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Afghanistan

Islamic Republic of Afghanistan South Asia Kabul 31,822,848 inhabitants 652,230 sq km 48.79 inhabitants/sq km afghanis (AFA) population evolution

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

Politician

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

Novelist

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

Actor

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

Monarch

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.

Humayun

Monarch

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

Politician

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

Politician

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.

Mohammad Najibullah

Politician

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