People from Afghanistan are called Afghans. The majority of the population speaks Darian Persian (Dari) and Pashto. These two are also the official languages and are the widely spoken languages in Afghanistan, with about 93% of Afghans able to speak it regardless of their ethnic background. Other languages spoken include Uzbek, Hazaragi, Turkmen, Balochi, Pashayi, and Nuristani.
Afghanistan is located on the continent of Asia. It is bordered to the south and east by Pakistan, to the west by Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan (north) and China to the extreme northeast. It has a total population of 33.3 million covering an area of 652,000 square kilometers.
Islam is the state declared religion in Afghanistan having followers amounting to 99.7%. Other minority religions practiced are Sikhism and Hinduism experienced mostly in Jalalabad, Kandahar, and Kabul.
What Is The Ethnic Makeup Of Afghanistan?
Afghanistan consists of six major ethnicities. These include Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazara, Uzbek, and Aymaqs.
Pashtuns are the largest group consisting of more than 40% of the total population. They are at times generally referred to as Afghans since the name “Afghanistan” was derived from two words; “Afghan”, which historically referred to the Pashtuns, and “stan” meaning “place of”. Therefore, “Afghanistan” historically translated to “place of Pashtuns”. The Pashtuns include tribes such as Mangal, Wardak, Tani, Mohmad, and Jaji, all of whom practice Islam and adopt the Muslim lifestyle.
The Tajik people (also known as Farsi) are the second largest consisting 27% of the population. They are believed to have originated from Iran and hence, are Sunni Muslims. Sunni Muslims constitute 90% of the Muslims in Afghanistan.
The Hazara make up 10% of the country’s population. They are Shia Muslims who inhabit the central highlands of Afghanistan. The Shia Muslims make up roughly 10% of the total Muslim population.
The Uzbeks constitute 9% of the population of Afghanistan. They reside in the northern area of the country. They are equally Sunni Muslims with a strong adherence to the Islam religion and strict followers of Islam principles in matters such as marriages and traditions.
Aymaqs (also known as Aimak, Aimaq) consist only 4% of the total population occupying the western part of Afghanistan. Unlike the Uzbeks, the Aymaqs are liberal with Islam codes and principles. For example, the Aymaq women are accorded opportunities to choose husbands of their choice, and take part in decision making processes.
Other groups include Baluch, and Turkmen forming 2% and 3% respectively of the country’s population
Who Are Some Famous People From Afghanistan?
Famous people from Afghanistan include Dr. Sima Samar, the 2012 Alternative Nobel Prize winner, Anita Ghanizada, an American based actress, Najibullah Zadran, a professional cricketer, Nabil Miskinyar, an Afghan television host who also runs Ariana Afghanistan TV based in America.
Rohullah Nikpai won the first ever Olympic medal for Afghanistan in the Beijing Olympics in 2008. Afghan first female Olympic athlete Friba Razayee competed in Judo in the 2004 Athens Olympics.