Kandahār or Qandahār is the second-largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 557,118. Kandahar is located in the south of the country at an elevation of 1,010 m, it is the capital of Kandahar Province, the center of the larger cultural region called Loy Kandahar. In 1709, Mirwais Hotak made the region an independent kingdom and turned Kandahar into the capital of the Hotak dynasty. In 1747, Ahmad Shah Durrani, founder of the Durrani dynasty, made Kandahar the capital of the Afghan Empire. Kandahar is one of the most culturally significant cities of the Pashtuns and has been their traditional seat of power for more than 300 years, it is a major trading center for sheep, cotton, felt, food grains and dried fruit, tobacco. The region produces fine fruits pomegranates and grapes, the city has plants for canning and packing fruit, is a major source of marijuana and hashish en route to Tajikistan; the region around Kandahar is one of the oldest known human settlements. A major fortified city existed at the site of Kandahar as early as c.
1000-750 BCE, it became an important outpost of the Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BCE. Alexander the Great had laid-out the foundation of what is now Old Kandahar in the 4th century BC and gave it the Ancient Greek name Αλεξάνδρεια Aραχωσίας. Many empires have long fought over the city due to its strategic location along the trade routes of southern and western Asia. Since the 1978 Marxist revolution, the city has been a magnet for groups such as Haqqani network, Quetta Shura, Hezbi Islami, al-Qaida and other terrorist groups. From late-1996 to 2001, it served as the de facto capital of the Taliban government until the Taliban were overthrown by US-led NATO forces during Operation Enduring Freedom in late-2001 and replaced by the government of President Hamid Karzai. One hypothesis derives the name of the city from Gandhara, the name of an ancient Hindu-Buddhist kingdom located along the Kabul and Swat rivers of northern Afghanistan and Pakistan. A folk etymology offered is that the word "kand" or "qand" in Persian and Pashto means "candy".
The name "Candahar" or "Kandahar" in this form translates to candy area. This has to do with the location being fertile and known for producing fine grapes, apricots and other sweet fruits. Ernst Herzfeld claimed Kandahar perpetuated the name of the Indo-Parthian king Gondophares, who re-founded the city under the name Gundopharron. Excavations of prehistoric sites by archaeologists such as Louis Dupree and others suggest that the region around Kandahar is one of the oldest human settlements known so far. Early peasant farming villages came into existence in Afghanistan ca. 5000 B. C. or 7000 years ago. Deh Morasi Ghundai, the first prehistoric site to be excavated in Afghanistan, lies 27 km southwest of Kandahar. Another Bronze Age village mound site with multiroomed mud-brick buildings dating from the same period sits nearby at Said Qala. Second millennium B. C. Bronze Age pottery and bronze horse trappings and stone seals were found in the lowermost levels in the nearby cave called Shamshir Ghar.
In the Seistan, southwest of these Kandahar sites, two teams of American archaeologists discovered sites relating to the 2nd millennium B. C.. Stylistically the finds from Deh Morasi and Said Qala tie in with those of pre-Indus Valley sites and with those of comparable age on the Iranian Plateau and in Central Asia, indicating cultural contacts during this early age. British excavations in the 1970s discovered that Kandahar existed as a large fortified city during the early 1st millennium BCE; this fortified city became an important outpost of the Achaemenid Empire in the 6th to 4th centuries BCE, formed part of the province of Arachosia. The now "Old Kandahar" was founded in 330 BC by Alexander the Great, near the site of the ancient city of Mundigak. Mundigak served as the provincial capital of Arachosia and was ruled by the Medes followed by the Achaemenids until the arrival of the Greeks from Macedonia; the main inhabitants of Arachosia were the Pactyans, an ancient Iranian tribe, who may be among the ancestors of today's Pashtuns.
