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Afghanistan was also known as Ariana or Bactria in ancient times and as Khorasan in the Middle Ages. Pathans, a Pashto-speaking people, make up 40% the population of the country and a large part of Pakistanís population. Pashto is the native language.
(WSJ, 10/1/01, p.A1)
The Hazara people are centered in Bamiyan province, east of Kabul. They are the remnants of a 13th century Mongol invasion and are at the bottom of the social hierarchy. They are Shiite Muslims and opposed to the Taliban.
(SFC, 3/18/98, p.A10)(WSJ, 10/1/01, p.A1)
Afghanistan has had three principal names each of which has lasted for centuries. The three principal names: Aryana in antiquity, Khurasan in the medieval era, and Afghanistan in modern times, have distinguished this land throughout its history. At times Herat, Bactria, and Kabul have had kingdoms of their own.
(www.afghan-web.com/history/)
The main languages are Dari and Pashtu. The population is 16,500,000. Its area is 251,773 sq. mi.
(NG, V184, No. 4, Oct. 1993, p. 66)
Afghanistanís Helmand province is about the size of West Virginia.
(Econ, 7/1/06, p.23)
 
Links: Afghan Online Press: http://www.afghan-web.com/aop/
Afghan-Web: http://www.afghan-web.com/history/achron.html
CIA Factbook: http://www.odci.gov/cia/publications/factbook/af.html
Paksoy: http://www.ukans.edu/carrie/archives_main.html
Revol. Womenís Assoc.: http://www.rawa.org/
Wikipedia: http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghanistan_timeline