Famous people from Afghanistan
Here is a list of famous people from Afghanistan. Curious if anybody from Afghanistan made it our most famous people in the world list? Read the aformentioned article in order to find out.
Hamid Karzai GCMG is the 12th and current President of Afghanistan, taking office on 22 December 2001. He became a dominant political figure after the removal of the Taliban regime in late 2001. During the December 2001 International Conference on Afghanistan in Germany, Karzai was selected by prominent Afghan political figures to serve a six-month term as Chairman of the Interim Administration. He was then chosen for a two-year term as Interim President during the 2002 loya jirga that was held in Kabul, Afghanistan. After the 2004 presidential election, Karzai was declared winner and became President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. He won a second five-year term in the 2009 presidential election.
Khaled Hosseini is an Afghan-born American novelist and physician. After graduating college, he worked as a doctor in California, an occupation that he likens to "an arranged marriage" for him. He has published three novels, most notably his 2003 debut The Kite Runner, all of which are at least partially set in Afghanistan and feature Afghans as the protagonist. Following the success of The Kite Runner, he decided to stop practicing medicine and became a full-time writer. Hosseini was born in Kabul, Afghanistan. His father worked as a diplomat, and when Hosseini was 11 years old, the family moved to France; four years later, they applied for asylum in the United States. He attended school in America with little knowledge of the English language at the time and later became a citizen. Hosseini did not return to Afghanistan until 2003 at the age of 38, where he "felt like a tourist in [his] own country". In interviews about the experience, he admitted to sometimes feeling survivor's guilt for having been able to leave the country before the Soviet invasion and subsequent wars. All three of his novels became bestsellers, with The Kite Runner spending 101 weeks on the bestseller list as a paperback. In 2007, The Kite Runner was followed by A Thousand Splendid Suns, which has spent 21 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list for paperback fiction and 49 weeks on The New York Times Best Seller list for hardcover fiction. The two novels have sold more than 38 million copies internationally.
Amjad Khan was an Indian actor and director. He worked in over 130 films in a career spanning nearly twenty years. He enjoyed popularity for his villainous roles in Hindi films, the most famous being the iconic Gabbar Singh in the 1975 classic Sholay and of Dilawar in Muqaddar Ka Sikandar.
Mahmud of Ghazni
Yamīn ad-Dawlah Abul-Qāṣim Maḥmūd Ibn Sebüktegīn, more commonly known as Mahmud of Ghazni, was the most prominent ruler of the Ghaznavid Empire. In the name of Islam, he conquered the eastern Iranian lands and the northwestern Indian subcontinent from 997 to his death in 1030. Mahmud turned the former provincial city of Ghazna into the wealthy capital of an extensive empire which covered most of today's Afghanistan, eastern Iran, Pakistan and northwestern India. He was the first ruler to carry the title Sultan, signifying the extent of his power, though preserving the ideological link to the suzerainty of the Caliph. During his rule, he invaded and plundered parts of Hindustan 17 times.
Nasir ud-din Muhammad Humayun was the second Mughal Emperor who ruled a large territory consisting of what is now Afghanistan, Pakistan, and parts of northern India from 1530–1540 and again from 1555–1556. Like his father, Babur, he lost his kingdom early, but with Persian aid, he eventually regained an even larger one. On the eve of his death in 1556, the Mughal empire spanned almost one million square kilometers. He succeeded his father in India in 1530, while his half-brother Kamran Mirza, who was to become a rather bitter rival, obtained the sovereignty of Kabul and Lahore, the more northern parts of their father's empire. He originally ascended the throne at the age of 23 and was somewhat inexperienced when he came to power. Humayun lost Mughal territories to the Pashtun noble, Sher Shah Suri, and, with Persian aid, regained them 15 years later. Humayun's return from Persia, accompanied by a large retinue of Persian noblemen, signaled an important change in Mughal court culture. The Central Asian origins of the dynasty were largely overshadowed by the influences of Persian art, architecture, language and literature. There are many stone carvings and thousands of Persian manuscripts in India from the time of Humayun.
Abbas I of Persia
Shāh ‘Abbās the Great was Shah of Iran, and generally considered the greatest ruler of the Safavid dynasty. He was the third son of Shah Mohammad. Abbas came to the throne during a troubled time for Iran. Under his weak-willed father, the country was riven with discord between the different factions of the Qizilbash army, who killed Abbas' mother and elder brother. Meanwhile, Iran's enemies, the Ottoman Empire and the Uzbeks, exploited this political chaos to seize territory for themselves. In 1587, one of the Qizilbash leaders, Murshid Qoli Khan, overthrew Shah Mohammed in a coup and placed the 16-year-old Abbas on the throne. But Abbas was no puppet and soon seized power for himself. He reduced the influence of the Qizilbash in the government and the military and reformed the army, enabling him to fight the Ottomans and Uzbeks and reconquer Iran's lost provinces. He also took back land from the Portuguese and the Mughals. Abbas was a great builder and moved his kingdom's capital from Qazvin to Isfahan. In his later years, the shah became suspicious of his own sons and had them killed or blinded.
Ahmad Shah Durrani
Ahmad Shāh Durrānī, also known as Ahmad Khān Abdālī, was the founder of the Durrani Empire and is regarded to be the founder of the modern state of Afghanistan. Ahmad Shah enlisted as a young soldier in the military of the Afsharid kingdom and quickly rose to become a commander of four thousand Abdali Pashtun soldiers. After the death of Nader Shah Afshar of Persia in June 1747, Abdali became the Emir of Khorasan. Rallying his Pashtun tribes and allies, he pushed east towards the Mughal and the Maratha Empire of India, west towards the disintegrating Afsharid Empire of Persia, and north toward the Khanate of Bukhara. Within a few years, he extended Afghan control from Khorasan in the west to Kashmir and North India in the east, and from the Amu Darya in the north to the Arabian Sea in the south. Ahmad Shah's mausoleum is located at Kandahar, Afghanistan, adjacent to the Shrine of the Cloak of Prophet Muhammad in the center of the city. The Afghans often refer to him as Ahmad Shāh Bābā. Durrani is infamous for his genocide of the Sikhs, the destruction and desecration of their holy Golden Temple in Amritsar. Durrani massacred thousands of Sikhs in 1746 and 1762.
