Afghan American

Afghan American

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An Afghan American refers to an American
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 with heritage or origins in Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...


History and population

Afghan Americans have a long history of immigrating to the United States, as they may have arrived as early as the 1920s. Due to the political borders at that time period, some of these Afghan immigrants may have been ethnic Pashtuns
Pashtun people
Pashtuns or Pathans , also known as ethnic Afghans , are an Eastern Iranic ethnic group with populations primarily between the Hindu Kush mountains in Afghanistan and the Indus River in Pakistan...

 from British India (present-day Pakistan
Pakistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is a sovereign state in South Asia. It has a coastline along the Arabian Sea and the Gulf of Oman in the south and is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast. In the north, Tajikistan...

) or Afghanistan. Wallace Fard Muhammad
Wallace Fard Muhammad
Wallace Fard Muhammad was a minister and founder of the Nation of Islam. He established the Nation of Islam's first mosque in Detroit, Michigan in 1930, and ministered his distinctive religion there for three years, before mysteriously disappearing in June 1934. He was succeeded by his follower...

, credited for being the founder of the Nation of Islam
Nation of Islam
The Nation of Islam is a mainly African-American new religious movement founded in Detroit, Michigan by Wallace D. Fard Muhammad in July 1930 to improve the spiritual, mental, social, and economic condition of African-Americans in the United States of America. The movement teaches black pride and...

, may have been from Afghanistan. World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 draft registration card for Wallace Dodd Ford from 1917 indicated he was living in Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

, California, as an unmarried restaurant owner, and reported that he was born in Shinka
Shinkay District
Shinkay District is a district of Zabul Province, Afghanistan....

, Afghanistan in 1893. During the 1930s and 1940s, well-educated Afghans entered America. Between 1953 and early 1970, at least 230 migrated into the United States. Some of those who entered the US were students who won scholarship
A scholarship is an award of financial aid for a student to further education. Scholarships are awarded on various criteria usually reflecting the values and purposes of the donor or founder of the award.-Types:...

s to study in American universities. After the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan
Soviet war in Afghanistan
The Soviet war in Afghanistan was a nine-year conflict involving the Soviet Union, supporting the Marxist-Leninist government of the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan against the Afghan Mujahideen and foreign "Arab–Afghan" volunteers...

, around five million Afghan citizens decided to leave their country to immigrate or seek refuge in other countries. These Afghan refugees mostly settled in neighboring Pakistan and Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, and from there many made it to the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

, North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

, Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, and else where in the world.

Those who were granted asylums in the United States
Asylum in the United States
The United States honors the right of asylum of individuals as specified by international and federal law. A specified number of legally defined refugees, who apply for asylum either overseas or after arriving in the U.S., are admitted annually. Refugees compose about one-tenth of the total...

 began to settle in California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...

 (mainly the Los Angeles
Los Ángeles
Los Ángeles is the capital of the province of Biobío, in the commune of the same name, in Region VIII , in the center-south of Chile. It is located between the Laja and Biobío rivers. The population is 123,445 inhabitants...

-Orange County
Orange County, California
Orange County is a county in the U.S. state of California. Its county seat is Santa Ana. As of the 2010 census, its population was 3,010,232, up from 2,846,293 at the 2000 census, making it the third most populous county in California, behind Los Angeles County and San Diego County...

 area and San Francisco Bay Area
San Francisco Bay Area
The San Francisco Bay Area, commonly known as the Bay Area, is a populated region that surrounds the San Francisco and San Pablo estuaries in Northern California. The region encompasses metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Oakland, and San Jose, along with smaller urban and rural areas...

) and in the Northeastern United States
Northeastern United States
The Northeastern United States is a region of the United States as defined by the United States Census Bureau.-Composition:The region comprises nine states: the New England states of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont; and the Mid-Atlantic states of New...

, where large Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

 community centers keep them closely bonded. Fremont, California
Fremont, California
Fremont is a city in Alameda County, California. It was incorporated on January 23, 1956, from the merger of five smaller communities: Centerville, Niles, Irvington, Mission San Jose, and Warm Springs...

