Afghan

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Afghanistan, a landlocked country between South and Central Asia, is amongst the largest and populous countries of the world. With a history dating back to the Middle Paleolithic Era, Afghanistan has since then been home to multiple cultures, traditions, ethnicity and military campaigns. Its strategic location as a crossroads helped this Islamic country build up a multi-ethnic society that has people from diverse cultures and background. The ancient Afghanistan’s turn to modernization began during the 18th century. Afghanistan boasts of a long list of peope who have put in their bit to build a nation rich in culture and heritage. Right from Hamid Karzai who served as the first President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan to Fatema Akbari who founded the Gulistan Sasaqat Company, the list is endless. Abdul Ahad Mohmand, an astronaut, was the first Afghan and the fourth Muslim to travel in the outer space. In the field of administrative work too, Afghans made a name for themselves. Mohammad Humayon Qayoumi, once the President of San Jose State University, today serves as the Chief Adviser on Infrastructure and technology to the President of Afghanistan. This section provides you details about the life and works of famous Afghans.
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 1 
Rumi
(Persian Poet)
Rumi
35
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: September 30, 1207
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Balkh, Afghanistan
Died: December 17, 1273

Rumi was a Persian poet and Sufi mystic whose spiritual legacy has been attracting praises for the past 800 years! Often described as the best-selling and most popular poet in the US, Rumi's poems are widely read today in many countries. His poetry has influenced the literary traditions of many languages, such as Pashto, Urdu, Chagatai, and Ottoman Turkish.

 2 
Ahmad Shah Massoud
(Minister of Defense of Afghanistan (1992-2001))
Ahmad Shah Massoud
47
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: September 2, 1953
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bazarak, Afghanistan
Died: September 9, 2001

Ahmad Shah Massoud was an Afghan military commander and politician. From 1979 to 1989, he played an important role in the Soviet-Afghan War, where he served as a powerful guerrilla commander. He was nicknamed Lion of Panjshir for his role in the war. Massoud was assassinated by Al-Qaeda in 2001. His death anniversary is observed as a national holiday in Afghanistan.

 3 
Mahmud of Ghazni
(Sultan of the Ghaznavid Empire (998-1030))
Mahmud of Ghazni
24
Birthdate: November 2, 0971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ghazni, Afghanistan
Died: April 30, 1030

Mahmud of Ghazni was the sultan of the Ghaznavid Empire on two separate occasions. He first ascended the throne upon the death of his father, Mahmud, in 1030. However, he was soon overthrown by his twin brother Ma'sud I. Years later, he was reinstated as sultan but was soon executed by his nephew Maw'dud. His entire family was also killed. 

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 4 
Muhammad of Ghor
11
Birthdate: 1149 AD
Birthplace: Ghor, Afghanistan
Died: March 15, 1206

Muhammad of Ghor of the Ghurid Empire went down in history as the man who established Muslim rule in the Indian subcontinent and set the tone for the upcoming Mughal dynasty. He ruled over a vast area, which included India, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Iran, among others, along with his brother, Ghiyath ad-Din Muhammad.

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 5 
Ahmad Shah Durrani
(Founder of the 'Durrani Empire')
Ahmad Shah Durrani
11
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 1722 AD
Birthplace: Herat, Afghanistan
Died: October 16, 1772
Ahmad Shah Durrani reigned as the first Emir of the Durrani Empire from 1747 to 1772. Credited with founding the Durrani Empire, Ahmad Shah is also considered the founder of modern Afghanistan. The Durrani Empire thrived under Ahmad Shah's reign and he was succeeded by his son Timur Shah Durrani.
 6 
Annet Mahendru
(Best Known for Her Role as ‘Nina Sergeevna Krilova’ in the TV Series ‘The Americans’)
Annet Mahendru
22
Birthdate: August 21, 1989
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Kabul, Afghanistan

Afghan-American actress Annet Mahendru is best known for her role in the FX period drama series The Americans. Born in Afghanistan, she moved to USA as a young woman and studied improv at The Groundlings. She began acting by taking up small roles in TV shows. Since her debut, she has acted in many films and TV shows.

