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Transcript of Afghanistan
32 languages and dialects are spoken in Afghanistan
Official languages are Pashto and Dari
People in northern and central parts of Afghanistan speak Dari
35% of Afghanistan's population speak Pashto
50% speak Dari
11% speak Uzbek and Turkmen
Other languages spoken include Baluchi, Pashai, and Nuristani
Afghanistan is not a stable country. Some of the biggest causes of issues in Afghanistan are the Taliban and other terrorist groups. The war against terrorism in Afghanistan has been going on for over 30 years. These terrorist groups won't back down, and Afghanistan's weak government can't control them. The terrorist groups want to eliminate westernized views in Afghanistan and want their rules and laws to be strictly enforced in Afghanistan. The future of Afghanistan could be determined by the terrorist groups' willingness to negotiate.
Afghanistan's flag has three vertical stripes
Black represents the past
Red represents the blood shed for independence
Green represents faith
In the center, the Coat of Arms features a mosque, sheaves of wheat, and the Muslim Declaration of Faith.
"There is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah."
Islam is the main religion
80% of Afghans are Sunni Muslims
19% are Shiite Muslims
The remaining few are mostly Sikhs and Hindus
Afghan economy based on agriculture, raising livestock, and mining
Majority of Afghans live in poverty
They need food imports from other countries
Natural resources include fruits, nuts, gems, and natural gas
They produce rugs, carpets, and gemstones
The currency of Afghanistan is the Afghani
1 U.S. dollar=58 Afghanis
Traditional music is most common
String instruments are commonly used such as the:
Singing and drums are also common
Types Afghan of art include:
Gold and Silver Jewelry
Afghan diets are similar to diets in Central Asia, China, and Iran.
Women cook for the family
Staple foods are rice, barley, wheat, and maize
Consumption of pork and alcohol are considered forbidden
Families typically have 5 children
The oldest male, (usually father or grandfather) leads family
Taliban prevented women from getting an education and jobs
Men handle interaction with outside world
Women do chores, cooking, cleaning, taking care of children, etc.
Girls help with household chores around age 5
Boys help their dads with the family business after school is over
Some wear head-to-toe covering (burqa)
Climate varies due to elevation
Central and northeastern parts of the country receive heavy snowfall in winter
Male friends can link arms/hold hands
Members of the opposite sex don't touch or show affection in public
Pointing the soles of the feet toward others is considered impolite
Using the left hand while passing items to others is considered unclean
Literacy Rate: 28.1% (Men 43.1%, Women 12.6%)
Life Expectancy: 50 years old
Median Age: 18 years old
Population Growth Rate: 2.25%
Infant Mortality Rate: 119 deaths/1,000 births
Afghanistan does not have a strong economy. Although it has been recovering after the fall of the Taliban, 36 percent of Afghanistan's people live below the poverty line. Many people don't have the basic needs to survive because they don't have enough money. The economy of Afghanistan is still recovering and is expected to improve.
Education in Afghanistan includes primary school, secondary school, high school, and university.
Primary school: Classes 1-6 (ages 6-12)
Secondary school: Classes 7-9 (ages 7-15)
High school: Classes 10-12 (ages 16-18)
Most universities offer 4 years
Schools are free to attend (funded by gov.)
Education is not mandatory, but highly valued
Teaching is lecture-based
Common classes include:
Languages (Dari and Pashto)
English is at basic levels
Girls take a class called "home management"
18 million cell phones
150 radio stations
1 million internet users
use of internet is growing
50 TV stations
Celebrated during the first month of lunar calendar
Honors the grandson of Muhammad, Hussein
Men often whip themselves, although it is banned by religious leaders
Celebrated from beginning to end of the ninth month of lunar calendar
People fast from sunup to sundown
Family and friends get together after sunset to eat and visit
Celebrated after Ramadan
Men go to mosques for prayers
Family and friends visit
Gifts are given to children
The black stripe on Afghanistan's flag represents the past and the "dark times" during the monarchy. In the middle, the red stripe stands for the blood that was shed during the battle for Afghanistan's independence. The green stripe, the Coat of Arms, and the Muslim Declaration of Faith all represent the Islamic faith.
