Afghanistan is a landlocked country in Central Asia with a long, narrow strip in the northeast (the Wakhan corridor). Afghanistan is slightly smaller than the state of Texas, with a total area of 647,500 sq km (250,001 sq mi), extending 1,240 km (770 mi) NE–SW and 560 km (350 mi) SE–NW. Afghanistan is bounded on the N by Turkenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, on the extreme NE by China, on the E and S by Pakistan, and on the W by Iran, with a total boundary length of 5,529 km (3,436 mi). Afghanistan's capital city, Kabul, is located in the east central part of the country.
Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan
Dowlat-e Eslami-ye Afghanestan
CAPITAL : Kabul
FLAG : Three equal vertical bands of black (hoist), red, and green, with a white emblem centered on the red band; the emblem features a temple-like structure encircled by a wreath on the left and right and by a bold Islamic inscription above.
ANTHEM : Esllahte Arzi (Land Reform), beginning "So long as there is the earth and the heavens."
MONETARY UNIT : The afghani (AF) is a paper currency of 100 puls. There are coins of 25 and 50 puls and 1, 2, and 5 afghanis, and notes of 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000 afghanis. Af1 = $0.0211 (or $1 = AF47.3) as of May 2003.
WEIGHTS AND MEASURES : The metric system is the legal standard, although some local units are still in use.
HOLIDAYS : Now Rooz (New Year's Day), 21 March; May Day, 1 May; Independence Day, 18 August. Movable religious holidays include First Day of Ramadan, 'Id al-Fitr, 'Id al-'Adha', 'Ashura, and Milad an-Nabi. The Afghan calendar year begins on 21 March; the Afghan year 1376 began on 21 March 1997.
TIME : 4:30 PM = noon GMT.
INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION :
Afghanistan has been a member of the UN since 19 November 1946. Afghanistan also belongs to the Asian Development Bank, the Colombo Plan, the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the G-77, the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), and the Organization of the Islamic Conference.
Some fishing takes place in the lakes and rivers, but fish does not constitute a significant part of the Afghan diet. Using explosives for fishing or so-called dynamite fishing is trend that has become very popular since the 1980's and is common practice in the country. The annual catch was about 1,000 tons in 2000.
The fate of the Afghan National Insurance Co., which covered fire, transport, and accident insurance, is unknown as of 2002.