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Afghanistan

 
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Afghanistan

Uzbek

About 1.3 million Uzbek live mingled with the Tajik all across the northern plains of Afghanistan, from Faryab Province to Faizabad, capital of Badakhshan Province. There are many mixed Uzbek and Tajik villages, although each live in separate residential quarters. In 1983 a sizeable group of Uzbek were included among the group of 4,000 Turkic speakers from Afghanistan that were resettled in Turkey. Uzbek also reside north of the Afghan border in Uzbekistan, Tajikstan and Turkmenistan.

The Uzbek are Mongoloid with considerable Mediterranean admixture. They are Sunni Muslim and speak central Turkic dialects called Uzbeki. Uzbek practice agriculture and herding, but many live in towns where they are known as astute businessmen and skillful artisans as silver and goldsmiths, leatherworkers, and rug makers.

Some Afghan Uzbek refer to themselves by old tribal names; others identify with their towns of origin in Central Asia. Uzbek social structure is strictly patriarchal, giving considerable authoritarian power to leaders called begs, arbabs or khans. Marital endogamy is of prime importance. Although interethnic marriages between Uzbek, Turkoman and Tajik do take place, antipathy to marriage with Pushtun is widespread.

Afghan Uzbek originally came from Central Asia and their rise as the dominant political force in north Afghanistan followed the demise in 1506 of the Timurid dynasty centered at Herat. They established eleven strong principalities from Maimana to Kunduz under strong leaders, sometimes independent, sometimes nominally acknowledging allegiance to either Bokhara or Kabul, but always jockeying for power among themselves.

At the end of the nineteenth century Amir Abdur Rahman consolidated these Uzbak khanates under his rule. Later, fresh immigrations took place in the 1920s and 1930s as Russian conquests and local uprisings in Central Asia continued. During this same period many Pushtun settled among the Uzbeks with the result that by the 1960s the Uzbek had become a small minority within the area they once dominated. Since 1992, the Uzbek General Abdul Rashid Dostom, principal leader of the coalition opposing the Taliban, has controlled the predominant centers of power in the north.

Data as of 1997

 

Afghanistan - TABLE OF CONTENTS

SOCIAL STRUCTURE


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GENERAL FACTS & LINKS

Country name
Afghanistan
conventional long form
Islamic State of Afghanistan
conventional short form
Afghanistan
local long form
Dowlat-e Eslami-ye Afghanestan
local short form
Afghanestan
former
Republic of Afghanistan

Area -
total: 647,500 sq km
land: 647,500 sq km
water: 0 sq km

Geographic Location - Southern Asia, north and west of Pakistan, east of Iran

Map references - Asia

Capital - Kabul

Border Countries - China 76 km, Iran 936 km, Pakistan 2,430 km, Tajikistan 1,206 km, Turkmenistan 744 km, Uzbekistan 137 km

Major Cities - Kabul, Majar-e-Sharief, Jalalabad

Independence - Independence Day, 19 August (1919)

National holiday - Independence Day, 19 August (1919)

Languages Spoken - Pushtu, Dari Persian, other Turkic and minor languages

Weather Forecast -
 Farah
 Faizabad
 Herat
 Jalalabad
 Jabul Saraj
 Mazar I Sharif
 Shindand
 Shebirghan
 Zebak
 Zaranj

Airports - Kabul Airport

Ports - Kheyrabad, Shir Khan

Population - 27,755,775 (July 2002 est.)

Religion - Sunni Muslim 84%, Shi'a Muslim 15%, other 1%

Nationality - Afghan(s)

Currency - Afghani

Currency Code - AFA

Internet country code - .af

Mountains & Peaks - Shah Fuladi

Lakes - Helmand, Istada

Rivers - Amudarya, Harirud, Helmand, Kabul

Terrain - mostly rugged mountains; plains in north and southwest

Climate - arid to semiarid; cold winters and hot summers

Geography - landlocked; the Hindu Kush mountains that run northeast to southwest divide the northern provinces from the rest of the country; the highest peaks are in the northern Vakhan (Wakhan Corridor)

Waterways - 1,200 km note: chiefly Amu Darya, which handles vessels up to 500 DWT (2001)

Natural hazards - damaging earthquakes occur in Hindu Kush mountains; flooding; droughts

Natural Resources - natural gas, petroleum, coal, copper, chromite, talc, barites, sulfur, lead, zinc, iron ore, salt, precious and semiprecious stones


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Information Courtesy: The Library of Congress - Country Studies


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