Dr. Mohammad Najibullah Ahmadzai, better known mononymously as Najibullah or Najib, was President of Afghanistan from 1987 until 1992, when the mujahideen took over Kabul. He had previously held different careers under the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan and was a graduate of Kabul University. Following the Saur Revolution, Najibullah was a low profile bureaucrat, who was sent into exile during Hafizullah Amin's rise to power as Ambassador to Iran. He returned to Afghanistan following the Soviet invasion which toppled Amin's rule and placed Babrak Karmal as head of state, party and government. During Karmal's rule, Najibullah became head of the KHAD, the Afghan equivalent to the Soviet KGB. He was a member of the Parcham faction led by Karmal. During Najibullah's tenure as KHAD head, it became one of the most efficient governmental organs. Because of this he gained the attention of several leading Soviet officials, such as Yuri Andropov, Dmitriy Ustinov and Boris Ponomarev. In 1981, Najibullah was appointed to the PDPA Politburo. In 1985 Najibullah stepped down as state security minister to focus on PDPA politics; he had been appointed to the PDPA Secretariat. Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, was able to get Karmal to step down as PDPA General Secretary in 1986, and replace him with Najibullah. For a number of months Najibullah was locked in a power struggle against Karmal, who still retained his post of Chairman of the Revolutionary Council. Najibullah accused Karmal of trying to wreck his policy of National Reconciliation.
Burhanuddin Rabbani was President of the Islamic State of Afghanistan from 1992 to 1996. After the Taliban government was toppled during Operation Enduring Freedom, Rabbani returned to Kabul and served as a temporary President from November to December 20, 2001, when Hamid Karzai was chosen at the Bonn International Conference on Afghanistan. Rabbani was also the leader of Jamiat-e Islami Afghanistan, which has close ties to Pakistan's Jamaat-e-Islami. He was one of the earliest founders and movement leaders of the Mujahideen in the late 1970s, right before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. He served as the political head of the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan, an alliance of various political groups who fought against the Taliban in Afghanistan. His government was recognized by many countries, as well as the United Nations. He later became head of Afghanistan National Front, the largest political opposition to Hamid Karzai's government. On 20 September 2011, Rabbani was assassinated by a suicide bomber entering his home in Kabul. As suggested by the Afghan parliament, Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai gave him the title of "Martyr of Peace". His son Salahuddin Rabbani was chosen in April 2012 to lead efforts to forge peace in Afghanistan with the Taliban.
Gulbuddin Hekmatyar is the founder and active leader of the Hezb-e Islami political party, and a designated "global terrorist" by the United States. After escaping from prison in Afghanistan in 1973, he moved to Pakistan and became involved with Pakistan's ISI intelligence agency to carry out terrorist attacks inside Afghanistan. When the Soviet war in Afghanistan began in 1979, the CIA began funding his rapidly growing Hezb-e Islami mujahideen organization through the ISI. Following the stepping down of Afghan President Najibullah in 1992, Hekmatyar and other warlords began a civil war in Afghanistan, which led to the deaths of around 50,000 civilians in Kabul alone. In the meantime, Hekmatyar was promoted to becoming Prime Minister of Afghanistan from 1993 to 1994 and again briefly in 1996. This was followed by the Taliban takeover of Kabul and Hekmatyar's escape to Iran's capital for safety. One of the most controversial of the mujahideen commanders, he has been accused of spending "more time fighting other Mujahideen than killing Soviets." Except his followers, he is a much hated figure among ordinary Afghans due to his involement in the ruthless killings of many civilians. He is even on the target list of the Taliban from southern Afghanistan. It is believed that he communicates with the world through Zabiullah Mujahid.
Sultan-ul-Hind, Moinuddin Chishti was born in 1141 and died in 1236 CE. Also known as Gharīb Nawāz "Benefactor of the Poor", he is the most famous Sufi saint of the Chishti Order of the Indian Subcontinent. Moinuddin Chishti introduced and established the order in the subcontinent. The initial spiritual chain or silsila of the Chishti order in India, comprising Moinuddin Chishti, Bakhtiyar Kaki, Baba Farid, Nizamuddin Auliya, Ashraf Jahangir Semnani, constitutes the great Sufi saints of Indian history.
Nur Jahan born as Mehr-un-Nissa, was Empress of the Mughal Empire as the chief consort of Emperor Jahangir. A strong, charismatic and well-educated woman, she is considered to be one of the most powerful and influential women of the 17th century Mughal Empire. She was the twentieth and favourite wife of the Emperor Jahangir who ruled the Mughal Empire at the peak of its power and supremacy. The story of the couple’s infatuation for each other and the relationship that developed between them has been the stuff of many legends. As a result of her second husband’s, the Emperor Jahangir's, serious battle with alcohol and opium addiction, Nur Jahan was able to wield a significant amount of imperial influence and was often considered at the time to be the real power behind the throne. She remains historically significant for not only the sheer political power she maintained but also for her contribution to Indian culture, charity work, commercial trade and her ability to rule with an iron fist. She was the aunt of the Empress Mumtaz Mahal for whom the future Emperor Shah Jahan built the Taj Mahal. Furthermore she is the only Mughal empress to have her name struck in silver coins.
Muhammad of Ghor
Sultan Shahāb-ud-Din Muhammad Ghori, originally called Mu'izzuddīn Muḥammad Bin Sām, was one of the rulers of the Ghurid dynasty from the famous house of Sur who were rulers of Ghor for five hundred years. He is credited with laying the foundation of Islamic occupation in India that lasted for several centuries. He reigned over a territory spanning present-day Afghanistan, Pakistan and northern India. Muiz-ud-din, son of Sam Suri, nicknamed Shahab-ud-din which means "The Fire of Religion" took the city of Ghazni in 1173 to avenge the death of his ancestor Muhammad Suri at the hands of Mahmud of Ghazni and used it as a launching-pad for expansion into northern India. In the meantime, he assisted his brother Ghiyasuddin in his contest with the Khwarezmid Empire for the lordship of Khorāsān in Western Asia. In 1175 Ghori captured Multan from the Hamid Ludi dynasty which was also Pashtun but were alleged to be un-Islamic on the account of their association with Ismailite Shi'iate sect and also took Uch in 1175. He also annexed the Ghaznavid principality of Lahore in 1186, the last haven of his Afghan but Non-Pashtun Persianized rivals. After the death of Ghiyasuddin in 1202, he became the successor of the Ghurid Empire and ruled until his assassination in 1206 near Jhelum in modern-day Pakistan.
Mohammed Zahir Shah
Mohammed Zahir Shah was the last King of Afghanistan, reigning for four decades, from 1933 until he was ousted by a coup in 1973. Following his return from exile, he was given the title 'Father of the Nation' in 2002, which he held until his death.