, is home to the largest population of Afghan Americans in the U.S. Smaller Afghan American communities also exist in the states of Texas
Texas is the second largest U.S. state by both area and population, and the largest state by area in the contiguous United States.The name, based on the Caddo word "Tejas" meaning "friends" or "allies", was applied by the Spanish to the Caddo themselves and to the region of their settlement in...

, Illinois
Illinois is the fifth-most populous state of the United States of America, and is often noted for being a microcosm of the entire country. With Chicago in the northeast, small industrial cities and great agricultural productivity in central and northern Illinois, and natural resources like coal,...

, Florida
Florida is a state in the southeastern United States, located on the nation's Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It is bordered to the west by the Gulf of Mexico, to the north by Alabama and Georgia and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 18,801,310 as measured by the 2010 census, it...

, Washington and elsewhere.

According to the United States Census Bureau
United States Census Bureau
The United States Census Bureau is the government agency that is responsible for the United States Census. It also gathers other national demographic and economic data...

, there are approximately 65,972 Afghan-Americans living in the country. According to the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, DC, the over-all Afghan population in the United States is around 300,000. While 30,000 reside in Northern Virginia, approximately 65,000 Afghans comprise the diaspora community based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Some figures estimate that there may only be about 80,000 Afghan-Americans but the actual number may be 200,000 to as high as 300,000. Nevertheless, such higher figures may be an exaggeration, as a recent census from early 2000s found approximately 9,000 of Afghan ancestry living in New York metro area, considerably lower than the 20,000 regularly cited. Although, the 300,000 figure is a commonly accepted number. Flushing, Queens
Flushing, Queens
Flushing, founded in 1645, is a neighborhood in the north central part of the City of New York borough of Queens, east of Manhattan.Flushing was one of the first Dutch settlements on Long Island. Today, it is one of the largest and most diverse neighborhoods in New York City...

 has a substantial amount of Afghan Americans.


Although the majority of Afghans have assimilated into the American way of life, some migrants from Afghanistan have attempted to not assimilate into American culture as they have valued their traditional culture even after several generations. Afghan Americans value their oral tradition of story telling. The stories they tell are about Nasreddin
Nasreddin was a Seljuq satirical Sufi figure, sometimes believed to have lived during the Middle Ages and considered a populist philosopher and wise man, remembered for his funny stories and anecdotes. He appears in thousands of stories, sometimes witty, sometimes wise, but often, too, a fool or...

, history, myths and religion.

Afghan Americans celebrate August 19 in the United States as "Afghan Day" or "Afghanistan Day", it is the day that their former nation had won the war against the British in 1919. Smaller festival
A festival or gala is an event, usually and ordinarily staged by a local community, which centers on and celebrates some unique aspect of that community and the Festival....

s are held in cities that have Afghan communities, usually at the parks where black, red and green colored Afghan flags
Flag of Afghanistan
The flag of Afghanistan was adopted by the transitional government of the Transitional Islamic State of Afghanistan in 2002–2004. This flag is similar to the one flown in Afghanistan during the monarchy between 1930 and 1973...

 are spotted around cars.

Religious background

The overwhelming majority of Afghan Americans are Muslim
A Muslim, also spelled Moslem, is an adherent of Islam, a monotheistic, Abrahamic religion based on the Quran, which Muslims consider the verbatim word of God as revealed to prophet Muhammad. "Muslim" is the Arabic term for "submitter" .Muslims believe that God is one and incomparable...

