Afghanistan Celebrates 96 Years of Independence
By Srimal Fernando, Global Editor, The Diplomatic Society & Jalal Shams
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani (C) inspects a guard of honour during an event to mark Independence Day at the Ministry of Defence compound in Kabul
Raising the tricolor black, red and green flag of Afghanistan and the singing of the national anthem "Milli Surood" is one of the proudest moments of celebration for the people of Afghanistan. Every year since 1919 the national pride of this great nation swells in a patriotic spirit when Afghanistan celebrates Independence Day on 19th August. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani along with Chief Executive Officer Dr. Abdullah Abdullah on Wednesday 19th August 2015 addressed a large gathering of delegates at a ceremony to mark Afghanistan’s 96th Anniversary of Independence.
The 96th Independence Day ceremony was held at the Ministry of Defence compound in Kabul and was attended by foreign dignitaries, military personnel, high-ranking officials, cabinet ministers and parliamentarians. Today Afghanistan is experiencing a new era of political, socio and economic landscape under the leadership of President Ashraf Ghani.
Afghanistan looks towards a wealthy future in which a new era of development will play a key role. The country has emerged as a unique, dynamic tourist destination preserving its beautiful surroundings, spectacular architecture and its cultural values. Afghanistan saw a revival of the cultural order coming to predominate the entire country in the past two decades.
During its long history, Afghans had to endure numerous invasions from external nations and had been under the rule of various rulers from time to time. Even today the ongoing struggle is to bring peace and stability, rebuilding the war-torn nation and the continuous insurgent attacks receives heavy press coverage around the world. With all this turbulences, this remarkable country maintains a sense of identity with a divinely determined past moving towards a future with optimism.
On the crossroads of South and Central Asia, Afghanistan is a unique destination nestled in a particular geographic landscape endowed with many natural and historical wonders. The country, with enormous cultural richness and uncountable attractions, needs little introduction to many visitors.
Today the capital city Kabul is a bustling rapidly developing place, full of traffic and crowds. Most of the old part of Kabul is filled with narrow lanes leading to bazaars. As the most populous city of Afghanistan there is no end to the breath-taking sites visitors can see in the city. Of the well-known places of interest in the city are the National Museum of Afghanistan, the Kabul University and the Kabul Zoo inaugurated in 1967.
Traveling in this country can be a unique experience for a traveler to discover the culture of Afghanistan. A visit to the country would remain incomplete if the Blue Mosque of Mazar-I Sharif , the Friday Mosque of Herat, the 6th century Bamiyan Buddhist standing statues and the snowcapped Koh-i-Baba mountains in the center of the country did not appear in a traveler's itinerary. If one is to understand and experience the surprises of the cultures of the world, Afghanistan surely is a unique destination not to be missed.