Abdul Rashid Dostum
Abdul Rashid Dostum is a former army general during the Soviet war in Afghanistan and considered by many to be the leader of Afghanistan's Uzbek community. He is currently part of the leadership council of the National Front of Afghanistan along with Ahmad Zia Massoud and Mohammad Mohaqiq, as well as chairman of his own political party Junbish-e Milli-yi Islami-yi Afghanistan or commonly known as Jumbish. He is also Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Afghan National Army, a role often viewed as ceremonial. He participated in battles against the Mujahideen fighters in the 1980s as well as against the Taliban in the 1990s.
Amanullah Khan was the Sovereign of the Kingdom of Afghanistan from 1919 to 1929, first as Emir and after 1926 as Malik. He led Afghanistan to independence over its foreign affairs from the United Kingdom, and his rule was marked by dramatic political and social change. He was the first Afghan ruler who attempted to modernize Afghanistan on western designs. However, he did not succeed in this because of a popular uprising by Habibullah Kalakani and his followers. On 14 January 1929, Amanullah abdicated and fled to then neighbouring British India while Afghanistan fell into a civil war. From British India he went to Europe where he died in Zürich, Switzerland, in 1960.
Hafizullah Amin was an Afghan politician and statesman during the Cold War. Amin was born in Paghman and educated at Kabul University, after which he started his career as a teacher. After a few years in that occupation, he went to the United States to study. He would visit the United States a second time before moving permanently to Afghanistan, and starting his career in radical politics. He ran as a candidate in the 1965 parliamentary election but failed to secure a seat. Amin was the only Khalqist elected to parliament in the 1969 parliamentary election, thus increasing his standing within the party. He was one of the leading organisers of the Saur Revolution which overthrew the government of Mohammad Daoud Khan. Amin's short-lived presidency was marked by controversies from beginning to end. He came to power by ordering the death of his predecessor Nur Muhammad Taraki. The revolt against communist rule which had begun under Taraki worsened under Amin, and was a problem that his government was unable to solve. The Soviet Union, which alleged that Amin was an agent of the CIA, intervened in Afghanistan on behalf of the Twenty-Year Treaty of Friendship between Afghanistan and the Soviet Union. Amin was assassinated by the Soviets in December 1979 as part of Operation Storm-333, having ruled for slightly longer than three months.
Mohammed Daoud Khan
Sardar Mohammed Daoud Khan or Daud Khan was Prime Minister of Afghanistan from 1953 to 1963, and later became the President of Afghanistan. He overthrew the monarchy of his first cousin Mohammed Zahir Shah and declared himself as the first President of Afghanistan from 1973 until his assassination in 1978 as a result of the Saur Revolution led by the Communist People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan. Daoud Khan was known for his progressive policies, especially in relation to the rights of women and for initiating two five-year modernization plans which increased the labor force by about 50 percent. However, he was also criticized for heavy repression of dissent, and for promoting nepotism.
Abu Muslim Khorasani
Abū Muslim 'Abd ar-Rahmān ibn Muslim Khorāsānī, or Al-Khorāsānī, was an Abbasid general from the Khorasan region who led the Abbasid Revolution that toppled the Umayyad dynasty.
Zalmay Mamozy Khalilzad is a counselor at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and president of Khalilzad Associates, an international business consulting firm based in Washington, DC. He was the United States Ambassador to the United Nations under President George W. Bush. He has been involved with U.S. policy makers at the White House, State Department and Pentagon since the mid-1980s, and was the highest-ranking Muslim American in the Administration of U.S. President George W. Bush. Khalilzad's previous assignments in the Administration include U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan and U.S. Ambassador to Iraq.
Nur Muhammad Taraki
Nur Muhammad Taraki was an Afghan politician and statesman during the Cold War. Taraki was born near Kabul and educated at Kabul University, after which he started his political career as a journalist. He later became one of the founding members of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan and was elected as the party's general secretary at its first congress. He ran as a candidate in the 1965 Afghan parliamentary election but failed to secure himself a seat. In 1966 he published the first issue of Khalq, a party newspaper, but it was closed down shortly afterwards by the Afghan Government. The assassination of Mir Akbar Khyber led Taraki, along with Hafizullah Amin and Babrak Karmal, to initiate the Saur Revolution and establish the communist Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. The presidency of Taraki, albeit short-lived, was marked by controversies from beginning to end. Taraki launched a land reform on 1 January 1978 which proved to be highly unpopular and, along with his government's other reforms, led to a popular backlash which initiated the Afghan civil war. Despite repeated attempts throughout his reign, Taraki proved unable to persuade the Soviet Union to intervene in support of the restoration of civil order.
Sima Samar is a well known woman’s and human rights advocate, activist and a social worker within national and international forums, who served as Minister of Women's Affairs of Afghanistan from December 2001 to 2003. She is currently the Chairperson of the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and, since 2005, United Nations Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Sudan. In 2011, she was part of the newly founded Truth and Justice party.
Malalai Joya is an activist, writer, and a former politician from Afghanistan. She served as a Parliamentarian in the National Assembly of Afghanistan from 2005 until early 2007, after being dismissed for publicly denouncing the presence of what she considered to be warlords and war criminals in the Afghan Parliament. She is an outspoken critic of the Karzai administration and its western supporters, particularly the United States. Her suspension in May 2007 has generated protest internationally and appeals for her reinstatement have been signed by high profile writers, intellectuals such as Noam Chomsky, and politicians including Members of Parliament from Canada, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy, and Spain. She was called "the bravest woman in Afghanistan" by the BBC. In 2010, Time magazine placed Malalai Joya on their annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Foreign Policy Magazine listed Malalai Joya in its annual list of the Top 100 Global Thinkers. On March 8, 2011, The Guardian listed her among "Top 100 women: activists and campaigners".
Najibullah Zazi is an Afghan-American who was arrested in September 2009 as part of the 2009 U.S. Al Qaeda group accused of planning suicide bombings on the New York City Subway system, and who pleaded guilty as have two other defendants. U.S. prosecutors said Saleh al-Somali, Al-Qaeda's head of external operations, and Rashid Rauf, an Al-Qaeda operative, ordered the attack. Both were reportedly later killed in drone attacks. Zazi underwent weapons and explosives training at an al-Qaeda training camp in Pakistan in 2008. On September 9, 2009, he drove from his home in Aurora, Colorado, to New York City, intending to detonate explosives on the New York City subway during rush hour as one of three coordinated suicide "martyrdom" bombings. Spooked, however, by surveillance by U.S. intelligence, and warned by a local imam that the authorities were inquiring about him, he abruptly flew back to Colorado. He was arrested days later. On February 22, 2010, he pleaded guilty to conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction, conspiring to commit murder in a foreign country, and providing material support to a terrorist organization. He said he was recruited by al-Qaeda in Pakistan for a suicide "martyrdom" attack against the U.S., and that his bombing target was the New York City subway system. Zazi faces a possible life sentence without possibility of parole for the first two counts, and an additional sentence of 15 years for the third count. Sentencing was initially scheduled to take place on June 24, 2011.
