New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and 1,000 kilometres south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia and Tonga; because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal and plant life; the country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington. Sometime between 1250 and 1300, Polynesians settled in the islands that were named New Zealand and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the United Kingdom and Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which declared British sovereignty over the islands.
In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire and in 1907 it became a dominion. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.9 million is of European descent. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration; the official languages are English, Māori, NZ Sign Language, with English being dominant. A developed country, New Zealand ranks in international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, economic freedom. New Zealand underwent major economic changes during the 1980s, which transformed it from a protectionist to a liberalised free-trade economy; the service sector dominates the national economy, followed by the industrial sector, agriculture. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the prime minister Jacinda Ardern.
Queen Elizabeth II is the country's monarch and is represented by a governor-general Dame Patsy Reddy. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes; the Realm of New Zealand includes Tokelau. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, ASEAN Plus Six, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Pacific Community and the Pacific Islands Forum. Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted New Zealand in 1642 and named it Staten Land "in honour of the States General", he wrote, "it is possible that this land joins to the Staten Land but it is uncertain", referring to a landmass of the same name at the southern tip of South America, discovered by Jacob Le Maire in 1616. In 1645, Dutch cartographers renamed the land Nova Zeelandia after the Dutch province of Zeeland. British explorer James Cook subsequently anglicised the name to New Zealand. Aotearoa is the current Māori name for New Zealand.
It is unknown whether Māori had a name for the whole country before the arrival of Europeans, with Aotearoa referring to just the North Island. Māori had several traditional names for the two main islands, including Te Ika-a-Māui for the North Island and Te Waipounamu or Te Waka o Aoraki for the South Island. Early European maps labelled the islands North and South. In 1830, maps began to use North and South to distinguish the two largest islands and by 1907 this was the accepted norm; the New Zealand Geographic Board discovered in 2009 that the names of the North Island and South Island had never been formalised, names and alternative names were formalised in 2013. This set the names as North Island or Te Ika-a-Māui, South Island or Te Waipounamu. For each island, either its English or Māori name can be used. New Zealand was one of the last major landmasses settled by humans. Radiocarbon dating, evidence of deforestation and mitochondrial DNA variability within Māori populations suggest New Zealand was first settled by Eastern Polynesians between 1250 and 1300, concluding a long series of voyages through the southern Pacific islands.
Over the centuries that followed, these settlers developed a distinct culture now known as Māori. The population was divided into iwi and hapū who would sometimes cooperate, sometimes compete and sometimes fight against each other. At some point a group of Māori migrated to Rēkohu, now known as the Chatham Islands, where they developed their distinct Moriori culture; the Moriori population was all but wiped out between 1835 and 1862 because of Taranaki Māori invasion and enslavement in the 1830s, although European diseases contributed. In 1862 only 101 survived, the last known full-blooded Moriori died in 1933; the first Europeans known to have reached New Zeala
Hazāristān or Hazārajāt is a mountainous region in the central highlands of Afghanistan, among the Koh-i-Baba mountains in the western extremities of the Hindu Kush. It is the homeland of the Hazara people. "Hazārajāt denotes an ethnic and religious zone rather than a geographical one—that of Afghanistan's Turko-Mongol Shiʿites." Hazarajat is made up of the provinces of Bamyan, Daykundi and large parts of Ghazni, Urozgan and Wardak. The most populous towns in Hazarajat are Bamyan, Nili, Lal wa Sarjangal, Sang-e-Masha and Behsud; the Kabul, Helmand, Hari, Murghab and Kunduz rivers originate in Hazarajat. The name "Hazarajat" first appears in the 16th-century book Baburnama, written by Mughal Emperor Babur; when the famous geographer Ibn Battuta arrived in Afghanistan in 1333, he travelled across the country but did not record any place by the name of Hazarajat or any Hazara people. It was not mentioned by previous geographers, adventurers or invaders either; the name Hazarajat is used by the Hazara people, surrounding peoples to identify the historic Hazara lands.
The term might be linguistically compounded the suffix jat. Maqdesi, an Arab geographer, named Hazarajat as Gharj Al-Shar-Gharj meaning "mountain" area ruled by chiefs; the region was known as Gharjistan in the late Middle Ages, though the exact locations of main cities still remain unidentified. The name Hazarajat first appears in the 16th century Baburnama, written by Mughal Emperor Babur; the Hazarajat lies in the central highlands of Afghanistan, among the Koh-i Baba mountains and the western extremities of the Hindu Kush. "Its boundaries have been inexact and shifting, in some respects Hazārajāt denotes an ethnic and religious zone rather than a geographical one–that of Afghanistan’s Turko-Mongol Shiʿites. Its physical boundaries, are marked by the Bā-miān Basin to the north, the headwaters of the Helmand River to the south, Firuzkuh to the west, the Unai Pass to the east; the regional terrain is mountainous and extends to the Safid Kuh and the Siāh Kuh mountains, where the highest peaks are between 15,000 to 17,000 feet.
