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
Maymana is the capital city of Faryab Province in northwestern Afghanistan, near the Turkmenistan border. It is 400 km northwest of the country’s capital Kabul, is located on the Maymana River, a tributary of the Murghab River; the population of Maymana was 149,040 in 2015, making it one of the largest cities of northwestern Afghanistan. Maymana is located at the northern foot of the Torkestan Range at an elevation of 877 m on the old terrace of the Qeysar or Maymana River, a right tributary of the Murghab River; the Maymana River branches off of the Band-e Turkistan River 50 km south of the city. The highlands of the Maymana region possess a rich topsoil which supports the seasonal agricultural activities. Maymana is a transit hub in northern Afghanistan. Just over half of the land in Maymana is non built-up consisting of agriculture; the central districts have clear road grids. The outer districts are characterized by more agricultural land. During the 19th century, the population of the settlement was estimated at 15,000–18,000 and was assumed to be a dominantly Uzbek city due the market language, Chagatai language.
However, documents show it was a city of different ethnicities and people such as Tajiks, Turkmens and Baluch. In 1958, the population was estimated to be 30,000. By 1979 this had risen to 38,250, by 1982 to 56,973. Since there was never an official population census, those previous data should not be taken seriously. In 2004, it was estimated that Maymana has a population of 75,900 but was not backed by any evidence. In 2015, the population was estimated to be 149,040 by UN supported observers. Maymana has a total land area of 3,461 hectares; the total number of dwellings in this city are 16,560. The town is of ancient origin, it seems clear. Ceramic materials in a nearby cave at Bilchiragh are from the Paleolithic and late Neolithic-Bronze Age.. between 800 B. C and 700 A. D it was part of Median and Persian Empire, as well of Kushanian and Hephtalite, before being subjugated by Arabs during the Islamic Conquest who used local Iranian vassals to rule the region. In the 7th and 8th century it was the residence of the Malik of Guzganan, last Kushanian remnants, under the control of the Farighunid, a native dynasty.
From the 9th to 11th century the region was ruled by several rulers and dynasties from Sistan and being subjugated by the Iranian Samanid and the Irano-Turkic Ghaznavid and Khwarizm rulers. In the 12th and 13th century the region was devastated by invading Mongols, it took long for the region, nearly 200 years, to recover from the damage the nomadic and invading Turko-Mongol foreigners from northern Central Asia had caused. The area´s population remained thin and the commercial trade was weak but enough for the survivors to develop new agricultural and rebuild old structures. While the city was garrisoned and hosted Iranians and some Arabs, the villages as well owned by Iranians and settled remnants of Arabs, the deserts and steppe were home of wandering nomads of Turko-Mongolian and Iranian stocks. In the 16th century, the turkic Uzbek influence came to Maymana with the invasions of Turkistan and Herat by Muhammad Shaibani. For the region it was again a cruel time. However, Shaibani was defeated by the Iranian Saffavids but somehow the Uzbek elements remained from up to day in the region until in the 18th and 19th centuries, Maymana became for the first time the centre of an independent Uzbek khanate and an important centre for commerce, as well as being the gateway to Turkistan from Herat and Iran.
The Uzbek Khans are said to have been cruel and hotile, specially toward non-Uzbeks of the region. Most of the rulers were known to be child molesters having 10s of children serving them for their sexual and abusive pleasure. In 1876, under Sher Ali Khan, the city was put in ruins; as result, only ten percent of the population remained alive while a large part either died or left the city for other regions. In the 20th century, the city was once walled with thick walls and towers and surrounded by a moat, but in the 20th century all this has been reduced to an anonymous mound. In 1934, the rebuilding of the city started, in 1949 the northern parts of the old city were renewed, the old city citadel changed to a park. Maymana was the administrative center of Meymaneh Province until the disintegration of the province; as part of the ongoing NATO operation in Afghanistan, there is a Provincial Reconstruction Team based there, led by Norway. This team includes Latvian troops. Maymana is served by Maymana Airport which had direct flights to Herat as of May 2014.
