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As an American I realized just how little I actually knew about the Middle East after the tragedy of September 11th Although I had heard of numerous terrorist attacks in Israel and even as close as Ireland it was very hard to comprehend that such acts of violence had now become a part of my world as well There were many disturbing images shown by the media shortly after the US bombings in Afghanistan But the media coverage of thousands of Afghan people fleeing their country and living in refugee camps left a very powerful impression upon me In this paper I hope to share some important information and facts that I have gathered in my personal research regarding the cultural aspects of the people of Afghanistan The People of Afghanistan Afghanistan is located in Southern Asia bordering China Iran Pakistan Tajikistan Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan Afghan society has been based primarily on agricultural and pastoral traditions In 1979 more than 85 percent of the population lived in rural areas with about 15 percent in urban settings Of the urban dwellers probably about half lived in Kabul the capital city The nomadic population was estimated to be about 25 million people During the war with the Soviets the number of Afghan refugees outside the country escalated dramatically with as many as 25 million to 3 million refugees in Pakistan and another 15 million in Iran About 150000 Afghans were able to migrate permanently to other countries including the United States Australia and various European countries Afghanistans 2003 Afghanistan has a population growth rate of about 26 percent The growth rate is 23 percent in rural areas and 47 percent in urban areas reflecting an increase in migration to urban centers In the beginning of the civil war the population of Kabul had reached 2 million people because of the
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