|Area|| 647,500 km2
|Population||31,889,923 (July 2007 est.)|
|Language||Afghan Persian (Dari) 50%, Pashto 35%, Turkic languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%, 30 minor languages (primarily Balochi and Pashai) 4%, much bilingualism|
|Religion||Sunni Muslim 80%, Shi'a Muslim 19%, other 1%|
Afghanistan is a landlocked country in the heart of Asia, bordered by Pakistan to the south and east, Iran to the west, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan to the north. There is a short border with China to the far northeast, but in extremely inaccessible terrain.
Afghanistan has been the center of many powerful empires for the past 2,000 years. However, in the last 30 years the country has been in chaos due to major wars -- from the Soviet invasion of 1979 to their withdrawal in 1989 and from warlordism to the removal of the Taliban in 2001 and the ensuing American and NATO invasion. Economically, Afghanistan is considered poor compared to many other nations of the world. The country is currently going through a nation-wide rebuilding process so that it can once again become a sovereign and peaceful place as it was before 1979.