Kandahar was named a name given to cities that Alexander founded during his conquests. Kandahar has been a frequent target for conquest because of its strategic location in Southern Asia, controlling the main trade route linking the Indian subcontinent with the Middle East and Central Asia; the territory became part of the Seleucid Empire after the death of Alexander. It is mentioned by Strabo that a treaty of friendship was established between the Greeks and the Mauryans; the city became part of the Greco-Bactrian Kingdom, continued that way for two hundred years under the Indo-Greek Kingdom. King Menander I of the Indo-Greek Kingdom practiced Greco-Buddhism and is recorded by the Mahavamsa to
Afghan Millat Party
The Afghan Social Democratic Party, more known as the Afghan Millat Party or the Afghan Millat, is a Pashtun nationalist political party in Afghanistan. Controversially, the party's leadership describes it as social democratic, but it is not recognized as such by the Socialist International; the party's current leader is Stanagul Sherzad who became the new leader after the 6th party congress on October 3, 2012. Afghan Social Democratic Party was founded on March 8, 1966, by a group of influential bureaucrats associated with the ruling elites. However, it was declared on March 27 of that year. Ghulam Mohammad Farhad, an Afghan intellectual served as the first President of the party. Afghan Millat looks after the interests of the Pashtun ethnic group and has its support only from them; the party favors the ideas of Pashtunization of a Greater Afghanistan. In the 1969 parliamentary elections, Farhad was elected to the parliament. After the Saur Revolution in 1978, the party was banned. Farhad was imprisoned, but released in 1980.
In exile in Pakistan, the party operated under the auspices of the National Islamic Front of Afghanistan. In 1986–1987, dialogues took place between the government and the party and some leading party members were released from prison. However, the party chose to stay outside of the governing coalition; the relations with the government split the party into three factions. It is Wakman faction, led by Afghanistan's Finance Minister, Anwar-ul-Haq Ahady, the son-in-law of the NIFA leader Pir Gailani. In 1995 Anwar-ul-Haq Ahady took over the Wakman branch. Under his leadership, the party toned down its Pashtun nationalist profile and sought support amongst non-Pashtuns; the Wakman branch of the party is recognized by the Afghan government as the "Afghan Millat Party"After the fall of the Taliban government, the party leader Ahady has been included in the government as Finance Minister. The party receives support from Karzai; the party has around 10 MPs. The party registered themselves in Afghanistan on May 16, 2004.
Shams-ul-Huda Shams applied for recognition of his party in 2004, but it was under Ajmal Shams, his son, that it achieved official recognition in May 2007 as "Afghan Mellat Milli Motaraqi Gwand – افغان ملت ملي مترقي ګوند". Official web site of Afghan Millat Official web site of Afghan Millat Official web site of Afghan Millat Official web site of Afghan Millat
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
The Taliban or Taleban, who refer to themselves as the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, are a Sunni Islamic fundamentalist political movement and military organization in Afghanistan waging war within that country. Since 2016, the Taliban's leader is Mawlawi Hibatullah Akhundzada; the leadership is based in Pakistan. From 1996 to 2001, the Taliban held power over three quarters of Afghanistan, enforced there a strict interpretation of Sharia, or Islamic law; the Taliban emerged in 1994 as one of the prominent factions in the Afghan Civil War and consisted of students from the Pashtun areas of eastern and southern Afghanistan, educated in traditional Islamic schools, fought during the Soviet–Afghan War. Under the leadership of Mohammed Omar, the movement spread throughout most of Afghanistan, sequestering power from the Mujahideen warlords; the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was established in 1996 and the Afghan capital was transferred to Kandahar. It held control of most of the country until being overthrown after the American-led invasion of Afghanistan in December 2001 following the September 11 attacks.