Both sides of the Kuh-e Bābā range contain a succession of valleys. The north face of the range descends steeply, merging into low foothills and short semi-arid plains, while the south face stretches towards the Helmand Valley and the mountainous district of Besud."Northwestern Hazarajat encompasses the district of Ghor, long known for its mountain fortresses. The 10th century geographer Estakhri wrote that mountainous Ghor was "the only region surrounded on all sides by Islamic territories and yet inhabited by infidels." The long resistance of the inhabitants of Ghor to the adoption of Islam provides an indication of the region's inaccessibility. The language of the inhabitants of Ghor differed so much from that of the people of the plains, that communication between the two required interpreters; the northeastern part of the Hazarajat, is the site of ancient Bamyan, a center of Buddhism and a key caravanserai on the Silk Road. The town is situated at a height of 7,500 feet and surrounded by the Hindu Kush to the north and Koh-i Baba to the south.
The Hazarajat was considered part of the larger geographic region of Khurasan, the porous boundaries of which encompassed the vast region between the Caspian Sea and the Oxus River, thus including much of what is today Northern Iran and Afghanistan. Hazarajat is mountainous, a series of mountain passes extend along its eastern edge. One of them, Salang Pass, is blocked by snow six months out of the year. Another, Shibar Pass, at a lower elevation, is blocked by snow only two months out of the year. Bamyan is the colder part of the region. Hazarajat is the source of the rivers that run through Kabul, Helmand, Murghab and Kunduz, during the spring and summer months, it has some of the greenest pastures in Afghanistan. Natural lakes, green valleys and caves are found in Bamyan; the area was ruled successively by the Achaemenids, Mauryas and Hephthalites before the Saffarids Islamized it and made it part of their empire. It was taken over by the Samanids, followed by the Ghaznavids and Ghurids before falling to the Delhi Sultanate.
In the 13th century, it was invaded by his Mongol army. In the following decades the Qarlughids emerged to create a short-lived local dynasty that offered a few decades of self-rule; the area became part of the Timurid dynasty, the Mughal Empire and the Durrani Empire, successively. When Alexander the Great travelled north into what is now Afghanistan, "his historians write that Alexander came across a strange people in the region who were more belligerent than the others; the description provided by Kent Corse about the mud houses of the people can be observed by any traveler today." In the 7th century, Hsuen Tsang wrote "that a swift spring gushes from Ho-sa-la and its water divides into several branches. The weather of this place is cold and it snows and hails there, its people are happy and free, they are skilled in magic craft and their language is different from the oth
Khwahan District, is one of the 28 districts of Badakhshan Province, located in northeastern Afghanistan. The district capital is Khwahan; the population of the district is 27,000. The district borders Raghistan to the southwest, Kuf Ab in the northeast, the Panj River in the northwest, Shuro-obod district, Khatlon Province, of Tajikistan. Kuh-e kallat List of villages and places, of Khwahan District in alphabetical order Darwaz Map at the Afghanistan Information Management Services Its coordinates are 37°53'19" N and 70°13'10" E in DMS or 37.8886 and 70.2194. Its UTM position is XG09 and its Joint Operation Graphics reference is NJ42-11khwahan
Afghanistan the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in South-Central Asia. Afghanistan is bordered by Pakistan in the south and east, its territory covers 652,000 square kilometers and much of it is covered by the Hindu Kush mountain range, which experiences cold winters. The north consists of fertile plains, while the south-west consists of deserts where temperatures can get hot in summers. Kabul serves as its largest city. Human habitation in Afghanistan dates back to the Middle Paleolithic Era, the country's strategic location along the Silk Road connected it to the cultures of the Middle East and other parts of Asia; the land has been home to various peoples and has witnessed numerous military campaigns, including those by Alexander the Great, Muslim Arabs, British and since 2001 by the United States with NATO-allied countries. It has been called "unconquerable" and nicknamed the "graveyard of empires"; the land served as the source from which the Kushans, Samanids, Ghaznavids, Khaljis, Hotaks and others have risen to form major empires.
