Dialing code: 93
Currency: Afghan afghani
GDP: 20.34 billion USD (2011) World Bank
Official language: Pashto language, Dari
Government: Presidential system, Islamic republic
Afghanistan has been in the news recently because of the War on Terror, Osama Bin Laden, Tribal wars and Opium production. But Afghanistan is a diverse country with a rich heritage. It is so much more than what has been seen in the news. It has gotten a very bad reputation for the events over the past ten years, but there are many things about it that people miss. Here are a few facts about that most people do not know and show the country deserves a second look.
5 Facts You Might Not Know about Afghanistan
1 - Afghanistan has rich mineral deposits. Afghanistan is a country on top of billions of dollars of untapped minerals. Much of this is natural gas and petroleum, but it is also a place where other rich minerals are deposited. Lapis lazuli, a beautiful blue stone used to be mined exclusively in Afghanistan. Many of the most brilliant works of art that include rich blues are only in existence because this mineral was used to make the blue pigment
2 - There are over 30 different languages spoken in Afghanistan. Dari is spoken by fifty percent of the people in Afghanistan, however it is by no means the only language spoken. There are at least thirty minor languages spoken by the multitude of different cultures there. The second most popular language spoken in Afghanistan is Pashto at only 35 percent of the population.
3 - The Afghan culture is over 2000 years old. There are very few places in the world where the culture has been preserved for this long. Because of the nomadic and tribal culture different regions have different cultures making it one of the most diverse cultures in the world. Afghans have pride in their culture and hold festivals to celebrate it.
4 - They play the same sports as everyone else. Many people have seen pictures of people in Afghanistan dragging a goat around for fun, but most people don't know football (soccer) is a much more popular sport. The Afghan football team has been competing on the world stage since 1941. Other sports Afghans love include cricket, volleyball, basketball, and boxing.
5 - Afghanistan produces good traditional and modern music. Kabul produces the same quality of talented musicians as anywhere else. Many of them use both traditional and modern music to produce a unique sound that can only be found in Afghanistan. Musicians get to showcase their talent at New Years and and National Independence Day celebrations.