At its peak, formal diplomatic recognition of the Taliban's government was acknowledged by only three nations: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates. The group regrouped as an insurgency movement to fight the American-backed Karzai administration and the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in the War in Afghanistan; the Taliban have been condemned internationally for the harsh enforcement of their interpretation of Islamic Sharia law, which has resulted in the brutal treatment of many Afghans women. During their rule from 1996 to 2001, the Taliban and their allies committed massacres against Afghan civilians, denied UN food supplies to 160,000 starving civilians and conducted a policy of scorched earth, burning vast areas of fertile land and destroying tens of thousands of homes. According to the United Nations, the Taliban and their allies were responsible for 76% of Afghan civilian casualties in 2010, 80% in 2011, 80% in 2012. Taliban has engaged in cultural genocide, destroying numerous monuments including the famous 1500-year old Buddhas of Bamiyan.
The Taliban's ideology has been described as combining an "innovative" form of sharia Islamic law based on Deobandi fundamentalism and the militant Islamism and Salafi jihadism of Osama bin Laden with Pashtun social and cultural norms known as Pashtunwali, as most Taliban are Pashtun tribesmen. The Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence and military are alleged by the international community and the Afghan government to have provided support to the Taliban during their founding and time in power, of continuing to support the Taliban during the insurgency. Pakistan states. In 2001 2,500 Arabs under command of Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden fought for the Taliban; the word Taliban is طالبان ṭālibān, meaning "students", the plural of ṭālib. This is a loanword from Arabic طالب ṭālib, using the Persian plural ending -ān ان. In Arabic طالبان ṭālibān means not "students" but "two students", as it is a dual form, the Arabic plural being طلاب ṭullāb—occasionally causing some confusion to Arabic speakers.
Since becoming a loanword in English, besides a plural noun referring to the group, has been used as a singular noun referring to an individual. For example, John Walker Lindh has been referred to as "an American Taliban", rather than "an American Talib". In the English language newspapers of Pakistan, the word Talibans is used when referring to more than one Taliban; the spelling Taliban has come to be predominant over Taleban in English. After the Soviet Union intervened and occupied Afghanistan in 1979, Islamic mujahideen fighters engaged in war with those Soviet forces. Pakistan's President Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq feared that the Soviets were planning to invade Balochistan, Pakistan, so he sent Akhtar Abdur Rahman to Saudi Arabia to garner support for the Afghan resistance against Soviet occupation forces. A while the US CIA and Saudi Arabic General Intelligence Directorate funneled funding and equipment through the PakistanI Inter-Service Intelligence Agency to the Afghan mujahideen. About 90,000 Afghans, including Mohammed Omar, were trained by Pakistan's ISI during the 1980s.
The British Professor Carole Hillenbrand concluded that the Taliban have arisen from those US-Saudi-Pakistan-supported mujahideen: "The West helped the Taliban to fight the Soviet takeover of Afghanistan". After the fall of the Soviet-backed regime of Mohammad Najibullah in 1992, many Afghan political parties, but not Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's Hezb-e Islami, Hizb-e Wahdat, Ittihad-i Islami, in April agreed on a peace and power-sharing agreement, the Peshawar Accord, which created the Islamic State of Afghanistan and appointed an interim government for a transitional period. Hekmatyar's Hezb-e Islami party refused to recognize the interim government, in April infiltrated Kabul to take power for itself, thus starting this civil war. In May, Hekmatyar started attacks against Kabul. Hekmatyar received operational and military support from Pakistan's ISI. With that help, Hekmatyar's forces were able to destroy half of Kabul. Iran assisted the Hizb-e Wahdat forces of Abdul Ali Mazari. Saudi Arabia supported the Ittihad-i Islami faction.
The conflict between these militias escalated into war. Due to this sudden initiation of civil war, working g
A civil union is a recognized arrangement similar to marriage, created as a means to provide recognition in law for same-sex couples. Civil unions grant all of the rights of marriage except the title itself. Around the world, developed democracies began establishing civil unions in the late 1990s developing them from less formal domestic partnerships, which grant only some of the rights of marriage. In the majority of countries that established these unions in laws, they have since been either supplemented or replaced by same-sex marriage. Civil unions are viewed by LGBT rights campaigners as a "first step" towards establishing same-sex marriage, as civil unions are viewed by supporters of LGBT rights as a "separate but equal" or "second class" status. While civil unions are established for both opposite-sex couples and same-sex couples, in a number of countries they are available to same-sex couples only. Beginning with Denmark in 1989, civil unions under one name or another have been established by law in several developed, countries in order to provide legal recognition of relationships formed by unmarried same-sex couples and to afford them rights, tax breaks, responsibilities similar or identical to those of married couples.
