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Afghanistan - Life of a Digital Nomad | Work - Travel - Repeat

Afghanistan

Afghanistan

Etymology

The name Afghanistan means “land of the Afghans”, which originates from the ethnonym “Afghan”. Historically, the name “Afghan” mainly designated the Pashtun people, the largest ethnic group of Afghanistan. The earliest reference to the name is found in the 10th-century geography book known as Hudud ul-‘alam. The last part of the name, -stan is a Persian suffix for “place”. [wikipedia]

Places to Meet People

Places to Meet People

edX Kabul Community – This Meetup group is a branch of the edX Global Community for people who live near Kabul. Meet fellow edX students, discuss course material, and celebrate your successes! [meetup]

How to Find a Date

How to Find a Date

Afghan Dating – Love, dating, and marriage in Afghanistan are rare thanks to the many strict social, cultural and religious rules that dictate how young men and women fall in love and interact. This harsh reality has yielded romantic frustrations and dilemmas among young people who can’t freely meet each other. [afghan.dating]

Afghan Singles – At AfghanSingles.com, we excel at helping you find your match safely and quickly. Through our extensive profiles, members can learn about each other before meeting in person. Our great quality assurance and customer service means all you have to worry about is looking good in your photo. [afghan singles]

Meet Afghans – Whether Afghan or other nationality, single or in a relation, male or female, want to have a good time or want to settle down. Serving Afghans singles for over 11 years. Come join our fast-growing community. Find new friends, dates, share photo and video and interact with others. Enjoy your stay with us! finding a match was never this easy. We have helped many single souls find theirs. [meet afghans]

Walking Tours

Walking Tours

Hinterland Travel – We have been regularly re-visiting Afghanistan after the years of International and Internal conflict in this starkly beautiful country. Some people will think that this is a little premature given that there is still internal dissension, and still only a tenuous groping toward Central Government control and that is certainly the British Govt Foreign Office advice. [hinterland travel]

Untamed Borders – We specialise in trips to Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, former Soviet Central Asia and the Caucasus, but also arrange bespoke trips to other off-the-beaten track destinations. Untamed Borders uses specialist local guides throughout whose aim is to provide authentic and original experiences for all our guests. [untamed borders]

Wild Frontiers – Wild Frontiers offers a number of group tours to Afghanistan, from our 14-day Afghan Explorer to tours combining Afghanistan and Tajikistan and taking in the beautiful Wakhan Corridor. [wild frontiers travel]

Free Things to Do

Free Things to Do

Admire the resilient capital, Kabul – Since the US invasion it is estimated that one-third of Afghanistan’s public buildings and roughly 40% of its houses have been destroyed. Miraculously Kabul has survived much of the carnage and there’s still plenty to admire in the ancient Afghan capital. There are beautiful parks, the ancient walls of the citadel, Bala Hissar, and several newly restored museums. [world travel guide]

Explore the recovering Kabul Museum – Though the museum’s contents have been dramatically depleted over the years, the beleaguered Kabul Museum still has a good amount of artefacts on display, including Greco-Bactrian Buddha statues, and a marble basin from Kandahar often referred to as Buddha’s Begging Bowl. [world travel guide]

Gawp at the “Red City” of Shahr-i-Zohak – Take in Shahr-i-Zahak, also known as the “Red City”, about 17km (11 miles) from Bamiyan. Here lies one of Afghanistan’s most breath-taking ancient citadels, situated atop a cliff overlooking the intersection of the Bamiyan and Kalu rivers. The mud-brick towers rise eerily from the rock face, as though natural formations. [world travel guide]

Hike through the Valley of Paghman – If the security situation permits it, head to the rugged Valley of Paghman, which is about 90 minutes by road from the capital. Here many of Kabul’s wealthiest residents once kept second houses and you can see why – the landscape is spectacular. Today, alas, the area is somewhat quiet. [world travel guide]

Marvel at the Hindu Kush – Take some time to explore the Hindu Kush, a wild and remote region consisting of two huge mountain ranges. Although travelling by car is possible, the steepness of the routes makes vehicles prone to breakdowns. For those who make the journey, the mountains, valleys and lakes provide stunning scenery. [world travel guide]

Scale the Bibi Mahru Hill – It was at the top of Bibi Mahru Hill that Moghul ruler Babur first looked over Kabul. This is a popular spot for walking and for the views of the lands around. There’s also an Olympic-size swimming pool atop it, but problems with pumping water up hill mean that it’s rarely full. [world travel guide]

See Afghan art in the National Gallery – Displaying a range of historic artwork and more contemporary pieces, the National Gallery in Kabul has, like the Kabul Museum, seen its fair share of destruction. However, many pieces have been salvaged, and the staff offer guided tours around the exhibitions. [world travel guide]

