Here are some
ideas about Afghanistan, which might be helpful in light of our current
events. During my research, I noticed that sometimes the facts
which is discouraging, but interesting.
Looking at a map, how would
go to the beach?
Pakistan or Iran
the closest beaches on the Arabian Sea, which is south. Iran also has
beach along the Caspian Sea to the Northwest.
of Afghanistan because of its lack of ocean
What countries border Afghanistan?
Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and China. To see an interactive map of
go to this website:
Do Afghans live in a desert?
There have been 3
of severe drought, leading to the term
the land. Afghanistan does have lowland desert region in the
However, Afghanistan is mountainous in the northern, central and
areas. Rainfall average is a slight 15" in the Hindu Kush
area, and that is the wettest part of Afghanistan. The dry
makes farming quite challenging. Many Afghans try to farm, but
land doesn't bear much fruit. Incredible scenery gives Afghans
as well as mineral rich lands. Much of the remaining forests are
being cut down for fuel and building materials, leading to
Natural hazards include damaging earthquakes in the Hindu Kush
and flooding as well as drought.
What are some of their major
Kabul which is
Kandahar, Mazar-e-Sharif, and Herat, which is the largest refugee camp
in the world. Refugee means one who escapes invasion.
Look at the size and shape of
How big does it appear to you?
It is slightly
than the state of Texas. The area total is
647,000 sq. km.
0 sq. km. of water. A river determined the northern border.
What is their language?
35% speak Pashtu,
50% speak Afghan Persian, otherwise known as Dari.
What is the flag of Afghanistan?
is three equal horizontal bands of green, white and black with a gold
centered on the bands. It includes an Islamic inscription and has
two crossed scimitars. Scimitars are curved Oriental swords with
an edge on the convex side.
The Taliban uses
own flag, which is a white one. In our culture the white flag
surrender, but not from the Taliban's
Who are the Taliban?
The Taliban are
Islamic leaders who captured Kabul in 1996. They consider their
to mean "Students of Islam." The Soviet Union had occupied
from 1979 until ten years later when they were forced to withdraw.
War has continued ever sense among mujahidin factions, but the
Islamic Talibans have seized most of the country. The Northern Alliance
has managed to control the North part of Afghanistan.
What is the government type?
There is no
government, only that which is administered by factions. The Taliban
they are the legitimate government of Afghanistan, however the UN still
recognizes the government of Burhanuddin Rabbani, which the Taliban
There is no constitution.
What kind of life do you imagine
live, if they have endured guerrilla warfare for all this time?
The people live a
life. Only about one third of the country can read and their life
is 46 years. There is little or no medical care or basic supplies
such as food. More than 5 million of Afghanistan's 26 million
depend on international aid for survival. It is a war worn population.
Do the children get to play?
The children are
affected by the poor living conditions and extreme rules by the
Pop music, dancing videos and television is banned. Laughing and kite
are against Taliban policy. Keeping pigeons as pets is not allowed.
by passing drivers to throw dirt into potholes. A
equals about 9 cents in American money, which is what they are paid.
Can they at least decorate their
the way they want?
No posters or
are allowed because the Taliban is concerned about promoting
There are no cell phones or Internet in use.
What is the education system like?
Males are allowed
attend school up to the 6th grade, and females are not permitted to go
to school. Sometimes children are illegally taught in homes and
children are sent to a safer school in Pakistan to be educated.
Can you imagine the issues that
with education limitations?
Women are not
work, and the Taliban government only allows them to work in some
settings. If the men are out fighting battles, it places a
strain economically on the families. Women are not even allowed
be given rides in cars, much less to drive them.
What do they wear?
High heeled shoes
Iran are the latest fashion, but women must cover themselves in
gowns from head to toe. The gowns are called burkas.
It is difficult to see and hear underneath these cloaks. Men are
to wear their beards long enough to be held in a fist. Barbers
imprisoned for cutting hair in the style that Leonardo di Caprio wore
he acted in the Titanic.
What other changes have occurred
in their economy?
Last July, Mullah
Omar, the Taliban's leader, banned the poppy crop and it has been
eradicated. This was quite a feat, because Afghanistan was the
largest opium producer. Opium is derived from poppies, and is a
ingredient in the illicit drug heroin. Illicit means
Poppies are drought resistant and labor intensive, which provided
for large numbers of the community. The farmers have tried to
wheat without much success. There was no planned reduction of
and the economy is devastated. However, the Taliban has been
successful is curtailing the use of this drug worldwide. The economy is
also dependent on raising livestock (sheep and goats) but with recent
even this has been impossible.
I used for
Multiple Choice review questions:
- Hindu Kush
which exists today:
is likely to occur in Afghanistan?
NOT border Afghanistan?
the size of:
Which is the most
LT's own on-line puzzle: Headline Countries: Click