Different values of the Afghani are different colors and have different images on them. For example, the 20 Afghani is brown. It has a picture of Mahmud of Ghanzi's Tomb on the front, and a picture of Arg King's Palace on the back. The picture shown above is the 1 Afghani. It has the Seal of Da Afghanistan Bank on the front, and the image on the back is the Mosque in Masari Sharif. The different images on Afghanis represent important places and symbols in the Islamic Faith.
Poetry is a big part of Afghanistan's culture
Family rules are often very strict
Allah control everything in life according to his will
Many children wear amulets that repel evil spirits
The Five Pillars of Islam:
Declaring there is no other God but Allah and Muhamed is his prophet
Praying 5 times a day
Fasting during Ramadan
Donating to the poor
Making a pilgrimage to Mecca
President is head of stated and head of gov.
Presidents are elected for 5-year terms
Current president is Hamid Karzai
National Assembly consists of:
The "House of People"-249 seats
The "House of Elders"-102 seats
Afghanistan's constitution (adopted in 2004) grants freedoms of speech, practice, religion, association, and press. However, these rights aren't respected. Corruption within Afghanistan has caused the government to be unstable. The government is struggling to control the people and provide basic needs for them.
In the Islamic holy book, the Qur'an, Allah says women should cover themselves as a form of protection. Muslim people also believe it is modest to cover themselves. Some women who follow this strictly cover themselves from head to toe, only revealing their eyes.
Made of bricks or concrete
Often have white interiors
Typical kitchen appliances
Modern plumbing and plumbing fixtures
Made of mud brick
Larger than urban homes
Exterior plastered with straw and mud
No running water
Phrases in Dari:
Salam - Hi!
Hal e shoma chetoor ast - How are you?
Rooze khoobi dashteh bashid - Have a nice day!
Phrases in Pashto:
Teh singa jee? - How are you?
Me herabani - Thank you
Teh gabarah nada - You're welcome
In the Islamic faith, it is considered a sin to drink alcohol and to eat pork. Consuming alcohol is a sin because it makes people lose their senses and lowers their inhibitions. Eating pork is forbidden because they consider pigs to be dirty and filthy animals. In the Qur’an, Allah tells his followers to avoid harmful things. Pork and alcohol are both considered harmful, so that is why Muslim people avoid them.
Judging by Afghanistan's literacy rate, females don't get as much of an education as males. That leads me to believe that there is inequality between men and women in Afghanistan. The life expectancy of a person in Afghanistan is 50 years, which is not nearly as high as that of a developed country. Just from the demographics, it is easy to tell that Afghanistan is not a developed country.
Religious practices and customs:
Salat (Ritual Prayer)-performed 5 times a day, directed toward Mecca
Fasting during Ramadan
Making a pilgrimage to Mecca
Daily confession of faith: There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the prophet of Allah.
Afghanistan does not have as much access to and use of technology as a developed country does. Only a little over half of the population have cell phones, and many people still use landlines. Around one million people use the internet in Afghanistan, which is the minority of it's population. The number of internet users is growing, which is a sign that Afghanistan is progressing and becoming a little more modern.
The official religion of Afghanistan is Islam, and for the most part, the people in Afghanistan are Muslim. Afghanistan's government follows the rules of the Qur'an. For example, consumption of alcohol and pork are illegal in Afghanistan because they aren't approved of in the Islamic religion. Religion has a big influence on the way people live in Afghanistan.
The Dari alphabet contains 32 characters, and letters only have one form, so they do not have uppercase and lowercase forms. Dari is written from right to left.
The Pashto alphabet has 44 characters and three dialects; Northern, Central, and Southern. Pashto uses all of the 28 letter is the Arabic alphabet. The other 16 letters belong to other alphabets or are only included in the Pashto alphabet.