, which includes the majority Sunni
Sunni Islam
Sunni Islam is the largest branch of Islam. Sunni Muslims are referred to in Arabic as ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah wa āl-Ǧamāʿah or ʾAhl ūs-Sunnah for short; in English, they are known as Sunni Muslims, Sunnis or Sunnites....

 and the Shia
Shi'a Islam
Shia Islam is the second largest denomination of Islam. The followers of Shia Islam are called Shi'ites or Shias. "Shia" is the short form of the historic phrase Shīʻatu ʻAlī , meaning "followers of Ali", "faction of Ali", or "party of Ali".Like other schools of thought in Islam, Shia Islam is...

 minority of Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. There is a small community of Afghan Jews in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, numbering about 200 families

Economic status

While the early immigrants were well-educated, the subsequent waves of migrants have not been as educated. The first immigrants came to the US by choice and were well-educated. In contrast, current immigrants have fled Afghanistan after it destabilized during the Soviet occupation as this group has had trouble coping with learning a new language. Those who have pursued their education in America in the middle 20th century and traveled back to Afghanistan, faced trouble attaining employment when returning back to the US since their education, often in medicine and engineering, is frequently viewed as outdated. After the Soviet invasion, Afghanistan's education system worsened, causing many migrants in the late 20th century to place less emphasize on educational attainment.

In almost every Afghan American household someone is attending or has graduated college. A sizable number of Afghan Americans who do not seek higher education often enter into food industry, mainly in running Afghan cuisine restaurants and fast food
Fast food
Fast food is the term given to food that can be prepared and served very quickly. While any meal with low preparation time can be considered to be fast food, typically the term refers to food sold in a restaurant or store with preheated or precooked ingredients, and served to the customer in a...

 establishments such as Kennedy Chicken. The newcomers to America can be sometimes found vending coffee
Coffee is a brewed beverage with a dark,init brooo acidic flavor prepared from the roasted seeds of the coffee plant, colloquially called coffee beans. The beans are found in coffee cherries, which grow on trees cultivated in over 70 countries, primarily in equatorial Latin America, Southeast Asia,...

 and bagel
A bagel is a bread product, traditionally shaped by hand into the form of a ring from yeasted wheat dough, roughly hand-sized, which is first boiled for a short time in water and then baked. The result is a dense, chewy, doughy interior with a browned and sometimes crisp exterior...

s in Manhattan
Manhattan is the oldest and the most densely populated of the five boroughs of New York City. Located primarily on the island of Manhattan at the mouth of the Hudson River, the boundaries of the borough are identical to those of New York County, an original county of the state of New York...

 where they have replaced Greek Americans in the field.

Notable Afghan Americans

Politics and academia

  • Zalmay Khalilzad
    Zalmay Khalilzad
    Zalmay Mamozy Khalilzad is a counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and president of Khalilzad Associates, an international business consulting firm based in Washington, DC. He was the United States Ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush...

     - United States Ambassador to the United Nations
    United States Ambassador to the United Nations
    The United States Ambassador to the United Nations is the leader of the U.S. delegation, the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. The position is more formally known as the "Permanent Representative of the United States of America to the United Nations, with the rank and status of Ambassador...

     from 2007 to 2009. He previously served as United States Ambassador to Afghanistan
    United States Ambassador to Afghanistan
    The United States Ambassador to Afghanistan is the official representative of the President of the United States to the head of state of Afghanistan....

     and United States Ambassador to Iraq
    United States Ambassador to Iraq
    This is a list of United States ambassadors, or lower-ranking heads of a diplomatic mission to Iraq.* Alexander K. Sloan - Chargé d'Affaires* Paul Knabenshue - Minister* Thomas M. Wilson - Minister* Loy W...

  • Nazif Shahrani
    Nazif Shahrani
    M. Nazif Shahrani is a professor of anthropology and of Central Asian and Middle Eastern Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. He is an ethnic Uzbek from northern Afghanistan and is an American citizen.-Life:...

     - Professor of anthropology
    Anthropology is the study of humanity. It has origins in the humanities, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The term "anthropology" is from the Greek anthrōpos , "man", understood to mean mankind or humanity, and -logia , "discourse" or "study", and was first used in 1501 by German...

     at Indiana University
    Indiana University
    Indiana University is a multi-campus public university system in the state of Indiana, United States. Indiana University has a combined student body of more than 100,000 students, including approximately 42,000 students enrolled at the Indiana University Bloomington campus and approximately 37,000...

