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Kabul

Kabul

Overview
Kabul spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province
Kabul Province
Kābul , situated in the east of the country, is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. The capital of the province is Kabul City, which is also Afghanistan's capital. The population of Kabul province is 3.5 million people as of 2009, of which almost 80 percent live in the urban areas...

, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan
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...

. According to the 2011 official estimates, the population of Kabul metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

 is 3.9 million people.

It is an economic and cultural centre, situated 5,900 ft (1,800 m) above sea level in a narrow valley, wedged between the Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
The Hindu Kush is an mountain range that stretches between central Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. The highest point in the Hindu Kush is Tirich Mir in the Chitral region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.It is the westernmost extension of the Pamir Mountains, the Karakoram Range, and is a...

 mountains along the Kabul River
Kabul River
Kabul River , the classical Cophes , is a 700 km long river that starts in the Sanglakh Range of the Hindu Kush Mountains in Afghanistan and ends in the Indus River near Attock, Pakistan. It is the main river in eastern Afghanistan and is separated from the watershed of the Helmand by the Unai Pass...

.
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Kabul spelt Caubul in some classic literatures, is the capital and largest city of Afghanistan. It is also the capital of the Kabul Province
Kabul Province
Kābul , situated in the east of the country, is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. The capital of the province is Kabul City, which is also Afghanistan's capital. The population of Kabul province is 3.5 million people as of 2009, of which almost 80 percent live in the urban areas...

, located in the eastern section of Afghanistan
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...

. According to the 2011 official estimates, the population of Kabul metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

 is 3.9 million people.

It is an economic and cultural centre, situated 5,900 ft (1,800 m) above sea level in a narrow valley, wedged between the Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
The Hindu Kush is an mountain range that stretches between central Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. The highest point in the Hindu Kush is Tirich Mir in the Chitral region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.It is the westernmost extension of the Pamir Mountains, the Karakoram Range, and is a...

 mountains along the Kabul River
Kabul River
Kabul River , the classical Cophes , is a 700 km long river that starts in the Sanglakh Range of the Hindu Kush Mountains in Afghanistan and ends in the Indus River near Attock, Pakistan. It is the main river in eastern Afghanistan and is separated from the watershed of the Helmand by the Unai Pass...

. The city is linked with Kandahar
Kandahar
Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...

, Herat
Herat
Herāt is the capital of Herat province in Afghanistan. It is the third largest city of Afghanistan, with a population of about 397,456 as of 2006. It is situated in the valley of the Hari River, which flows from the mountains of central Afghanistan to the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan...

 and Mazar-e Sharif
Mazar-e Sharif
Mazār-i-Sharīf or Mazār-e Sharīf is the fourth largest city of Afghanistan, with a population of about 375,000 as of 2006. It is the capital of Balkh province and is linked by roads to Kunduz in the east, Kabul in the south-east, Herat to the west and Uzbekistan to the north...

 via a circular highway that stretches across the country. It is also the start of the main road to Jalalabad
Jalalabad
Jalalabad , formerly called Adinapour, as documented by the 7th century Hsüan-tsang, is a city in eastern Afghanistan. Located at the junction of the Kabul River and Kunar River near the Laghman valley, Jalalabad is the capital of Nangarhar province. It is linked by approximately of highway with...

 and further to Peshawar
Peshawar
Peshawar is the capital of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the administrative center and central economic hub for the Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan....

, Pakistan.

Kabul's main products include fresh
Fruit
In broad terms, a fruit is a structure of a plant that contains its seeds.The term has different meanings dependent on context. In non-technical usage, such as food preparation, fruit normally means the fleshy seed-associated structures of certain plants that are sweet and edible in the raw state,...

 and dried fruit
Dried fruit
Dried fruit is fruit where the majority of the original water content has been removed either naturally, through sun drying, or through the use of specialized dryers or dehydrators. Dried fruit has a long tradition of use dating back to the fourth millennium BC in Mesopotamia, and is prized...

, nuts
Nut (fruit)
A nut is a hard-shelled fruit of some plants having an indehiscent seed. While a wide variety of dried seeds and fruits are called nuts in English, only a certain number of them are considered by biologists to be true nuts...

, Afghan rug
Afghan rug
An Afghan rug is a type of handwoven floor-covering textile traditionally made in Afghanistan. Many of the Afghan rugs are also woven by Afghan refugees who reside in Pakistan and Iran. In any case, Afghan rugs are genuine, often charming — and usually phenomenally inexpensive...

s, leather
Leather
Leather is a durable and flexible material created via the tanning of putrescible animal rawhide and skin, primarily cattlehide. It can be produced through different manufacturing processes, ranging from cottage industry to heavy industry.-Forms:...

 and sheep skin products, domestic clothes and furniture, and antique replica
Replica
A replica is a copy closely resembling the original concerning its shape and appearance. An inverted replica complements the original by filling its gaps. It can be a copy used for historical purposes, such as being placed in a museum. Sometimes the original never existed. For example, Difference...

s, but the wars since 1978 have limited the economic productivity of the city. Economic productivity has improved since the establishment of the Karzai administration in late 2001.

Kabul is over 3,500 years old; many empires have long fought over the city for its strategic location along the trade routes of South
South Asia
South Asia, also known as Southern Asia, is the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan countries and, for some authorities , also includes the adjoining countries to the west and the east...

 and Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

. Between 1504 and 1526 AD, Kabul served as the original capital of Babur
Babur
Babur was a Muslim conqueror from Central Asia who, following a series of setbacks, finally succeeded in laying the basis for the Mughal dynasty of South Asia. He was a direct descendant of Timur through his father, and a descendant also of Genghis Khan through his mother...

, builder of the Mughal Empire
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

. It remained under the Delhi Sultanate
Delhi Sultanate
The Delhi Sultanate is a term used to cover five short-lived, Delhi based kingdoms or sultanates, of Turkic origin in medieval India. The sultanates ruled from Delhi between 1206 and 1526, when the last was replaced by the Mughal dynasty...

 until 1738, when Nader Shah
Nader Shah
Nāder Shāh Afshār ruled as Shah of Iran and was the founder of the Afsharid dynasty. Because of his military genius, some historians have described him as the Napoleon of Persia or the Second Alexander...

 and his Afsharid forces
Afsharid dynasty
The Afsharids were members of an Iranian dynasty of Turkmen origin from Khorasan who ruled Persia in the 18th century. The dynasty was founded in 1736 by the military commander Nader Shah who deposed the last member of the Safavid dynasty and proclaimed himself King of Iran. During Nader's reign,...

 invaded the Mughal Empire. After the death of Nader Shah Afsharid in 1747, the city fell to Ahmad Shah Durrani
Ahmad Shah Durrani
Ahmad Shah Durrani , also known as Ahmad Shāh Abdālī and born as Ahmad Khān, was the founder of the Durrani Empire in 1747 and is regarded by many to be the founder of the modern state of Afghanistan.Ahmad Khan enlisted as a young soldier in the military of the Afsharid kingdom and quickly rose...

, who quickly added it to his new Afghan Empire
Durrani Empire
The Durrani Empire was a Pashtun dynasty centered in Afghanistan and included northeastern Iran, the Kashmir region, the modern state of Pakistan, and northwestern India. It was established at Kandahar in 1747 by Ahmad Shah Durrani, an Afghan military commander under Nader Shah of Persia and chief...

. In 1776, Timur Shah Durrani
Timur Shah Durrani
Timur Shah Durrani , was the second ruler of the Durrani Empire from October 16, 1772, until his death in 1793. An ethnic Pashtun, he was the second and eldest son of Ahmad Shah Durrani.- Early life :...

 made it the capital of the modern state
Sovereign state
A sovereign state, or simply, state, is a state with a defined territory on which it exercises internal and external sovereignty, a permanent population, a government, and the capacity to enter into relations with other sovereign states. It is also normally understood to be a state which is neither...

 of Afghanistan.

Since the Marxist revolution
Saur Revolution
The Saur Revolution is the name given to the Communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan takeover of political power from the government of Afghanistan on 28 April 1978. The word 'Saur', i.e...

 in 1978, the city has been a target of anti-Afghanistan forces such as the Haqqani network
Haqqani network
The Haqqani Network is an insurgent group fighting against US-led NATO forces and the government of Afghanistan. Originating from Afghanistan during the mid-1970s, it was nurtured by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence during the 1980s Soviet war in...

, Quetta Shura
Quetta Shura
The Quetta Shura is a militant organization composed of top leadership of the Afghan Taliban, that is believed to be based since about 2001 in the city of Quetta in the Balochistan province of Pakistan. The Shura was formed after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was toppled in late 2001 and the...

, Hezbi Islami
Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin
The Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin is an Afghan islamist political party.The original Hezb-e-Islami was founded in 1977 by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar who is now the head of HIG. The other faction is headed by Mulavi Younas Khalis who split with Hekmatyar and established his own Hezbi Islami in 1979...

, al-Qaida and other terrorist groups. While the Afghan government tries to rebuild the war-torn city, these anti-Afghanistan forces are planning more attacks in which majority of their victims are ordinary poor Afghan civilians.

Antiquity


The word "Kubhā" is mentioned in Rigveda
Rigveda
The Rigveda is an ancient Indian sacred collection of Vedic Sanskrit hymns...

 and the Avesta
Avesta
The Avesta is the primary collection of sacred texts of Zoroastrianism, composed in the Avestan language.-Early transmission:The texts of the Avesta — which are all in the Avestan language — were composed over the course of several hundred years. The most important portion, the Gathas,...

 and appears to refer to the Kabul River
Kabul River
Kabul River , the classical Cophes , is a 700 km long river that starts in the Sanglakh Range of the Hindu Kush Mountains in Afghanistan and ends in the Indus River near Attock, Pakistan. It is the main river in eastern Afghanistan and is separated from the watershed of the Helmand by the Unai Pass...

. The Rigveda praises it as an ideal city, a vision of paradise set in the mountains. Evidence of early nomadic iron age in Aq Kapruk IV.|accessdate=2010-09-18}} The area
Aria
An aria in music was originally any expressive melody, usually, but not always, performed by a singer. The term is now used almost exclusively to describe a self-contained piece for one voice usually with orchestral accompaniment...

 in which the Kabul valley sat was part of the Median Empire
Medes
The MedesThe Medes...

 before being conquered by the Achaemenid Empire
Achaemenid Empire
The Achaemenid Empire , sometimes known as First Persian Empire and/or Persian Empire, was founded in the 6th century BCE by Cyrus the Great who overthrew the Median confederation...

. There is a reference to a settlement called Kabura by the rulers of the Achaemenid Empire, which may be the basis for the future use of the name Kabura (Κάβουρα) by Ptolemy
Ptolemy
Claudius Ptolemy , was a Roman citizen of Egypt who wrote in Greek. He was a mathematician, astronomer, geographer, astrologer, and poet of a single epigram in the Greek Anthology. He lived in Egypt under Roman rule, and is believed to have been born in the town of Ptolemais Hermiou in the...

. It became a centre of Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism
Zoroastrianism is a religion and philosophy based on the teachings of prophet Zoroaster and was formerly among the world's largest religions. It was probably founded some time before the 6th century BCE in Greater Iran.In Zoroastrianism, the Creator Ahura Mazda is all good, and no evil...

 followed by Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 and Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

 later. Alexander the Great explored the Kabul valley after his conquest of the Achaemenid Empire
Battle of Gaugamela
The Battle of Gaugamela took place in 331 BC between Alexander the Great and Darius III of Persia. The battle, which is also called the Battle of Arbela, resulted in a massive victory for the ancient Macedonians and led to the fall of the Achaemenid Empire.-Location:Darius chose a flat, open plain...

 in 330 BC but no record has been made of Kabul, which may have been only a small town and not worth writing about. The region became part of the Seleucid Empire
Seleucid Empire
The Seleucid Empire was a Greek-Macedonian state that was created out of the eastern conquests of Alexander the Great. At the height of its power, it included central Anatolia, the Levant, Mesopotamia, Persia, today's Turkmenistan, Pamir and parts of Pakistan.The Seleucid Empire was a major centre...

 before falling to the Indian Maurya Empire
Maurya Empire
The Maurya Empire was a geographically extensive Iron Age historical power in ancient India, ruled by the Mauryan dynasty from 321 to 185 BC...

