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Afghanistan - Moving stories
Brazil cityscapes - Rio de Janeiro
Encounters - Images of empire
Journeys - Caribbean stories
Passport to the Poles

Afghanistan - Moving stories

Afghanistan, the country is often only seen, heard or read about through the UK media. The images we see are of a land of tribesmen, war and destruction. In fact, Afghanistan has a rich and complex history, a diverse cultural heritage, but has been and continues to be the centre of political, social and economic struggles.

This has been due to Afghanistan's location, at the cross-roads of Asia. The country lies on a crossroads between south, west and central Asia, and the way of life has been influenced by all these regions. There are more than 30 languages spoken in the region - the official languages are Dari (Persian) and Pashtu and many different ethnic groups including Pashtun, Tajik, Hazara, Uzbek and Turkmen.

Key questions

  • Where is Afghanistan?
  • What is Afghanistan like?
  • How do people make a living?  
  • What are the differences between rural and urban Afghanistan?
  • Why do people leave Afghanistan? 


These factsheets provide background information to each of the key questions. They can be used together with the associated downloadable activities to investigate each area. 


Find out more about the images in the gallery above PDF | MSWORD

Online activity

Want to find out how many Afghan people in the UK? Have a look at the interactive graph.

Downloadable activities

The Society's exhibition From Kabul to Kandahar: 1833 - 1933 provides a unique snapshot of the Society’s collection on Afghanistan. Curated in partnership with British Afghan communities, it provides an alternative picture of Afghanistan to that which may be seen in the prevailing media coverage of this country today. This exhibition is also available to hire.


  • BBC News: keep up to date with what's happening in Afghanistan today.
  • Foreign and Commonwealth Office: find out more information about Afghanistan's economy and political situation from the FCO's country profile
  • Afghanistan Online: a website with lots of information about Afghanistan from its history, culture, people, economy and biographies of Afghan people
  • Untold London: read about Afghan history in London and discover why Afghans first came to London
  • Refugee Council: visit this website to go behind the headlines and discover the facts behind the myths
  • British Agencies Afghanistan Group: the BAAG project was set up by British NGOs in 1987 as an umbrella group to draw public attention to the humanitarian needs of the population of Afghanistan and of Afghan refugees in Iran and Pakistan

This theme was developed with support from Frohar Poya Faryabi, the Afghan Association of London (Harrow) and its supplementary school. Workshops were also held with Brondesbury College for Boys (Brent).

Supported by:

Heritage Lottery Fund Esmee Fairbairn Foundation John Lyon's Charity

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