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Afghanistan 2022


Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Jamhuri-ye Islami-ye Afghanistan
Southern Asia

Area 252K mi2; 652K km2

Arable 12%


At more than 8,000 feet in the Hindu Kush mountains sits the small town of Bamiyan, home of the colossal 6th-century statues of the Buddha carved into a cliff—and destroyed in 2001 by the Taliban. An important East-West trade link along the Silk Road for centuries, Bamiyan retains important art and archeological remains. Most of its people, like this girl jumping rope outside her home, are Hazara, a minority ethnic group long persecuted and denied basic rights and opportunity in Afghanistan. Local nonprofit organizations seeking a brighter future for the Hazara support education for girls, orphanages, basic health care, and economic development.

Ginna Fleming © 2008
PC Nigeria Staff 1961–1963

Population 37.5M (149/mi²; 58/km²)

Gov’t Presidential Islamic republic

Capital Kabul (4.3M)

GCP/Capita $2,065

Unemployment 24%

In Poverty 55%

Infant Mortality 107/1K live births (1st)

Life expectancy 53 yrs

Children Aged <15 Yrs 41% of pop

Median Age 20 yrs

Literacy 43%

Languages Afghan Persian/Dari (official & lingua franca), Pashto (official), Uzbek, English, Turkmen, Urdu, Pashayi, Nuristani, Arabic, and Balochi

Religions Muslim 99% (Sunni 85–89%/Shia 10–15%), other <1%

Health 9% of GDP

Education 4% of GDP (91st)

Military 1% of GDP (101st)

Labor Force Agriculture 44%, industry 18%, services 38%

PCVs 1962–1979 CURRENT: 0 TTD: 1,645


Adult Books

Dancing in the Mosque: An Afghan Woman’s Letter to Her Son
By Homeira Qaderi, translated from the Persian by Zaman Stanizai

Genre: Memoir
Publisher: Harper/HarperCollins Publishers (2020)
ISBN-13: 978-0-0629-7031-2

An accomplished author, professor, and government advisor, Qaderi writes the story of her life, addressing it to her beloved son, who as a toddler was taken from her when she divorced. Her dearest hope is that he will come to know her more fully by understanding their country’s tumultuous history—Soviet occupation, Taliban rule, American invasion—which indelibly marked her childhood and early adulthood. As a teenager—and, surprisingly, with the blessing of her parents--she defied Taliban orders by holding clandestine classes for children deprived of formal schooling. A passionate storyteller even as a small child, she was determined to become a published writer—a goal encouraged by her proud father—and succeeded. Chafing at the strictures of traditional Afghan society, she fought for her education and independence and now fights for the rights of Afghanistan’s women and girls.

“Dancing in the Mosque is heartbreaking, but it’s also alive with curiosity and subversive joy.”  (The New York Times)


Kids' Books

Razia’s Ray of Hope: One Girl’s Dream of an Education
By Elizabeth Suneby, illustrated by Suana Verelst

Format: Unpaged; illustrated
ISBN: 978-1-77138-577-0
Age Range: 8-12 years
Publisher: Toronto: Kids Can Press, 2020

Razia, a girl in Afghanistan, wants to attend a school for girls being built in their Afghan village. Razia knows, however, that she will need permission from her father and her oldest brother, Aziz, in order to be allowed to attend.


Film: Hava, Maryam, Ayesha
Director: Sahraa Karimi
Country: Afghanistan, Iran, France
Filming Locations: Kabul, Afghanistan
Release Date: 6 October 2019 (USA)
Language: Persian, Dari
Run Time: 83 minutes
Color: Color

Summary: Three Afghan women from different social background, living in Kabul, are facing a big challenge in their lives. Hava, a traditional pregnant woman whom no one cares about, is living with her father and mother in law. Her only joy is talking to the baby in her belly. Maryam, an educated TV news reporter, is about to get a divorce from her unfaithful husband, but finds out she is pregnant. Ayesha, an 18-year old girl accepts to marry her cousin because she is pregnant from her boyfriend who disappears after hearing the news. Each of them has to solve her problem by herself for the first time.


Yaron Pe’er

Yaron Pe’er is a musician and artist, poet and calligrapher, specializing in ancient instruments, composing of biblical texts, aside to original poetry.

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