Kabuli Palau (Afghanistan's National Dish) Recipe:
4 cups basmati rice
5 skinless chicken legs
5 skinless chicken thighs
3 medium yellow onions, peeled and quartered
1/2 cup and 2 tbsp. olive oil
5 tsp. salt
1 cup chicken broth
3 large carrots, peeled
1 cup black raisins
1/2 cup slivered almonds
3 tbsp. sugar
12 3/4 cups of water
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Immerse rice in bowl of water and drain in a colander. Repeat previous step three times. Wash and dry the chicken. Set aside. Chop onions in a food processor using the pulse button. Put the chicken in a sauté pan. Pour 1/2 cup of the oil in the pan and sauté the onions over high heat until brown. Add chicken to the pan and sprinkle with 3 tsp. of salt. Cook over medium heat for 6 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of chicken broth and stir. Add another cup of chicken broth. Boil and cover with aluminum foil. Simmer for 10 minutes. Cut carrots 4 inches long and 1/8 inch thick. In a large frying pan add 3/4 cups of water and boil. Add carrots and cook until tender. Drain liquid from pan. Add 2 tbsp of oil, raisins, almonds, and sugar to carrots. Stir over medium heat for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and put carrots into an aluminum pouch the size of a small paperback novel. Measure 12 cups of water and 2 tsp. of salt into a large pot. Boil and place lid on pot. Add rice and boil until rice is al dente. Strain rice through colander. Put rice back in the pot and add the sauce from the chicken. Mix well.
Arrange chicken pieces on top of rice. Set aluminum package of carrots on top of rice. Bake for 15 minutes in 500 degrees. Lower temperature to 250 degrees and cook for 20 more minutes. Arrange chicken pieces on platter and cover with rice. Sprinkle the carrots, almonds, and raisins on the rice. Enjoy!
From what I've read, if sounds like Afghanistan's education system has its pros and cons; free education, different grade levels, and several classes are available. However, many girls and women don't get an equal education to what males get. Many women don't get a real education and instead learn how to cook, clean, and do other household chores. I also think education in Afghanistan should be mandatory rather than optional. Since schools are government funded, everybody should have the opportunity to get an equal education.
Holidays celebrated in Afghanistan are Islamic holidays. Islamic holidays are important to the people in Afghanistan because the vast majority of people are Muslim and the national religion of Afghanistan is Islam. Muslim people are very dedicated to their religion, and they show it in some of their traditions and activities they participate in during holidays. For example: they fast during Ramadan, which requires self-control and dedication.
(Afghanistan: The Current Situation)
1919: Gained independence from Britain
1933: Zahir Shah becomes king and Afghanistan remains a monarchy for 4 decades
1953: General Muhammad Daud abolishes Purdah (practice of hiding women from public view)
1965: People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan is formed
Afghanistan declared as a republic
1996: Taliban take control of Kabul
!996: Taliban enforces strict codes of dress and behavior on Afghanistan's people
1997: Taliban publicly executes Najibullah, Afghanistan's former president
1997: Taliban has control over 2/3 of Afghanistan
1998: Iranian diplomats are killed during Taliban's rule, creating more issues between Afghanistan and Iran
King Zahir Shah
Members of the Taliban
Traditional Afghan Music:
Music in Afghanistan is mainly traditional, but there is also minimal modern and postmodern music. In the 1990's, the Taliban put a ban on instrumental music and performances of music in public. I think Afghanistan's music is still traditional rather than modern because when the Taliban banned music, it didn't allow Afghanistan's music to advance to more modern sounds. Despite music being banned, some musicians continued to create and play music. The Taliban was also trying to eliminate westernized views in Afghanistan, and modern music is part of that.
In Afghanistan, men are in charge of the family; they have the most power and are superior to women. Since women are viewed as "less important" than men, they stay at home and take care of household chores, while men deal with interactions outside the home. I think families are like this because Afghanistan isn't very modern; men still view it as a woman's job to cook, clean, take care of kids, etc., and men are supposed to carry on the family business, work and supply money. I don't think women in Afghanistan will be able to get educations and jobs unless terrorism is eliminated.
A lot of Afghanistan's past has been carved by the Taliban. The Taliban has prevented Afghanistan from becoming modern by trying to get rid of westernized ideas. If the Taliban had never risen, Afghanistan would be much different. I think Afghanistan's government would be much stronger now if the Taliban hadn't come to power. The way people live and behave has also been greatly impacted by the Taliban. The Taliban controlled the way people dressed, what they could and couldn't do, and they are prevented people from expressing themselves. What the Taliban has done will affect Afghanistan's future forever.