. The Greco-Bactrians
Greco-Bactrian Kingdom
The Greco-Bactrian Kingdom was the easternmost part of the Hellenistic world, covering Bactria and Sogdiana in Central Asia from 250 to 125 BC...

 captured Kabul from the Mauryans in the early 2nd century BC, then lost the city to their subordinates in the Indo-Greek Kingdom
Indo-Greek Kingdom
The Indo-Greek Kingdom or Graeco-Indian Kingdom covered various parts of the northwest regions of the Indian subcontinent during the last two centuries BC, and was ruled by more than 30 Hellenistic kings, often in conflict with each other...

 around the mid-2nd century BC. The Bactrians
Bactrians
The Bactrians were the inhabitants of Bactria.Several important trade routes from India and China passed through Bactria and, as early as the Bronze Age, this had allowed the accumulation of vast amounts of wealth by the mostly nomadic population. The first proto-urban civilization in the area...

 founded the town of Paropamisadae
Paropamisadae
Paropamisadae or Paropamisus was the ancient Greek name for a region of the Hindu-Kush in eastern Afghanistan, centered on the cities of Kabul and Kapisa .-History of Paropamisadae:...

 near Kabul, but it was later ceded to the Mauryans in the 1st century BC. Indo-Scythians
Indo-Scythians
Indo-Scythians is a term used to refer to Sakas , who migrated into Bactria, Sogdiana, Arachosia, Gandhara, Kashmir, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan, from the middle of the 2nd century BCE to the 4th century CE....

 expelled the Indo-Greeks by the mid 1st century BC, but lost the city to the Kushan Empire
Kushan Empire
The Kushan Empire originally formed in the early 1st century AD under Kujula Kadphises in the territories of ancient Bactria on either side of the middle course of the Oxus in what is now northern Afghanistan, Pakistan, and southern Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.During the 1st and early 2nd centuries...

 about 100 years later.
Some historians ascribe Kabul the Sanskrit
Sanskrit
Sanskrit , is a historical Indo-Aryan language and the primary liturgical language of Hinduism, Jainism and Buddhism.Buddhism: besides Pali, see Buddhist Hybrid Sanskrit Today, it is listed as one of the 22 scheduled languages of India and is an official language of the state of Uttarakhand...

 name of Kamboja
Kambojas
The Kambojas were a kshatriya tribe of Iron Age India, frequently mentioned in Sanskrit and Pali literature.They were an Indo-Iranian tribe situated at the boundary of the Indo-Aryans and the Iranians, and appear to have moved from the Iranian into the Indo-Aryan sphere over time.The Kambojas...

 (Kamboj). It is mentioned as Kophes or Kophene in some classical writings. Hsuan Tsang
Xuanzang
Xuanzang was a famous Chinese Buddhist monk, scholar, traveler, and translator who described the interaction between China and India in the early Tang period...

 refers to the name as Kaofu in the 7th century AD, which is the appellation
Appellation
An appellation is a legally defined and protected geographical indication used to identify where the grapes for a wine were grown; other types of food often have appellations as well...

 of one of the five tribes of the Yuezhi
Yuezhi
The Yuezhi, or Rouzhi , also known as the Da Yuezhi or Da Rouzhi , were an ancient Central Asian people....

 who had migrated from across the Hindu Kush
Hindu Kush
The Hindu Kush is an mountain range that stretches between central Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. The highest point in the Hindu Kush is Tirich Mir in the Chitral region of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.It is the westernmost extension of the Pamir Mountains, the Karakoram Range, and is a...

 into the Kabul valley around the beginning of the Christian era
Anno Domini
and Before Christ are designations used to label or number years used with the Julian and Gregorian calendars....

. It was conquered by Kushan Emperor Kujula Kadphises
Kujula Kadphises
Kujula Kadphises, reigned was a Kushan prince who united the Yuezhi confederation during the 1st century CE, and became the first Kushan emperor...

 in about 45 AD and remained Kushan territory until at least the 3rd century AD. The Kushan
Kushan Empire
The Kushan Empire originally formed in the early 1st century AD under Kujula Kadphises in the territories of ancient Bactria on either side of the middle course of the Oxus in what is now northern Afghanistan, Pakistan, and southern Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.During the 1st and early 2nd centuries...

 were Indo-European-speaking
Indo-European languages
The Indo-European languages are a family of several hundred related languages and dialects, including most major current languages of Europe, the Iranian plateau, and South Asia and also historically predominant in Anatolia...

 Tocharians
Tocharians
The Tocharians were the Tocharian-speaking inhabitants of the Tarim Basin, making them the easternmost speakers of Indo-European languages in antiquity. They were known as, or at least closely related to, the Yuezhi of Chinese sources...

 from the Tarim Basin
Tarim Basin
The Tarim Basin is a large endorheic basin occupying an area of about . It is located in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China's far west. Its northern boundary is the Tian Shan mountain range and its southern is the Kunlun Mountains on the northern edge of the Tibetan Plateau. The...

.

Around 230 AD, the Kushans were defeated by the Sassanid Empire
Sassanid Empire
The Sassanid Empire , known to its inhabitants as Ērānshahr and Ērān in Middle Persian and resulting in the New Persian terms Iranshahr and Iran , was the last pre-Islamic Persian Empire, ruled by the Sasanian Dynasty from 224 to 651...

 and replaced by Sassanid vassals known as the Indo-Sassanids. During the Sassanian period, the city was referred to as "Kapul" in Pahlavi scripts
Pahlavi scripts
Pahlavi or Pahlevi denotes a particular and exclusively written form of various Middle Iranian languages. The essential characteristics of Pahlavi are*the use of a specific Aramaic-derived script, the Pahlavi script;...

. In 420 AD the Indo-Sassanids were driven out of Afghanistan by the Xionite
Xionites
Xionites, Chionites, Chionitae, , Hunni Xionites, Chionites, Chionitae, (Middle Persian: Xiyon, Avestan: Xiiaona, Sogdian:xwn), Hunni Xionites, Chionites, Chionitae, (Middle Persian: Xiyon, Avestan: Xiiaona, Sogdian:xwn), Hunni (Pahlavi:Huna, Yun or Xūn (獯), were a nomadic tribe prominent in...

 tribe known as the Kidarites
Kidarites
The Kidarite were a dynasty of the "Ki" clan, probably originating from the Uar people. They were part of the complex of tribes known collectively as Xionites or "Hunas"....

, who were then replaced in the 460s by the Hephthalite
Hephthalite
The Hephthalites or Hephthalite is a pre-Islamic Greek term for local Abdali Afghans, who's famous ruler was Nazak Abdali . Hephthalites were a Central Asian nomadic confederation of the AD 5th-6th centuries whose precise origins and composition remain obscure...

s. It became part of the surviving Turk Shahi Kingdom of Kapisa, also known as Kabul-Shahan. According to Táríkhu-l Hind by Al-Biruni, Kabul was governed by princes of Turkic
Turkic peoples
The Turkic peoples are peoples residing in northern, central and western Asia, southern Siberia and northwestern China and parts of eastern Europe. They speak languages belonging to the Turkic language family. They share, to varying degrees, certain cultural traits and historical backgrounds...

 lineage whose rule lasted for 60 generations.

The Kabul Turks and Hindus built a huge defensive wall around the city to protect it from future invaders. This wall has survived until today and is also considered a historical site.

Islamic conquest to the Mongol invasion


The Islamic conquest
Islamic conquest of Afghanistan
The Islamic conquest of Afghanistan began in the middle of the 7th century after the Islamic conquest of Persia was completed, when Arab Muslims defeated the Sassanid Empire at the battles of Walaja, al-Qādisiyyah and Nahavand. The Muslim Arabs then began to move towards the lands east of Persia...

 reached modern-day Afghanistan in 642 AD, at a time when Kabul was independent. A number of failed expeditions were made to Islamize
Islamization
Islamization or Islamification has been used to describe the process of a society's conversion to the religion of Islam...

 the region. In one of them, Abdu-r Rahmán bin Shimar invaded Kabul in the late 7th century and managed to convert 12,000 local inhabitants to Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 before abandoning the city. Muslim
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...

s were a minority until Ya'qub bin Laith as-Saffar
Ya'qub bin Laith as-Saffar
Ya'qub bin Laith as-Saffar or Ya'qub-i Laith Saffari was the founder of the Saffarid dynasty in Sistan, with its capital at Zaranj . He ruled territories that are now in Iran and Afghanistan, as well as portions of West Pakistan...

 of Zaranj
Zaranj
Zaranj or Zarang is a border town in south-western Afghanistan, with a population of approximately 49,851 people as of 2004. It is the capital of Nimruz province and is situated next to Milak, Iran. It is linked by highways with Lashkar Gah to the east, Farah to the north and Zabol in Iran to the...

 conquered Kabul in 870 and established the first Islamic dynasty
Saffarid dynasty
The Saffarids or the Saffarid dynasty was a Persian empire which ruled in Sistan , a historical region in southeastern Iran, southwestern Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan...

 in the region. It was reported in early 900 AD that the rulers of Kabul were Muslim
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...

s with non-Muslims living close by.

Over the centuries to come, the city was successively controlled by the Samanids, Ghaznavids, Ghurids
Ghurids
The Ghurids or Ghorids were a medieval Muslim dynasty of Iranian origin that ruled during the 12th and 13th centuries in Khorasan. At its zenith, their empire, centred at Ghōr , stretched over an area that included the whole of modern Afghanistan, the eastern parts of Iran and the northern section...

, and Kartids
Kartids
The Kartid Dynasty was a Persian dynasty that ruled over a large part of Khorassan during the 13th and 14th centuries...

. In the 13th century the Mongol
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

 horde passed through and caused massive destruction in the area. Report of a massacre
Massacre
A massacre is an event with a heavy death toll.Massacre may also refer to:-Entertainment:*Massacre , a DC Comics villain*Massacre , a 1932 drama film starring Richard Barthelmess*Massacre, a 1956 Western starring Dane Clark...

 in the close by Bamiyan
Bamiyan
Bamyan , also spelt Bamiyan and Bamian, at an altitude of about 9,200 feet and with a population of about 61,863, is the largest town in the region of Hazarajat in central Afghanistan and the capital of Bamyan Province. It lies approximately 240 kilometres north-west of Kabul, the national capital...

 is recorded around this period, where the entire population of the valley was annihilated by the Mongol troops as a revenge for the death of Genghis Khan's grandson. One of Genghis Khan's grandson is thought to be named Kabul. During the Mongol invasion, many natives of Afghanistan fled to India where some established dynasties in Delhi
Delhi Sultanate
The Delhi Sultanate is a term used to cover five short-lived, Delhi based kingdoms or sultanates, of Turkic origin in medieval India. The sultanates ruled from Delhi between 1206 and 1526, when the last was replaced by the Mughal dynasty...

.

Following the era of the Khilji dynasty
Khilji dynasty
The Khilji Sultanate was a dynasty of Turko-Afghan Khalaj origin who ruled large parts of South Asia from 1290 - 1320. They were the second dynasty to rule the Delhi Sultanate of India...

 in 1333, a famous Moroccan
Morocco
Morocco , officially the Kingdom of Morocco , is a country located in North Africa. It has a population of more than 32 million and an area of 710,850 km², and also primarily administers the disputed region of the Western Sahara...

 travelling scholar, Ibn Battuta
Ibn Battuta
Abu Abdullah Muhammad Ibn Battuta , or simply Ibn Battuta, also known as Shams ad–Din , was a Muslim Moroccan Berber explorer, known for his extensive travels published in the Rihla...

, was visiting Kabul and he mentioned that Kabul was inhabited by Persian-speaking Afghan tribes:

Timurid and Mughal era




In the 14th century, Kabul rose again as a trading centre under the kingdom of Timur
Timur
Timur , historically known as Tamerlane in English , was a 14th-century conqueror of West, South and Central Asia, and the founder of the Timurid dynasty in Central Asia, and great-great-grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived as the Mughal Empire in India until...

 (Tamerlane). In 1504, the city fell to Babur
Babur
Babur was a Muslim conqueror from Central Asia who, following a series of setbacks, finally succeeded in laying the basis for the Mughal dynasty of South Asia. He was a direct descendant of Timur through his father, and a descendant also of Genghis Khan through his mother...

 from the north and made into his headquarters, which became one of the principal cities of his later Mughal Empire
Mughal Empire
The Mughal Empire ,‎ or Mogul Empire in traditional English usage, was an imperial power from the Indian Subcontinent. The Mughal emperors were descendants of the Timurids...

. In 1525, Babur described Kabulistan
Kabulistan
Kabulistan is a historical term referring to the eastern territories of Greater Khorasan that is centered around present-day Kabul, Afghanistan...

 in his memoirs
Baburnama
Bāburnāma is the name given to the memoirs of Ẓahīr ud-Dīn Muḥammad Bābur , founder of the Mughal Empire and a great-great-great-grandson of Timur...

 by writing that:

Mirza Muhammad Haidar Dughlat
Mirza Muhammad Haidar Dughlat
Mirza Muhammad Haidar Dughlat was a Chagatai Turko-Mogol military general, ruler of Kashmir, and a historical writer. He was a Turkic speaking Dughlat prince who wrote in Persian and Chagatai languages. Prince Haider was a first cousin of Prince Zahir .-Life:He first campaigned in Kashmir in 1533,...

, a poet from Hindustan
Hindustan
Hindustan or Indostan, literal translation "Land of River Sindhu ", is one of the popular names of South Asia. It can also mean "the land of the Hindus"...

 who visited at the time wrote: "Dine and drink in Kabul: it is mountain, desert, city, river and all else." It was from here that Babur began his 1526 conquest of Hindustan, which began east of the Indus River
Indus River
The Indus River is a major river which flows through Pakistan. It also has courses through China and India.Originating in the Tibetan plateau of western China in the vicinity of Lake Mansarovar in Tibet Autonomous Region, the river runs a course through the Ladakh district of Jammu and Kashmir and...

 that was ruled by the Afghan
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...