 7 
Khaled Hosseini
(Afghan-American Novelist and Former Physician)
Khaled Hosseini
5
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: March 4, 1965
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kabul, Afghanistan
Khaled Hosseini is an Afghan-American novelist. He is best known for his debut novel The Kite Runner, which achieved commercial and critical success. The novel spent three weeks at number one position on The New York Times Best Seller list. Khaled Hosseini is also a UNHCR goodwill ambassador and is known for his work as an advocate for refugees.
 8 
Mohammad Najibullah
(President of Afghanistan (1987-92))
Mohammad Najibullah
32
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: August 6, 1947
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Gardez, Afghanistan
Died: September 27, 1996

Mohammad Najibullah was an Afghan politician. From 1987 to 1992, he served as the president of Afghanistan before resigning in 1992. Throughout his tenure as president and leader of Afghanistan, Najibullah preferred nationalism over socialism, abolished the one-party state, and made Islam an official religion. In 1996, he was publicly hanged by the Taliban after they captured Kabul.

 9 
Mohammed Zahir Shah
(King of Afghanistan (1933-73))
Mohammed Zahir Shah
15
Birthdate: October 15, 1914
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kabul, Afghanistan
Died: July 23, 2007

Mohammed Zahir Shah was the last king of Afghanistan, in power from 1933 until he was deposed in 1973. During his reign, he focused on modernizing the economy, improving Afghanistan’s relations with other countries, and creating a new constitution. Following his deposition, he remained in exile for many years before returning to Afghanistan.

 10 
Nur Jahan
(Mughal Emperor Jahangir's Wife Who Exerted Immense Political Influence)
Nur Jahan
0
Birthdate: 1577 AD
Birthplace: Kandahar, Afghanistan
Died: December 17, 1645

Mughal empress and the 20th wife of Emperor Jahangir, Nur Jahan is remembered for her political influence. Though nothing concrete is known about her childhood, it is known that she was initially married to Mughal official Sher Afgan Khan who died in a battle. Jahangir’s reckless lifestyle made her dominate the political scene.

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 11 
Al-Farabi
(Philosopher)
Al-Farabi
2
Birthdate: 0872 AD
Birthplace: Farab
Died: 0950 AD

Al-Farabi was an early Islamic philosopher who explored various fields, such as metaphysics, political philosophy, logic, and ethics. A multi-talented man, Al-Farabi was also a jurist, mathematician, cosmologist, scientist, and music theorist. Al-Farabi is credited with influencing other important philosophers like Moses ben Maimon and Ibn Sina. His work made him famous in the East as well as the West.

 12 
Muḥammad Shah
(13th Mughal Emperor Who Reigned from 1719 to 1748)
Muḥammad Shah
5
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: August 7, 1702
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Ghaznī, Afghanistan
Died: April 6, 1748
Muhammad Shah reigned as the 13th Mughal Emperor from 27 September 1719 to 26 April 1748. A patron of music and other forms of art, Shah also encouraged cultural and scientific developments during his reign. Muhammad Shah's reign also marked the decline of the great Mughal Empire.
 13 
Rashid Khan
(Cricketer)
Rashid Khan
17
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: September 20, 1998
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Nangarhar, Afghanistan

Rashid Khan is an Afghan professional cricket player. Over the years, he has been instrumental in the success of the Afghanistan men's national team and is credited with popularizing cricket in Afghanistan. Widely regarded as one of the best bowlers in twenty20 cricket, Rashid Khan was adjudged the 'ICC Men's T20I Player of the Decade' in 2020.