Take a trip to Jalalabad – If the security situation permits, visit Jalalabad, the capital of the Nangarhar Province, which used to be a pretty winter resort, before decades of war saw it become a no-go area. Today, it is awash with cypress trees and flowering shrubs. [world travel guide]

Visit Ka Faroshi bird market – In a little street tucked behind the Pul-e Khishti Mosque in Kabul, you’ll find this market selling birds of all shapes and sizes, including kowk (fighting partridge), which are made to fight on Friday mornings with bystanders betting on the winner. Some visitors may find the kowk fights disturbing, but it remains a much-loved tradition here. [world travel guide]

Wander around Babur’s Gardens (Bagh-e Babur) – This striking and historic garden in Kabul was created under the first Mughal ruler Babur in the 1500s. Inside the high walls, visitors can explore 11 hectares (27 acres) of greenery, assorted flora, a pavilion, a marble mosque and Babur’s tomb, which reads the inscription: “If there is a paradise on Earth, it is this, it is this, it is this!” [world travel guide]

Wonder at the unique Sultani Museum – Neighbouring the National Gallery in Kabul, the Sultani Museum hosts an extraordinary collection of Afghan artefacts put together by gold trader and arts dealer Ahmad Shah Sultani, who assembled most of these items while in exile in London. His museum hosts an array of early-Islamic manuscripts, precious coins, ancient pottery, woodcarvings and much more. [world travel guide]

Festivals

Festivals

Eid al-Fitr (Eid-e-Fitr) – The most important month of the Islamic calendar is Ramadan, the ninth month, during which every Muslim -except the old, young, pregnant women and the sick- is required to avoid food, drink from dawn to dusk. The feast of Eid al-Fitr commences after the month of fasting ends, on the first day of the month of Shawal. [asian recipe]

Eid al-Adha (Eid-e-Qurban) – Once the fasting month and ensuring celebrations have ended, it is time for those planning to perform their pilgrimage to Mecca to start preparations for their journey. The hajj, takes place in the 12th month of the Muslim calendar, the rituals being performed in Mecca between the 7th and 10th days. [asian recipe]

Lailat-ul Qadr – This blessed night is also called the night of Power. It is the particular night in the month of Ramadan when the Holy Quran first began to be revealed. The Holy Quran states: “The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Quran began to be revealed, the Book which comprises guidance for mankind and clear proofs of guidance and divine signs which discriminate between truth and falsehood … “(2:186). [asian recipe]

Mawlud-un Nabi – A large number of Muslims do not believe in celebrating birthdays of death anniversaries because there is no historical evidence that such was the practice of the Holy Prophet. However, similarly large number of Muslims do commemorate the birth anniversary of the Holy Prophet on 12 Rabi-ul-Awwal of the Islamic lunar calendar year. [asian recipe]

Muharram – Muharram festival commemorates the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him). This festival starts at the 1st day of Muharram and lasts for 10 days until 10th of Muharram. Muharram is the first month of Islamic calendar. [asian recipe]

Now-Roz (New Year’s Day) – Literally meaning a new day. Nau Roz is the first day of spring and of the Afghan solar calendar, and falls on March 21st. This festival dates back to the time when Zoroastrianism was still a powerful religion, long before Islam arrived in Afghanistan. [asian recipe]

Public Transit

Public Transit

Taxis and Car Rental – Depending on the distance, destination, and your bargaining skills, taxi fares range from cheap to expensive and roam around Kabul during the day. Drivers may know basic English and can often be found loitering around major hotels, the airport, and other Western-friendly locations. [iexplore]

Trains and Buses – There is no train system within Afghanistan, but there are regular buses that run around popular destinations within Kabul. Millie Bus operates different routes around the city, but it is advisable to use taxis if you want to get to your destination faster. [iexplore]

Water Taxis – It is possible to get to and from different areas of the country via the inland waterway. The Amu Darya River serves as a connecting channel with main ports on the riverbanks of Shair Khan, Kheyrabad, and Keleft. [iexplore]

Professional Groups & Events

Professional Groups & Events

Kabul Startup Founder 101 – Startup Founder 101 brings together aspiring and experienced tech entrepreneurs to discuss, meet, and collaborate to build great new startups, and to push the local startup ecosystem forward. In this group you can learn the best practices of starting a company from people who have been there and done that. [meetup]

Language Exchange

Language Exchange

Living and Working in Afghanistan – Are you preparing for living and working in Afghanistan? Or are you already an expat and have recently relocated to Kabul, Ghazni or some other international Afghan city? [internations]

LGBT Groups

LGBT Groups

Resources

Resources

Places in Afghanistan

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