 Lodi dynasty at the time. Babur wished to be buried in Kabul whenever he died, a city he had always loved, but at first he was buried in Agra
Agra
Agra a.k.a. Akbarabad is a city on the banks of the river Yamuna in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, India, west of state capital, Lucknow and south from national capital New Delhi. With a population of 1,686,976 , it is one of the most populous cities in Uttar Pradesh and the 19th most...

, Hindustan (now India). Roughly nine years later his remains were dug back up and re-buried at the Gardens of Babur
Bagh-e Babur
The Gardens of Babur, locally called Bagh-e Babur , is a historic park in Kabul, Afghanistan, and also the last resting-place of the first Mughal emperor Babur...

 in Kabul by the order of one of Babur's wives. The inscription on his tomb contains Persian words penned which state: اگرفردوس روی زمین است همین است و همین است و همین است (If there is a paradise on earth, it is this, it is this, it is this!)

In 1537, Humayun
Humayun
Nasir ud-din Muhammad Humayun was the second Mughal Emperor who ruled present day Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of northern India from 1530–1540 and again from 1555–1556. Like his father, Babur, he lost his kingdom early, but with Persian aid, he eventually regained an even larger one...

 was elsewhere on an expedition, when Sher Khan, a governor under Babur turned against his new master and overran the state of Bengal
Bengal
Bengal is a historical and geographical region in the northeast region of the Indian Subcontinent at the apex of the Bay of Bengal. Today, it is mainly divided between the sovereign land of People's Republic of Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal, although some regions of the previous...

 to established the Sur Empire
Sur Dynasty
The Suri Empire was established by a Muslim dynasty of Afghan origin who ruled a vast territory in the Indian subcontinent between 1540 to 1557, with Delhi serving as its capital...

. whilst Humayun fled to persia to seek the alliance of Shah Tahmasp I and recaptured Kabul from his brother Kamran Mirza
Kamran Mirza
Kamran Mirza, sometimes known simply as Kamran, was the second son of Babur Mirza, the founder of the Mughal dynasty.Kamran Mirza was born in Kabul...

 with Persian military assistance and then against the Sur Dynasty and his own rebellious family members. By 1555, he had regained his throne.

Durrani Empire




Nader Shah Afshar
Nader Shah
Nāder Shāh Afshār ruled as Shah of Iran and was the founder of the Afsharid dynasty. Because of his military genius, some historians have described him as the Napoleon of Persia or the Second Alexander...

 invaded and occupied the city briefly in 1738 but was assassinated nine years later. Ahmad Shah Durrani
Ahmad Shah Durrani
Ahmad Shah Durrani , also known as Ahmad Shāh Abdālī and born as Ahmad Khān, was the founder of the Durrani Empire in 1747 and is regarded by many to be the founder of the modern state of Afghanistan.Ahmad Khan enlisted as a young soldier in the military of the Afsharid kingdom and quickly rose...

, who commanded 4,000 Abdali
Durrani
Durrani or Abdali is the name of a chief Pashtun tribal confederation in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Originally known by their ancient name Abdali later as Durrani they have been called Durrani since the beginning of the Durrani Empire in 1747. The number of Durranis are estimated to be roughly 16%...

 Afghans under Nader Shah, asserted Pashtun
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...

 rule in 1747 and further expanded his new Afghan Empire. His ascension to power marked the beginning of Afghanistan.
His son Timur Shah Durrani
Timur Shah Durrani
Timur Shah Durrani , was the second ruler of the Durrani Empire from October 16, 1772, until his death in 1793. An ethnic Pashtun, he was the second and eldest son of Ahmad Shah Durrani.- Early life :...

, after inheriting power, transferred the capital of Afghanistan from Kandahar
Kandahar
Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...

 to Kabul in 1776. Timur Shah died in 1793 and was succeeded by his son Zaman Shah Durrani
Zaman Shah Durrani
Zaman Shah Durrani , , was ruler of the Durrani Empire from 1793 until 1800. He was the grandson of Ahmad Shah Durrani and the fifth son of Timur Shah Durrani...

. The first European to visit Kabul was the 18th century English traveller George Foster
George Foster
George Foster may refer to:*Bill Foster , full name George William Foster, Congressman from Illinois*George Eulas Foster , Canadian politician*George Foster , Australian Senator...

, who described it as "the best and cleanest city in Asia".

In 1826, the kingdom was claimed by Dost Mohammad Khan
Dost Mohammad Khan
Dost Mohammad Khan was the Emir of Afghanistan between 1826 and 1863. He first ruled from 1826 to 1839 and then from 1843 to 1863. He was the 11th son of Sardar Pāyendah Khan who was killed by Zaman Shah Durrani in 1799...

 and taken from him by the British Indian Army
First Anglo-Afghan War
The First Anglo-Afghan War was fought between British India and Afghanistan from 1839 to 1842. It was one of the first major conflicts during the Great Game, the 19th century competition for power and influence in Central Asia between the United Kingdom and Russia, and also marked one of the worst...

 in 1839, who installed the unpopular Shah Shuja
Shuja Shah Durrani
Shuja Shah Durrani was ruler of the Durrani Empire from 1803 to 1809. He then ruled from 1839 until his death in 1842. Shuja Shah was of the Sadozai line of the Abdali group of Pashtuns...

. An 1841 local uprising resulted in the loss of the British mission and the subsequent Massacre of Elphinstone's Army
Massacre of Elphinstone's Army
The Massacre of Elphinstone's Army was the destruction by Afghan forces, led by Akbar Khan, the son of Dost Mohammad Khan, of a combined British and Indian force of the British East India Company, led by Major General William Elphinstone, in January 1842....

 of approximately 16,000 foreign forces, which included civilians and camp follower
Camp follower
Camp-follower is a term used to identify civilians and their children who follow armies. There are two common types of camp followers; first, the wives and children of soldiers, who follow their spouse or parent's army from place to place; the second type of camp followers have historically been...

s on their retreat from Kabul to Jalalabad
Jalalabad
Jalalabad , formerly called Adinapour, as documented by the 7th century Hsüan-tsang, is a city in eastern Afghanistan. Located at the junction of the Kabul River and Kunar River near the Laghman valley, Jalalabad is the capital of Nangarhar province. It is linked by approximately of highway with...

. In 1842 the British returned, plundering Bala Hissar
Bala Hissar
Bala Hissar is an ancient fortress located in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan. The estimated date of construction is around the 5th century A.D. Bala Hissar sits to the south of the modern city centre at the tail end of the Kuh-e-Sherdarwaza Mountain...

 in revenge before fleeing back to British India
British Raj
British Raj was the British rule in the Indian subcontinent between 1858 and 1947; The term can also refer to the period of dominion...

 (now Pakistan). Dost Mohammed returned to the throne.


The British and Indian forces
Second Anglo-Afghan War
The Second Anglo-Afghan War was fought between the United Kingdom and Afghanistan from 1878 to 1880, when the nation was ruled by Sher Ali Khan of the Barakzai dynasty, the son of former Emir Dost Mohammad Khan. This was the second time British India invaded Afghanistan. The war ended in a manner...

 invaded in 1878 as Kabul was under Sher Ali Khan
Sher Ali Khan
Sher Ali Khan was Amir of Afghanistan from 1863 to 1866 and from 1868 until his death in 1879. He was the third son of Dost Mohammed Khan, founder of the Barakzai Dynasty in Afghanistan....

's rule, but the British residents were again massacred. The invaders again came in 1879 under General Roberts
Frederick Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts
Field Marshal Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts, Bt, VC, KG, KP, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCIE, KStJ, PC was a distinguished Indian born British soldier who regarded himself as Anglo-Irish and one of the most successful British commanders of the 19th century.-Early life:Born at Cawnpore, India, on...

, partially destroying Bala Hissar before retreating to British India (Pakistan). Amir
Emir
Emir , meaning "commander", "general", or "prince"; also transliterated as Amir, Aamir or Ameer) is a title of high office, used throughout the Muslim world...

 Abdur Rahman Khan
Abdur Rahman Khan
Abdur Rahman Khan was Emir of Afghanistan from 1880 to 1901.The third son of Mohammad Afzal Khan, and grandson of Dost Mohammad Khan, Abdur Rahman Khan was considered a strong ruler who re-established the writ of the Afghan government in Kabul after the disarray that followed the second...

 was left in control of the country.

In the early 20th century King Amanullah Khan
Amanullah Khan
Amanullah Khan was the King of the Emirate of Afghanistan from 1919 to 1929, first as Amir and after 1926 as Shah. He led Afghanistan to independence over its foreign affairs from the United Kingdom, and his rule was marked by dramatic political and social change...

 rose to power. His reforms included electricity for the city and schooling for girls. He drove a Rolls-Royce
Rolls-Royce Limited
Rolls-Royce Limited was a renowned British car and, from 1914 on, aero-engine manufacturing company founded by Charles Stewart Rolls and Henry Royce on 15 March 1906 as the result of a partnership formed in 1904....

, and lived in the famous Darul Aman Palace
Darul Aman Palace
Darul Aman Palace is a European-style palace, now ruined, located about sixteen kilometers outside of the center of Kabul, Afghanistan....

. In 1919, after the Third Anglo-Afghan War
Third Anglo-Afghan War
The Third Anglo-Afghan War began on 6 May 1919 and ended with an armistice on 8 August 1919. It was a minor tactical victory for the British. For the British, the Durand Line was reaffirmed as the political boundary between the Emirate of Afghanistan and British India and the Afghans agreed not to...

, Amanullah announced Afghanistan's independence from foreign affairs
International relations
International relations is the study of relationships between countries, including the roles of states, inter-governmental organizations , international nongovernmental organizations , non-governmental organizations and multinational corporations...

 at Eidgah Mosque
Id Gah Mosque
Id Gah Mosque or Eid Gah Mosque is the second largest mosque in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. It is considered the cardinal religious mosque in the country, where a million people offer Eid prayers twice a year...

. In 1929 Ammanullah Khan left Kabul due to a local uprising orchestrated by Habibullah Kalakani and Ammanullah's brother, Nader Khan
Mohammed Nadir Shah
Mohammed Nadir Shah was King of Afghanistan from 15 October 1929 until his assassination in 1933. Previously, he served as Minister of War, Afghan Ambassador to France, and as a general in the military of Afghanistan...

, took control over the nation. King Nader Khan was assassinated in 1933 and the throne was left to his 19-year-old son, Zahir Shah, who became the long lasting King of Afghanistan.
During this period between the two World Wars France and Germany worked to help develop the country in both the technical and educational spheres. Both countries maintained high schools and lycees in the capital and provided an education for the children of elite families. Kabul University opened in 1932 and soon was linked to both European and American universities, as well as universities in other Muslim countries in the field of Islamic studies. By the 1960s the majority of instructors at the university had degrees from Western universities.
When Zahir Shah took power in 1933 Kabul had the only 6 miles of rail in the country, few internal telegraph or phone lines and few roads. He turned to the Japanese, Germans and Italians for help developing a modern network of communications and roads. A radio tower built by the Germans in 1937 in Kabul allowed instant communication with outlying villages. A national bank and state cartels were organized to allow for economic modernization. Textile mills, power plants and carpet and furniture factories were also built in Kabul, providing much needed manufacturing and infrastructure.

In 1955, the Soviet Union forwarded $100 million in credit to Afghanistan, which financed public transportation, airports, a cement factory, mechanized bakery, a five-lane highway from Kabul to the Soviet border and dams.

In the 1960s, Kabul developed a cosmopolitan
World citizen
World citizen has a variety of similar meanings, often referring to a person who disapproves of traditional geopolitical divisions derived from national citizenship....

 mood. The first Marks & Spencer
Marks & Spencer
Marks and Spencer plc is a British retailer headquartered in the City of Westminster, London, with over 700 stores in the United Kingdom and over 300 stores spread across more than 40 countries. It specialises in the selling of clothing and luxury food products...

 store in Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

 was built there. Kabul Zoo
Kabul Zoo
The Kabul Zoo is located in Kabul, Afghanistan, on the bank of the Kabul River. The director of Kabul Zoo is Aziz Gul Saqeb.-History:The zoo was inaugurated in 1967 with a focus on Afghan fauna, being very popular with visitors and press. The zoo once had more than 500 animals with about 150,000...

 was inaugurated in 1967, which was maintained with the help of visiting German zoologists
Zoology
Zoology |zoölogy]]), is the branch of biology that relates to the animal kingdom, including the structure, embryology, evolution, classification, habits, and distribution of all animals, both living and extinct...

. Many foreigners began flocking to Kabul with the increase in global air travels around that time. The nation's tourism industry was starting to pick up rapidly for the first time. Kabul experimented with liberalization, dropping laws requiring women to wear the burka, restrictions on speech and assembly loosened which led to student politics in the capital. Socialist, Maoist and liberal factions demonstrated daily in Kabul while more traditional Islamic leaders spoke out against the failure to aid the Afghan countryside.
In 1969 a religious uprising at the Pul-e Khishti Mosque
Pul-e Khishti Mosque
Pul-e Khishti Mosque is the largest mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan. Located in the center of old Kabul , the Pul-e Khishti Mosque can be identified by its large blue dome. The mosque originally was erected in the late 18th Century, but largely rebuilt under Zahir Shah in the late 1960s...

 protested the Soviet Union's increasing influence over Afghan politics and religion
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

. This protest ended in the arrest of many of its organizers, including Mawlana Faizani, a popular Islamic scholar. In the early 1970s Radio Kabul began to broadcast in other languages besides Pashtun which helped to unify those minorities that often felt marginalized, however this was put to a stop with Daoud's revolution in 1973.