Schools in Afghanistan
Neighborhoods in rural Afghanistan are poor and underdeveloped. Some people in rural neighborhoods live in houses made of mud, while others live in tents. People living in urban homes have a little more money than those in rural homes. In urban homes, people have access to heat, plumbing, water, etc.. Schools in rural areas are often held in tents, while schools in urban places are held in an actual building.
Since Islam is the national religion of Afghanistan, mosques tend to be bigger and more grand than most buildings. Pul-e Khishti Mosque (pictured above) is the largest mosque in the capitol, Kabul. Pul-e Khishti can be recognized by its light blue dome. Building began on Pul-e Khishti in the late 1800's, but was finished in the 1960's. It was damaged during fighting in Kabul, but has since been restored.
Major river systems: Amu Darya, Kabul, Hemland, Hari Rud
Northern Afghanistan has a lot of earthquake activity
Mount Noshaq is highest peak: 24,550 ft.
Wakhan Corridor is on northeastern part of Afghanistan
The Wakhan Corridor lies on the northeastern part of Afghanistan and borders Pakistan, Tajikistan and China. It is made up of the Hindu Kush, Karakoram, and Himalaya mountain ranges. North of the Hindu Kush mountain range is the Amu Darya river, which is one of the four main water sources for Afghanistan. The other water system Afghanistan relies on for water are the Kabul, the Hemland, and the Hari Rud. The northern part of Afghanistan is subject to many earthquakes, some strong enough that they can be felt in Pakistan and some that can hardly be felt at all.
Pul-e Khishti Mosque
(Center for Strategic)
One of Afghanistan's global contributions is increased security in airports. Since al-Qaeda's attacks on September 1st, 2001, airport security has to take more time and be more meticulous when searching through people's luggage and carry-on bags. The terrorist group al-Qaeda started in Afghanistan, which is why I think it is a global contribution of Afghanistan.
Another one of Afghanistan's global contributions is one of their main exports, opium. Sales of opium are a huge part of Afghanistan's economy. 92% of non-pharmaceutical-grade opiates are from Afghanistan. The amount of money made from Afghanistan's opium exports is about four billion dollars.
(Opium Production in Afghanistan)
Many of the forms of art listed above are also some of Afghanistan's main exports, especially carpets. In recent years, art has rarely been produced in Afghanistan due to war and the unstable government. The Taliban has also destroyed many pieces of art. They ruined the statues of non-Islamic religions, such as Buddhist and Hindu works of art.
Catch up with family
Some use computers/internet
Due to the violence and instability in Afghanistan, children don't get to have a normal childhood. For entertainment, most people read or talk with friends and family. Many people also own computers and use those as a source of entertainment. At a student library in Kabul, there are five computers and a printer available for students to use without paying. There are also internet cafés where people can go to get faster internet for free.
Poetry has been a big part of Afghanistan's culture for centuries. In the city of Herat, Afghanistan, many people gather on Thursday nights to share poetry with one another. Typically, family rules are very strict and they follow the rules of the Qur'an. Children often wear amulets to defend themselves against evil, as the Qur'an instructs. Afghans also believe that everything in life happens according to the will of Allah.
Neighborhood in Kabul
The climate in Afghanistan varies due to different elevations throughout the country. The capital city, Kabul (elevated 6,000 feet), experiences hot summers and cool winters, whereas the city of Kandahar (elevated 3,500 feet) has a mild temperature year-round. The people who live in rural neighborhoods in central and northeastern parts of Afghanistan must get very cold, because their homes have no heat and it snows in the winter.
Two friends who are both males can hold hands or link arms while walking in public, but people of the opposite sex are not allowed to show affection in public. According to the Qur'an, people of opposite genders can have a conversation and become friends, but flirting and such is considered sinful. It is impolite to point the soles of the feet at others because the feet are thought of as dirty. Afghans use their right hand for public functions. Using the left hand is an insult because the left hand takes care of hygienic needs.
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Afghanistan: The Current Situation." United States Institute of Peace. N.p., n.d. Web. 04 Jan. 2014.
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(What do Afghan Youth Do for Fun?)