Afghanistan is an Islamic state in Central Asia. Ahmad Shah Durrani unified the Pashtun tribes and founded Afghanistan in 1747 and the country served as a “buffer” between the British and Russian empires until it gained its independence from British control by virtue of the Anglo-Afghan Treaty of 1919. Since then the country has celebrated its Independence Day annually on August 19 to commemorate the day in 1919 when the country was granted full independence. Independence Day is a public holiday in the Islamic Republic and is marked with official speeches and military displays in the capital city of Kabul.
A melting pot of Eastern and Western cultures, Afghanistan is a landlocked country located in central Asia. It shares land borders with Pakistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Iran, and China. Kabul is the country’s largest city. It stands at the entrance of the Khyber Pass, the traditional route between Afghanistan and Pakistan.
For Afghans, Independence Day is not only a day for commemorating the day they gained their long-coveted freedom from foreign rule. It is also a celebration of their rich history and culture. They take pride in their cultural and heritage structures, one of which is the Minaret of Jam, a 62-meter-high tower made entirely of baked bricks and believed to have been constructed around the year 1190. It is one of the archaeological wonders of the Middle East; and its surrounding archaeological area is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Afghans are widely known for their love of poetry and classic art and painting, as evident in the country’s monumental landmarks and heritage sites. Poetry in Afghanistan has served as a medium of expressing concerns on relevant social issues, with women’s rights being a particularly favorite subject. Like our Filipino ancestors, the Afghans transmitting stories and verses from one generation to another over centuries. Every Thursday, the City of Heart would traditionally gather men and women of all ages to celebrate old and new poetry over a cup of tea and some pastries. Like Filipinos, the Afghans are a hospitable people and love sports. They earned their first victory in the Asian Football Federation Championship and the Afghan National Cricket Team qualified for the 2015 World Cup.
Afghanistan has maintained warm and friendly relations with several countries around the world, including Turkey, the United States, Japan, Germany, Spain, South Korea, Italy, India, China, Canada, and United Arab Emirates.
We greet the People and Government the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan led by President Ashraf Ghani, on the occasion of its Independence Day.