The town serves an agricultural area irrigated from the Qeysar River and handles the trade in Karakul sheep with nomads. Maymana is an important livestock centre in Afghanistan. In the 1970s, the wool and cotton processing industry was booming in the city. Maymana is a market for leather goods, carpets, barley and grapes. There is an airport located 2 miles west of Maymana in a valley surrounded by hills and a range of mountains with some peaks reaching 12,000 ft.. The runway is with gravel surface. Maymana is, after Kabul, Herat, Mazar-i-Sharif, Jalalabad and Ghazni, the eighth-largest Afghan town with an independent women-managed radio station, Radio Quyaash, established in February 2005. Maymana has a hot-summer Mediterranean climate (Kö
Faryab is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan, located in the north of the country bordering neighboring Turkmenistan. It has a population of about 948,000, multi-ethnic and a tribal society; the province encompasses over 1,000 villages. The capital of Faryab province is Maymana. Faryab is a Persian toponym meaning "lands irrigated by diversion of river water"; the name Faryab takes its name from a town founded in the area by the Sassanids. It is the home town of al-Farabi; the area is part of the trans-border region of Greater Khorasan. The history of settlement in Faryab comprises layer upon layer of occupation. At times, it was a melting pot within which a host of cultures have merged into a non-conflictual whole or at least peaceable coexistence. Maymana and Andkhoy entered written history 2,500 years ago when Jews arrived and settled in 586 BC, fleeing the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar; the territory was under Persian control at the time, which gave way to Greek rule following the conquest by Alexander the Great in 326 BC.
Persian dominance was restored from the 3rd to the 7th century AD. The pre-Islamic period ended with the conquest of northern Afghanistan by Arab Muslims; the area "turned into a vast battlefield as the two great Arab and Persian cultures battled for not only political and geographical supremacy but ideological supremacy." As a result, centuries of Zoroastrianism, Nestorian Christianity and indigenous pagan cults were swept away. Various Islamic dynasties influenced the locals, they included the Saffarids, Ghaznavids and Ghurids. The history of Faryab was altered yet again in the 11th century, this time with the invasion of the Mongols, under Genghis Khan and his descendants; as they moved into the area from the north and towns including Maymana were razed, populations massacred, grain and livestock stolen or burnt and ancient irrigation systems obliterated. Faryab was itself destroyed by the Mongols in 1220. Control by the Mongols stemmed from the alternating capitals of Bukhara or Samarkand north of the Amu Darya River.
They ruled in a decentralized manner, allowing local tribal chiefs in Maymana and elsewhere considerable autonomy. In 1500, Uzbek princes, in the form of the Khanate of Bukhara, swept across the Amu Darya, reaching Faryab and related areas around 1505, they joined a substantial and pastoral Arab population and ruled the area until the mid-18th century. It became part of the Durrani Empire; the area was untouched by the British during the three Anglo-Afghan wars that were fought in the 19th and 20th centuries. Faryab become a province in 1964. From the administrative reforms of the 1930s until it was known as Maymana and was a sub-province of Balkh Province, which had its headquarters in Mazar-i-Sharif. During the 1990s Afghan Civil War, the front line between Taliban and opposition forces fell between Badghis and Faryab provinces in the mid-1990s. Ismail Khan fled to Faryab to reconstitute his forces following the Taliban takeover of Herat Province, but was betrayed by Abdul Malik Pahlawan. In May 1997, Abdul Malik Pahlawan raised the Taliban flag over the capital of Maymana, switching sides and initiating a renewed Taliban offensive from the west.
Following a series of changing allegiances and falling out with Malik, the Taliban withdrew from the area, but in 1998 a contingent of 8,000 Taliban fighters pressed through Faryab, seizing Abdul Rashid Dostum's headquarters in Sheberghan, in neighboring Jowzjan province. Faryab province has been one of the more peaceful areas in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban government in late 2001. Recent development projects in the province have focused on expanding the agricultural potential of the province, in particular the re-forestation of areas of the province that were denuded in the recent past, it was reported in 2006 that Abdul Malik Pahlawan's Freedom Party of Afghanistan still maintained an armed militant wing, contributing to instability in province. The Afghan National Security Forces began expanding and took over control; the Afghanistan-Turkmenistan border is maintained by the Afghan Border Police while law and order for the rest of the province is provided by the NATO-trained Afghan National Police.
Between 2006 and late 2014, the province had a Provincial Reconstruction Team, led by Norway. The Norwegian PRT had its base at Maymana and had been given the responsibility for the Ghormach District. Afghanistan signed a deal with China National Petroleum Corporation for the development of oil blocks in the Amu Darya basin, a project expected to earn billions of dollars over two decades. CNPC began Afghan oil production in October 2012, in the same month a huge gas reserves were discovered in the Andkhoy District of Faryab province. In July 2016, Human Rights Watch accused Abdul Rashid Dostum's National Islamic Movement of Afghanistan of killing and looting civilians in Faryab; the current governor of the province is Naqibullah Faiq, a position he held since 2018. The town of Maymana is the capital of Faryab province. All law enforcement activities throughout the province a