Afghanistan (Land of the Afghans) is a mountainous land-locked country in Central Asia with a history and culture that goes back over 5000 years. Throughout its long, splendid, and sometimes chaotic history, this area of the world has been known by various names. In ancient times, the land was called Aryana by its inhabitants. In the medieval era, it was called Khorasan, and in modern times, Afghanistan.
Acknowledgment: Lonely Planet.
The four major ethnic groups are Pashtoons, Tajiks, Hazaras, and Uzbeks. Numerous other minority ethnic groups (Nuristanis, Baluchis, Turkmen, etc.) also call Afghanistan their home. The majority of Afghans (99%) are Muslims. The official languages of the country are Pashto and Dari (Afghan Persian dialect). The capital is Kabul, and these days, due to the previous wars, and the current bombing, the city stands shattered and destroyed. It used to be admired by many great figures, such as the famous Central Asian conqueror, Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur (b.1483).
Today, Afghanistan is in a disastrous state: the economy is in ruins, its people are dying of hunger and migrating to the neighboring countries, who take advantage of its instability. Afghan people suffer from enormous poverty, a crumbling infrastructure, and widespread live land mines.