The Afghani flag has a tricolor band of three different colors namely Red, Black and Green. The red representing the blood of those who fought for Afghanistan, the black representing the obscure and difficult paths that they’ve had and the green represents hope, future and Islam as this is the state religion. In the middle of the flag is the Afghani emblem. On the emblem is a mosque with two little miniature Afghani flags on the side which by the way makes Afghanistan one of the only two countries in the world that has a flag with miniature versions of its own flag on its own flag.
On the side are sheaves of wheat, on the top is the Shahada or the Muslim Creed, on the bottom is the name of Afghanistan written in Arabic and on top of that is the Arabic year of 1298 written in Arabic numerals which also in the standard current calendar is 1919 which was the year that Afghanistan was relinquished from its British protectorate status and became an internationally recognized sovereign nation known as Afghanistan. In terms of its political geography, Afghanistan is located in the Central Asian region surrounded by six other countries technically seven if you considered the Jammu Kashmir region part of India but Pakistan will tell you it is totally not.
When you look at the shape of Afghanistan, it just kind of looks like a big amorphous blob in the middle of nowhere but then when you look at the Northeast you start to see this long narrow stretch of land that kind of reaches out into the Hindukush mountain. The reason why Afghanistan have that long pad is kind of technical because England and Russia. Back in the 1800s the British and the Russians were competing against each other to see who could amass the largest global empire in terms of colonization and influence. Russia took over what are now known by many of the Central Asian countries as Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan while the British took over many of the South Asian regions such as India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. Now when it came to Afghanistan things were a little difficult because the Afghani people really did not want to be taken over. It was also a really crucial point on the map because essentially it was the area where the British and Russian empires got really close to each other. Eventually the British kind of took over at the end of the 19th century much to the reluctance of the Afghanis however they still had to distinguish the borders between Afghanistan and the rest of the other nations in the Empire.
When again to Pakistan or back then British India the British decided to use the Durand Line and it went came to the Russian Empire they decided to use the Panj and Palmir rivers. When both the empires drew these lines they technically didn’t touch each other in the northeast and left a huge long nail buffer zone which is now today known as the wakhan corridor by default was given to Afghanistan and to the state of the Wakhan corridor which plays a very crucial role in Afghanistan’s geography because for a very small 20 or so mile border at the very end of the Wakhan corridor is a border with China.
When it comes to physical geography Afghanistan has a large vast array of different kinds of landscapes however the large portion of the country is actually mountainous with the Hindukush mountain range dominating the Northeast regions and the central regions of the country. In fact the snow melt from these mountains accounts for the vast majority of the complex immense river systems that flowed throughout Afghanistan allowing their country to have lush green valleys where most of their agricultural sector can be found. Despite all the rivers and water reservoirs Afghanistan still remains a relatively dry nation. The further south you go closer to the Kandahar region almost immediately after you pass the Dori River you hit the Sistan Basin which is basically what geologists speculate may have actually been a large body of water at some point is now a dry desolate desert wasteland.
Nonetheless, with the arable land that it does have Afghanistan is still able to produce some of the world’s best produce including pomegranates, almonds, apricots and poppy. For the past few hundred years Afghanistan has been a leading nation in opium production. In terms of its demographics Afghanistan has just about 31 million people or roughly a little bit smaller than the size of Canada. The slight majority of these people identify as ethnically Pashtun or people from the Pashtun tribe they speak the Pashtun language known as Pashto. There are some other ethnic minorities like Uzbek and Tajik and Hazara. However, the interesting thing is that the majority of the people about 85% including the Pashtuns speak Dari. Dari is actually a dialect of the Persian language Farsi which means that someone who speaks Dari can actually interchangeably travel between Afghanistan and Iran without really having any trouble being understood.
There is one last Jew living in all of Afghanistan named Zablon Simintov. He lives in Kabul and used to own a restaurant. He maintains the last synagogue in all of Afghanistan, the locals there knew him just as that one Jew guy and they were cool with him.
Afghanistan has a very interesting way in how it interacts with other countries. Because of the whole language thing, Afghanistan and Iranians have typically kind of had somewhat of a cultural similarity and resonance with each other. However, they also have had some controversy. Pakistan and India are the biggest business partners of Afghanistan, however, when it comes to their best friend, Afghanistan definitely considers Turkey their best friend. They’ve cooperated with each other peacefully for over a hundred years and there’s an old Afghani saying “no Afghani was ever killed by a Turkish bullet and no Afghani trained by a Turk ever betrayed his country”.
In conclusion, Afghanistan is actually a very beautiful country with a very rich and vibrant yet often hidden cultural and historical past that very often goes overlooked and that’s my objective here at WAC to shine light on the obscure and put on display the often neglected yet fascinating attributes of Afghanistan and every region of the world.