Abdullah Abdullah is a politician in Afghanistan and a doctor of medicine. He was an adviser and a close friend of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the Northern Alliance leader and commander known as the "Lion of Panjshir," who was assassinated in September 2001. After the fall of the Taliban regime, Dr. Abdullah served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of Afghanistan from 2001 until 2005. In 2009, Abdullah ran as an independent candidate in the Afghan presidential election and came in second place with 30.5% of the total votes. On November 1, 2009, Abdullah quit the runoff election that would have taken place six days later, on November 7, due to allegations of electoral fraud. In 2010, he created the Coalition for Change and Hope, which is one of the leading democratic opposition movement in Afghanistan. In 2011, the coalition was transformed into the National Coalition of Afghanistan, which is supported by dozens of Afghan political parties and members of parliament challenging the government of Hamid Karzai. He is currenly one of the ten qualified candidates in the 2014 presidential election, which is expected to be held in April of 2014.
Dost Mohammad Khan
Dost Mohammad Khan was the founder of the Barakzai dynasty and one of the prominent rulers of Afghanistan during the First Anglo-Afghan War. With the decline of the Durrani dynasty, he became Emir of Afghanistan from 1826 to 1839 and then from 1845 to 1863. An ethnic Pashtun, he was the 11th son of Sardar Payendah Khan who was killed in 1799 by Zaman Shah Durrani. Dost Mohammad's grandfather was Hajji Jamal Khan.
Abdur Rahman Khan
Abdur Rahman Khan was Emir of Afghanistan from 1880 to 1901. He was the third son of Mohammad Afzal Khan, and grandson of Dost Mohammad Khan. Abdur Rahman Khan was considered a strong ruler who re-established the writ of the Afghan government after the disarray that followed the second Anglo-Afghan war. He became known as The Iron Amir after defeating a number of rebellions by various tribes who were led by his relatives.
Ibrahim ibn Adham
Ibrahim ibn Adham; c. 718 – c. 782 / AH c. 100– c. 165 is one of the most prominent of the early ascetic Sufi saints. The story of his conversion is one of the most celebrated in Sufi legend, as that of a prince renouncing his throne and choosing asceticism closely echoing the legend of Gautama Buddha. Sufi tradition ascribes to Ibrahim countless acts of righteousness, and his humble lifestyle, which contrasted sharply with his early life as the king of Balkh. As recounted by Abu Nu'aym, Ibrahim emphasized the importance of stillness and meditation for asceticism. Rumi extensively described the legend of Ibrahim in his Masnavi. The most famous of Ibrahim's students is Shaqiq al-Balkhi.
Hakim Abul-Majd Majdūd ibn Ādam Sanā'ī Ghaznavi was a Persian poet who lived in Ghazni between the 11th century and the 12th century in what is now Afghanistan. He died between 1131 and 1141.
Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai
Ashraf Ghani Ahmadzai is an Afghan politician and the former chancellor of Kabul University. He is also the chairman of the Institute for State Effectiveness, an organization set up in 2005 to improve the ability of states to serve their citizens. Before returning to Afghanistan in 2002, Ahmadzai was a leading scholar of political science and anthropology. He worked at the World Bank working on international development assistance. As Finance Minister of Afghanistan between July 2002 and December 2004, he led Afghanistan's attempted economic recovery after the collapse of the Taliban. He is usually referred to as Ashraf Ghani, while Ahmadzai is the name of his tribe. Ghani is also a member of the Commission on Legal Empowerment of the Poor, an independent initiative hosted by the UNDP. In the 2009 presidential election, he ranked fourth in the polls, behind Hamid Karzai, his main opponent Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, and Ramazan Bashardost. In 2010, Foreign Policy Magazine placed him in its annual list of the Top 100 Global Thinkers. In 2013, Prospect magazine placed him second in their world thinkers poll.
Mohammed Fahim is an Afghan military commander, politician and the Vice President of Afghanistan since November 2009. He was the Defense Minister of the Afghan Transitional Administration, beginning in 2002 and also served as Vice President from June 2002 to December 2004. Marshal Fahim was replaced by Abdul Rahim Wardak, who was appointed as defense minister by President Hamid Karzai on 23 December 2004 when the transitional administration gave way to a popularly-elected administration. Fahim returned to government however, after Karzai named him as candidate for Vice-President during his re-election campaign. Marshal Fahim is a member of Afghanistan's Tajik ethnic group. He is the recipient of the Ahmad Shah Baba Medal. He is fluent in Persian, Pashto and Arabic, but doesn't speak English. He is affiliated with Jamiat Islami party of Afghanistan.
Jem Alan Cohen is a New York City-based American film maker, especially known for his observational portraits of urban landscapes, blending of media formats and collaborations with music artists. He is the recipient of the Independent Spirit Award for feature filmmaking. "Cohen's films have been broadcast in Europe by the BBC and ZDF/ARTE, and in the United States by the Sundance Channel and PBS. They are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney, and Melbourne's Screen Gallery." He also makes multi-channel installations and still photographs and had a photography show at Robert Miller Gallery in 2009. He has received grants from the Guggenheim, Creative Capital, Rockefeller and Alpert Foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, and other organizations.
Siyar Bahadurzada is an Afghan mixed martial artist currently fighting at Welterweight in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. He has also fought at Middleweight and is a former Shooto Middleweight Champion and has also fought for World Victory Road in Japan.
Atiq Rahimi is a French-Afghan writer and filmmaker.
Fatima Bhutto born, Fatima Murtaza Bhutto on 29 May 1982, is a Pakistani poet and writer. She is granddaughter of former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the niece of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, and daughter of Murtaza Bhutto. She came to public note after the publication of her first book, a collection of poems, "Whispers of the Desert". She received notable coverage for her second book, "8:50 a.m. 8 October 2005". She is active in Pakistan's socio-political arena, supporting her stepmother Ghinwa Bhutto's party the Pakistan Peoples Party, but has no desire to run for political office. Fatima Bhutto was ranked 26th on Desiclub.com's list of the 50 Coolest Desis of 2008. She also writes columns for Pakistani and international newspapers and other publications.