  • Ashraf Haidari
    Ashraf Haidari
    M. Ashraf Haidari is the Deputy Assistant National Security Advisor of Afghanistan, as well as serving as the Senior Policy & Oversight Advisor of the Office of the National Security Council at the ARG-Presidential Palace...

     - Chargé d'Affaires
    Chargé d'affaires
    In diplomacy, chargé d’affaires , often shortened to simply chargé, is the title of two classes of diplomatic agents who head a diplomatic mission, either on a temporary basis or when no more senior diplomat has been accredited.-Chargés d’affaires:Chargés d’affaires , who were...

     and Political Counselor of the Embassy of Afghanistan
    Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

     in Washington, D.C.
  • Ali Ahmad Jalali
    Ali Ahmad Jalali
    Ali Ahmad Jalali is an Afghan American and a Distinguished Professor at the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies of the United States' National Defense University. He is also a former Interior Minister of Afghanistan, serving in that position from January 2003 to September 2005.Jalali...

     - Distinguished Professor at the National Defense University
    National Defense University
    The National Defense University is an institution of higher education funded by the United States Department of Defense, intended to facilitate high-level training, education, and the development of national security strategy. It is chartered by the Joint Chiefs of Staff, with Navy Vice Admiral...

     in Washington, D.C.
    Washington, D.C.
    Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

  • Said Tayeb Jawad
    Said Tayeb Jawad
    Said Tayeb Jawad was appointed Afghan Ambassador to the U.S. on December 4, 2003, by President Hamid Karzai and served as Ambassador until September 22, 2010. He also served as Afghanistan’s non-resident Ambassador to Mexico, Brazil, Colombia and Argentina. He previously was Chief of Staff to the...

     - former Ambassador of Afghanistan to the United States.

Business and finance

  • Quayum Karzai
    Quayum Karzai
    Abdul Qayum Karzai is President Hamid Karzai's older brother, a businessman and a former member of the Wolesi Jirga, Afghanistan's National Assembly.-Family:...

     - Brother of Afghan President
    President of Afghanistan
    Afghanistan has only been a republic between 1973 and 1992 and from 2001 onwards. Before 1973, it was a monarchy that was governed by a variety of kings, emirs or shahs...

     Hamid Karzai
    Hamid Karzai
    Hamid Karzai, GCMG is the 12th and current President of Afghanistan, taking office on 7 December 2004. He became a dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001...

     and owner of Afghan cuisine. restaurants in the Southern California and Baltimore–Washington Metropolitan Area.
  • Mahmoud Karzai - Brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and owner of Afghan cuisine restaurant.
  • Fauzia Karzai - Sister of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and manager of Helmand restaurant in Cambridge, Massachusetts
    Cambridge, Massachusetts
    Cambridge is a city in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, in the Greater Boston area. It was named in honor of the University of Cambridge in England, an important center of the Puritan theology embraced by the town's founders. Cambridge is home to two of the world's most prominent...

  • Ehsan Bayat
    Ehsan Bayat
    Ehsan Bayat is an Afghan business entrepreneur from the New York metropolitan area. He is an ethnic Qizilbash originally from Ghazni, Afghanistan. In 1979 or 1980, he went to the United States and obtained a bachelor degree in engineering. His family was influential in the commercial section of...

     - Business entrepreneur who founded Afghan Wireless
    Afghan Wireless
    Afghan Wireless is a cellular network provider in Afghanistan which was launched on 13 November 2002 by Ehsan Bayat. It is a joint venture business between Telephone Systems International in the United States and the Afghan Ministry of Communications. Afghan Wireless signed a 15 year-contract with...

  • Abdul W. Haqiqi
    Abdul W. Haqiqi
    Abdul Wassay Haqiqi is an Afghan American economist and coauthor of a number of published and cited works concerning Islamic banking accounting standards.-Background:...

