"So long as there is the earth and the sky,
So long as the world endures;
So long as there is life in the world,
So long as a single Afghan breathes,
There will be this Afghanistan.
Whether we are Hazara or Baluch,
Pashai or Nuristani,
Uzbek or Turkmen,
Pashtun or Tajik,
Whatever ethnicity we are from,
We are all Afghans.
And children of one homeland.
Our chant is freedom,
peace and reconstruction,
development, and progress toward success.
This is our sacred call -
God is Great!
God is Great!"
conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
conventional short form: Afghanistan
local long form: Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Afghanestan
local short form: Afghanestan
Southern Asia, north and west of Pakistan, east of Iran
Slightly smaller than Texas
border countries: China 76 km, Iran 936 km, Pakistan 2,430 km, Tajikistan 1,206 km, Turkmenistan 744 km, Uzbekistan 137 km
29,928,987 (July 2005 est.)
Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek, Aimak, Turkmen, Baloch, many other smaller tribes
Sunni Muslim 80%, Shi'a Muslim 19%, other 1%
Afghan Persian or Dari (official) 50%, Pashtu (official) 35%, Turkic languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%, 30 minor languages (primarily Balochi and Pashai) 4%, much bilingualism
34 provinces (velayat, singular - velayat); Badakhshan, Badghis, Baghlan, Balkh, Bamian, Daykondi, Farah, Faryab, Ghazni, Ghowr, Helmand, Herat, Jowzjan, Kabol, Kandahar, Kapisa, Khowst, Konar, Kondoz, Laghman, Lowgar, Nangarhar, Nimruz, Nurestan, Oruzgan, Paktia, Paktika, Panjshir, Parvan, Samangan, Sar-e Pol, Takhar, Vardak, and Zabol
New constitution drafted 14 December 2003 - 4 January 2004; signed 16 January 2004
19 August 1919 (from UK control over Afghan foreign affairs)
Infant Mortality Rate:
total: 163.07 deaths/1,000 live births
male: 167.79 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 158.12 deaths/1,000 live births (2005 est.)
*source: CIA World Factbook - Afghanistan