In July 1973, Zahir Shah was ousted in a nonviolent coup and Kabul became the capital of a republic under Mohammed Daoud Khan
Mohammed Daoud Khan
Sardar Mohammed Daoud Khan or Daud Khan was Prime Minister of Afghanistan from 1953 to 1963 and later becoming the President of Afghanistan...

, the new President. Daoud's revolution was actually supported by the communist party in the city, the PDP. The support of the PDP helped to prevent a violent clash in his coup in 1973. He named himself President of this new democracy and planned to institute reforms. Daoud was the long standing prime minister, and while he instituted a republic he had Soviet leanings in terms of political allies. He had welcomed Soviet military aid and advisors in 1956. Conversely, some of the people of Kabul who lived under King Zahir Shah describe the period before the April 1978 Saur Revolution
Saur Revolution
The Saur Revolution is the name given to the Communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan takeover of political power from the government of Afghanistan on 28 April 1978. The word 'Saur', i.e...

 as a sort of golden age
Golden Age
The term Golden Age comes from Greek mythology and legend and refers to the first in a sequence of four or five Ages of Man, in which the Golden Age is first, followed in sequence, by the Silver, Bronze, and Iron Ages, and then the present, a period of decline...

. All the different ethnic groups or tribes of Afghanistan lived together harmoniously and thought of themselves first and foremost as Afghans. They intermarried and mixed socially.

In the later years of his leadership, Daoud began to shift favour from the Soviet Union to Islamic nations, expressing admiration for their wealth from oil and expecting economic aid from them to quickly surpass that of the Soviet Union. The slow speed of reforms however frustrated both the Western educated elite and the Russian trained army officers. Daoud forced many communists out of his government, which unified the various communist factions within the city.

Communist revolution and Soviet invasion



On April 27, 1978, in the so-called Saur revolution, the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), seized power in a bloody military coup killing Daoud and his family along with many of his supporters. The new communist regime moved quickly to institute reforms. Private businesses were nationalized in the Soviet manner. Education was modified into the Soviet model, with lessons focusing on teaching Russian, Leninism-Marxism and learning of other countries belonging to the Soviet bloc. Rural guerrillas and disaffected army deserters took up arms in the name of Islam, due to the communist regime's increasing rejection of it. This rebellion would eventually lead to the invasion of Afghanistan by Russian forces.

After the 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...

, on December 24, 1979, the Red Army
Red Army
The Workers' and Peasants' Red Army started out as the Soviet Union's revolutionary communist combat groups during the Russian Civil War of 1918-1922. It grew into the national army of the Soviet Union. By the 1930s the Red Army was among the largest armies in history.The "Red Army" name refers to...

 occupied the capital. They turned the city into their command centre during the 10-year conflict between the Soviet-allied government and the Mujahideen
Mujahideen
Mujahideen are Muslims who struggle in the path of God. The word is from the same Arabic triliteral as jihad .Mujahideen is also transliterated from Arabic as mujahedin, mujahedeen, mudžahedin, mudžahidin, mujahidīn, mujaheddīn and more.-Origin of the concept:The beginnings of Jihad are traced...

 rebels. Kabul remained relatively calm during that period as fighting was mostly in the countryside and in other major cities. The American Embassy in Kabul closed on January 30, 1989.

Foreign interference and war civil



After the fall of Najibullah's regime in 1992, the Afghan political parties agreed on a peace and power-sharing agreement (the Peshawar Accords). The Peshawar Accords created the Islamic State of Afghanistan and appointed an interim government for a transitional period. Human Rights Watch writes:
"The sovereignty of Afghanistan was vested formally in "The Islamic State of Afghanistan", an entity created in April 1992, after the fall of the Soviet-backed Najibullah government. ... With the exception of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is an Afghan Mujahideen leader who is the founder and leader of the Hezb-e Islami political party and paramilitary group. Hekmatyar was a rebel military commander during the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan and was one of the key figures in the civil war that followed the...

's Hezb-e Islami, all of the parties ... were ostensibly unified under this government in April 1992. ... Hekmatyar's Hezb-e Islami, for its part, refused to recognize the government for most of the period discussed in this report and launched attacks against government forces and Kabul generally. ... Hekmatyar continued to refuse to join the government. Hekmatyar's Hezb-e Islami forces increased their rocket and shell attacks on the city. Shells and rockets fell everywhere."


Gulbuddin Hekmatyar was directed, funded and supplied by the Pakistani army. Amin Saikal concludes in his book which was chosen by The Wall Street Journal as 'One of the "Five Best" Books on Afghanistan':
"Pakistan was keen to gear up for a breakthrough in Central Asia. ... Islamabad could not possibly expect the new Islamic government leaders, especially [Ahmad Shah] Massoud (who had always maintained his independence from Pakistan), to subordinate their own nationalist objectives in order to help Pakistan realize its regional ambitions. ... Had it not been for the ISI's logistic support and supply of a large number of rockets, Hekmatyar's forces would not have been able to target and destroy half of Kabul."


In December, the last of the 86 city trolley buses came to a halt because of the conflict. A system of 800 public buses continued to provide transportation services to the city. By 1993 electricity and water in the city was completely out. Initially the factions in the city aligned to fight off Hekmatyar but diplomacy inside the capital quickly broke down.
Saudi Arabia and Iran also armed and directed Afghan militias. A publication with the George Washington University describes:
"[O]utside forces saw instability in Afghanistan as an opportunity to press their own security and political agendas."


According to Human Rights Watch, numerous Iranian agents were assisting the Shia Hezb-i Wahdat forces of Abdul Ali Mazari
Abdul Ali Mazari
Abdul Ali Mazari was a political leader of the Hezbe Wahdat during and following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Mazari was an ethnic Hazara, and believed the solution to the divisiveness in Afghanistan was in federalism, where every ethnic group would have specific constitutional...

, as Iran was attempting to maximize Wahdat's military power and influence in the new government. Saudi agents of some sort, private or governmental, were trying to strengthen the Wahhabi Abdul Rasul Sayyaf
Abdul Rasul Sayyaf
Ustad Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf is an Afghan Islamist politician. He took part in the war against the PDPA government in the 1980s, leading the Mujahedin faction Islamic Union for the Liberation of Afghanistan....

 and his Ittihad-i Islami faction to the same end. Due to the groups being mainly divided by regional loyalties and/or ethnic origins the fighting quickly took on aspects of "ethnic cleansing" between the Shia Hazara Hezb-i Wahdat and the Wahhabi Pashtun Ittihad-i Islami forces. The goal of these two militias was to "purposefully eliminate people of a different identity ... by means of large-scale slaughter, coercive relocation, extortion and other modes of intimidation, such as rape and torture." Horrific crimes were committed by individuals of different factions as described in reports by Human Rights Watch and the Afghanistan Justice Project. Tens of thousands of Kabul citizens were killed and many more fled as refugees. The United Nations
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...

 estimated that 90% of the buildings in Kabul were destroyed during these years.
"Rare ceasefires, usually negotiated by representatives of Ahmad Shah Massoud, Sibghatullah Mojaddedi
Sibghatullah Mojaddedi
Sibghatullah Mojaddedi , served as the first President of the Islamic State of Afghanistan after the fall of the communist regime in 1992. He is also the leader of the Afghan National Liberation Front...

 or Burhanuddin Rabbani
Burhanuddin Rabbani
Professor Burhanuddin Rabbani was President of the Islamic State of Afghanistan from 1992 to 1996. After the Taliban government was toppled during Operation Enduring Freedom, Rabbani returned to Kabul and served as a temporary President from November to December 20, 2001, when Hamid Karzai was...

 (the interim government), or officials from the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), commonly collapsed within days," writes Human Rights Watch.


In late 1994/early 1995, most of the militia factions (Hezb-i Islami, Junbish-i Milli and Hezb-i Wahdat) which had been fighting in the battle for control of Kabul were defeated militarily by forces of the Islamic State's Secretary of Defense Ahmad Shah Massoud. Bombardment of the capital came to a halt. Massoud tried to initiate a nationwide political process with the goal of national consolidation
Democratic consolidation
Democratic consolidation is the process by which a new democracy matures, in a way that means it is unlikely to revert to authoritarianism without an external shock...

 and democratic elections, also inviting the Taliban, who by then had established their rule in the south of Afghanistan, to join the process. The Taliban declined.

The Taliban started shelling Kabul in early 1995 but were defeated by forces of the Islamic State government under Ahmad Shah Massoud. see video Amnesty International
Amnesty International
Amnesty International is an international non-governmental organisation whose stated mission is "to conduct research and generate action to prevent and end grave abuses of human rights, and to demand justice for those whose rights have been violated."Following a publication of Peter Benenson's...

, referring to the Taliban offensive, wrote in a 1995 report:

The Taliban's early victories in 1994 were followed by a series of defeats that resulted in heavy losses. Pakistan
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...

 provided strong support to the Taliban. Many analysts like Amin Saikal
Amin Saikal
Professor Amin Saikal is Director of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies and Professor of Political Science at the Australian National University. Professor Saikal has specialised in the politics, history, political economy and international relations of the Middle East and Central Asia...

 describe the Taliban as developing into a proxy
Proxy war
A proxy war or proxy warfare is a war that results when opposing powers use third parties as substitutes for fighting each other directly. While powers have sometimes used governments as proxies, violent non-state actors, mercenaries, or other third parties are more often employed...

 force for Pakistan's regional interests which the Taliban decline.

Taliban Emirate and the United Front


In September 1996, as the Taliban with military support by Pakistan and financial support by Saudi Arabia prepared for another major offensive, Massoud ordered a full retreat from Kabul. The Taliban seized Kabul on September 27, 1996, and established the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. They imposed on the parts of Afghanistan under their control their political and judicial interpretation of Islam issuing edicts forbidding women to work outside the home, attend school, or to leave their homes unless accompanied by a male relative. The Physicians for Human Rights (PHR) analyze:
After the fall of Kabul
Siege of Kabul
The term Battle of Kabul refers to a series of intermittent battles and sieges for the city since the Soviet intervention in 1979. Between 1979 until the Soviet troop withdrawal from Afghanistan in 1989 there were no sieges of the city and the area was largely peaceful. Fighting was mainly in the...

 in September 1996, the Taliban, without any real court or hearing, began cutting off thieves hands or arms. Taliban hid-squads from the infamous "Ministry for Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice" watched the streets conducting arbitrary brutal and public beatings of people when they saw what they considered as unislamic behavior. The Taliban also tortured ex-President Najibullah and his brother to death and lynched their dead corpses publicly.

Ahmad Shah Massoud withdrew his forces from Kabul to the northern regions of Afghanistan where he created the United Front
United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan
The United Islamic Front , known in the West and Pakistan as the Northern Alliance, was a military-political umbrella organization created by the Islamic State of Afghanistan in 1996 under the leadership of Defense Minister Ahmad Shah Massoud...

 (Northern Alliance) against the Taliban that were preparing offensives against the remaining areas under the control of Massoud and those under the control of regional leaders. see video According to a 55-page report by the United Nations
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...

, the Taliban, while trying to consolidate control over northern and western Afghanistan, committed systematic massacres against civilians. U.N. officials stated that there had been "15 massacres" between 1996 and 2001. They also said, that "[t]hese have been highly systematic and they all lead back to the [Taliban] Ministry of Defense or to Mullah Omar
Mohammed Omar
Mullah Mohammed Omar , often simply called Mullah Omar, is the leader of the Taliban movement that operates in Afghanistan. He was Afghanistan's de facto head of state from 1996 to late 2001, under the official title "Head of the Supreme Council"...

 himself." The Taliban especially targeted people of Shia religious or Hazara ethnic background. Upon taking Mazar-i-Sharif in 1998, about 4,000 civilian
Civilian
A civilian under international humanitarian law is a person who is not a member of his or her country's armed forces or other militia. Civilians are distinct from combatants. They are afforded a degree of legal protection from the effects of war and military occupation...

s were executed by the Taliban and many more reported torture
Torture
Torture is the act of inflicting severe pain as a means of punishment, revenge, forcing information or a confession, or simply as an act of cruelty. Throughout history, torture has often been used as a method of political re-education, interrogation, punishment, and coercion...

d. Many civilians fled to the area of Ahmad Shah Massoud. The National Geographic concluded: "The only thing standing in the way of future Taliban massacres is Ahmad Shah Massoud."

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf
Pervez Musharraf
Pervez Musharraf , is a retired four-star general who served as the 13th Chief of Army Staff and tenth President of Pakistan as well as tenth Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee. Musharraf headed and led an administrative military government from October 1999 till August 2007. He ruled...