Mawlawi Jalaluddin Haqqani is the leader of the Haqqani network, an insurgent group fighting against US-led NATO forces and the government of Afghanistan. He also fought in the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan, including in the Operation Magistral. By 2004, he was directing pro-Taliban militants to launch a holy war in Afghanistan and hit government targets inside Pakistan. Steve Coll, author of Ghost Wars, claims that Haqqani introduced suicide bombing in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.
Hajji Ali is a Politician in Afghanistan. He previously served as a military commander for the Northern Alliance in eastern Afghanistan.
Abdul Rasul Sayyaf
Ustad Abdul Rab Rasul Sayyaf is an Afghan Islamist politician. He took part in the war against the PDPA government in the 1980s, leading the Mujahedin faction Islamic Union for the Liberation of Afghanistan. During the war, he received patronage from Arab sources and mobilized Arab volunteers for the Mujahedin forces. Sayyaf is said to have been the one who first invited Osama bin Laden to Afghanistan, after bin Laden's 1996 expulsion from Sudan by the otherwise sympathetic Sudanese régime under Saudi, Egyptian, and American pressure. In 2005, Sayyaf's Ittehad-al-Islami was converted into the political party, the Islamic Dawah Organisation of Afghanistan. He has been considered a member of the Northern Alliance, despite his close relationship with militant groups such as Al-Qaeda that opposed it. He has also been accused of having knowingly assisted the two assassins that killed Northern Alliance leader Ahmad Shah Massoud in a suicide bomb blast two days before September 11, 2001.
Farhad 'Darya' Nashir is an Afghan singer, composer and a highly acclaimed music producer and Goodwill and Peace Ambassador for Afghanistan to the United Nations. Widely popular, he has earned affection for not only his music but also patriotism. He has fan base that stretches from his native Afghanistan to Central Asia, Pakistan, Iran, and extending to the West among the Afghans. Farhad sings in various languages including: Pashto, Dari Persian, Uzbek, English and Urdu.
Khwaja Abdullah Ansari
Abu Ismaïl Abdullah al-Herawi al-Ansari or Khajah Abdullah Ansari of Herat also known as Pir-i Herat was a famous Persian Sufi who lived in the 11th century in Herat. One of the outstanding figures in Khorasan in the 5th/11th century: commentator of the Koran, traditionist, polemicist, and spiritual master, known for his oratory and poetic talents in Arabic and Persian.
Abdul Rahman was an Afghan citizen who was arrested in February 2006 and threatened with the death penalty for converting to Christianity. On March 26, 2006, under heavy pressure from foreign governments, the court returned his case to prosecutors, citing "investigative gaps". He was released from prison to his family on the night of March 27. On March 29, Abdul Rahman arrived in Italy after the Italian government offered him asylum. Abdul Rahman's arrest and trial brought international attention to an apparent contradiction in the Constitution of Afghanistan, which recognizes both a limited form of freedom of religion and the Hanafi school of Islamic jurisprudence, which mandates the death penalty for apostasy from Islam. The case attracted widespread international condemnation, notably from the United Kingdom and the United States, both of whom led the campaign to remove the fundamentalist Taliban regime in 2001 and are the main donors to Afghanistan.
Azita Ghanizada is an Afghan American actress in the United States who has appeared in a number of television series.
Naghma is a prominent Afghan singer who started in the early 1970s. She and her ex-husband, Mangal, were a popular musical duo who dominated Afghan music scene during the 1970s and early 1990s. Naghma sings in Pashto and Dari. Her music is popular in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Tajikistan.
Aryan Khan is an actor and a singer from Afghanistan. He has been the host of Souk Ghwari Chi Millonar Shi?, Afghanistan's version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, since the show began in November 2008. He also performs a musical number at the beginning of each show, singing about the qualifications necessary to become a millionaire. Khan has also been involved in martial arts, modeling, and dancing.
Kamāl ud-Dīn Behzād
Kamāl ud-Dīn Behzād, also known as Kamal al-din Bihzad or Kamaleddin Behzad, was a Persian painter and head of the royal ateliers in Herat and Tabriz during the late Timurid and early Safavid periods.
Olympic Taekwondo Athlete
Rohullah Nikpai is an Afghan taekwondo practitioner and two-time Olympic bronze medalist. He is an ethnic Hazara.
Ikhtiyar Uddin Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khilji
Ikhtiyar Uddin Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khilji was a Turkic military general of Qutb-ud-din Aybak.
Ahmed Wali Karzai
Ahmed Wali Karzai was a prominent politician in Afghanistan and the younger paternal half-brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai and son of Abdul Ahad Karzai. As an elder of the Popalzai Pashtun tribe, he was elected to the Kandahar Provincial Council in 2005 and served as its chairman. Karzai formerly lived in the U.S. city of Chicago, Illinois, where he worked in a restaurant owned by his family. He returned to Afghanistan following the removal of the Taliban government in late 2001. He was shot and killed by one of his bodyguards on July 12, 2011.
Abdul Ali Mazari
Abdul Ali Mazari was a political leader of the Hezbe Wahdat during and following the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Mazari was an ethnic Hazara, and believed the solution to the internal divisions in Afghanistan was in a federal system of governance, with each ethnic group having specific constitutional rights.
Mirwais Khan Hotak
Hajji Mir Wais Khan Hotak, also known as Mir Vais Ghilzai, was an influential tribal chief of the Ghilzai Pashtuns from Kandahar, Afghanistan, who founded the Hotaki dynasty that ruled a wide area in Persia and Afghanistan from 1709 to 1738. After revolting and killing Gurgin Khan in April 1709, he then twice defeated the powerful Safavid Persian armies in southern Afghanistan. He is widely known as Mirwais Neeka.
Mohammad Nabi Pashto:محمد نبي عيسی خېل is a right-handed batsman and off break bowler who plays for and captains Afghanistan. He is the current captain of Afghanistan Cricket team. In 2013 Mohammad Nabi was bought by Sylhet Royals for a reported amount of $30,000 to play in Bangladesh Premier League.
Rangin Dadfar Spanta
Dr. Rangin Dadfar Spanta is a Politician in Afghanistan. He served as Foreign Minister from April 2006 to January 2010. After that, he served as Afghan President Hamid Karzai's National Security Advisor. He was appointed to that position by Hamid Karzai during a cabinet reshuffle on March 21, 2006 and approved by the 249-seat lower house on April 20, 2006. He was previously the Senior Advisor on International Affairs to President Hamid Karzai. On January 18, 2010 Zalmai Rassoul became the new foreign minister of Afghanistan.
