Barkey Afghanistan Essay

3320 words - 14 pages

The nation and people of Afghanistan have adapted throughout the years to understand the culture of Afghanistan you must know the history of not only the people but the land itself. The history of Afghanistan is full of war, which has played a decisive part in developing the Afghan people. The location and landscape have a large role to play in the development of the Afghan people. With the invasion of so many different forces the country is rich in the culture of different invading forces that left behind soldiers to make a home for themselves in the country. Shiite and Sunni factions of Islam divide the country, the Shiite being the larger of the two, and from there it divides further ...view middle of the document...

While mountains dominate the north, southern regions of the country consist of flat sandy deserts that experience strong winds in the summer seasons. It’s estimated that although mostly an untapped resource there is up to $3 trillion worth of mineral deposits throughout the country. The layout of the land provides natural barriers dividing the people of Afghanistan, providing only a few mountain passes that are nearly impassable during the winter months due to the large amounts of snowfall.
The first inhabitants of early Afghanistan, also known as the Iranian plateau, trace back to Iranian descendants that migrated to the land during Acheamenid rule. The Iranians gained control of areas in the east after heavy fighting, but resistance would continue and would force them to leave garrison units in the Hindu Kush provinces. The Iranian rulers would face defeat by Alexander the Great and under his short control of the land would leave a lasting impression that lasted many centuries.
Alexander the Great invaded the area in 330 B.C. and his conquest of the land took about three years to complete. He faced fierce resistance from local leaders who remain loyal to the Iranians. Alexander’s army overwhelmed the local people and he later went on to marry a leader of the areas daughter. Alexander was killed in a mutiny as he entered what is now India; this brought about the rule of Seleucus, Alexander’s cavalry commander. Afghanistan spent the next 150 years under the control of the Seleucid Dynasty. At the same time the Mauryan Empire would begin taking control of the southern part of the country and introducing Indic culture, which includes Buddhism, in the area. The two dynasties remained separated by the high and rugged Hindu Kush Mountain range which even in modern time has provided a barrier between empires. The Seleucid dynasty being unable to hold the eastern part of the land it fell into Greek rule around 170 B.C. Greek powers would lose control of the area to two groups of nomadic invaders from Central Asia known as the Parthians and Sakas.
The Parthians would push into what is now Iran by the Kushans who took control of what is now Afghanistan and would establish a powerful empire that would last four centuries. They too were pushed into the Hindu Kush area by the invading Hun army of Central Asia. The Kushan Empire became a center of trade in the region dealing mainly in silk. The empire splintered into several different kingdoms that the Sassanians from Iran would later conquer.
In 637 A.D., five years after the death of the Prophet Muhammad, Arab Muslims defeated the Sassanians in the battle of Qadisiya. They then pushed into what is now Afghanistan and Ummayid caliphs, or Islamic religious leader, sent in military leaders to control the area. At this time Islam replaced all religions brought in by previous empires and it remains that way to this day. During the eighth and ninth century, to gain better land for...

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