The political history of the modern state of Afghanistan began with the Hotak and Durrani dynasties in the 18th century. In the late 19th century, Afghanistan became a buffer state in the "Great Game" between British India and the Russian Empire, its border with British India, the Durand Line, was formed in 1893 but it is not recognized by the Afghan government and it has led to strained relations with Pakistan since the latter's independence in 1947. Following the Third Anglo-Afghan War in 1919 the country was free of foreign influence becoming a monarchy under King Amanullah, until 50 years when Zahir Shah was overthrown and a republic was established. In 1978, after a second coup Afghanistan first became a socialist state and a Soviet Union protectorate; this evoked the Soviet–Afghan War in the 1980s against mujahideen rebels. By 1996 most of Afghanistan was captured by the Islamic fundamentalist group the Taliban, who ruled most of the country as a totalitarian regime for over five years.
The Taliban were forcibly removed by the NATO-led coalition, a new democratically-elected government political structure was formed, but they still control a significant portion of the country. Afghanistan is a unitary presidential Islamic republic with a population of 31 million composed of ethnic Pashtuns, Tajiks and Uzbeks, it is a member of the United Nations, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation, the Group of 77, the Economic Cooperation Organization, the Non-Aligned Movement. Afghanistan's economy is the world's 108th largest, with a GDP of $64.08 billion. The name Afghānistān is believed to be as old as the ethnonym Afghan, documented in the 10th-century geography book Hudud ul-'alam; the root name "Afghan" was used in reference to a member of the ethnic Pashtuns, the suffix "-stan" means "place of" in Persian. Therefore, Afghanistan translates to land of the Afghans or, more in a historical sense, to land of the Pashtuns. However, the modern Constitution of Afghanistan states that "he word Afghan shall apply to every citizen of Afghanistan."
Excavations of prehistoric sites by Louis Dupree and others suggest that humans were living in what is now Afghanistan at least 50,000 years ago, that farming communities in the area were among the earliest in the world. An important site of early historical activities, many believe that Afghanistan compares to Egypt in terms of the historical value of its archaeological sites; the country sits at a unique nexus point where numerous civilizations have interacted and fought. It has been home to various peoples through the ages, among them the ancient Iranian peoples who established the dominant role of Indo-Iranian languages in the region. At multiple points, the land has been incorporated within large regional empires, among them the Achaemenid Empire, the Macedonian Empire, the Indian Maurya Empire, the Islamic Empire. Many empires and kingdoms have risen to power in Afghanistan, such as the Greco-Bactrians, Hephthalites, Kabul Shahis, Samanids, Ghurids, Kartids, Timurids and the Hotak and Durrani dynasties that marked the political origins of the modern state.
Archaeological exploration done in the 20th century suggests that the geographical area of Afghanistan has been connected by culture and trade with its neighbors to the east and north. Artifacts typical of the Paleolithic, Neolithic and Iron ages have been found in Afghanistan. Urban civilization is believed to have begun as early as 3000 BCE, the early city of Mundigak may have been a colony of the nearby Indus Valley Civilization. More recent findings established that the Indus Valley Civilisation stretched up towards modern-day Afghanistan, making the ancient civilisation today part of Pakistan and India. In more detail, it extended from what today is northwest Pakistan to northwest India and northeast Afghanistan. An Indus Valley site has been found on the Oxus River at Shortugai in northern Afghanistan. There are several smaller IVC colonies to be found in Afghanistan as well. After 2000 BCE, successive waves of semi-nomadic
Tajiks are a Persian-speaking Iranian ethnic group native to Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. Tajiks are the largest ethnicity in Tajikistan, the second largest in Afghanistan which constitutes over half of the global Tajik population, they speak varieties of a Western Iranian language. In Tajikistan, since the 1939 Soviet census, its small Pamiri and Yaghnobi ethnic groups are included as Tajiks. In China, the term is used to refer to its Pamiri ethnic groups, the Tajiks of Xinjiang, who speak the Eastern Iranian Pamiri languages. In Afghanistan, the Pamiris are counted as a separate ethnic group; as a self-designation, the literary New Persian term Tajik, which had some previous pejorative usage as a label for eastern Persians or Iranians, has become acceptable during the last several decades as a result of Soviet administration in Central Asia. Alternative names for the Tajiks are Eastern Persian, Fārsīwān, Dīhgān which translates to "farmer or settled villager", in a wider sense "settled" in contrast to "nomadic" and was used to describe a class of land-owning magnates as "Persian of noble blood" in contrast to Arabs and Romans during the Sassanid and early Islamic period.