 – then as Chief of Army Staff – was responsible for sending thousands of Pakistanis to fight alongside the Taliban and Bin Laden against the United Front. In total there were believed to be 28,000 Pakistani nationals fighting inside Afghanistan. From 1996 to 2001 the Al Qaeda of 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...

 and Ayman al-Zawahiri
Ayman al-Zawahiri
Ayman Mohammed Rabie al-Zawahiri is an Egyptian physician, Islamic theologian and current leader of al-Qaeda. He was previously the second and last "emir" of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, having succeeded Abbud al-Zumar in the latter role when Egyptian authorities sentenced al-Zumar to life...

 furthermore became a state within the Taliban state. Bin Laden sent Arab recruits to join the fight against the United Front. Of roughly 45,000 Pakistani, Taliban and Al Qaeda soldiers fighting against the forces of Massoud only 14,000 were Afghan.

Karzai administration and NATO presence


In October 2001, the United States armed forces
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 assisted by British Armed Forces
British Armed Forces
The British Armed Forces are the armed forces of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.Also known as Her Majesty's Armed Forces and sometimes legally the Armed Forces of the Crown, the British Armed Forces encompasses three professional uniformed services, the Royal Navy, the...

 provided massive air support to United Front
United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan
The United Islamic Front , known in the West and Pakistan as the Northern Alliance, was a military-political umbrella organization created by the Islamic State of Afghanistan in 1996 under the leadership of Defense Minister Ahmad Shah Massoud...

 (Northern Alliance) ground forces during Operation Enduring Freedom. The Taliban abandoned Kabul and the United Front came to take control of the city. In December 2001, Kabul became the capital of the Afghan Transitional Administration
Afghan Transitional Administration
The Afghan Transitional Administration was the name of a temporary administration of Afghanistan put in place by the 2002 Loya Jirga and followed the Afghan Interim Administration which was installed after the Bonn Conference.-Background:Following the US Invasion in Afghanistan, a UN sponsored...

, which transformed to the present Government of Afghanistan
Karzai administration
The Karzai administration is the official government of Afghanistan under President Hamid Karzai, who became the head of state of Afghanistan in December 2001, after the Taliban government was removed. He was appointed at the 2002 Loya Jirga as the Interim President of the Afghan Transitional...

 that is led by President 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...

.

In early 2002 a NATO-led International Security Assistance Force
International Security Assistance Force
The International Security Assistance Force is a NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan established by the United Nations Security Council on 20 December 2001 by Resolution 1386 as envisaged by the Bonn Agreement...

 (ISAF) was deployed in Kabul and from there they began taking over other parts of the country. The war-torn city began to see some positive development as millions of ex-pats returned to the country. Its population has grown from about 500,000 in 2001 to over 3 million by 2007. Many foreign embassies re-opened, especially the biggest U.S. Embassy
U.S. Embassy, Kabul
The Embassy of the United States in Kabul is the diplomatic mission of the United States in Afghanistan. It is located in the Wazir Akbar Khan section of the Afghan capital, Kabul, and is home to the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan. Ryan Crocker is the current Ambassador. Richard Holbrooke, who died...

. Afghan government institutions were also re-developed and modernized. Since 2008 the newly trained Afghan National Police
Afghan National Police
The Afghan National Police - ANP - is the primary national police force in Afghanistan. It serves as a single law enforcement agency all across the country. The Afghan police force was first created with the establishment of the Afghan nation in the early 18th century...

 (ANP) and the Afghan National Army
Afghan National Army
The Afghan National Army is a service branch of the military of Afghanistan, which is currently trained by the coalition forces to ultimately take the role in land-based military operations in Afghanistan. , the Afghan National Army is divided into seven regional Corps. The strength of the Afghan...

 (ANA) are in charge of security in the area, while NATO also has a heavy presence but are not patrolling the streets anymore.

While the city is being developed, it is also the scene of occasional deadly suicide bombings and explosions carried out by the Haqqani network
Haqqani network
The Haqqani Network is an insurgent group fighting against US-led NATO forces and the government of Afghanistan. Originating from Afghanistan during the mid-1970s, it was nurtured by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency and Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence during the 1980s Soviet war in...

, Taliban's Quetta Shura
Quetta Shura
The Quetta Shura is a militant organization composed of top leadership of the Afghan Taliban, that is believed to be based since about 2001 in the city of Quetta in the Balochistan province of Pakistan. The Shura was formed after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan was toppled in late 2001 and the...

, Hezb-i Islami, Al Qaeda, and other anti-government elements who are allegedly supported and guided by Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence
Inter-Services Intelligence
The Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence , is Pakistan's premier intelligence agency, responsible for providing critical national security intelligence assessment to the Government of Pakistan...

 (ISI) spy network.

Climate


Kabul has a semi-arid climate (Köppen climate classification
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 BSk) with precipitation concentrated in the winter (sometimes falling as snow) and spring months. Temperatures are relatively cool compared to much of Southwest Asia, mainly due to the high altitude of the city. Summer has very low humidity
Humidity
Humidity is a term for the amount of water vapor in the air, and can refer to any one of several measurements of humidity. Formally, humid air is not "moist air" but a mixture of water vapor and other constituents of air, and humidity is defined in terms of the water content of this mixture,...

, providing relief from the heat. Autumn features warm afternoons and sharply cooler evenings. Winters are cold, with a January daily average of −2.3 °C. Spring is the wettest time of the year, though temperatures are generally amiable. Sunny conditions dominate year-round. The annual mean temperature is 12.1 °C (53.8 °F).

Administration


The Mayor
Mayor
In many countries, a Mayor is the highest ranking officer in the municipal government of a town or a large urban city....

 of the city is selected by the President of Afghanistan
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...

, who engages in planning and environmental work. The police
Afghan National Police
The Afghan National Police - ANP - is the primary national police force in Afghanistan. It serves as a single law enforcement agency all across the country. The Afghan police force was first created with the establishment of the Afghan nation in the early 18th century...

 belong to the Afghan Ministry of Interior and are arranged by city districts. The Chief of Police is selected by the Minister of Interior and is responsible for law enforcement
Law enforcement
Law enforcement broadly refers to any system by which some members of society act in an organized manner to promote adherence to the law by discovering and punishing persons who violate the rules and norms governing that society...

 and security of the city.

Neighbourhoods


The city of Kabul is one of the 15 districts
Districts of Afghanistan
The provinces of Afghanistan are divided into Wolaswalei or districts. The number of districts in Afghanistan has fluctuated over the years, with new districts created by splitting or merging parts of others. Prior to 1979, there were 325 districts. This was increased to 329 and, in 2004, a major...

 of Kabul Province
Kabul Province
Kābul , situated in the east of the country, is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. The capital of the province is Kabul City, which is also Afghanistan's capital. The population of Kabul province is 3.5 million people as of 2009, of which almost 80 percent live in the urban areas...

, which is further divided into 18 city districts or sectors. Each city district covers several neighbourhoods. The number of districts or sectors in Kabul increased from 11 to 18 in 2005.

Below are some of Kabul's neighbourhoods listed:

This list is incomplete and may be incorrect. You can help by expanding it.

This list might also have issues with phonetically reading from Persian to English. Please discuss this matter on the discussion page and improve



North
  • Bibi Mahroo
  • Qale Fatullah
  • Sheerpur
  • Wazir Akbar Khan
    Wazir Akbar Khān
    Wazir Akbar Khān is a neighbourhood in northern Kabul, Afghanistan. It is the wealthiest area in Kabul. Many embassies are located, including the U.S. and Canadian. Wazir Akbar Khān is also home to the Kabul International Airport....



Northeast
  • Khoja Rawash
  • Macrorayan
  • Pule Charki
  • Shash Darak


East
  • Ahmad Shah Baba Maina (under development)
  • Char Qala
    Char Qala
    Chār Qala is a neighbourhood in eastern Kabul, forming part of Kabul's District 10. Chār Qala is one of the most densely populated and slum areas of Kabul. It was lightly inhabited in the days when the city was established....

  • Karte Naw
  • Tape Maranjan
  • Rahman Baba Maina (under development)


Southeast
  • Jada Maiwand
  • Qala Cha
  • Shah Shashid


South
  • Shahr-e-Kona
  • Sher Darwāza


Southwest
  • Deh Mazang
  • Karte Seh
    Karte Seh
    Kārte Seh is a neighbourhood in western Kabul, Afghanistan, primed to become Kabul's governmental hub. The district is currently home to several ministries, such as the Russian and Polish embassies, TV stations and the American University of Afghanistan...



West
  • Asmayi
  • Dashte Barchi
  • Deh Afghanan
  • Karte Char
  • Khushal Khan Maina
    Khushal Khan Maina
    Khushal Khan Maina is located in the western suburbs of Kabul, Afghanistan, adjacent to Kabul University.-Terminology:The neighborhood is named after a renowned Pashtun poet, Khushal Khan Khattak....



North-west
  • Karte Aryana
  • Karte Parwan
    Karte Parwan
    Kārte Parwān is a neighbourhood in Kabul, Afghanistan, and home to the Sikh Gurdwara Karte Parwan and Sheerno Junior High. The area is the centre of the Afghan Hindu and Afghan Sikh communities....

  • Khair Khana
    Khair Khāna
    Khair Khāna is a neighbourhood in north west Kabul, Afghanistan. It is predominantly residential, with a boom of high rise constructions and modern apartments, as the area has seen major re-developments....

  • Kuhe Afshar
  • Kulola Pushta
  • Proja Taimany
  • Shahrara
    Shahrara
    For the neighbourhood in Kabul, see Shahrara, AfghanistanShahrara is a neighbourhood in north-west Tehran, the capital city of Iran. It is centred on the park bounded by Shahrara square and can be found at Google Maps.-References:...

  • Share Naw


Unspecified
If you know where it is located (north, south etc.) please fix this
  • Kharabat, Kabul
  • Mirwais Nika Maina (under development)
  • Murad Khane
    Murad Khane
    Murad Khane is a district of the old city in Kabul, Afghanistan. It lies near the Kabul River-History:The origins of the city lie in its development in the 18th century by Ahmad Shah Durrani, the founder of the Durrani Empire....

  • Tania, Kabul

Demographics


The population of Kabul has fluctuated since the early 1980s to the present period. It was believed to be around 500,000 in 2001 but since then many Afghan expats
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:...

 began returning from Pakistan
Afghans in Pakistan
Afghans in Pakistan are mostly refugees who fled Afghanistan during the 1980s Soviet war as well as diplomats, traders, businesspersons, workers, exchange students, tourists and other visitors. As of March 2009, some 1.7 million registered Afghan nationals were reported to be living in Pakistan,...

 and Iran
Afghans in Iran
Afghans in Iran are mostly refugees who fled Afghanistan during the 1980s Soviet war as well as diplomats, traders, businesspersons, workers, exchange students, tourists and other visitors. As of March 2009, nearly 1 million Afghan nationals were reported to be living in Iran...

 where they had taken refuge from the wars. The Kabul metropolitan area
Metropolitan area
The term metropolitan area refers to a region consisting of a densely populated urban core and its less-populated surrounding territories, sharing industry, infrastructure, and housing. A metropolitan area usually encompasses multiple jurisdictions and municipalities: neighborhoods, townships,...

 has a population of about 2.8 million inhabitants these days. The wider Kabul province
Kabul Province
Kābul , situated in the east of the country, is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. The capital of the province is Kabul City, which is also Afghanistan's capital. The population of Kabul province is 3.5 million people as of 2009, of which almost 80 percent live in the urban areas...

, which also includes rural areas, has a population of around 3.5 million people, while the Kabul city's population makes almost 80 percent of the total provincial population.

The population of the city reflects the general multi-ethnic
Multiethnic society
A multiethnic society is one with members belonging to more than one ethnic group, in contrast to societies which are ethnically homogenous. In practice, virtually all contemporary national societies are multiethnic...

, multi-cultural
Multiculturalism
Multiculturalism is the appreciation, acceptance or promotion of multiple cultures, applied to the demographic make-up of a specific place, usually at the organizational level, e.g...

, and multi-lingual
Multilingualism
Multilingualism is the act of using, or promoting the use of, multiple languages, either by an individual speaker or by a community of speakers. Multilingual speakers outnumber monolingual speakers in the world's population. Multilingualism is becoming a social phenomenon governed by the needs of...

 characteristics of Afghanistan. There is no official government report on the exact ethnic make-over but a map appeared in the November 2003 issue of the National Geographic magazine showing Tajiks 45%, Hazaras 25%, 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...

 25%, Uzbeks
Uzbeks
The Uzbeks are a Turkic ethnic group in Central Asia. They comprise the majority population of Uzbekistan, and large populations can also be found in Afghanistan, Tajikstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Pakistan, Mongolia and the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China...

 2%, Baloch
Baloch people
The Baloch or Baluch are an ethnic group that belong to the larger Iranian peoples. Baluch people mainly inhabit the Balochistan region and Sistan and Baluchestan Province in the southeast corner of the Iranian plateau in Western Asia....

 1%, Turkmen
Turkmen people
The Turkmen are a Turkic people located primarily in the Central Asian states of Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, and northeastern Iran. They speak the Turkmen language, which is classified as a part of the Western Oghuz branch of the Turkic languages family together with Turkish, Azerbaijani, Qashqai,...

