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  1. #1
    Missouri Star

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    Default Travel Tuesday: Afghanistan 🇦🇫

    There are almost 200 countries in the world......this may take some time and at some point I may run out of steam....so get your favorite beverage and put on your seat belts, adjust your mirrors....were off....! Hope you enjoy the journey.

    Interesting Facts about Afghanistan:

    The people of Afghanistan are called Afghans and their currency is Afghanis. Most of the time, people get confused between the use of these two terms.

    Agriculture is the main source of income for Afghans. Afghanistan is also rich in natural resources like natural gas and oil.

    “Buzkashi” is Afghanistan’s national game. Players in two teams try to catch a goat while riding a horse. This game is being played for centuries and is a tough sport.

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    New Year is celebrated by Afghans on 21st March. They call it “Nawroz”. It is a pre-Islamic festival which is celebrated by a gathering of thousands of travelers from across Afghanistan to the city of Mazar-e-Sharif. There is a mosque in the center of the city. It is known as the Blue Mosque or ‘the Shrine of Hazrat Ali’ the cousin and son-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H).

    Mobile phone coverage is available in more than 90% of the country. Mobile phones are status symbols.

    They celebrate poetry night on Thursdays in the western city of Herat. People of all age groups gather there to share modern and ancient verses of poetry and indulge in some nice food along with some sweet tea.

    Alexander the Great captured the city of Herat in 330BC and built its ancient citadel. Alexander had a son with a beautiful woman from the province of Balkh in Afghanistan.

    Arnold Schwarzenegger is the poster boy in many of the muscle building centers in Afghanistan. They say he (Arnold Schwarzenegger) looks like an Afghan.

    Kandahar airfield was once*the busiest single-runway airstrip in the world when it handled 1,700 to 5,000 flights a week. Here NATO installed its first complete air traffic capability in a non-NATO country.

    World’s largest Buddhas (two of these) were first built in Afghanistan. These statues were destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. Built in 507 CE (smaller) and 554 CE (larger), they were respectively 35 and 53*m (115 and 174*ft) tall.

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    The world’s first oil paintings were drawn in the caves of “Bamiyan” around 650BC.

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    There is only one Jewish person living in Afghanistan. His name is Zablon Simintov and he is a restaurateur and an Afghan carpet trader. He was born in 1959.

    There has been 300% increase in Opium cultivation in Afghanistan in 2013 when compared to the last seven years before the U.S. invasion.*Between 80 and 90 percent of the heroin sold in Europe comes from opium grown in Afghanistan. Afghanistan was once the largest producer of cannabis.

    Afghanistan has been a war-torn country for decades and has been under the military influence of many powers including Soviet, British, Mongols, Muslim Arabs, Mauryas, Alexandra the Great, and in recent times under western powers.

    Buddhism and Zoroastrianism were dominant religions in Afghanistan before the introduction of Islam.

    Genghis Khan and his Mongol army spread rapidly in Afghanistan in 1219 AD.

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    Ahmad Shah Durrani, also known as “the Father of the Nation”,*is the founder of the last Afghan empire. He was crowned in 1747. He consolidated the country from principalities and fragmented provinces into one kingdom.

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    In 2004, Hamid Karzai became the first democratically elected president of Afghanistan.

    The term*Afghanistan translates to “the land of Afghans”.

    Afghanistan is also the land of many historical sites. And it is the 40th most populous country in the world.

    Afghanistan’s location on the silk route gave it various economic and cultural advantages.

    In Afghanistan, most of the shops and businesses are closed on Friday, which is the Islamic holy day.

    The legal, political, economic and personal lives of the Afghans is governed by Islamic laws.

    Food is generally served on the floor, on clothes made from various materials. Making use of the right hand while eating the food is the norm, and the food is generally shared from the same dish unless required otherwise.

    Noshaq (7,492 meters or 24,580 ft) is the highest point in Afghanistan.

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    Helmand is the longest river in Afghanistan.

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    The minaret of Jam in Afghanistan is the second tallest minaret in the world.

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    Afghanistan is home to the famous Hindu Kush, (It is an 800-kilometre-long mountain range*that extends connecting the central*Afghanistan*& the northern*Pakistan) which rises over 18,000 feet.

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    Afghanistan is rich in a vibrant blue stone,*called lapis lazuli, which has been used to beautify the tomb of Tutankhamen, the Egyptian king.

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    In around 400 BC the Greeks constructed a City at*Ai Khanoum, situated in northern Afghanistan, which had one gymnasium, and a theater. The monument had devotions in Greek towards Hercules & Herakles and also had a big figurine to Zeus. It is a Heritage site there.

    Similar to the Americans, Afghans too, steer on the right-hand section of the road.

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  3. #2
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Travel Tuesday: Afghanistan 🇦🇫

    Very interesting! Afghanistan has been of interest to me for many years. My BIL is from there. He came to the USA back in the 1950's on a student VISA, met my older sister in CA; they got married. When their son was ~18 mos. old, they moved to Kabul & lived in Afghanistan for 6 yrs. My sis worked for the American consulate & my BIL completed some sort of military work/obligation. Two of their 4 children were born there. The kids fluidly spoke Persian with the locals & English with their parents. It's a vastly different culture. The unveiling of the women took place while they lived there. They had to make their plans to leave & return to the US secretly. I believe during those years the Russians were occupying the country. I loved many of the Afghan dishes my sis used to cook. Most meals are served with rice. My sis & BIL operated a restaurant for 5 yrs. serving up their wonderful foods.

    I look forward to your future posts. Thanks for taking the time to share with us.

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