Table of Contents


    Z. Ahmad and W. Kirmani

    Punjabi Persian poet (b. ca. 1070/1660, d. 1154/1741).


    J. Matīnī

    a poem in the motaqāreb meter by the 4th/10th century poet Abū Šakūr Balḵī.


    N. R. Keddie

    (1838 or 39-97), ideologist and political activist of the late 19th century Muslim world, whose influence has continued strong in many Muslim countries. Iran, Egypt, and Afghanistan are the countries of his greatest influence; his combination of reformed Islam and anti-imperialism continues to have widespread appeal.

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    Ch. M. Kieffer

    (afḡān), in current political usage, any citizen of Afghanistan, whatever his ethnic, tribal, or religious affiliation. According to the 1977 constitution of the Republic of Afghanistan (1973-78), all Afghans are equal in rights and obligations before the law.


    ʿA. Ḥabībī

    (afḡānī), the unit of currency in modern Afghanistan. 


    Multiple Authors

    (Islamic Republic of Afghanistan), landlocked country located in Central Asia and bordered by Iran to the west, Pakistan to the south and east, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to the north, and China to the far northeast.

  • AFGHANISTAN i. Geography

    J. F. Shroder, Jr.

    Afghanistan has an extreme continental, arid climate which is characterized by desert, steppe, and highland temperature and precipitation regimes.

  • AFGHANISTAN ii. Flora

    M. Šafīq Yūnos

    Climate studies have shown the importance of precipitation and altitude as conditioning factors for the diversity of Afghanistan’s flora.

  • AFGHANISTAN iii. Fauna

    K. Habibi

    Thirty-two species of bats have been identified in Afghanistan. Their preferred habitat is in warmer sections of the country, where they may be found in abandoned ruins and caves of the Sīstān basin and the steppes. To the east, common bats (Myotis and Pipistrellus) have been observed in Lāgmān and the Kabul river valley.

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  • AFGHANISTAN iv. Ethnography

    L. Dupree

    In their ethnolinguistic and physical variety the people of Afghanistan are as diverse as their country is in topography. Except in rural areas off the main lines of communications, few peoples maintain racial homogeneity.

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  • AFGHANISTAN v. Languages

    Ch. M. Kieffer

    Best represented are the Iranian languages, followed by Turkish languages of recent import, and Indian languages which are either native (Nūrestānī and Dardic) or imported (New Indian).

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  • AFGHANISTAN vi. Paṣ̌tō

    G. Morgenstierne

    Paṣ̌tō is an Iranic language spoken in south and southeastern Afghanistan, by recent settlers in northern Afghanistan, in Pakistan (North-West Frontier Province and Baluchistan), and on the eastern border of Iran. 

  • AFGHANISTAN vii. Parāčī

    G. Morgenstierne

    Parāčī is an Iranian language now spoken northeast of Kabul in the Šotol valley, north of Golbahār, and in the Ḡočūlān and Pačaḡān branches of the Neǰrao valley,  northeast of Golbahār. 

  • AFGHANISTAN viii. Archeology

    N. H. Dupree

    Excavations by countries other than France did not occur until after World War II. In the winter of 1950-51 the second expedition of the American Museum of Natural History was directed by W. Fairservis; Šamšīr Ḡār and Deh Morāsī Ḡonday, 17 miles southwest of Qandahār, were investigated by L. Dupree.

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  • AFGHANISTAN ix. Pre-Islamic Art

    F. Tissot

    In the tombs of Ṭelā Tapa, the dead are covered with fine fabric sewn with gold bracteates, while their clothing is woven from gold thread and embroidered with pearls. Their swords and daggers are placed in gold sheaths decorated with fantastic animals; their necklaces and pendants portray Greco-Iranian divinities.

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  • AFGHANISTAN x. Political History

    D. Balland

    1747 marks the appearance of an Afghan political entity independent of Safavid and Mughal empires. In 1709 a Ḡilzay uprising, led by the Hōtakī tribal chief Mīr Ways, had freed all of southern Afghanistan from Safavid control, thus establishing the basis of a state which would extend into Persia.

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  • AFGHANISTAN xi. Administration

    A. Ghani

    The form and function of Afghanistan’s administrative organizations have reflected the changing balance of power between centripetal and centrifugal forces. 

  • AFGHANISTAN xii. Literature

    R. Farhādī

    Under Aḥmad Shah Dorrānī, Afghanistan continued to play its long-standing role as a center of Persian literature and a transmitter of literary currents between Transoxiana and Islamic India. 


    Xavier de Planhol

    The development of forests is limited in Afghanistan not only by the total quantity of rainfall, but also by its seasonal distribution with respect to the vegetative season.


    Zuzanna Olszewska

    Afghan refugees make up a population of up to 3 million people of various ethnicities, who have settled in Iran since the communist coup of 1978 in Afghanistan.