 1%, and Hindu
Hinduism in Afghanistan
Hinduism in Afghanistan has existed for almost as long as Hinduism itself. The religion was widespread in the region until the Islamic conquest of Afghanistan...

 1%. Dari (Persian)
Dari (Persian)
Dari or Fārsī-ye Darī in historical terms refers to the Persian court language of the Sassanids. In contemporary usage, the term refers to the dialects of modern Persian language spoken in Afghanistan, and hence known as Afghan Persian in some Western sources. It is the term officially recognized...

 and Pashto
Pashto language
Pashto , known as Afghani in Persian and Pathani in Punjabi , is the native language of the indigenous Pashtun people or Afghan people who are found primarily between an area south of the Amu Darya in Afghanistan and...

 are the most widely used languages in the area, although Persian serves as the lingua franca
Lingua franca
A lingua franca is a language systematically used to make communication possible between people not sharing a mother tongue, in particular when it is a third language, distinct from both mother tongues.-Characteristics:"Lingua franca" is a functionally defined term, independent of the linguistic...

.

Nearly all the people of Kabul are Muslim
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 Sunnis
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 minority Shias. A small number of Sikhs
Sikhism in Afghanistan
Sikhism in Afghanistan is limited to small populations, primarily in major cities, with the largest numbers of Afghan Sikhs living in Jalalabad, Kabul, and Kandahar...

, Hindus
Hinduism in Afghanistan
Hinduism in Afghanistan has existed for almost as long as Hinduism itself. The religion was widespread in the region until the Islamic conquest of Afghanistan...

, and Christians are also found in the city. For example, Bollywood
Bollywood
Bollywood is the informal term popularly used for the Hindi-language film industry based in Mumbai , Maharashtra, India. The term is often incorrectly used to refer to the whole of Indian cinema; it is only a part of the total Indian film industry, which includes other production centers producing...

 actress Celina Jaitley
Celina Jaitley
Celina Jiya Jaitley is an Indian actress born in Kabul, Afghanistan. She appears in mainly Bollywood films. As a former beauty queen and model, she was crowned Femina Miss India Universe in 2001.-Early life:...

 is Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 who was born in Kabul. There is only one Jew in Kabul, whose name is Zablon Simintov
Zablon Simintov
Zablon Simintov is a Turkmen-Afghan carpet trader and the caretaker of the only synagogue in Kabul. , he is believed to be the sole remaining Afghan Jew still residing in Afghanistan...

, in addition to sometime visitor Bradford Rohmer.

Transport


Kabul International Airport
Kabul International Airport
-Facilities:The airport has two terminal buildings, the modern for international flights and the Soviet built one for domestic flights. Several hangars along the runway are for military aircraft...

, located 25 kilometres (15.5 mi) from the centre of Kabul, is the country's main airport. It is a hub to Ariana Afghan Airlines
Ariana Afghan Airlines
Ariana Afghan Airlines Co. Ltd. is the oldest and the national airline of Afghanistan, and is currently the largest Afghan airline, headquartered in Kabul...

, the national airlines carrier of Afghanistan, as well as private airlines such as Kam Air
Kam Air
Kam Air is an airline headquartered in the Kabul Business Centre in Shah-e-Naw, Kabul, Afghanistan. It operates scheduled domestic passenger services and international services to the Middle East and several Asian republics...

, Pamir Airways, and Safi Airways
Safi Airways
Safi Airways Co. is an Afghan airline. The airline Safi Airways - IATA-Code 4Q - was founded in 2006 by Abdul Qudos Safi, an Afghan Businessman...

. Regional airlines such as Turkish Airlines
Turkish Airlines
Turkish Airlines is the national flag carrier airline of Turkey, headquartered in the Turkish Airlines General Management Building on the grounds of Atatürk Airport in Yeşilköy, Bakirköy district, Istanbul...

, Gulf Air
Gulf Air
Gulf Air is the principal flag carrier of the Kingdom of Bahrain. Headquartered in Muharraq, adjacent to Bahrain International Airport, the airline operates scheduled services to 45 destinations in 28 countries across Africa, Asia and Europe. Its main base is Bahrain International Airport...

, Indian Airlines
Indian (airline)
Indian , formerly Indian Airlines was a major Indian airline based in Delhi and focused primarily on domestic routes, along with several international services to neighbouring countries in Asia. It was state-owned, and was administered by the Ministry of Civil Aviation. It was one of the two flag...

, Pakistan International Airlines
Pakistan International Airlines
Pakistan International Airlines Corporation commonly known as PIA, is the flag carrier airline of Pakistan. The airline has its head office on the grounds of Jinnah International Airport in Karachi. and operates scheduled services to 24 domestic destinations and 38 international destinations in 27...

 (PIA), Iranian Airlines, and others also make frequent stops at Kabul International Airport. A new international terminal was built by the government of Japan and began operation since 2008, which is the first of three terminals to be opened so far. The other two will open once air traffic to the city increases. Passengers coming from most foreign nations use mostly Dubai
Dubai
Dubai is a city and emirate in the United Arab Emirates . The emirate is located south of the Persian Gulf on the Arabian Peninsula and has the largest population with the second-largest land territory by area of all the emirates, after Abu Dhabi...

 for flights to Kabul. Kabul Airport also has a military terminal and a section of airport is used by the United States armed forces
United States armed forces
The United States Armed Forces are the military forces of the United States. They consist of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard.The United States has a strong tradition of civilian control of the military...

 and the Afghan National Air Force. NATO also uses the Kabul Airport, but most military traffic is based at Bagram Airfield, situated north of Kabul. The Afghan Border Police
Afghan Border Police
The Afghan Border Police secure Afghanistan's border and international airports. The ABP is also responsible to administer the country's immigration process and administer customs regulations. The ABP's anti-narcotic efforts are a prominent concern to the international community at present...

 and the Afghan National Police
Afghan National Police
The Afghan National Police - ANP - is the primary national police force in Afghanistan. It serves as a single law enforcement agency all across the country. The Afghan police force was first created with the establishment of the Afghan nation in the early 18th century...

 are in charge of the airport security.
Kabul has no train service yet but the government plans to build rail lines
Rail transport in Afghanistan
Railways were planned in Afghanistan since the 19th century but never completed due to the Great Game between the Russian and British empires followed by the Soviets and the Americans. At least one rail track was built in the capital of Kabul during the 1920s but was dismantled as Afghan leaders...

 to connect the city with Mazar-i-Sharif in the north and Jalalabad
Jalalabad
Jalalabad , formerly called Adinapour, as documented by the 7th century Hsüan-tsang, is a city in eastern Afghanistan. Located at the junction of the Kabul River and Kunar River near the Laghman valley, Jalalabad is the capital of Nangarhar province. It is linked by approximately of highway with...

-Torkham
Torkham
Torkham is a border crossing town in the Nangarhar province of Afghanistan and the Khyber Agency of Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas, right on the Durand Line border....

 in the east. It also plans to build a metro rail in the future.

Long distant road journeys are made by private Mercedes-Benz coach buses
Mercedes-Benz buses
Mercedes-Benz has been making buses since 1895 in Mannheim in Germany. Since 1995, the brand of Mercedes-Benz buses and coaches is under the umbrella of EvoBus GmbH, belonging 100 % to the Daimler AG.-Heritage:...

 or various types of vans, trucks and cars. Although nation wide bus service is available from Kabul, flying is more safer especially for foreigners. The city's public buse service (Milli Bus
Milli Bus
Millie Bus is a government-run bus line which runs in numerous locations in Afghanistan. As of 2003, the line is managed by the Afghan Ministry of Transportation, though proposals have been made to privatise the line....

 / "National Bus") was established in the 1960s to take commuters on daily routes to many destinations. The service currently has approximately 800 buses but is gradually expanding and upgrading with more buses being added. The Kabul bus system has recently discovered a new source of revenue in whole-bus advertising from MTN
MTN
MTN may refer to:* MTN Group, a major South Africa-based mobile telephone network operator active in many African and Middle Eastern countries* Maritime Telecommunications Network, a mobile phone network that operates on sea vessels like cruise liners...

 similar to "bus wrap" advertising on public transit in more developed nations. There is also an express bus that runs from the city centre to Kabul International Airport for Safi Airways passengers. There are also white and yellow older model Toyota Corolla
Toyota Corolla
The Toyota Corolla is a line of subcompact and compact cars manufactured by the Japanese automaker Toyota, which has become very popular throughout the world since the nameplate was first introduced in 1966. In 1997, the Corolla became the best selling nameplate in the world, with over 35 million...

 taxicab
Taxicab
A taxicab, also taxi or cab, is a type of vehicle for hire with a driver, used by a single passenger or small group of passengers, often for a non-shared ride. A taxicab conveys passengers between locations of their choice...

s just about every where in the city.

Private vehicles are on the rise in Kabul, with Toyota, Nissan, and other dealerships in the city. People are buying new cars as the roads and highways are being improved. Most drivers in Kabul prefer owning a Toyota Corolla, one of Afghanistan's most popular car. It has even been reported that up to 90% of cars in Kabul are Corollas. With the exception of motorcycles many vehicles in the city operate on LPG
LPG
LPG may stand for:* Liquefied petroleum gas* Laboratoire de Planetologie, Grenoble, France* Landwirtschaftliche Produktionsgenossenschaft * Llanfairpwll railway station, Wales; National Rail station code LPG.* LPG...

. Gas stations are mainly private-owned and the fuel comes from Pakistan, Iran and Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan , officially the Republic of Kazakhstan, is a transcontinental country in Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Ranked as the ninth largest country in the world, it is also the world's largest landlocked country; its territory of is greater than Western Europe...

. Bicycles on the road are a common sight in the city.

Economy



There are approximately 16 licensed banks in Kabul: including Da Afghanistan Bank
Da Afghanistan Bank
The Afghanistan Bank is the central bank of Afghanistan. It regulates all the banking and money handling operations in Afghanistan.Da Afghanistan Bank is one of the leading & government recognized bank of Afghanistan which was established on 1939....

, Afghanistan International Bank
Afghanistan International Bank
Afghanistan International Bank is a local commercial bank in Afghanistan, with its head office in Kabul. The bank has seven branch offices in the major cities of the country....

, Kabul Bank
Kabul Bank
Kabul Bank is a commercial bank in Afghanistan, with its main branch in the capital of Kabul. Established in 2004, it is the main bank used to pay the salaries of the army and security forces. The bank provides facilities to maintain accounts in Current, Savings Bank and Fixed Deposits; and offers...

, Azizi Bank
Azizi Bank
Azizi Bank is the name of a commercial bank in Afghanistan, which has its main branch in Kabul. It also has branches in many provinces of the country. The bank opened in June 2005 and is named after its chairman, Haji Ali Akbar Zhawandai...

, Pashtany Bank
Pashtany Bank
Pashtany Bank is the firm controlled by the Afghan government that controls the Central Bank of Afghanistan, the Afghan national insurance company and Ariana Afghan Airlines. It was established in 1954 to manage the Da Afghanistan Bank, the central bank of Afghanistan.Hayat Dayani is the President...

, Afghan United Bank, Standard Chartered Bank
Standard Chartered Bank
Standard Chartered PLC is a multinational financial services company headquartered in London, United Kingdom with operations in more than seventy countries...

, Punjab National Bank
Punjab National Bank
Punjab National Bank , was founded in 1894 and is currently the second largest state-owned commercial bank in India ahead of Bank of Baroda with about 5000 branches across 764 cities. It serves over 37 million customers. The bank has been ranked 248th biggest bank in the world by the Bankers...

, Habib Bank and others. Western Union
Western Union
The Western Union Company is a financial services and communications company based in the United States. Its North American headquarters is in Englewood, Colorado. Up until 2006, Western Union was the best-known U.S...

 offices are also found in many locations throughout the city.

About 4 miles (6 km) from downtown Kabul, in Bagrami
Bagrami District
Bagrami District is located in the central part of Kabul Province in Afghanistan. It is approximately 30 minutes drive east from the capital city, Kabul...

, a 22 acres (9 ha) wide industrial complex has completed with modern facilities, which will allow companies to operate businesses there. The park has professional management for the daily maintenance of public roads, internal streets, common areas, parking areas, 24 hours perimeter security, access control for vehicles and persons. A number of factories operate there, including the $25 million Coca-Cola bottling plant and the Omaid Bahar juice factory.

A small sized indoor shopping mall (Kabul City Center
Kabul City Center
Kabul City Center is Afghanistan's first modern-style indoor shopping mall that opened in 2005. It is approximately nine stories tall and is located in downtown Kabul. The mall is equipped with escalators and see-through elevators....

) with the 4-star Safi Landmark Hotel
Safi Landmark Hotel
Safi Landmark Hotel is a hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan.It is a four star hotel, and located approximately 15 minutes by road from Kabul International Airport....

 on the top six floors opened in 2005. The Aga Khan Development Network
Aga Khan Development Network
The Aga Khan Development Network is a group of private, non-denominational development agencies that seek to empower communities and individuals to improve living conditions and opportunities, in sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East...