 14 
Muin al-Din Chishti
(Persian Sunni Muslim preacher and Sayyid)
Muin al-Din Chishti
0
Birthdate: February 1, 1143
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Herat, Ghaznavid Empire
Died: March 15, 1236
 15 
Amānullāh Khān
(King of Afghanistan from 1926 to 1929)
Amānullāh Khān
13
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: June 1, 1892
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paghman
Died: April 25, 1960
Amānullāh Khān reigned as the Emir of Afghanistan from 28 February 1919 to 9 June 1926. He then went on to rule as the King of Afghanistan from 9 June 1926 to 14 January 1929. Amanullah Khan's reign was marked by dramatic social and political change. His attempts to modernize Afghanistan failed due to a revolt by Habibullah Kalakani.
 16 
Mohammed Daoud Khan
(1st President of Afghanistan)
Mohammed Daoud Khan
8
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: July 18, 1909
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kabul
Died: April 28, 1978
Mohammed Daoud Khan was an Afghan general and politician. He is best remembered for his service as the Prime Minister of Afghanistan from 1953 to 1963. He also served as the first President of Afghanistan from 17 July 1973 to 28 April 1978. Mohammed Daoud Khan helped overthrow the monarchy in Afghanistan as he led the 1973 Afghan coup d'état.
 17 
Nadia Nadim
(Association football player)
Nadia Nadim
15
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 2, 1988
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Herat, Afghanistan
 18 
Hafizullah Amin
(Former Foreign Minister of Afghanistan)
Hafizullah Amin
6
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: August 1, 1929
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Paghman
Died: December 27, 1979
Hafizullah Amin was an Afghan politician, teacher, and communist revolutionary. He is credited with co-founding the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan. He is best remembered for his service as the Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1 May 1978 to 28 July 1979. An influential politician, Hafizullah Amin also served as the Minister of National Defence in 1979.
 19 
Mohammad Nabi
(Cricketer)
Mohammad Nabi
7
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 1, 1985
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Logar Province
 20 
Mujeeb Zadran
(Afghan cricketer)
Mujeeb Zadran
6
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: March 28, 2001
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Khost
 21 
Abdur Rahman Khan
(Emir of Afghanistan from 1880 to 1901)
Abdur Rahman Khan
5
Birthdate: 1844 AD
Birthplace: Kabul, Afghanistan
Died: October 1, 1901
Abdur Rahman Khan reigned as the Emir of Afghanistan from 31 May 1880 until his demise on 1 October 1901. He is credited with uniting Afghanistan after years of internal fighting. The greatest Afghan military genius of all time, Abdur Rahman Khan fought more than 40 rebellions throughout his rule. 
 22 
Mohammed Nadir Shah
(King of Afghanistan from 1929 to 1933)
Mohammed Nadir Shah
7
Birthdate: April 9, 1883
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Dehradun
Died: November 9, 1933
Mohammed Nadir Shah reigned as the King of Afghanistan from 1929 until his murder in 1933. Prior to his role as the king of Afghanistan, Nadir Khan served as Minister of War and as a general in the Armed Forces of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. He was also a diplomat and served as the Afghan Ambassador to France.
 23 
Ahmad Zahir
(Singer)
Ahmad Zahir
8
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: June 14, 1946
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kabul, Afghanistan
Died: June 14, 1979
 24 
Asghar Stanikzai
(Afghan cricketer)
Asghar Stanikzai
4
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: February 22, 1987
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Kabul
 25 
Jami
(Persian Sunni Poet and Scholar)
Jami
0
Listed In: Writers
Birthdate: November 7, 1414
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Greater Khorasan
Died: November 9, 1492
Jami was a Persian poet best remembered for his achievements as a writer and scholar of mystical Sufi literature. A prominent poet-theologian, Jami was respected and revered for his piety and mysticism. He is also remembered for his analysis and explanation of the metaphysics of mercy. Some of his most popular poetic works are Tuhfat al-Ahrar, Fatihat al-Shabab, and Lawa'ih.
 26 
Sebüktigin
(The Founder of the Ghaznavid Dynasty)
Sebüktigin
1
Birthdate: 0942 AD
Birthplace: Barskhan, Afghanistan
Died: August 5, 0997
Sebüktigin reigned as the Emir of Ghazna from 20 April 977 to 5 August 997 after founding the Ghaznavid dynasty in 977. He expanded his kingdom as far as the Indus River in Pakistan and the Neelum River in Kashmir. Sebüktigin is considered the architect of the Ghaznavid Empire.
 27 
Abu Sa'id Mirza
(Timurid Ruler & the Grandfather of the Mughal Ruler Babur)
Abu Sa'id Mirza
1
Birthdate: 1424 AD
Birthplace: Herat, Afghanistan
Died: February 8, 1469

Mid-15th-century Timurid Empire ruler Abu Sa'id Mirza was the paternal grandfather of Babur, who later established the Mughal empire in India. He had multiple encounters with Timurid princes and went to war with the kingdom of Aq Qoyunlu. He succeeded in reuniting much of the Timurid empire.

