Mabel Fatokun

A Country Coveted By Emperors: Here Are The Good Sides Of Afghanistan


  • 43,063,956
  • 652,860 km²

Landlocked nation comprising several ethnic groups in the centre of south-central Asia is Afghanistan. Afghanistan has long been coveted by empire builders due to its location along major trade routes that connect southern and eastern Asia to Europe and the Middle East. For millennia, powerful armies have attempted to conquer the country, leaving behind impressive monuments that have since collapsed as a result of their efforts.

Afghanistan’s largest city, Kabul, serves as the country’s capital. After the protracted and bloody Afghan War, Kabul, which had been a peaceful city of mosques and gardens under the renowned rule of emperor Bābur (1526–30), the forerunner of the Mughal dynasty and for centuries a key hub on the Silk Road, lay in ruins. Much of the nation suffered in the same way, with its people dispersed and hopeless and its economy in ruins. An entire generation of Afghans had grown up only hearing about conflict by the early 21st century.

The quality of the soils varies greatly throughout the nation. The soil types found in the central highlands are either meadow- or desert-steppe. The southwestern plateau contains barren desert soils, with the exception of the areas along rivers where alluvial deposits are present. In contrast, the northern lowlands have extraordinarily lush, fertile, loess-like soils. In the central highlands, there is ample evidence of erosion, particularly in the areas impacted by seasonal monsoons and excessive precipitation.


Afghanistan generally experiences scorching summers and bitterly cold winters, which are indicative of a semiarid steppe environment. But there are a lot of geographical differences. While the mountainous parts bordering Pakistan are affected by the Indian monsoons, which typically arrive between July and September, the mountainous regions of the northeast experience a subarctic climate with dry, harsh winters.

The languages spoken in Afghanistan
Afghanistan’s population is a diverse patchwork of language and ethnic groupings. Both Persian (Dari) and Pashto are Indo-European languages that are recognised as official languages in the nation. The majority of people speak some variety of Persian, although more than two-fifths speak Pashto, the language of the Pashtuns. Although the Persian spoken in Afghanistan is commonly referred to as “Dari.


Afghanistan’s population is almost entirely Muslim, with over 40% of them being Sunnis belonging to the Ḥanafī branch. The others—the Ḥazāra and Kizilbash in particular—practice either Twelver or Ismāʿīlī Shiſi Islam. In the past, sufism has had a significant impact in Afghanistan.


A DIVERSITY of… anything
Afghanistan is a tiny geographic region, but it is home to a wide variety of:

Cultural legacy: from the remnants of the Ghaznavian era in Ghazni, which was formerly the Islamic World Capital, to the Koshani era in Bamyan, which was named the 2015 South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation Cultural Capital;
Languages: Brahawi to Shighnani;
Dialects: from the “good” or “okay” Pashtun Kandahari sha to the “kha” of Nangarharis;
Food: from a Hazaragi Wogray Ajay to an Uzbaki Qabuli;
Outfits: ranging from an elaborate Uzbaki costume to a stunning modern Kabuli costume; Musical instruments: the Rubab and the Dambura;
National games range from Buzkashi to Toup-Dunda; dances: from the Atan to Qarsak;
Fauna: from the sleek snow sparrow to the majestic snow leopard, Marco Polo sheep, and yak;
Plant life: rhubarb, huge hogweed, etc. Afghanistan has a greater diversity of flora species than all of Europe due to its approximately 3,000 plant species, which include hundreds of types of trees, shrubs, vines, flowers, and fungi.


Afghanistan’s decades of conflict have given politicians and foreign powers the chance to use the nation’s diversity to incite animosity amongst communities. However, a large portion of the populace finds inspiration in diversity, which continues to be the foundation of Afghanistan’s national legacy.


Afghans live as simply as possible because simplicity is king.

In Afghanistan, families typically reside in one large house together, as opposed to the West where people have separate rooms and only join together for meals.

Afghans are simple people; they prefer to sleep on mattresses on the floor rather than in beds, and they prefer to sit cross-legged on the floor over chairs.

The Afghan people have persevered through years of adversity thanks to their ambivalence towards luxury, and many of them—even the wealthy—prefer the simple life.

Afghanistan boasts one of the world’s youngest populations.

Approximately 38 million people call Afghanistan home. With over 67% of the population under 25, Afghanistan has one of the youngest and fastest increasing populations in the world, according to the United Nations Population Fund. The nation is among the youngest in the world, with a median age of 19.


Life expectancy has increased and infant mortality has declined.

In Afghanistan, 60 infants out of every 1,000 born in 2019 will pass away before turning five. However, the World Bank estimates that in 2000, there were 129 deaths for every 1,000 live births among children under five. According to the 2019 estimate, there are twice as many Afghan youngsters as there were in 2000 who might not die before turning five.


Maternal fatalities and neonatal mortality rates are declining, and most people reside two hours or less from a medical institution.

Over the past few years, Afghanistan’s healthcare system has been progressively getting better, as seen by growth in the proportion of female medical personnel and higher levels of healthcare coverage across the nation. According to data from the World Bank, there were 496 operational healthcare institutions in 2002, employing 581 women as physicians, nurses, chemists and midwives.


In January 2021, there were slightly more than 27 million mobile phone connections in Afghanistan, accounting for 68.7% of the country’s total population. By contrast, in 2010 only 35% of Afghans had access to cellphone service.

Datareportal estimates that the number of internet users in Afghanistan increased by about one million between 2020 and 2021, reaching 8.64 million in January 2021. Additionally, as of January 2021, there were 4.4 million social media users in Afghanistan, accounting for 11.2 percent of the country’s total population and up 800,000 from 2020. According to government data, Kabul is home to 911 print media outlets, 65 radio stations, and 96 television channels.


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