 (AKDN) opened a 5-star Serena Hotel
Serena Hotel
-Overview:The Serena Hotels Group is one of 96 companies that makes up the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development , the for-profit arm of the Aga Khan Development Network . The Group trades under the name Tourism Promotion Services . The company is listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange , where it...

 in the same year, while the landmark Inter-Continental has been refurbished. The AKDN was also involved in the restoration work of the Bagh-e Babur
Bagh-e Babur
The Gardens of Babur, locally called Bagh-e Babur , is a historic park in Kabul, Afghanistan, and also the last resting-place of the first Mughal emperor Babur...

 (Babur Gardens). Another 5-star Marriott Hotel
Marriott International
Marriott International, Inc. is a worldwide operator and franchisor of a broad portfolio of hotels and related lodging facilities. Founded by J. Willard Marriott, the company is now led by son J.W. Marriott, Jr...

 is under construction next to the U.S. Embassy
U.S. Embassy, Kabul
The Embassy of the United States in Kabul is the diplomatic mission of the United States in Afghanistan. It is located in the Wazir Akbar Khan section of the Afghan capital, Kabul, and is home to the U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan. Ryan Crocker is the current Ambassador. Richard Holbrooke, who died...

.

Communications



GSM/GPRS mobile phone services in the city are provided by 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...

, Etisalat
Etisalat
Emirates Telecommunications Corporation, branded trade name Etisalat is a UAE based telecommunications services provider, currently operating in 18 countries across Asia, the Middle East and Africa...

, Roshan and MTN
MTN
MTN may refer to:* MTN Group, a major South Africa-based mobile telephone network operator active in many African and Middle Eastern countries* Maritime Telecommunications Network, a mobile phone network that operates on sea vessels like cruise liners...

. In November 2006, the Afghan Ministry of Communications
Afghan Ministry of Communications
The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology is an organ of the government of Afghanistan. Current communications minister is Amirzai Sangin....

 signed a US 64.5 million dollar agreement with a company (ZTE Corporation) on the establishment of a countrywide fibre optical cable network. This will improve telephone, internet, television and radio broadcast services not just in Kabul but throughout the country. Internet was introduced in the city in 2002 and has been expanding rapidly.

There are a number of post offices throughout the city. Package delivery services like FedEx
FedEx
FedEx Corporation , originally known as FDX Corporation, is a logistics services company, based in the United States with headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee...

, TNT N.V.
TNT N.V.
TNT N.V., more commonly known as TNT, is an international express and mail delivery services company with headquarters in Hoofddorp, Netherlands. In the Netherlands, TNT operates the national postal service under the name TNT Post. The group also offers postal services in eight other European...

, and DHL
DHL
DHL Express is a division of the German logistics company Deutsche Post providing international express mail services. DHL is a world market leader in sea and air mail....

 are also available.

The city has many local-language radio stations, including Pashto and Dari
Dari (Eastern Persian)
Dari or Fārsī-ye Darī in historical terms refers to the Persian court language of the Sassanids. In contemporary usage, the term refers to the dialects of modern Persian language spoken in Afghanistan, and hence known as Afghan Persian in some Western sources. It is the term officially recognized...

, as well as some programs in the English language. The Afghan government has become increasingly intolerant of Indian channels and the un-Islamic culture they bring, and has threatened to ban them.

Education



Public and private schools in the city have reopened since 2002 after they were shut down or destroyed during fighting in the 1980s to the late 1990s. Boys and girls are strongly encouraged to attend school under the Karzai administration
Karzai administration
The Karzai administration is the official government of Afghanistan under President Hamid Karzai, who became the head of state of Afghanistan in December 2001, after the Taliban government was removed. He was appointed at the 2002 Loya Jirga as the Interim President of the Afghan Transitional...

 but many more schools are needed not only in Kabul but throughout the country. The Afghan Ministry of Education has plans to build more schools in the coming years so that education is provided to all citizens of the country. The most well known high schools in Kabul include:
  • Habibia High School
    Habibia High School
    Habibia High School is a school in Kabul, Afghanistan, which has educated many of the former and current Afghan elite, including President Hamid Karzai and the country's most famous musician Ahmad Zahir. It was founded by King Habibullah Khan in 1903....

    , a British-Afghan school founded in 1903 by King Habibullah Khan.
  • Lycée Esteqlal
    Lycée Esteqlal
    The Lycée Esteqlal is a Franco-Afghan school in Kabul, Afghanistan. It is the second oldest school in Kabul, and was recognized as one of the prestigious schools in the country....

    , a Franco-Afghan school founded in 1922.
  • Amani High School
    Amani High School
    Amani High School, also known as Amani–Oberrealschule, is a school in Kabul, Afghanistan. From the time of its foundation in 1924 until 1985, Amani High School was recognized as one of the elite schools in Kabul and received direct support from Germany, which also helped to provide a qualified staff...

    , a German-Afghan school for boys founded in 1924.
  • Aisha-i-Durani School
    Aisha-i-Durani School
    The Aisha-i-Durani School or Durani High School is a girls' school in Kabul, Afghanistan. It is one of two schools reconstructed with German help after the fall of the Taliban in 2001, the other being Amani High School.- External links :* *...

    , a German-Afghan school for girls.
  • Rahman Baba High School, an American-Afghan school for boys.


The city's colleges and universities were renovated after 2002. Some of them have been developed recently, while others have existed since the early 1900s.

Universities in Kabul


  • American University of Afghanistan
    American University of Afghanistan
    The American University of Afghanistan is Afghanistan’s first private, not-for-profit institution of higher education. Chartered in 2004, AUAF offers undergraduate degree programs as well as intensive English-language college preparatory courses and continuing education and professional...

  • Kabul University
    Kabul University
    Kabul University is located in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. It was founded in 1931 but officially opened for classes in 1932. Kabul University is currently attended by approximately 7,000 students, of which 1,700 are women. As of 2008, Hamidullah Amin is the chancellor of the university...

  • Kabul Medical University
    Kabul Medical University
    Kabul Medical University is located in Kabul, Afghanistan on the campus of Kabul University. The medical institution was initially maintained by collaboration with the Turkish and French sponsors. KMF developed into a single autonomous University in 2005...

  • Polytechnical University of Kabul
    Polytechnical University of Kabul
    Kabul Polytechnic is a university located in Kabul, Afghanistan and was established in 1963 in Karte Mamourin area beside the Intercontinental Hotel...

     (Kabul Polytechnic)
  • Higher Education Institute of Karwan
  • Kaboora Institute of Higher Education
    Kaboora Institute of Higher Education
    Kaboora Institute of Higher Education is a university in Kabul, the capital city of Afghanistan.-External links:*...

  • Rana Institute of Higher Education
  • Bakhtar Institute of Higher Education
  • Kardan University
    Kardan University
    Kardan University was founded in 2002 in Kabul, Afghanistan.Kardan derives its name from a Persian word which means "professional". The logo portrays the name in Persian....

  • Dawat University
    Dawat University
    Dawat University is among several private universities registered with the government of Afghanistan. Abdul Rasul Sayyaf, the founder of the university recently obtained a license from the Ministry of Higher Education of Afghanistan. In the beginning, Dawat University will be registering students...

  • National Military Academy of Afghanistan
    National Military Academy of Afghanistan
    The National Military Academy of Afghanistan is an academic institution of the Afghan military that is located in Kabul, Afghanistan. It is a four-year military development institution dedicated to graduating officers for the Afghan National Army and the Afghan Air Force...


Places of interest


The old part of Kabul is filled with bazaar
Bazaar
A bazaar , Cypriot Greek: pantopoula) is a permanent merchandising area, marketplace, or street of shops where goods and services are exchanged or sold. The term is sometimes also used to refer to the "network of merchants, bankers and craftsmen" who work that area...

s nestled along its narrow, crooked streets. Cultural sites include: the National Museum of Afghanistan, notably displaying an impressive statue of Surya
Surya
Surya Suraya or Phra Athit is the chief solar deity in Hinduism, one of the Adityas, son of Kasyapa and one of his wives, Aditi; of Indra; or of Dyaus Pitar . The term Surya also refers to the Sun, in general. Surya has hair and arms of gold...

 excavated at Khair Khana
Khair Khāna
Khair Khāna is a neighbourhood in north west Kabul, Afghanistan. It is predominantly residential, with a boom of high rise constructions and modern apartments, as the area has seen major re-developments....

, the ruined Darul Aman Palace
Darul Aman Palace
Darul Aman Palace is a European-style palace, now ruined, located about sixteen kilometers outside of the center of Kabul, Afghanistan....

, the tomb of Mughal Emperor Babur
Babur
Babur was a Muslim conqueror from Central Asia who, following a series of setbacks, finally succeeded in laying the basis for the Mughal dynasty of South Asia. He was a direct descendant of Timur through his father, and a descendant also of Genghis Khan through his mother...

 at Bagh-e Babur
Bagh-e Babur
The Gardens of Babur, locally called Bagh-e Babur , is a historic park in Kabul, Afghanistan, and also the last resting-place of the first Mughal emperor Babur...

, and Chehlstoon Park, the Minar-i-Istiqlal (Column of Independence) built in 1919 after the Third Afghan War, the mausoleum
Mausoleum
A mausoleum is an external free-standing building constructed as a monument enclosing the interment space or burial chamber of a deceased person or persons. A monument without the interment is a cenotaph. A mausoleum may be considered a type of tomb or the tomb may be considered to be within the...

 of Timur Shah Durrani
Timur Shah Durrani
Timur Shah Durrani , was the second ruler of the Durrani Empire from October 16, 1772, until his death in 1793. An ethnic Pashtun, he was the second and eldest son of Ahmad Shah Durrani.- Early life :...

, and the imposing Id Gah Mosque
Id Gah Mosque
Id Gah Mosque or Eid Gah Mosque is the second largest mosque in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. It is considered the cardinal religious mosque in the country, where a million people offer Eid prayers twice a year...

 (founded 1893). Bala Hissar
Bala Hissar
Bala Hissar is an ancient fortress located in the city of Kabul, Afghanistan. The estimated date of construction is around the 5th century A.D. Bala Hissar sits to the south of the modern city centre at the tail end of the Kuh-e-Sherdarwaza Mountain...

 is a fort destroyed by the British in 1879, in retaliation for the death of their envoy, now restored as a military college. The Minaret of Chakari
Chakari, Afghanistan
Chakari was a village in Khaki Jabbar District, Kabul Province, Afghanistan. In the 1990s during the Afghan Civil War large portions of it were destroyed, and many people left. As of 2002 many of the former inhabitants had not returned.A Buddhist pillar, known as the "Minaret of Chakari" was...

, destroyed in 1998, had Buddhist
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 swastika
Swastika
The swastika is an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles, in either right-facing form in counter clock motion or its mirrored left-facing form in clock motion. Earliest archaeological evidence of swastika-shaped ornaments dates back to the Indus Valley Civilization of Ancient...

 and both Mahayana
Mahayana
Mahāyāna is one of the two main existing branches of Buddhism and a term for classification of Buddhist philosophies and practice...

 and Theravada
Theravada
Theravada ; literally, "the Teaching of the Elders" or "the Ancient Teaching", is the oldest surviving Buddhist school. It was founded in India...

 qualities.

Other places of interest include Kabul City Center
Kabul City Center
Kabul City Center is Afghanistan's first modern-style indoor shopping mall that opened in 2005. It is approximately nine stories tall and is located in downtown Kabul. The mall is equipped with escalators and see-through elevators....

, which is Kabul's first shopping mall, the shops around Flower Street and Chicken Street, Wazir Akbar Khan district, Kabul Golf Club
Kabul Golf Club
The Kabul Golf Club is a nine-hole golf course located near Qargha, around 7 miles from the center of Kabul, Afghanistan.- Overview :Different from other golf courses in the Middle East where desert golf is a new trend, the greens at the Kabul Golf Club are actually brown to black due to their...

, Kabul Zoo
Kabul Zoo
The Kabul Zoo is located in Kabul, Afghanistan, on the bank of the Kabul River. The director of Kabul Zoo is Aziz Gul Saqeb.-History:The zoo was inaugurated in 1967 with a focus on Afghan fauna, being very popular with visitors and press. The zoo once had more than 500 animals with about 150,000...

, Abdul Rahman Mosque
Abdul Rahman Mosque
The Haji Abdul Rahman Mosque , also known as the Grand Mosque of Kabul, is one of the largest mosques in Afghanistan, located in the middle of downtown area of Afghanistan's capital city, Kabul. It sits in a busy commercial area of the city, near the Pashtunistan square and across from the...

, Shah-Do Shamshira
Shah-Do Shamshira Mosque
Shah-Do Shamshira Mosque is a yellow two-story mosque in Kabul, just off the Kabul River in the center of the city. It was built during the reign of Amanullah Khan. The Mosque is located next to a tomb of an Arab commander who died in the 7th century when the Arabs entered Kabul....

 and other famous mosque
Mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

s, the National Gallery of Afghanistan, the National Archives of Afghanistan, Afghan Royal Family Mausoleum, the OMAR Mine Museum
OMAR Mine Museum
Located in Kabul, Afghanistan, the OMAR Mine Museum contains a collection of 51 types of land mines out of the 53 used in Afghanistan over the years. The collection includes unexploded ordnance, cluster bombs and airdrop bombs used by the U.S...

