My Country Report: Afghanistan
by: Yasin El Safty
Afghanistan is located in south-central Asia, bordered by Pakistan to the east and south, Iran to the west, and Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan to the north. It also shares a short border with China in the far northeast. The capital is Kabul.
Geography and Climate:
The most outstanding geographical feature of Afghanistan is its mountain range-The Hindu Kush. The Hindu Kush divides Afghanistan into 3 regions: the central highlands, northern plains and southwestern plateau. Because there are no oceans nearby and the mountains in bordering Pakistan block the wet air from the Indian Ocean, Afghanistan is very dry. They have very cold winters and very hot summers. It gets very cold in the north in the mountains.
People of Afghanistan:
Some famous Afghani people include:
Aryana Sayeed- singer
Hamid Karzai- former President
Mohammad Ashraf Ghani- current President
Khaled Hosseini- author
Emir Amanullah Khan- former King
Eid al Fitr- Islamic holiday after Ramadan, a month of fasting
The date depends on the lunar calendar.
New Year, Nawroz is celebrated March 21, the first day of Spring. Thousands travel to the northern city of Mazar-e-Sharif to welcome in Nawroz, a pre-Islamic festival. Local strong men raise a great Janda, an Islamic banner, to herald the beginning of spring and the start of the new year. If it is lifted in one smooth motion, it is seen as a good omen for the months to come.
Afghan Traditions and Customs:
The majority of Afghan people are Muslim, so there are many Islamic customs such as praying 5 times a day and shops are closed on Friday, the Muslim holy day.
Family is very important and also very private for Afghans. Hospitality is an important aspect of Afghan culture. Anywhere you go, if you visit a home, you will be given the best the family has to offer, such as food. This is done to gain honor.
National Resources and Exports:
Afghanistan has many natural resources and minerals such as copper, iron, natural gas and oil. They also have gems such as lapis lazuli and emerals.
Food of Afghanistan:
Afghan food is very yummy. It is South Asian cooking combined with Persian influences. Every part of the country has different cooking styles.
Kabuli Palaw- national dish, steamed rice with lamb, carrots, lentils and raisins.
Sabzi Challow- National New Year's Eve dish, made with sabzi (spinach) rice (challow) and lamb.
Afghanistan has many beautiful mosques, such as Mosque of Herat, located in the city of Herat.
Khyber Pass- road between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Persians, Greeks, Mughals, Afghans, and the British passed through it and it was the key point in control of the Afghan border.
Bamiyan Monks Caves- held the largest statues of Buddha until the Taliban destroyed them in 2001.
Poetry is a cherished part of Afghan culture. Afghans have told their stories in verse for more than 1,000 years. Thursday night is "poetry night" in the western city of Herat - men, women and children gather to share ancient and modern verse, listen to traditional Herati music, and enjoy sweet tea and pastries long into the night.
Alexander the Great was the first to build Herat's ancient citadel when he captured the city in 330BC. The only woman to capture the heart of the Macedonian empire builder was the beautiful Roxanne, from the northern Afghan province of Balkh. She bore him his only son before Alexander died at the young age of 33.
The world's first oil paintings were drawn not in Renaissance Europe but in the caves of Bamiyan, in the central highlands of Afghanistan around 650BC. Bamiyan boasted a flourishing Buddhist civilisation from the 2nd Century up to the Islamic invasion of the 9th Century. This is where the world's two largest standing Buddhas once stood, until the Taliban destroyed them in 2001.
USA vs. Afghanistan
USA is larger and has more money. There are many schools and hospitals.
Afghanistan is smaller and poorer. The many wars on its soil have made the country unsafe and the quality of life is not good.
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Public - 5/6/16, 12:56 AM