Unbelievable Facts About Afghanistan
Afghanistan is a country with a long and complex history. From being part of the Persian Empire, to being one of the poorest countries in the world, Afghanistan has seen its fair share of highs and lows. Whether you’re looking for a place of pilgrimage, a land with a deep spiritual connection, or even one of the oldest countries on Earth, Afghanistan has it all. Read on to uncover some of the most unbelievable facts about Afghanistan.
Afghanistan Was Once Part of a Persian Empire
One of the most unbelievable facts about Afghanistan is that it was once a part of a Persian Empire. Founded in 559 BC by Cyrus the Great, the Persian Empire consisted of dozens of countries, tribes, and civilizations – including Afghanistan. Other parts of the world in the Persian Empire included western India, Pakistan, and parts of Central Asia. The head of the Persian Empire was the Shah of Persia and the official religion was Zoroastrianism, an ancient religion that is still practiced by some in the region today.
Afghanistan Is a Place of Pilgrimage for Muslims
Another unbelievable fact about Afghanistan is that it is a place of pilgrimage for Muslims all around the world. The city of Balkh is considered to be one of the oldest cities in history, and is home to an ancient mosque where Muslims from all over the world come to pray and seek spiritual guidance. The city is also home to a religious complex known as the Blue Mosque, a site that is particularly popular amongst Shia Muslims.
There Are Over 40 Different Ethnic Groups in Afghanistan
Afghanistan is a culturally diverse country with over 40 different ethnic groups living in the region. The majority of the population is made up of Pushtun people, who are the largest and most prominent ethnic group in the country. Other ethnic groups in Afghanistan include Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks, and Turkmens. Each ethnic group has their own distinct culture and traditions with its own language.
The Country Has an Array of Unique Wildlife
Afghanistan is home to an abundance of wildlife and diverse ecosystems. From snow-capped mountains to deserts and valleys, the country’s landscape provides the perfect habitat for a variety of animals. An endangered species native to Afghanistan is the Marco Polos sheep – a species of wild sheep that is found mainly in the Wakhan Corridor. Afghans also have a long-held respect for birds and other forms of wildlife, and it’s common to see birds such as eagles and falcons soaring through the skies.
Afghanistan Is Home to Eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Believe it or not, Afghanistan is actually home to eight UNESCO World Heritage Sites. These sites include the Minaret of Jam, a 12th century monument that is located in the Ghor province. Other sites include the ancient city of Band-e Amir in the Bamyan province, and the ruins of Takht-e Rustam located in the north-western Badghis province.
Afghanistan Has One of the Poorest Economies in the World
Unfortunately, one of the most unbelievable facts about Afghanistan is that it is one of the poorest countries in the world. Despite the country’s abundance of natural resources and its central geographical location, Afghanistan’s economy has struggled since the end of Taliban rule in 2001. The country’s GDP per capita is one of the lowest in the world and a staggering 40% of the population lives below the poverty line.
Afghan Women Are Making Strides in Education
Although Afghanistan is in an economically depressed state, there has been some progress in the number of Afghan women receiving education services. In 2014, the Afghanistan government announced an initiative to provide education services to all Afghan girls aged 7-15. As a result, the female literacy rate has increased from less than 15% in 2001 to over 35% in 2020, a remarkable achievement in such a short period of time.
Afghanistan Has Rich Handicrafts and Arts
One of the most impressive facts about Afghanistan is that the country has a rich culture of crafts and arts. Visiting an Afghan market is a sensory overload of vibrant carpets, jewelry, and clothing. From traditional tapestries to carved wooden furniture, Afghanistan’s handmade crafts are some of the best in the world. Traditional Afghan arts and music is also still alive and thriving, with local musicians and artists creating beautiful pieces of art that reflect their culture and heritage.
Afghanistan is a unique and fascinating country with a deep and complex history. From being part of the Persian Empire to being home to over 40 ethnic groups and 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, there are many unbelievable facts about Afghanistan that need to be explored and appreciated. Afghanistan is also making positive progress in women’s education and is home to a wealth of crafts and arts.
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