     - Economist and co-author of a number of published and cited works concerning Islamic banking
    Islamic banking
    Islamic banking is banking or banking activity that is consistent with the principles of Islamic law and its practical application through the development of Islamic economics. Sharia prohibits the fixed or floating payment or acceptance of specific interest or fees for loans of money...

     accounting standards.
  • Baktash Khadem Zaher - Founder and CEO of Paramount Business Jets, Graduate of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is a private university in the US specializing in aviation and aerospace engineering. It teaches the science, practice, and business of aviation and aerospace. Called "The Harvard of the Sky" by Time Magazine in 1979, Embry-Riddle has a history dating back to...



  • Khaled Hosseini
    Khaled Hosseini
    Khaled Hosseini , is an Afghan-born American novelist and physician of ethnic Tajik origin. He is a citizen of the United States where he has lived since he was fifteen years old. His 2003 debut novel, The Kite Runner, was an international bestseller, selling more than 12 million copies worldwide....

     - Famous author, his work includes the Kite Runner
    Kite runner
    Kite runner may refer to:*A person whose hobby is Kite running*The Kite Runner, a novel by Khaled Hosseini*The Kite Runner , a 2007 film based on Khaled Hosseini's book...

     and A Thousand Splendid Suns
    A Thousand Splendid Suns
    A Thousand Splendid Suns is a 2007 novel by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini. It is his second, following his bestselling 2003 debut, The Kite Runner. The book focuses on the tumultuous lives of two Afghan women and how their lives cross each other, spanning from the 1960s to 2003...

  • Tamim Ansary
    Tamim Ansary
    Mir Tamim Ansary is an Afghan-American author and public speaker. He is the author of West of Kabul, East of New York, a book published shortly after the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, and is a columnist for the encyclopedia website Encarta.- Early life and education :Ansary was born in...

     - Author of West of Kabul, East of New York, a book published in 2001, shorty after the "9-11" attacks.
  • Fariba Nawa
    Fariba Nawa
    Fariba Nawa is an Afghan-American freelance journalist who grew up in both Herat and Lashgargah in Afghanistan as well as Fremont, California. She was born in Herat, Afghanistan to a native Afghan family. Her family fled the country during the Soviet invasion in the 1980s. She is trilingual in...

     - Journalist

Media and art

  • Anwar Hajher
    Anwar Hajher
    Anwar Hajher is an Afghan American professor and filmmaker. After leaving Afghanistan during the Russian invasion, he traveled around the world and settled in the United States. In 2008 he directed 16 Days in Afghanistan a documentary about life after the Taliban.-External links:* *...

     - Filmmaker who directed 16 Days in Afghanistan
    16 Days in Afghanistan
    16 Days in Afghanistan is a groundbreaking documentary about the journey of Afghan-American Anwar Hajher traveling to his homeland Afghanistan after 25 years to rediscover his country. The film is produced by Mithaq Kazimi and is the first documentary since the fall of Taliban to be shot in those...

    , a documentary about life after the Taliban.
  • Mithaq Kazimi
    Mithaq Kazimi
    Mithaq Kazimi is a film director and producer, mostly known for his documentary film 16 Days in Afghanistan and founding member of Dawn Breakers International Film Festival...

     - Filmmaker, producer of 16 Days in Afghanistan
  • Jawed Wassel
    Jawed Wassel
    Jawed Wassel was an Afghan-American film director who made the film FireDancer, which was the first Afghan film to be submitted for an Academy Award....

     - Filmmaker who helped produce FireDancer
    Fire Dancer is a 2002 film directed by an Afghan-American, Jawed Wassel. It was the first Afghan film to be submitted for an Academy Award.-External links:**

    and was then murdered in October 2001.
  • Azita Ghanizada
    Azita Ghanizada
    Azita Ghanizada is an Afghan American actress in the United States who has appeared in a number of television series. Born in Kabul, Afghanistan, her family fled her native country when she was still a baby in the wake of the Soviet war in Afghanistan. They travelled to the United States and were...

