Saturday, July 26, 2008


Today I studied Afghanistan and found these three differentiating characteristics:

1) Afghanistan is a landlocked and mountainous country in South-Central Asia. Large parts of the country are dry, subject to minor earthquakes and fresh water supplies are limited.

2) Revenue in Afghanistan is mostly taken from customs, as income and corporate tax is negligible.

3) Some private investment projects are starting to pick up steam, such as the "City of Light Development" in Kabul following a century or more of unstable transfers of power.

Here are three historical and geographical facts:

1) Afghanistan's Total Population is 32,738,376. Kabul is the capital city with over one million residents. Other cities in order of size are Kandahar, Herat, Mazar-e Sharif, Jalalabad, Ghazni and Kunduz. The country is divided into 34 provinces.

2) Afghanistan dates from 50,000 years ago, though the modern state was created in 1747.
In the last century, it has been a monarchy, republic, theocracy and communist state. It is currently a Republic led by President Hamid Karzai who was elected in October, 2004.

3) The tribal system orders life outside metropolitan areas. Under Islamic law, every believer should bear arms for the local clan leader (Khans) and tribal chiefs, if called upon. Afghanistan is about 40% Pashtun, 30% Tajik, 8.5% Hazara, and 8.5% Uzbek.

Here are three further economic facts:

1) This mountainous country, generally traveled by bus, continues to recover and rebuild, but has excessive illegal poppy and opium trading and is subject to attack from al Qaeda. There is a great deal of poverty, poor infrastructure, and large concentrations of unexploded land mines. Afghanistan, land of the Afghans, is also subject to violent political jockeying. On the positive side: it harbors great quantities of natural metals and minerals and could export energy, oil and natural gas.

2) As of 2005, the official unemployment rate was set at 40%. There are over 70,000 police officers.

3) Literacy in 1999 was 36%. Male literacy: 51%, Female literacy: 21%. Some parents will not allow their daughters to be taught by men, and we hope this will change and improve literacy.
Poetry events are popular.

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