In Brazil, civil unions were first created for opposite-sex couples in 2002, expanded to include same-sex couples through a supreme court ruling in 2011. Many jurisdictions with civil unions recognize foreign unions if those are equivalent to their own; the marriages of same-sex couples performed abroad may be recognized as civil unions in jurisdictions that only have the latter. The terms used to designate civil unions are not standardized, vary from country to country. Government-sanctioned relationships that may be similar or equivalent to civil unions include civil partnerships, registered partnerships, domestic partnerships, significant relationships, reciprocal beneficiary relationships, common-law marriage, adult interdependent relationships, life partnerships, stable unions, civil solidarity pacts, so on; the exact level of rights, benefits and responsibilities varies, depending on the laws of a particular country. Some jurisdictions allow same-sex couples to adopt, while others forbid them to do so, or allow adoption only in specified circumstances.
As used in the United States, beginning with the state of Vermont in 2000, the term civil union has connoted a status equivalent to marriage for same-sex couples. However, the legislatures of the West Coast states of California and Washington have preferred the term domestic partnership for enactments similar or equivalent to civil union laws in East Coast states. Civil unions are not seen as a replacement for marriage by many in the LGBT community. "Marriage in the United States is a civil union. "It is a proposed hypothetical legal mechanism, since it doesn't exist in most places, to give some of the protections but withhold something precious from gay people. There's no good reason to do that." However, some opponents of same-sex marriage claim that civil unions rob marriage of its unique status. The California Supreme Court, in the In Re Marriage Cases decision, noted nine differences in state law. Civil unions are criticised as being'separate but equal', critics say they segregate same-sex couples by forcing them to use a separate institution.
Supporters of same-sex marriage contend that treating same-sex couples differently from other couples under the law allows for inferior treatment and that if civil unions were the same as marriage there would be no reason for two separate laws. A New Jersey commission which reviewed the state's civil union law reported that the law "invites and encourages unequal treatment of same-sex couples and their children"; some have suggested that creating civil unions which are open to opposite-sex couples would avoid the accusations of apartheid. These have still been criticised as being'separate but equal' by former New Zealand MP and feminist Marilyn Waring as same-sex couples remain excluded from the right to marry. Proponents of civil unions say that they provide practical equality for same-sex couples and solve the problems over areas such as hospital visitation rights and transfer of property caused by lack of legal recognition. Proponents say that creating civil unions is a more pragmatic way to ensure that same-sex couples have legal rights as it avoids the more controversial issues surrounding marriage and the claim that the term has a religious source.
Many supporters of same-sex marriage state that the word'marriage' matters and that the term'civil union' do not convey the emotional meaning or bring the respect that comes with marriage. Former US Solicitor General and attorney in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case Theodore Olsen said that recognizing same-sex couples under the term'domestic partnership' stigmatizes gay people's relationships treating them as if they were "something akin to a commercial venture, not a loving union". Many contend that the fact that civil unions are not understood can cause difficulty for same-sex cou
Fornication is consensual sexual intercourse between two people not married to each other. When one of the partners to consensual sexual intercourse is a married person, it may be described as adultery. For many people, the term carries an overtone of moral or religious disapproval, but the significance of sexual acts to which the term is applied varies between religions and cultures. In modern usage, the term is replaced with a more judgment-neutral term like extramarital sex. In the original Greek version of the New Testament, the term porneia is used 25 times. In the late 4th century, the Latin Vulgate, a Latin translation of the Greek texts, translated the term as fornicati, fornicatus and fornicatae; the 1611 King James Version used the term fornication. Other translations have used terms such as whoredom, sexual immorality or immorality. In Latin, the term fornix means vault. In Ancient Rome, prostitutes waited for their customers out of the rain under vaulted ceilings, fornix became a euphemism for brothels, the Latin verb fornicare referred to a man visiting a brothel.