     - Actress and TV host, she appeared in a number of films and TV shows
  • Nabil Miskinyar
    Nabil Miskinyar
    Nabil Miskinyar is an Afghan TV host who currently runs a TV channel from United States called Ariana Afghanistan TV. His office is based out of Orange, California and has offices in San Francisco, Dubai and Hamburg....

     - Television anchor
  • Lina Rozbih - News anchor at Voice of America
    Voice of America
    Voice of America is the official external broadcast institution of the United States federal government. It is one of five civilian U.S. international broadcasters working under the umbrella of the Broadcasting Board of Governors . VOA provides a wide range of programming for broadcast on radio...

    's TV Ashna
  • Zakia Kohzad
    Zakia Kohzad
    Zakia Kohzad is a former TV news anchor for Kabul TV. Zakia was born in Mazar-e-Sharif, Afghanistan. By 1988, Zakia had secured a job as an anchor on Kabul TV. In 1992, she and her family emigrated to India and, subsequently in 2000, to the United States. She resides in exile in California,...

     - former Afghan actress and news anchor
  • Youssof Kohzad
    Youssof Kohzad
    Youssof Kohzad is an ethnic Tajik writer, painter, playwright, artist, poet, actor, and art consultant from Afghanistan. He has now taken residence in Tracy, California, United States since his emigration from Afghanistan...

     - Artist, Poet, Painter and Actor

Afghan music singers

  • Ehsan Aman
    Ehsan Aman
    Ehsan Aman is a singer from Afghanistan. He is one of the few veterans of Afghanistan’s lost music Golden Age who've maintained their popularity over the decades. He already had public exposure in Afghanistan in the 1970s and early 1980s with his first singles and the performances he held at Kabul...

     - Artist and music composer of Afghan music
    Music of Afghanistan
    The music of Afghanistan has existed for a long time, but since the late 1970s the country has been involved in constant wars and people were less concerned about music...

  • Farhad Darya
    Farhad Darya
    Farhad 'Darya' Nasher is an Afghan singer and composer, as well as a highly acclaimed music producer, and Good Will and Peace Ambassador for Afghanistan to the United Nations. Widely popular, he has earned affection for not only his music but also patriotism...

     - Singer of Afghan music
  • Naim Popal
    Naim Popal
    Naim Popal is an Afghan singer, songwriter, and composer.He is considered to be an influential artists in Afghanistan's musical history with a career that spans over four decades...

     - Singer of Afghan music
  • Ahmad Wali
    Ahmad Wali
    Ahmad Wali is a popular Ghazal singer from Afghanistan. He began his career in the 1970s, becoming popular in his native country before he was forced to flee by political upheaval in Afghanistan. He continued his work after resettling in Germany, performing throughout Europe and the United...

     - Singer of Afghan music
  • Haidar Salim
    Haidar Salim
    Haider Salim is an Afghan singer. He now resides in Dublin, California, U.S., continuing singing in exile. Already popular before the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, he is one of the few surviving singers of Afghanistan’s 70s era musician collection who’ve maintained their popularity throughout...

     - Singer of Afghan music
  • Rahim Jahani
    Rahim Jahani
    Rahim Jahani is a veteran singer of Afghanistan's pre-revolutionary music [era]. Rahim once resided in the Silo district of Kabul. He is the husband of Salma Jahani and brother-in-law of Haidar Salim, the latter two also singers. Salma is his second wife...

     - Singer of Afghan music
  • Mariam Wafa
    Mariam Wafa
    Mariam Wafa is a popular Afghan singer. She currently resides in California, U.S., where she continues her music career in exile.- Discography :*1998: Wafa*2001?: Naaz*2004: Live in Germany...

     - Singer of Afghan music
  • Jawad Ghaziyar
    Jawad Ghaziyar
    Jawad Ghaziyar is a popular Afghan singer. He is one of the 80s era singers who’ve taken refuge in United States after the fall of government of Afghanistan in 1992.- Discography :...