Amrullah Saleh is an Afghan politician who last served as head of the Afghan intelligence service National Directorate of Security. In 1997, in his mid-20s, he was appointed by anti-Taliban leader Ahmad Shah Massoud to lead the United Front's liaison office inside the Afghan Embassy in Dushanbe handling contacts to international non-governmental organizations and intelligence agencies. After the fall of the Taliban regime, Saleh was appointed by President Hamid Karzai in early 2004 to lead the National Directorate of Security. Due to political differences with Karzai, Saleh resigned his position in 2010. In late 2010, Saleh created one of the strongest Afghan pro-democracy and anti-Taliban movements, the Basej-e Milli or Afghanistan Green Trend, with about 20,000 of his supporters rallying against the Taliban in Kabul in 2011.
Hamid Hassan is a first-class cricketer. Hassan is a 6 feet 5 inches tall right-arm fast bowler who plays for the Afghanistan national cricket team. He has also appeared for the Marylebone Cricket Club, MCC Young Cricketers and Pakistan Customs. In 2012 Hamid hassan was bought by Barisal Burners for a reported amount of $40,000 to play in Bangladesh Premier League.
Yalda Hakim is an Australian broadcast journalist currently working for BBC World News.
Abdul Ahad Mohmand
Abdul Ahad Momand is a former Afghan Air Force aviator who became the first Afghan and 4th Muslim to journey to outer space. He became one of Soyuz TM-6 crew members and spent nine days aboard the Mir space station in 1988 as an Intercosmos Research Cosmonaut. He became the fourth Muslim to visit outer space, after Sultan bin Salman Al Saud, Muhammed Faris, and Musa Manarov. Pashto is considered the fourth spoken language in space after he made a telephone call to Afghanistan. Momand is also believed to be the first Muslim who took the Qur'an to the space.
Asadullah Khalid is a politician in Afghanistan. He is serving as head of the National Directorate of Security, which is the domestic intelligence agency of Afghanistan, similar to the United States Department of Homeland Security. Before his appointment as the head of the NDS in September 2012, Khalid served as the Minister of Tribal and Border Affairs. Between 2005 and 2008, he was the Governor of Kandahar Province and prior to that as Governor of Ghazni Province. Khalid is said to be affiliated with the Islamic Dawah Organisation of Afghanistan and has been noted as one of many loyalists of Afghan President Hamid Karzai.
Habibullāh Kalakāni, also known as Bach-e-Saqaow, was Emir of Afghanistan from January to October 1929 after deposing Amanullah Khan with the help of various Afghan tribes who opposed modernization of Afghanistan. After gaining power in Kabul, he named himself Habībullāh Khādem-e Dīn-e Rasūlallāh. He was himself defeated and overthrown nine months later by Mohammed Nadir Khan.
The Imperial Princess Gulbadan Begum was a Perso-Turkic Princess, the daughter of Emperor Babur of India, she is most known as the author of Humayun Nama, the account of the life of her half-brother, Humayun. Later, her nephew, Prince Jalal-ud-Dīn ascended the imperial throne as Emperor Akbar the Great. She was also the paternal aunt of Akbar's chief consort, Empress Ruqaiya Sultan Begum. Her name means literally "with a body like a rose flower" in Persian. She was a descendant of the lines of highest Central Asian aristocracy: Timur through his son Miran Shah, and Genghis Khan through his son Chagatai Khan. Her mother was Dildar Begum and she was half-sister to Humayun, the second Mughal emperor. She also finds reference throughout, Akbarnama, the Book of Akbar, written by Abul Fazal, and much of her biographical details are accessible through the work.
Sultan Husayn Mirza Bayqara
Sultan Husayn Mirza Bayqara was born in Herat in June–July 1438 C.E. to Ghiyas ud-din Mansur Mirza son of Bayqarah Mirza I son of Umar Shaikh Mirza I son of Amir Timur Beg Gurkani. He was the Timurid ruler of Herat from 1469 till May 4, 1506, with a brief interruption in 1470.
Mohammad Mohaqiq is the founder and chairman of the People's Islamic Unity Party of Afghanistan. He had an active role in the war against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, fighting the Soviet Army from the northern Balkh Province. After the withdrawal of the Soviet Union from Afghanistan in 1989, Ustad Mohaqiq was appointed as the leader of the Hezb-e Wahdat for northern Afghanistan. During the rule of the Taliban from 1996 onwards, Mohaqiq remained one of the few Mujahideen leaders who never left the country. He led United Front Hazara resistance forces around Dar-e Suf in Samangan Province and in Yakawlang and Panjab of Bamiyan Province. After the fall of the Taliban, he was appointed as the Vice-President and the Minister of Planning in the interim government of Afghanistan. Due to differences between him and the new Afghan President Hamid Karzai as well as Ashraf Ghani, Mohaqiq was ousted from the cabinet by Hamid Karzai. In 2004, Ustad Mohaqiq ran as a candidate in the Presidential Election. In some provinces like Kabul, Bamiyan, Daikundi, and even in Iran amongst the Afghan refugees, he got the majority of the votes. In the final results, he came in third position with 11.7 percent of the votes after Hamid Karzai and Yunus Qanuni.
Hangama is a popular singer from Afghanistan. She is born as Zohra in 1962 in Kabul. When she became a singer her mother chose the name Hangama for her. She currently lives an exile in Toronto, Canada where she continues her music career. Before her emigration from Afghanistan in the early 1980s, she was counted as one of the most popular female singers of the country. Besides Afghanistan, she is also known in Tajikistan and Iran where she has a fan base Little is known of Hangama's early years. However, she emerged with Ahmad Wali as a very popular musical duo who became the unrivaled singer-couple in mid 1970s. Their first few songs recorded in Afghanistan and the accompanying videos became immensely popular and those songs remain classics of the Afghan music archives. After leaving Afghanistan, in 1985, in Germany, Hangama and Ahmad Wali got married. She gave birth to their son named Massieh Wali in 1986. In 1989, when their son was only three years old, they divorced. After their separation at the beginning of 1990s, Ahmad Wali moved to the United States and Hangama stayed there with their son. In 1995, Hangama got married to Wais Soroor brother of famous singers Walid and Waheed Soroor and moved to Toronto, Canada. In 1996 she gave birth to a daughter named Sara.
