Afghanistanby Jeffrey A. Gritzner
Throughout its history, Afghanistan has been at a crossroad between Eastern and Western cultures. Its location in southern central Asia-along the trade routes that connected East and South Asia to Europe and the Middle East-made it a prized commodity for conquering armies from near and far. Its fiercely independent people have withstood invasions by Persians, Greeks, Arabs, Turks, Mongols, and in the twentieth century, by Great Britain and the Soviet Union. Since the Taliban-a fundamentalist Islamic group that established a theocratic regime in 1996-was removed from power in 2001 Afghanistan has moved toward establishing a democratic government, by adopting a constitution and holding its first free presidential election in 2004.
About the Author:
Jeffrey A. Gritzner is chairman of the Department of Geography, the Asian Studies Program, and the International and Cultural Diversity Cluster at the University of Montana
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