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Beyond the headlines of war, there is another country where ancient traditions endure and a new country is emerging within Afghanistan.

Afghanistan is located in the heart of Eurasia, and is populated by Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras, Uzbeks, Turkmens, some smaller ethnic nationalities, and nomads known as “Kuchis”. Geographically near to the first cradles of civilization, one finds artifacts dating back to the period of the Indus Valley civilization (2000 BC).

Afghanistan has had a turbulent, interesting history and has withstood countless invasions. In 328 B.C., Alexander the Great entered what is today Afghanistanbut was then a part of the Persian Empire—and captured several cities, including Herāt, Kandahār, Kabul, and Balkh. The 300-year rule of his Greek successors was followed by that of Turkic Kushanis and various Buddhist groups. A lively Greco-Buddhist culture flourished around Bámián. In the year 652, Afghanistan fell to conquering Arabs, who brought with them Islam.