Ahmad Zia Massoud
Ahmad Zia Massoud was the Vice President of Afghanistan in the first elected administration of President Hamid Karzai, from December 2004 to November 2009. He is a younger brother of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the legendary resistance leader against the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and against the Taliban. In late 2011, Ahmad Zia Massoud joined hands with major leaders in the National Front of Afghanistan which strongly opposes a return of the Taliban to power. The National Front is generally regarded as a reformation of the United Front which with U.S. air support removed the Taliban from power in late 2001.
Dr. Habiba Sarobi is a hematologist, politician, and reformer of the post-Taliban reconstruction of Afghanistan. In 2005, she was appointed as Governor of Bamyan Province by President Hamid Karzai, which made her the first Afghan woman to become a governor of any province in the country. She previously served as Afghanistan's Minister of Women's Affairs as well as Minister of Culture and Education. Sarobi has been instrumental in promoting women's rights and representation and environment issues. She belongs to the ethnic Hazara people of Afghanistan. Her last name is sometimes spelled Sarabi or Sarubi. Sarobi was born in Mazari Sharif and spent her youth traveling around the country with her father. She later moved to Kabul to attend high school and study medicine at university. After graduating, she was awarded a fellowship by the World Health Organization and moved to India to complete her studies in hematology. During the Taliban rule in Afghanistan, Dr. Sarobi and her children fled to Peshawar, Pakistan, but returned frequently in secret. Her husband stayed behind in Kabul to care for his family. She also worked underground as a teacher for girls, both secretly in Afghanistan and in refugee camps in Pakistan for Afghan refugees. In 1998, she joined the Afghan Institute of Learning and eventually became the General Manager of the entire organization. She was also the Vice President of Humanitarian Assistance for the Women and Children of Afghanistan.
Sibghatullah Mojaddedi or Hazrat Sahib, served as President of the Islamic State of Afghanistan after the fall of Mohammad Najibullah's government in April 1992. He is also the founder of the Afghan National Liberation Front. In December 2003, he served as the chairman of the Loya Jirga that approved Afghanistan's new constitution. In 2005 he was appointed chairman of the Meshrano Jirga, upper house of the National Assembly of Afghanistan, and was reappointed as a member in 2011. He also serves on the Afghan High Peace Council.
Vida Samadzai was Miss Afghanistan in 2003. As the first Afghan woman to participate in an international beauty pageant since 1974, her appearance in a red bikini in the 2003 edition of Miss Earth pageant created controversy in her native country. She also entered in the fifth season of the reality television show Bigg Boss.
Mohammad Yunus Khalis
Mawlawi Mohammad Yunus Khalis was a mujahideen commander in Afghanistan during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. His party was called Hezb-i-Islami, the same as Gulbuddin Hekmatyar's party. The two are commonly differentiated as Hezb-e Islami Khalis and Hezb-e-Islami Gulbuddin. He was a staunch conservative fundamentalist, though not--unlike Gulbadin Hekmatyar, his original commander with whom he severed his ties for being too extreme--a hardliner, and wrote the 1991 treatise "An Appeal to Support the Holy War in the Sudan". After the fall of the communist government in 1992, his forces controlled Nangarhar Province in eastern Afghanistan. Maulvi Mohammad Yunus Khalis was born in 1919 in Khogyani District, Nangarhar Province in Afghanistan and became a powerful figure in his country’s turbulent modern history. Educated in Islamic law and theology, Khalis exercised influence through his conservative vision of Islamic society. Sometimes referred to as the don of Nangarhar, he was also a shrewd politician who wielded considerable power behind the scenes during one of the most turbulent and violent periods in his country’s history.
Abdul Qadeer was a very powerful Pashtun leader in afghanistan who was the head of Eastern Afghanistan Shura and later Vice President of Afghanistan and Minister of Public Works in the administration of Hamid Karzai from late 2001 until his assassination in 2002. Qadeer belonged to the influential Pashtun Arsala family from the Afghan province of Nangarhar in eastern Afghanistan. His brother was the anti-Soviet and anti-Taliban resistance leader Abdul Haq, who was executed in late 2001 by the Taliban. From 1992 to 1996, before the Taliban gained power, Abdul Qadeer was the governor of Nangahar province.
Karim Lala, born as Abdul Karim Sher Khan in Kunar province of Afghanistan, was self proclaimed 'don of Mumbai' in India. He is widely recognized as the founder and pioneer of the Indian mafia in the Mumbai area. He went to work in Mumbai’s docks in the early 1940s via Peshawar, but he rose to prominence, along with Haji Mastan and Varadarajan Mudaliar. Karim Lala and his fellow Mafia leaders were based in Mumbai. They were involved in smuggling jewellery, running gambling and liquor dens, extortion rackets and selling Hashish. Karim Lala was an ethnic Pashtun, he died on February 19, 2002, at the age of 90.
Ustad Jalil Zaland is a veteran singer of Afghanistan's golden music era. He is also a poet and music composer. He is the father of Farid Zaland, Shala Zaland, Soheila Zaland, Wahid Zaland, Mina Zaland, Mirwais Zaland, and Mahmood Zaland. He was one of the early teachers of Ahmad Wali. The Zaland's are Persian speakers, as a result, Jalil Zaland's classic melodies were also highly acclaimed in Iran and Tajikistan.
Abdul Haq was an Afghan Pashtun mujahideen commander who fought against the Soviets and Afghan communists during the Soviet-Afghan War. He was executed by the Taliban in October 2001 while trying to create a popular uprising against the Taliban in Afghanistan in the wake of the September 11th attacks.
Alp Tigin, sometimes spelled as Alptigin, was King of Ghazni Province in what is now Afghanistan between 961 to 963 AD after replacing the Lawiks, a native ruling dynasty. A Turk by origin or ethnicity, he is believed to have ruled this new territory as an extension of the Persian Samanids of Bukhara in the north. He laid the foundation of the Ghaznavid dynasty, which later ruled a vast territory stretching from the Oxus River to the Indus Valley and the Indian Ocean; and in the west it reached Rey and Hamadan. He ruled for around 15 years and died in 365 AH. Previously, Alp Tigin was a general from Balkh who had risen from a mercenary to a general of the Governor of Khorasan. In a political fallout over succession of the Samanids he crossed the Hindu Kush mountains southward and captured Ghazni, located strategically between Kabul and Kandahar in modern Afghanistan, and thereby establishing his own independent kingdom. He was succeeded by his son-in-law, Sabuktigin
Mohammad Ayub Khan
Ghazi Mohammad Ayub Khan was also known as The Victor of Maiwand or The Afghan Prince Charlie and was, for a while, the governor of Herat Province in Afghanistan. He was Emir of Afghanistan from October 12, 1879 to May 31, 1880 and was also the leader of Afghans in the Second Anglo-Afghan War. He is today remembered as National Hero of Afghanistan and is buried in Peshawar.