, Bibi Mahro Hill, Kabul Cemetery, and Paghman Gardens
Paghman Gardens
Paghman Gardens is a popular place near Afghanistan's capital city, Kabul. It is a place where people relax and spend the weekends there with friends and relatives...

.

Tappe-i-Maranjan is a nearby hill where Buddhist statue
Statue
A statue is a sculpture in the round representing a person or persons, an animal, an idea or an event, normally full-length, as opposed to a bust, and at least close to life-size, or larger...

s and Graeco-Bactrian coin
Coin
A coin is a piece of hard material that is standardized in weight, is produced in large quantities in order to facilitate trade, and primarily can be used as a legal tender token for commerce in the designated country, region, or territory....

s from the 2nd century BC have been found. Outside the city proper is a citadel and the royal palace. Paghman
Paghman
Paghman is a town in the hills near Kabul, Afghanistan. See also Paghman Gardens. It is center of the Paghman District which has a total population of 120,000 people, and another 20,000 returnees are expected , of which 70% are Pashtuns and 30% Tajiks.. Paghman District is situated in the western...

 and Jalalabad
Jalalabad
Jalalabad , formerly called Adinapour, as documented by the 7th century Hsüan-tsang, is a city in eastern Afghanistan. Located at the junction of the Kabul River and Kunar River near the Laghman valley, Jalalabad is the capital of Nangarhar province. It is linked by approximately of highway with...

 are interesting valleys north and east of the city.
  • Airports
    • Kabul International Airport
      Kabul International Airport
      -Facilities:The airport has two terminal buildings, the modern for international flights and the Soviet built one for domestic flights. Several hangars along the runway are for military aircraft...


  • Sports complexes
    • Kabul National Cricket Stadium
      Kabul National Cricket Stadium
      Kabul National Cricket Stadium is a description of a stadium in Kabul, Afghanistan that is currently under construction. It is planned to be opened in July 2011 and have a seating capacity of 6,000 spectators....

       (under construction)
    • Ghazi Stadium
    • Olympic Committee Gymnasium

  • Parks
    • Bagh-e Babur
      Bagh-e Babur
      The Gardens of Babur, locally called Bagh-e Babur , is a historic park in Kabul, Afghanistan, and also the last resting-place of the first Mughal emperor Babur...

       (Gardens of Babur)
    • Baghi Bala Park
    • Zarnegar Park
    • Shar-e Naw Park
      Shar-e Naw Park
      Shar-e Naw Park is a park in Kabul, Afghanistan....

    • Bagh-e Zanana
    • Chaman-e-Hozori
      Chaman-e-Hozori
      Chaman-e-Hozori is a park in downtown Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan....

    • Bibi Mahro Park
    • Lake Qargha
      Lake Qargha
      Qargha is a lake and reservoir in Afghanistan, just 9 km from Kabul....


  • Mosques
    • Abdul Rahman Mosque
      Abdul Rahman Mosque
      The Haji Abdul Rahman Mosque , also known as the Grand Mosque of Kabul, is one of the largest mosques in Afghanistan, located in the middle of downtown area of Afghanistan's capital city, Kabul. It sits in a busy commercial area of the city, near the Pashtunistan square and across from the...

    • Id Gah Mosque
      Id Gah Mosque
      Id Gah Mosque or Eid Gah Mosque is the second largest mosque in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. It is considered the cardinal religious mosque in the country, where a million people offer Eid prayers twice a year...

    • Blue Mosque http://www.flickr.com/photos/51400588@N06/4726044458/in/photostream/
    • Pul-e Khishti Mosque
      Pul-e Khishti Mosque
      Pul-e Khishti Mosque is the largest mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan. Located in the center of old Kabul , the Pul-e Khishti Mosque can be identified by its large blue dome. The mosque originally was erected in the late 18th Century, but largely rebuilt under Zahir Shah in the late 1960s...

    • Shah-Do Shamshira Mosque
      Shah-Do Shamshira Mosque
      Shah-Do Shamshira Mosque is a yellow two-story mosque in Kabul, just off the Kabul River in the center of the city. It was built during the reign of Amanullah Khan. The Mosque is located next to a tomb of an Arab commander who died in the 7th century when the Arabs entered Kabul....


  • Mausoleums
    • Mausoleum of Timur Shah Durrani
      Timur Shah Durrani
      Timur Shah Durrani , was the second ruler of the Durrani Empire from October 16, 1772, until his death in 1793. An ethnic Pashtun, he was the second and eldest son of Ahmad Shah Durrani.- Early life :...

    • Mausoleum of Abdur Rahman Khan
      Abdur Rahman Khan
      Abdur Rahman Khan was Emir of Afghanistan from 1880 to 1901.The third son of Mohammad Afzal Khan, and grandson of Dost Mohammad Khan, Abdur Rahman Khan was considered a strong ruler who re-established the writ of the Afghan government in Kabul after the disarray that followed the second...

    • Mausoleum of Zahir Shah
      Mohammed Zahir Shah
      Mohammed Zahir Shah was the last King of Afghanistan, reigning for four decades, from 1933 until he was ousted by a coup in 1973...

       and Nadir Shah
    • Mausoleum of Jamal-al-Din al-Afghani

  • Museums
    • National Museum of Afghanistan
    • National Archives of Afghanistan
    • National Gallery of Afghanistan
    • Negaristani Milli

  • Hotels
    • Marriott
      Marriott International
      Marriott International, Inc. is a worldwide operator and franchisor of a broad portfolio of hotels and related lodging facilities. Founded by J. Willard Marriott, the company is now led by son J.W. Marriott, Jr...

       (under construction)
    • Serena Hotel
      Serena Hotel
      -Overview:The Serena Hotels Group is one of 96 companies that makes up the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development , the for-profit arm of the Aga Khan Development Network . The Group trades under the name Tourism Promotion Services . The company is listed on the Nairobi Stock Exchange , where it...

    • Inter-Continental
    • Safi Landmark Hotel
      Safi Landmark Hotel
      Safi Landmark Hotel is a hotel in Kabul, Afghanistan.It is a four star hotel, and located approximately 15 minutes by road from Kabul International Airport....

    • Golden Star Hotel
    • Heetal Plaza Hotel

  • Hospitals
    • French Medical Institute for Children
      French Medical Institute for Children
      The French Medical Institute for Children is a children's hospital in Kabul, Afghanistan, established in 2005. It is a joint project of the governments of France and Afghanistan and the French NGO La Chaîne de L’Espoir/Enfants Afghans....

    • Indira Gandhi Childrens Hospital
      Indira Gandhi Childrens Hospital
      Indira Gandhi Children's hospital located in Kabul is the leading Children's hospital of Afghanistan. It has 150 beds and in 2004 started the first cerebral palsy center in Afghanistan...

    • Jamhuriat Hospital
      Jamhuriat Hospital
      The Jamhuriat Hospital is state-owned hospital located in Kabul, Afghanistan. A new 10-story building with the capacity of housing 350 patients was constructed in 2004 by engineers from China. It is expected that the Agha Khan Network may be taking over the management of the hospital....

    • Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan Hospital http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/22/world/asia/22afghanistan.html
    • Jinnah Hospital
      Jinnah Hospital
      Jinnah Hospital is the second largest teaching hospital in the Pakistani province of Punjab spread over and with 1250 beds. It is the first autonomous hospital that has been properly built according to a premeditated design with three main areas...

       (under construction)

Development projects



In late 2007 the government announced that all the residential houses situated on mountains would be removed within a year so that trees and other plants can be grown on the hills. The plan calls for a greener city and to provide residents with a more suitable place to live, on a flat surface. Once implemented it will provide water supply and electricity to each house. All the city roads will also be paved under the plan, which is to solve transportation problems.

The Afghan capital Kabul, symbolizing the spirits of all Afghans and international cooperation, sets at the heart of this highly resourceful region, with great potential to turn into a business hub for all. After 2002, the new geo-political dynamics and its subsequent business opportunities, rapid urban population growth and emergence of high unemployment, triggered the planning of urban extension towards the immediate north of Kabul, in the form of a new city.
In 2006, President Hamid Karzai established an Independent Board for the Development of Kabul New City. The Board brings together key stakeholders, including relevant government agencies, as well as representation from private sector and urban specialists and economists, with cooperation from the government of Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 and French Private sector, the board prepared a master plan for the city in the context of Greater Kabul. The master plan and its implementation strategy for 2025 were endorsed by the Afghan Cabinet in early 2009. Soon, as a top priority, the initiative turned into one of the biggest commercially viable national development project of the country, expected to be led by the private sector. A number of high rise buildings are being planned and constructed across Kabul, as part of the attempt to modernize the city.

An initial concept design called the City of Light Development
City of Light Development
The Kabul - City of Light Development is an urban reconstruction plan, first proposed by urban planner and architect Hisham N. Ashkouri to revitalize the capital city of Afghanistan. The plan targets an area just south of the Kabul River for redevelopment...

, envisioned by Dr. Hisham N. Ashkouri
Hisham N. Ashkouri
Hisham N. Ashkouri is a Boston and New York-based architect.Dr. Ashkouri graduated first in class in 1970 with a Bachelor of Architecture Degree from the University of Baghdad and continued for his Masters of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania under the late Louis I. Kahn in 1973...

, for the development and the implementation of a privately based investment enterprise has been proposed for multi-function commercial, historic and cultural development within the limits of the Old City of Kabul, along the southern side of the Kabul River and along Jade Meywand Avenue, revitalizing some of the most commercial and historic districts in the City. Also incorporated in the design is a new complex for the National Museum of Afghanistan. A Memorandum of understanding
Memorandum of understanding
A memorandum of understanding is a document describing a bilateral or multilateral agreement between parties. It expresses a convergence of will between the parties, indicating an intended common line of action. It is often used in cases where parties either do not imply a legal commitment or in...

 has been signed between Dr. Ashkouri and 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...

 to undertake the project and to develop it for actual implementation over the next 20 years. Dr. Ashkouri has also presented the plan to President Karzai and has received a letter of support from the president and the Minister of Urban Development.

NGOs


Numerous non-governmental organization
Non-governmental organization
A non-governmental organization is a legally constituted organization created by natural or legal persons that operates independently from any government. The term originated from the United Nations , and is normally used to refer to organizations that do not form part of the government and are...

s (NGOs), both national and international, are based in Kabul, conducting various activities to assist development in Afghanistan and provide humanitarian relief to the many victims which 30 years of war have produced.

Afghanistan Information Management Services
Afghanistan Information Management Services
Afghanistan Information Management Services is a Kabul-based Afghan non-governmental organisation which works to fill the gap in the information management needs of Afghanistan...

 (AIMS) provides software development, capacity development, information management, and project management services to the Afghan Government and other NGOs, thereby supporting their on-the-ground activities.

The We Are the Future (WAF) Center is a child care centre whose aim is to give children a chance to live their childhoods and develop a sense of hope. The centre is managed under the direction of the mayor's office and the international NGO. Glocal Forum
Glocal forum
The Glocal Forum is an international organization in the field of city-to-city cooperation; encouraging peace building and international development in the non-governmental sector...

 serves as the fundraiser, program planner and coordinator for the WAF centre. Launched in 2004, the program is the result of a strategic partnership between the Glocal Forum, the Quincy Jones
Quincy Jones
Quincy Delightt Jones, Jr. is an American record producer and musician. A conductor, musical arranger, film composer, television producer, and trumpeter. His career spans five decades in the entertainment industry and a record 79 Grammy Award nominations, 27 Grammys, including a Grammy Legend...

 Listen Up Foundation and Mr. Hani Masri, with the support of the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

, 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...

 agencies and major companies.

See also


  • List of cities in Afghanistan
  • City of Light Development
    City of Light Development
    The Kabul - City of Light Development is an urban reconstruction plan, first proposed by urban planner and architect Hisham N. Ashkouri to revitalize the capital city of Afghanistan. The plan targets an area just south of the Kabul River for redevelopment...

  • Radio Kabul
    Radio Kabul
    Radio Kabul is the official radio station of Afghanistan. The name Radio Kabul has been given to many different incarnations of the state-run radio station since the first radio transmitters were installed in Kabul in the 1920s....

  • Kabul Express
    Kabul Express
    Kabul Express is a Bollywood film that was released on 15 December 2006. The film stars John Abraham, Arshad Warsi, Pakistani actor Salman Shahid, Afghan actor Hanif Hum Ghum and American actress Linda Arsenio...

  • 2002 Hindu Kush earthquakes
    2002 Hindu Kush earthquakes
    The 2002 Hindu Kush earthquakes were two earthquakes which hit the Hindu Kush mountain range area in Afghanistan on March 3 and March 25, 2002.- The March 3 earthquake :At 12:08:19 UTC a 7.4 tremor hit an area S of Feyzabad, Afghanistan...


Further reading

  • Hill, John E. (2009). Through the Jade Gate to Rome: A Study of the Silk Routes during the Later Han Dynasty, 1st to 2nd Centuries CE. BookSurge, Charleston, South Carolina. ISBN 978-1-4392-2134-1.

External links