The Tajiks are an Iranian people, speaking a variety of Persian, concentrated in the Oxus Basin, the Farḡāna valley and on both banks of the upper Oxus, i.e. the Pamir Mountains and northeastern Afghanistan and western Afghanistan. The ancient Tajiks were chiefly agriculturalists before the Arab Conquest of Iran. While agriculture remained a stronghold, the Islamization of Iran resulted in the rapid urbanization of historical Khorasan and Transoxiana that lasted until the devastating Mongolian invasion. Several surviving ancient urban centers of the Tajik people include Herat, Bukhara, Khujand and Kabul. Contemporary Tajiks are the descendants of ancient Eastern Iranian inhabitants of Central Asia, in particular, the Sogdians and the Bactrians, other groups, with an admixture of Western Iranian Persians and non-Iranian peoples. According to Richard Nelson Frye, a leading historian of Iranian and Central Asian history, the Persian migration to Central Asia may be considered the beginning of the modern Tajik nation, ethnic Persians, along with some elements of East-Iranian Bactrians and Sogdians, as the main ancestors of modern Tajiks.
In works, Frye expands on the complexity of the historical origins of the Tajiks. In a 1996 publication, Frye explains that many "factors must be taken into account in explaining the evolution of the peoples whose remnants are the Tajiks in Central Asia" and that "the peoples of Central Asia, whether Iranian or Turkic speaking, have one culture, one religion, one set of social values and traditions with only language separating them." Regarding Tajiks, the Encyclopædia Britannica states:The Tajiks are the direct descendants of the Iranian peoples whose continuous presence in Central Asia and northern Afghanistan is attested from the middle of the 1st millennium bc. The ancestors of the Tajiks constituted the core of the ancient population of Khwārezm and Bactria, which formed part of Transoxania. Over the course of time, the eastern Iranian dialect, used by the ancient Tajiks gave way to Farsi, a western dialect spoken in Iran and Afghanistan; the geographical division between the eastern and western Iranians is considered and to be the desert Dasht-e Kavir, situated in the center of the Iranian plateau.
According to John Perry The most plausible and accepted origin of the word is Middle Persian tāzīk'Arab', or an Iranian cognate word. The Muslim armies that invaded Transoxiana early in the eighth century, conquering the Sogdian principalities and clashing with the Qarluq Turks consisted not only of Arabs, but of Persian converts from Fārs and the central Zagros region. Hence the Turks of Central Asia adopted a variant of the Iranian word, täžik, to designate their Muslim adversaries in general. For example, the rulers of the south Indian Chalukya dynasty and Rashtrakuta dynasty referred to the Arabs as "Tajika" in the 8th and 9th century. By the eleventh century, the Qarakhanid Turks applied this term more to the Persian Muslims in the Oxus basin and Khorasan, who were variously the Turks' rivals, models and subjects. Persian writers of the Ghaznavid, Seljuq and Atābak periods adopted the term and extended its use to cover Persians in the rest of Greater Iran, now under Turkish rule, as early as the poet ʿOnṣori, ca.
1025. Iranians soon accepted it as an ethnonym, as is shown by a Persian court official's referring to mā tāzikān "we Tajiks"; the distinction between Turk and Tajik became stereotyped to express the symbiosis and rivalry of the nomadic military executive and the urban civil bureaucracy. According to the Encyclopaedia of Islam, the oldest known usage of the word Tajik as a reference to Persians in Persian literature can be found in the writings of the Persian poet Jalal ad-Din Rumi; the 15th century Turkic-speaking poet Mīr Alī Šer Navā'ī used Tajik as a reference to Persians. An exampl
Bamyan is the capital of Bamyan Province in central Afghanistan. With an altitude of about 2,550 m and a population of about 100,000, Bamyan is the largest town in the central Afghanistan region of Hazarajat, lies 240 kilometres north-west of Kabul, the national capital. Many statues of Buddha are carved into the sides of cliffs facing Bamyan city. In 2008, Bamyan was found to be the home of the world's oldest oil paintings; the city of Bamyan has a population of 100,000. It has a total land area of 3,539 hectares; the total number of dwellings in this city are 4,435. The Bamiyan valley marked the most westerly point of Buddhist expansion and was a crucial hub of trade for much of the second millennium CE, it was a place where East met West and its archaeology reveals a blend of Greek, Persian and Indian influence. The valley is one of Afghanistan's most touristic places. Bamyan City joined the UNESCO Creative Cities Network as a Crafts and Folk Art city in 2017. Situated on the ancient Silk Route, the town was at the crossroads between the East and West when all trade between China and the Middle East passed through it.