Gul Agha Sherzai
Gul Agha Sherzai, also known as Mohammad Shafiq, is a politician in Afghanistan. He is the former governor of Nangarhar province in eastern Afghanistan. He previously served as Governor of Kandahar province, in the early 1990s and from 2001 until 2003. As of October 2013, Sherzai resigned from his post as governor and formally announced himself as a candidate for Afghanistan's 2014 Presidential Election.
Sirajuddin "Siraj" Haqqani is a Pashtun warlord and military leader from Afghanistan who fights against American and coalition forces from his base within North Waziristan in Pakistan, where it is claimed he provides shelter to Al Qaeda operatives. The U.S. government's Rewards for Justice Program is offering up to US$5 million US Dollars in reward for information leading to Sirajuddin Haqqani's capture.
Mohammad Ghaznavi ascended the throne upon the death of his father Mahmud in 1030. He was the younger of a set of twins; this circumstance resulted in civil strife. His reign lasted five months before he was overthrown by his twin Ma'sud I, after which he was blinded and imprisoned. Nine years later he was reinstated for a year before being slain by his nephew Maw'dud.
Rābi'a bint Ka'b al-Quzdārī, popularly known as Rābi'a Balkhī and Zayn al-'Arab, is a semi-legendary figure of Persian literature and was possibly the first woman poet in the history of New Persian poetry. References to her can be found in the poetry of Rūdakī and 'Attār. Her biography has been primarily recorded by Zāhir ud-Dīn 'Awfī and renarrated by Nūr ad-Dīn Djāmī. The exact dates of her birth and death are unknown, but it is reported that she was a native of Balkh in Khorāsān. Some evidences indicate that she lived during the same period as Rūdakī, the court poet to the Samanid Emir Naṣr II.
Abdul Karim Khoram is Afghan President Hamid Karzai's Chief of Staff. As the presidential chief of staff, Khoram controls the Government Media and Information Center and therefore the Afghan government's message. Previously he acted as the Minister for Culture and Information also in the cabinet of Hamid Karzai. Khoram belongs the Hezb-e Islami of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar whose military arm takes part in the insurgency against ISAF and the Afghan government.
Dilawar, also known as Dilawar of Yakubi, was an Afghan taxi driver who was tortured to death by US army soldiers at the Bagram Collection Point, a US military detention center in Afghanistan. He arrived at the prison on December 5, 2002, and was declared dead 5 days later. His death was declared a homicide and investigated and prosecuted in the Bagram torture and prisoner abuse trials. The award winning documentary Taxi to the Dark Side focuses on the murder of Dilawar.
Balal Arezou is an Afghan footballer who currently plays as a forward for Norwegian club Asker. He has been capped for the Afghanistan national football team.
Shukria Barakzai is an Afghan politician, journalist and entrepreneur, and a prominent Muslim feminist.
Nawroz Khan Mangal is a right-handed batsman who bowls off break. Mangal captains the Afghanistan national cricket team.
Mozhdah Jamalzadah, often referred to as Mozhdah is an Afghan-Canadian singer, model.
Lieutenant General Shahnawaz Tanai is a former communist general. He was chief of Afghanistan's army under the Republic of Afghanistan. His military positions included Commander of Artillery, Chief of the Army Staff, Chief of the KHAD Intelligence Network and then Minister of Defense during the Soviet occupation in the 1980s. A pillar of the Communist Regime, Tanai later attempted a coup against his former friend and President Mohammad Najibullah, seeking refuge in a hostile Pakistan and working with fundamentalists such as Engineer Gulbadin Hekmatyar. He was a member of the Khalq faction of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan, and leader of at least the majority of the Khalqi faction since its former leader Sayed Mohammad Gulabzoy was exiled as Ambassador to Moscow as part of the political preparation of the Soviet pullout, in September 1988.
Atta Muhammad Nur
Atta Muhammad Nur is a politician in Afghanistan, serving as the Governor of Balkh Province in the north of the country. He was appointed in 2004 by President Hamid Karzai. An ethnic Tajik, he was a high school teacher before the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan which earned him the nickname "The Teacher." He then became an anti-Soviet mujahideen resistance commander for the Jamiat-e Islami. When the Taliban took power in late 1996, Atta Noor served as a commander in the anti-Taliban United Front under Ahmad Shah Massoud. He led operations in the Balkh area.
Mohammad Hussain Sarahang
Ustād Mohammad Hussain Sarāhang was an Afghan musician and best known exponent of hindustani classical music from Kabul Afghanistan. He was the second oldest son of the renowned musician, Ustad Ghulam Hussain. Mohammad Hussain was born and raised in Kharabat, a city famous and conceivably notorious for its musicians.
Abdul Rahim Wardak
General Abdul Rahim Wardak, an ethnic Pashtun, was the Defense Minister of Afghanistan. He was appointed on December 23, 2004 by Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Before this appointment, Wardak was the deputy Defense Minister to the former minister, Mohammed Fahim. During the 1980s Soviet war in Afghanistan, Wardak had been a national Mujahideen resistance leader who fought the Soviet forces. He is an ethnic Pashtun from the Wardak province. His diplomacy has been instrumental in promoting ethnic reconciliation due to his lineage from tribal chieftains with strong Pashtun relationships with all ethnic groups of the country. He is fluent in Pashto, Dari, and English. General Wardak has testified in front of the U.S. Congress, and his counsel is regularly sought, on how to stabilize the Afghanistan-Pakistan region. He met with Richard Holbrooke in 2009, the U.S. special envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, to discuss security with NATO's defense ministers and NATO's supreme allied commander for Europe, U.S. General John Craddock. His on-the-ground knowledge of Afghanistan is widely respected. In 2009, General Wardak spoke at a Washington think tank, Center for a New American Security, where he said "changing course, adopting a new strategy of containment or dropping the idea of a strong central government will be falling into the trap the enemy has laid, helping them to achieve their evil objectives." He signed an accord with NATO commanders for better cooperation and coordination in counter-terrorism operations. August 2012, Wardak resigned after receiving vote of no confidence from the Afghan Parliament due to his pro-United States ideologies. He is also a candidate of the 2014 presidential election.