The first recorded use in English is in the Cursor Mundi, c. 1300. Fornicated as an adjective is still used in botany, meaning "arched" or "bending over". John Milton plays on the double meaning of the word in The Reason of Church-Government Urged against Prelaty: " gives up her body to a mercenary whordome under those fornicated ches which she cals Gods house." The Pauline epistles contain multiple condemnations of various forms of extramarital sex. The First Epistle to the Corinthians states "Flee from sexual immorality" and lists adulterers and "those who are sexually immoral"/practicing-fornicators in a list of "wrongdoers who... will not inherit the kingdom of God". First Corinthians and the Epistle to the Galatians address fornication; the Apostolic Decree of the Council of Jerusalem includes a prohibition of fornication. Throughout history, most theologians have argued that any and all forms of premarital sex are immoral. A historical example is John Baconthorpe. A more contemporary example is the modern-day theologian Lee Gatiss who argues that premarital sex is immoral based on scripture.
He states that, from a Biblical perspective, "physical union should not take place outside a "one flesh" union... In chapter 7 Paul addresses the situation of two unmarried Christians who are burning with passion who should either exercise self-control or be permitted to marry; the underlying assumptions are the same as those in Deuteronomy 22."However, a minority of theologians have argued in more recent times that premarital sex may not be immoral in some limited circumstances. An example is John Witte, who argues that the Bible itself is silent on the issue of consensual, premarital sex between an engaged couple. In other words, Witte claims that the Bible excludes premarital sex from its list of unlawful sexual relations though Leviticus 18 is not the only such list, nor does Leviticus 18 claim to be exhaustive being devoted to forms of incest; some of the debate arises from the question. A deontological view of sex interprets porneia and akatharsia in terms of whether the couple are married or non-married.
What makes sex moral or immoral is the context of marriage. By contrast, a teleological view interprets porneia and akatharsia in terms of the quality of the relationship The debate turns on the definition of the two Greek words moicheia and porneia; the first word is restricted to contexts involving sexual betrayal of a spouse. Elsewhere in First Corinthians, homosexual intercourse and prostitution are all explicitly forbidden by name. Paul is preaching about activities based on sexual prohibitions laid out in Leviticus in the context of achieving holiness. One theory therefore suggests that it is these behaviours, only these, that are intended by Paul's prohibition in chapter seven. However, most mainstream Christian sources believe that porneia encompasses all forms of premarital sex. For instance, in defining porneia/fornication and Friedrich's 1977 Theological Dictionary of the New Testament states that "The NT is characterized by an unconditional repudiation of all extra-marital and unnatural intercourse".
Friberg's Analytical Lexicon to the Greek New Testament defines porneia as being "generally, every kind of extramarital, unlawful or unnatural sexual intercourse". Lee Gatiss argues that porneia encompasses all forms of premarital sex, he states that "the word'fornication' has gone out of fashion and is not in common use to describe non-marital sex. However, it is an excellent translation for porneia, which referred to any kind of sex outside of marriage... This has been contested... but the overwhelming weight of scholarship and all the available evidence from the ancient world points in this direction. "Flee sexual immorality and pursue self-control" was the s
American University of Afghanistan
The American University of Afghanistan is Afghanistan's first private, not-for-profit institution of higher education. The university is located near the Darul Aman Palace and the Afghan Parliament. Chartered in 2004, the AUAF offers an MBA program, four undergraduate degree programs, continuing education and professional development training; the idea for the American University of Afghanistan began in 2002 with Dr. Sharif Fayez Afghan Minister of Higher Education. During his time as minister, he proposed the creation of Afghanistan's first-ever private university; the following year in an address before UNESCO U. S. First Lady Laura Bush announced her support of educational initiatives in Afghanistan; the U. S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad inspired from his own experience at the American University of Beirut, encouraged the establishment of the American University of Afghanistan; the Afghanistan High Commission for Private Investment offered leases on two parcels of land totaling 55.354 acres in the Darulaman area of Kabul until 2103.
