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Country Facts About Afghanistan for Kids
Introduction to Afghanistan
The country of Afghanistan is located in Central Asia. It shares borders with Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Turkmenistan. The “stan” in Afghanistan means “place.”
Afghanistan’s form of government is called an Islamic Republic. The people elect leaders to make laws. But the laws must be compatible with the rules of the religion of Islam. The capital city is Kabul.
Afghanistan is a desperately poor country. Most Afghans live in rural areas. Houses in rural areas are often made out of mud. People in cities often live in apartments. Because so many people are poor, many apartments are run down with no heating.
Afghanistan has a population of about 30 million people. They are divided into different ethnic groups. The Pashtun and Tajik ethnic groups are the largest. Smaller ethnic groups are the Hazara, Uzbek, Aimak and Turkmen.
Dari and Pashto are the most widely spoken languages. Most people practice a religion called Islam. People who practice Islam are called Muslims. About 80 percent of the population works in farming. Most people are illiterate, which means they can’t read or write.
Afghanistan has millions of nomads called Kuchi. Nomads are people who move from place to place. The Kuchi herd sheep and goats and they live in tents.
Climate and Topography
Afghanistan has a semi-arid steppe climate. It has hot summers and frigid winters. It may be very cold in the morning but extremely hot during the day. Most rain falls in the spring and fall. Steppe regions usually have lots of grasses and small shrubs. There isn’t enough rain for large forests to grow.
Afghanistan is a landlocked country. It is completely surrounded by other countries. It has no coasts or direct access to the ocean or sea.
Mountains cover large parts of the country. The largest mountain range is the 500 mile Hindu Kush, which separates Afghanistan from Pakistan. Farmers grow crops and raise sheep and goats in fertile valleys. Afghanistan doesn’t have many forests. The few it does have are becoming smaller. Trees are being cut down for firewood, which is needed for cooking and heat.
Registan is a large desert in Southwestern Afghanistan. Registan means “country of sand.” The Helmand River is the longest river in the country.
Afghanistan produces crops, wool and rugs. The country has a lot of natural resources, including natural gas, petroleum, coal, marble, copper, gold, gem stones and salt.
Afghanistan exports fruits, nuts, rugs, wool, cotton and gemstones to other countries. The country imports food, oil, cars, textiles and capital goods. Capital goods are used to make goods or provide services. They include things like machinery and office equipment.
The afghani is the currency of Afghanistan.
Men and boys enjoy kite flying. Kite fighting is a popular kite flying sport. The goal is to cut the string of an opponent’s kite. Kite strings are coated with a sticky resin and small broken pieces of glass are stuck into it. When a kite string is cut, the kite falls down to the ground. Children called “kite runners” run to pick up the fallen kite. Whoever gets the fallen kite first gets to keep it.