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Afghanistan Lesson for Kids: History & Facts

Instructor: Michael Gott

Mike is a veteran of the New Hampshire public school system and has worked in grades 1-12. His role has varied from primary instructor to special needs support.

Afghanistan's people have suffered greatly because of violence and government problems. Read about the history of Afghanistan and learn some important facts in this lesson.

Understanding Afghanistan

Imagine if the students across the hall from your classroom spoke a different language. Imagine if you had no way to communicate with them. Now imagine if, despite this obstacle, you had to work with them to stop an unfair government from controlling you. This is the situation the people of Afghanistan face.

Afghanistan is a country in Asia. It is bordered on the west by Iran and on the south and east by Pakistan. To Afghanistan's north are Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.

A rugged mountain range that is almost impossible to travel through separates Afghanistan's northern neighbors. The mountains are so high that they are usually covered in snow even though there are deserts at the base of the mountain.

Map of Afghanistan
AfghanistanLessonMap

The People of Afghanistan

The population of Afghanistan is made up of many different tribes. These tribal groups do not trust one another. This distrust makes it difficult for the people to elect a government that can represent all the people, and not just specific tribes. These tribal groups also speak different languages.

A History of Violence

Modern Afghanistan has seen violence since the Soviet Union invaded the country in 1979. Over the next ten years, more than 1 million people were killed before the Soviet Union was forced to leave Afghanistan. Once the Soviet Army left, the tribes of Afghanistan began fighting with each other for control of the country.

In 1996, after seven years of fighting, a group called the Taliban took control of Afghanistan. The Taliban imposed laws based on an extremist version of Islam, which is the world's second most popular religion. The Taliban punished law breakers in Afghanistan with extreme violence and still supports Islamic violence throughout the world.

One group the Taliban supported was the Al Qaeda terrorist group. A terrorist group uses violence and the threat of violence to try and make people act the way they want them to. Al Qaeda set up its home base in Afghanistan. Al Qaeda attacked the United States on September 11, 2001, in one of the worst terrorist attacks in history.

The US Invades Afghanistan

In response to the Al Qaeda planned terrorist attacks on September 11th, the US invaded Afghanistan. The US military forced members of Al Qaeda out of Afghanistan and removed the Taliban from control of the government.

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