In addition, the American University of Afghanistan corporation was chartered in the State of Delaware, under the leadership of Dr. Jacob van Lutsenburg Maas, who became the non-profit corporation's President, to receive these leases. In 2007, the non-profit corporation became a tax-exempt 501 3 organization. A charter for the establishment of the American University of Afghanistan was granted on July 26, 2004, by the Afghan Ministry of Higher Education, under Article 46, Chapter 2 of the new Afghan Constitution and Article 445 of the Civil Code. A feasibility study was initiated by the Coordinating Council of International Universities, based in the United States, to recommend an institutional framework. In December 2004, the inaugural meeting of the Board of Trustees convened in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where Dr. Fayez was elected President pro tempore, serving in this capacity until April 2007, when he was named "founder" by the new president, he continues to lobby the Afghan government on the university's behalf, serves as an adviser to the current president, maintains an office on campus.
In March 2005 U. S. First Lady Laura Bush visited the site and announced a substantial grant from the United States Agency for International Development to launch the institution. USAID continues to be the primary financial backer of the organization as it pursues sources of private funding; the first students of the American University of Afghanistan enrolled in March 2006. They began with classes to improve their English study skills. By September of that year, the university began offering its first credit-bearing undergraduate courses; the Professional Development Institute was launched in the same year, providing adult professional courses and adult professional level programs. On June 8, 2008, Mrs. Bush announced an additional $40 million in funding for the subsequent five years. Funding will cover more than half of the university's operating expenses during that period, leaving the university to pursue private funding for the remainder of its operating expenses and for the development of its new campus.
The university held its first commencement ceremony on May 26, 2011, awarding undergraduate degrees to 32 graduates. It held its fourth, largest, graduation on December 5, 2014, where 180 undergraduate and graduate students graduated. On May 22, 2015, the university held its sixth commencement ceremony, honoring the class of 2015, at the university's International campus; the highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of the Doctorate of Humane Letters Honorary Degree to distinguished guest, former Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who delivered the commencement address. More than 1,700 full and part-time students from all 34 provinces of Afghanistan are enrolled in the university, including 1,190 students in undergraduate and graduate program, 950 students in certification courses. About 35.9% of students for Spring 2015 were women, more than 85% of the students receive financial assistance. In an interview with Film Annex, Dr. C. Michael Smith, former President of the American University of Afghanistan stated that for the 2012-13 school year over 50% of the entering students were women.
Two employees were killed as a result of a Taliban gun and bomb attack on a popular restaurant in Kabul where the employees were dining in January 2014. Some 21 people died in the attack. Lexie Kamerman, 27, of Chicago, was one of the American University employees killed in the 2014 attack in Kabul. An American and Australian professor were kidnapped on 7 August 2016, by criminals dressed in Afghan National Police uniforms. A team of U. S. Special Forces attempted to rescue them but failed. On the evening of August 24, 2016, two gunmen opened fire and detonated explosives on campus killing eight university students, three policemen, three security guards at the university, two university professors, a guard from a neighboring school. Fraidoon Obaidi, chief of Kabul police's criminal investigation department, said police were able to kill the attackers. No group has yet claimed responsibility. All programs are conducted in English; the university runs on the U. S. semester system with the academic year starting in August, in other respects operates in the style of American universities.
The Graduate Degree ProgramAUAF in fall 2011 began its first graduate program, offering the master of business administration degree. This program builds on the success of the university's undergraduate business program, the most popular major among AUAF students. A total of 29