NATO started withdrawing troops from Afghanistan in 2021, the resurgent Taliban advanced quickly into the capital and reinstated their flag. The government collapsed, with most officials fleeing the country. A resistance led by the first Vice President Amrullah Saleh and the Northern Alliance’s Ahmad Massoud continued to oppose the Taliban from Tajikistan.
5. Flag Facts
The central emblem in many past Afghan flags features a mosque. Habibullah Khan, the Emir from 1901 to 1919, added this detail to his father’s flag. Some depictions surround it with wheat, while others encircle it with the sun’s rays forming an octagram. It is one of Afghanistan’s chief crops, along with rice, barley, and maize.
Other flags replace the mosque with a sun rising over snow-capped mountains, like the fourth flag during the reign of King Amanullah. It represents a new beginning for his kingdom. It is the first flag to make the tricolor bands vertical instead of horizontal – a format retained for the rest of the 1900s.
Afghanistan – the country at a glance
|Independence||19 August, 1919 (from the UK)|
|Area||total: 652,230 sq km
land: 652,230 sq km
water: 0 sq km
|Population||37,466,414 (July 2021 est.)|
|Population growth rate||2.38% (2020 est.)|
|Official Language||Pashto and Dari|
|Languages spoken||Afghan 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|
|Suffrage||18 years of age; universal|
|Borders||China 91 km, Iran 921 km, Pakistan 2670 km, Tajikistan 1357 km, Turkmenistan 804 km, Uzbekistan 144 km|
|Government type||Unitary autocratic Islamic provisional government|
|Prime minister||Hasan Akhund (acting)|
|Chief Justice||Abdul Hakim Ishaqzai|
|National Anthem||Pashto: Milli Surood|
|National holiday||Independence Day, 19 August (1919)
|National colors||red, green, black|
|Life expectancy at birth||53.25 years (2021 est.)|
|Climate||arid to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers
|Terrain||mostly rugged mountains; plains in north and southwest
|Mean elevation||1,884 m|
|Highest point||Noshak 7,492 m|
|Lowest point||Amu Darya 258 m|
|Natural resources||natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones, arable land
|Birth rate||36.08 births/1,000 population (2021 est.)|
|Death rate||12.57 deaths/1,000 population (2021 est.)|
|Sex ratio||1.03 male(s)/female (2020 est.)|
|Industries||small-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
|GDP - per capita (PPP)||$2,065 (2019 est.)|
|Drives on the||Right|
|Time Zone||D† (UTC+4:30)|
|Internet country code||.af|
|Table last updated||January 13, 2022|