     - Singer of Afghan music

Beauty Queens

  • Vida Samadzai
    Vida Samadzai
    Vida Samadzai is Miss Afghanistan 2003. Although, the Republic of Afghanistan never recognized Samadzai as Miss Afghanistan...

     - Beauty for a Cause
    Beauty for a Cause
    Beauty for a Cause is a special award initially given in Miss Earth 2003 competition to the candidate who made the most significant social contribution...

     of Miss Earth 2003
    Miss Earth 2003
    Miss Earth 2003, the 3rd edition of Miss Earth beauty pageant, was held on November 9, 2003 at the UP Theater, in Quezon City, Philippines. Fifty-seven delegates from all over the globe participated in the event. The pageant was broadcast live via ABS-CBN in the Philippines and to many countries...

  • Zohra Daoud
    Zohra Daoud
    Zohra Yousuf Daoud is a former Afghan TV celebrity and model now a citizen of United States. In December 1972 Dawoud became the first and only woman to this date ever to be crowned Miss Afghanistan, months before a bloodless coup forced King Zahir Shah into exile...

     - Miss Afghanistan
    Miss Afghanistan
    Miss Afghanistan may refer to:*Zohra Daoud, the first and only official Miss Afghanistan ever crowned*Vida Samadzai, candidate in Miss Earth 2003*Zallascht Sadat, Miss Afghanistan Germany 2008...


Afghan royalty

  • Crown Prince Ahmad Shah Khan
    Ahmad Shah Khan
    Ahmad Shah, Crown Prince of Afghanistan the second son of Mohammed Zahir Shah, the former King of Afghanistan, and current pretender to the throne of Afghanistan.-Biography:...

     - Former Crown Prince of Afghanistan and current pretender to the throne
  • Prince Muhammad Zahir Khan - Son of Ahmad Shah Khan, Hereditary Prince of Afghanistan
  • Prince Muhammad Emel Khan - Son of Ahmad Shah Khan
  • Princess Hawa Khanum - Daughter of Ahmad Shah Khan
  • Princess Khatul Begum - Wife of Ahmad Shah Khan, Crown Princess of Afghanistan


  • Zahira Zahir
    Zahira Zahir
    Zahira Zahir is a Washington barber and cosmetologist.Zahira's salon is in the Watergate hotel. She is known for cutting the hair ofUnited States PresidentGeorge W. Bush. The President's nickname for her is Z.-Early life:Zahira is the daughter of...

     - Sister of Afghan singer Ahmad Zahir
    Ahmad Zahir
    Ahmad Zahir was a singer, songwriter, and composer from Afghanistan. He is considered an icon of Afghan music and is sometimes called the "King of Afghan music"...

  • Rishad Zahir
    Rishad Zahir
    Rishad Zahir is an Afghan singer and musician who lives in the United States. He is the son of Legend of Afghan Music Ahmad Zahir.-Early life:...

     - Son of Afghan singer Ahmad Zahir


After 9/11, a mosque run by Afghan-Americans in Flushing
Flushing, Queens
Flushing, founded in 1645, is a neighborhood in the north central part of the City of New York borough of Queens, east of Manhattan.Flushing was one of the first Dutch settlements on Long Island. Today, it is one of the largest and most diverse neighborhoods in New York City...

, New York, donated blood, held a vigil for World Trade Center deceased and funded a memorial for the fire fighters. Since late 2001, after the U.S. war in Afghanistan
War in Afghanistan (2001–present)
The War in Afghanistan began on October 7, 2001, as the armed forces of the United States of America, the United Kingdom, Australia, and the Afghan United Front launched Operation Enduring Freedom...

, large numbers of Afghan-Americans work for the U.S. government as translators and others. Many of them lost their lives in the war, the same way US soldiers have.

Victims of hate crimes

Despite that the September 11, 2001 hijackers
September 11, 2001 attacks
The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks The September 11 attacks (also referred to as September 11, September 11th or 9/119/11 is pronounced "nine eleven". The slash is not part of the pronunciation...

 were Arabs and not from Afghanistan, Afghan-Americans have increasingly faced discrimination in the United States after that events of that year. For instance, a few weeks after September 11, Nathan Chandler Powell murdered Afghan-American filmmaker Jawed Wassel
Jawed Wassel
Jawed Wassel was an Afghan-American film director who made the film FireDancer, which was the first Afghan film to be submitted for an Academy Award....