The Hunas made it their capital in the 5th century. Because of the cliff of the Buddhas, the ruins of the Monk's caves, Shahr-e Gholghola, its local scenery, it is one of the most visited places in Afghanistan; the Shahr-e Zuhak mound ten miles south of the valley is the site of a citadel that guarded the city, the ruins of an acropolis could be found there as as the 1990s. The town is the cultural center of the Hazara ethnic group of Afghanistan. Most of the population lives in downtown Bamyan; the valley is cradled between the parallel mountain ranges of the Koh-i-Baba. Bamyan is a small town with a bazaar at its center, it has no infrastructure of gas, or water supplies. According to Sister Cities International, Bamyan has established a sister city relationship with Gering, United States, it has an airport with a gravel runway. Mountains cover ninety percent of the province, the cold, long winter, lasting for six months, brings temperatures of three to twenty degrees Celsius below zero. Daizangi Hazara people live in the area.
Transportation facilities are increasing, but sparse. Notably Bamyan is now connected by road through Maidan Wardak; the connection between Maidan Shar and Bamyan – 136 km long – makes it possible to reach Kabul in a 2-hour drive. The connection is completed missing just 15 km of paving The main crops are wheat, barley and baquli, grown in spring; when crops are damaged by unusually harsh weather, residents herd their livestock down to Ghazni and Maidan provinces to exchange for food. The city and the province are served by Bamyan Airport. A new airport has been completed in 2015 with an asphalt runway; the project was funded by the Japanese Government and carried out by the United Nations Office for Project Services. Bamyan's climate is transitional between cold arid and semi-arid, with cold winters and warm, dry summers. Precipitation falls in late winter and spring; the city of Bamyan was part of the Buddhist Kushan Empire in the early centuries of the Christian era. After the Kushan Empire fell to the Sassanids, Bamyan became part of the Kushansha, vassals to the Sassanids.
The Hephthalites conquered Bamyan in the 5th century. After their Khanate was destroyed by the Sassanids and Turks in 565, Bamyan became the capital of the small Kushano-Hephthalite kingdom until 870, when it was conquered by the Saffarids; the area was conquered by the Ghaznavids in the 11th century. In 1221 the city and its population were wiped out by Genghis Khan; the Qarlughids established their capital in the city soon thereafter. The first European to see Bamyan was William Moorcroft about 1824. During 1998–2001, Bamyan has been the center of combat between Taliban forces and the anti-Taliban alliance. Bamyan is known as the capital of Daizangi. On the cliff face of a mountain nearby, three colossal statues were carved 4,000 feet apart. One of them was 175 feet high standing statue of the world's tallest; the ancient statue was carved during the Kushan period in the fifth century. The statues were destroyed by the Taliban in March 2001, on the grounds that they were an affront to Islam though they were left intact by Muslim rulers for 1200 years.
Limited efforts have been made to rebuild them, with negligible success. At one time, two thousand monks meditated in caves among the sandstone cliffs; the caves were a big tourist attraction before the long series of wars in Afghanistan. The world's earliest oil paintings have been discovered in caves behind the destroyed statues. Scientists from the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility have confirmed that the oil paintings of either walnut or poppy seed oil, are present in 12 of the 50 caves dating from the 5th to 9th century; the murals have a white base layer of a lead compound, followed by an upper layer of natural or artificial pigments mixed with either resins or walnut or poppy seed drying oils. The paintings may be the work of artists who travelled on the Silk Road; the caves at the base of these statues were used by Taliban for storing weapons. After the Taliban were driven from the region, civilians made their homes in the caves. Afghan refugees escaped the persecution of the Taliban regime by hiding in caves in the Bamiyan valley.
These refugees discovered a f
Dushi district is located in the central part of Baghlan Province, Afghanistan. It lies on the major Kabul-Kunduz highway; the population of the district was estimated to be around 57,160 in 2004. Hazaras are around 88% of the population and make up the majority in the district, followed by small minorities of Tajiks and Pashtuns The centre of the district is Dushi. Dushi is home to an overhead power line carrying imported electricity from Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan; the 300 MegaWatt supply was the subject of a grant for expansion in 2013 from the Asian Development Bank. The line supplies the capital, Kabul. On April 13, 2018, Taliban insurgents used explosives to destroy a pylon, disrupting power supplies to the region. Districts of Afghanistan Map of Settlements United Nations, AIMS, May 2002