|Area||647,497 sq km or 249,999 sq mi|
|Currency||Afghani (US $1=4,750)|
|Languages||Dari, Persian, Pakhto (Pushtu)|
|Major Cities||Kabul, Kandahar, Heart, Mazar-e-Sharif, Jalalabad|
|Climate||Extreme Climate- Very cold winters and very hot summers|
Afghanistan is a land-locked country in Central Asia. To know more, Maps of World provides Physical Map of Afghanistan, Political map and other details about the country.
Location Map of Afghanistan
Afghanistan is situated in southwestern Asia, bound on the north by Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan; on the east by China; on the south by Pakistan; and on the west by Iran.
Physical Map of Afghanistan
Afghanistan roughly covers an area of 647,497 sq km. The northwestern, western, and southern border areas are primarily desert plains and rocky ranges, while the southeast and northeast borders rise progressively higher into the major, glacier-covered peaks of the Hindu Kush, an extension of the western Himalayas. Only the northern border is formed by the river Amu Darya.
The flag of Afghanistan has three equal, vertical bands of black (hoist), red, and green, with a gold emblem centered on the red band. The emblem on the Afghanistan flag features a temple-like structure encircled by a wreath on the left and right and by a "heading2"Islamic inscription above.
Climate Map of Afghanistan
The climate in Afghanistan is extreme in nature. While summers are very hot, winters can be bitterly cold. Summer temperatures can rise as high as 49° C (120° F), while the midwinter temperatures touch as low as -9° C (15° F). Temperatures often range greatly within a single day. Variations in temperature during the day may range from freezing conditions at dawn to the upper 30°s C (upper 90°s F) at noon. Frontal winds sweeping in from the west may bring large sandstorms or dust storms, while the strong solar heating of the ground raises large local whirlwinds.
Brief History & Political Map of Afghanistan
The political map of Afghanistan shows the instability and upheavals that the country has undergone while the history map opens up old books which reveal Afghanistan was once a hub of creativity and prosperity. Afghanistan's recent history is characterized by war and civil unrest. The Soviet Union invaded in 1979, but was forced to withdraw 10 years later by anti-Communist Mujahidin forces. Fighting subsequently continued among the various Mujahidin factions, giving rise to Taliban. The Taliban developed as a political force and eventually seized power. The Taliban were able to capture most of the country, aside from Northern Alliance strongholds primarily in the northeast, until US and allied military action in support of the opposition following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks forced the group's downfall. In late 2001, major leaders from the Afghan opposition groups and diaspora met in Bonn, Germany, and agreed on a plan for the formulation of a new government structure that resulted in the inauguration of Hamid Karzai as Chairman of the Afghan Interim Authority (AIA) on 22 December 2001. The AIA held a nationwide Loya Jirga (Grand Assembly) in June 2002, and Karzai was elected President by secret ballot of the Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan (TISA).
Afghanistan consists of a variety of ethnic groups called Afghans,the overwhelming majority of whom are Muslim, usually either followers of Sunni or Shia Islam. Afghans are related to many of the ethnic groups in Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
The Pashtuns (Pushtuns), who make up more then half the population, have traditionally been the dominant ethnic group. Their homeland lies south of the Hindu Kush, but Pashtun groups live in all parts of the country. Many of them also live in northwestern Pakistan, where they are called Pathans. Pashtuns are usually farmers, though a large number of them are nomads, living in tents made of black goat hair. For the most part, Afghans are farmers, although a significant minority follows a nomadic lifestyle. In the years since the Soviet invasion and the later civil war, a large number of Afghans have fled the country and become refugees in neighboring nations, most typically in Iran and Pakistan.
Arts and Crafts
The arts and crafts Afghanistan map contains striking architectural remnants of all ages, including Greek and Buddhist stupas (shrines or reliquaries) and monasteries, arches, monuments, intricate Islamic minarets (the tall, slender towers on mosques), temples and forts. Among the most famous sites are the great mosques of Herat and Mazar-e Sharif; the minaret of a mosque at Jam in the west central highlands; the 1000-year-old Great Arch of Qal'eh-ye Bost; the Chel Zina (Forty Steps) and rock inscriptions made by Mughal emperor Babur in Kandahar; the Great Buddha of Bamian (55 m/180 ft tall); the "Towers of Victory"in Ghazni; and Emperor Babur's tomb and the great Bala Hissar fort in Kabul.
The culture of Afghanistan map reflects its ancient roots and position as a crossroads for invading ethnic groups and traditions. Whatever the Afghans make is always very attractive; even common grain bags to carry produce are often embroidered to make them more beautiful. A camel caravan of nomads often looks like a circus parade, with the animals decked out in woven finery. The Islamic traditions of fine calligraphy and graphic arts are evoked in the fine-filigreed flourishes that decorate many buildings. Poetry and poets are revered. Although the people of Afghanistan may have been sorely stressed by centuries of warfare and a difficult environment, their arts have prospered nonetheless.
The overwhelming majority of Afghans (about 99 percent) are Muslims. About 84 percent of Afghan Muslims are Sunnites and about 15 percent are Shiites (mostly the Hazaras and Tajiks). Small groups of Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, and Jews are scattered in the towns. Since the 1960s, many Afghan Jews have been able to migrate to Israel. Mazar-e Sharif, where the tomb of the Muslim leader Ali is said to be located in a 15th-century mosque, is a leading place of Muslim pilgrimage. Scattered throughout Afghanistan are flag-covered graves of people who are revered and petitioned for help in childbearing, settlement of disputes, moral leadership, etc.
Economy Map of Afghanistan
Right now, the economy map of Afghanistan portrays an extremely poor country which is highly dependent on foreign aid, farming and raising of livestock (sheep and goats), and trade with neighboring countries for survival. This is so because economic considerations have played second fiddle to political and military upheavals during more than two decades of war, including the nearly 10-year Soviet military occupation. During that conflict, one-third of the population fled the country, with Pakistan and Iran sheltering a combined peak of 4 to 6 million refugees.
The economy Afghanistan map shows that Gross Domestic Product has fallen substantially over the past 20 years because of the loss of labor and capital and the disruption of trade and transport; severe drought added to the nation's difficulties in 1998-2002. The majority of the population continues to suffer from insufficient food, clothing, housing, and medical care, and a dearth of jobs. The Vision economy Afghanistan mapgives priority to issues like reconstruction which include upgrading education, health, and sanitation facilities; providing income generating opportunities; enhancing administrative and security arrangements, especially in regional areas; developing the agricultural sector; rebuilding transportation, energy, and telecommunication infrastructure; and reabsorbing 2 million returning refugees. The replacement of the opium trade - which may account for one-third of GDP - and the search for oil and gas resources in the northern region are two major long-term issues.