The official name of the country is the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. According to legend, the name of the country “Afghanistan” comes from the name of the progenitor of the Afghan people – Avgan. This country, located in the Middle East, has no access to the sea, moreover, Afghanistan is today one of the poorest countries in the world. The poverty of the country is explained by the fact that for more than thirty years a civil war has been going on in the territory of the state. According to other sources, the origin of the name of the country consists of two parts, the first part – “Afghan” comes from “Afghani”, this is how the largest ethnic group of the country’s inhabitants – the Pashtuns – was called. And the second half of the name – “stan”, denotes a certain parking place, today in the Persian language the part “-istan” is used to form various names of geographical objects. The name of the people “Afghans” has been used since the Islamic period. The first mention dates back to 982, then the so-called Afghans belonging to various tribes, whose camps were located from the west on the mountainous border along the banks of the Indus River.
Geography of Afghanistan
According to itypemba, the Republic of Afghanistan in the west has a common border with the Republic of Iran, and Pakistan is located on the south and east side of Afghanistan. The northern border of the country separates Afghanistan from three countries at once: Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. From the east, the neighbor of the republic is China. In ancient times, Afghanistan was the main center of migration and trade, this was due to the fact that the country was located right at the crossroads between West and East. Afghanistan, if it were not for the terrible internal political situation in the country, has every chance of becoming a kind of link between South and Central Asia, and this country could also play a crucial role in the development of political, economic and even cultural relations in the region, firmly linking Central Asia with the Middle East.
The area of the country is 652,200 km².
About 26,813,000 people live in Afghanistan.
The official currency is the afghani (AFN), 1 afghani equals 100 pulas.
The official languages are Pashto and Dari.
Visa to Afghanistan
The country has a permanent visa regime, it is valid for everyone, with the exception of only Islamic believers who return from a pilgrimage to Mecca and Medina. The visa regime is slightly relaxed for representatives of the press, the Red Cross and people who come on a business trip. Visas are not registered by mail.
Weather in Afghanistan
The climate in the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is predominantly continental, subtropical and very arid. Afghanistan is characterized by rather sharp daily and annual temperature fluctuations. The capital of Afghanistan – Kabul is located at an elevation of 1830 meters above sea level, which makes the climate there cooler. Winters in the country are cold, but severe frosts are not typical for it, in January the average temperature in Afghanistan varies between 0..+7 degrees Celsius, and high temperatures up to +25 degrees Celsius are typical for summer. Precipitation in Afghanistan is a relatively rare phenomenon, the annual rainfall in the republic is 375 mm, and for the southeastern mountainous terrain of the republic, 800 mm of precipitation per year is possible, this is due to the fact that the Indian monsoon blows there. In the city of Kandahar, the climate is the mildest, but in Jalalabad, the climate is closer to subtropical. In the highlands of the country, a snow cap 3-5 meters high lasts almost the entire year.
Afghanistan has no access to the sea, which means that this country does not need sea transport at all. River transport is well developed, an incredible number of barges are rafted along the Amu Darya River. The railway track in Afghanistan is not very well developed, except for the completely new Mazar-i-Sharif-Hairatan railway line, there are few lines and they are very short. By the way, one of the railway-road bridges across the Amu Darya was built through the efforts of Soviet engineers.
Currency exchange in Afghanistan
As of June 2011, 1 USD = 43 AFN. Almost throughout Afghanistan, you can easily pay at retail outlets with US dollars, although there are those places where they accept only the national currency – afghani. Credit and other types of plastic cards in the country are not convertible at all. Various types of traveler’s checks can only be used in limited central areas of the city of Kabul. So it is better to exchange currency in your own country, but if you wish, you can get by with US dollars.
The voltage in the electrical networks of Afghanistan is standard – 220V/50Hz. The country uses sockets of both European and American types.
Religion in Afghanistan
Almost all residents of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan profess the religion of Islam, of which 85% are Sunnis, and 15% prefer the Shiite interpretation. There is also a small percentage of such religious teachings as Zoroastrianism, Sikhism, Hinduism, Buddhism. At the same time, according to data provided by the charitable Christian organization “Open Doors” in 2011, the Republic of Afghanistan is in third place among the countries in which the rights of adherents of Christianity are most oppressed.
Although the country is constantly in a state of war and political instability, it is not much more dangerous here than in most Indian cities. At almost every turn you can meet with representatives of the local police or the forces of the Coalition, and in the provinces, unrest is stopped by groups of local communities. The main danger, perhaps, remains unexploded shells, a kind of echo of war. Most of all, representatives of the weaker sex should worry about safety, it is better for them not to go outside without men and dress as modestly as possible, and cover their heads with a scarf. As elsewhere, it is unnecessary to get into unfamiliar cars and go away with strangers, wherever it is – too. Tourists are usually treated quite friendly and with a certain note of interest, regardless of skin color and nationality.
Considering that Afghanistan is the second in the list of the least developed countries in the world, healthcare here is clearly not at the highest level. Especially here, infant and maternal mortality is high, so giving birth in Afghanistan is not worth it. Before entering the country, you should take care of your own vaccination against the maximum number of dangerous diseases, because there are almost no families in the country in which there would be no sick people. About 30% of the country’s population is affected by various forms of tuberculosis, and about half of the Afghans have some mental disorders due to constant wars and instability.