. Powell attacked Wassel with a cue stick
Cue stick
A cue stick , is an item of sporting equipment essential to the games of pool, snooker and carom billiards. It is used to strike a ball, usually the...

 and then stabbed him with a kitchen knife, beheading him and placing Wassel's head inside a freezer. Powell was later caught with Wassel's mutilated body in his van, while trying to dispose of evidence en route to Beth Page Park in Long Island
Long Island
Long Island is an island located in the southeast part of the U.S. state of New York, just east of Manhattan. Stretching northeast into the Atlantic Ocean, Long Island contains four counties, two of which are boroughs of New York City , and two of which are mainly suburban...

, New York. Powell later pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 25 years.

Also around the same time, an individual went on a shooting rampage in Mesa
Mesa, Arizona
According to the 2010 Census, the racial composition of Mesa was as follows:* White: 77.1% * Hispanic or Latino : 26.54%* Black or African American: 3.5%* Two or more races: 3.4%* Native American: 2.4%...

, Arizona
Arizona ; is a state located in the southwestern region of the United States. It is also part of the western United States and the mountain west. The capital and largest city is Phoenix...

, where he shot at a home owned by an Afghan-American. Additionally, vandals defaced an Afghan restaurant with red liquid intended to appear as blood. Moreover, the Afghan Mission to the UN
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 received a letter that contained quotes from Osama Bin Laden
Osama bin Laden
Osama bin Mohammed bin Awad bin Laden was the founder of the militant Islamist organization Al-Qaeda, the jihadist organization responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States and numerous other mass-casualty attacks against civilian and military targets...

 along with a dried pig's ear.

In more recent acts, Alia Ansari, a mother of six children, was shot dead in California
Fremont, California
Fremont is a city in Alameda County, California. It was incorporated on January 23, 1956, from the merger of five smaller communities: Centerville, Niles, Irvington, Mission San Jose, and Warm Springs...

 on October 20, 2006, an incident which the victim's family and local leaders deemed a hate crime. While wearing Islamic garb, namely, the hijab
The word "hijab" or "'" refers to both the head covering traditionally worn by Muslim women and modest Muslim styles of dress in general....

, Ansari was gunned down in front of her children. The incident eventually led to local politicians to call November 13 "wear-the-hijab-day".

Other Afghan-Americans, like U.S. Air Force
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force is the aerial warfare service branch of the United States Armed Forces and one of the American uniformed services. Initially part of the United States Army, the USAF was formed as a separate branch of the military on September 18, 1947 under the National Security Act of...

 veteran Mustafa Aziz, have faced long delays in obtaining their US citizenship. The ACLU consequently filed a lawsuit and accused government officials of improperly delaying background checks and allowing applications to linger indefinitely. In 2006, the ACLU claimed victory as Aziz ultimately received his citizenship.

See also

  • Afghanistan – United States relations
  • Demography of Afghanistan
    Demography of Afghanistan
    The population of Afghanistan is around 29,835,392 as of the year 2011, which is unclear if the refugees living outside the country are included or not. The nation is composed of a multi-ethnic and multi-lingual society, reflecting its location astride historic trade and invasion routes between...

  • Culture of Afghanistan
    Culture of Afghanistan
    The culture of Afghanistan has been around for over two millenniums, tracing record to at least the time of the Achaemenid Empire in 500 BCE. Afghanistan translates to the "place of Afghans" or "land of the Afghans" in the nation's official languages, Pashto and Dari...

  • Afghan diaspora
    Afghan diaspora
    Afghan diaspora or Afghan immigrants are citizens of Afghanistan who have emigrated to other countries, or people of Afghan origin who are born outside Afghanistan.-List of countries:...

External links