 28 
Ahmad Shah Khan, Crown Prince of Afghanistan
(Head of the House of Barakzai)
Ahmad Shah Khan, Crown Prince of Afghanistan
3
Birthdate: September 23, 1934
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kabul, Afghanistan
Ahmad Shah Khan, Crown Prince of Afghanistan is the second son of the former King of Afghanistan, Mohammed Zahir Shah. He was the Crown Prince of Afghanistan from 26 November 1942 to 17 July 1973. After his father's demise in 2007, Ahmad Shah Khan became the Head of the House of Barakzai.
 29 
Babrak Karmal
(Afghan Politician, Revolutionary and General Secretary of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan)
Babrak Karmal
9
Listed In: Lawyers & Judges
Birthdate: January 6, 1929
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kabul , Afghanistan
Died: December 3, 1996
Babrak Karmal was an Afghan politician and revolutionary. He is best remembered for his role as the General Secretary of the People's Democratic Party of Afghanistan from 27 December 1979 to 4 May 1986. Babrak Karmal also served as the Chairman of the Revolutionary Council and as the Chairman of the Council of Ministers between 1979 and 1986.
 30 
Fereshteh Hosseini
16
Birthdate: April 26, 1997
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tehran, Iran
 31 
Habibullah Khan
(Emir of Afghanistan from 1901 to 1919)
Habibullah Khan
3
Birthdate: June 3, 1872
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Tashkent
Died: February 20, 1919
Habibullah Khan reigned as the Emir of Afghanistan from 1 October 1901 until his demise on 20 February 1919. A reform-minded ruler, Habibullah aimed at modernizing his country and worked towards bringing modern medicine and technology into Afghanistan. He also founded a military academy and the Habibia School in 1903.
 32 
Nur Jahan
(Empress)
Nur Jahan
7
Birthdate: May 31, 1577
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Kandahar, Afghanistan
Died: December 18, 1645

Nur Jahan was the chief consort of Mughal emperor Jahangir. She reigned as Badshah Begum of the empire from 1620 to 1627. Nur Jahan is often credited with influencing Jahangir's decisions for much of his reign. She is also remembered for her strength and courage and her skills in hunting ferocious tigers. Her life has inspired many books and movies.

 33 
Azita Ghanizada
4
Birthdate: November 17, 1979
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Kabul, Afghanistan
 34 
Ashraf Ghani
(5th President of Afghanistan (2014 - 2021))
Ashraf Ghani
60
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: May 19, 1949
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Logar, Afghanistan

Afghan politician, academic, and economist Ashraf Ghani is currently serving as the president of Afghanistan. This is his second term. Previously, he held the office of minister of finance. Prior to joining politics, he was a professor of anthropology at numerous institutions. He is also one of the co-founders of the NGO the Institute for State Effectiveness.

 35 
Mohammed Omar
(Afghan Cleric, Political Leader, and Founder of Taliban)
Mohammed Omar
41
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: 1960 AD
Birthplace: Kandahar, Afghanistan
Died: April 23, 2013
Mohammed Omar was an Afghan cleric, political leader, and Islamist partisan fighter. He is credited with founding Taliban in 1994. Omar served as the first leader of Taliban from 1994 until his death on 23 April 2013. Renowned for his reclusivity, Mohammed Omar remains a revered figure within the Taliban
 36 
Demetrius I of Bactria
(Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek King)
Demetrius I of Bactria
1
Birthdate: 0222 AD
Birthplace: Bactria, Afghanistan
Died: 0180 AD
Demetrius I of Bactria was a Greco-Bactrian and Indo-Greek king. He reigned as the king of Bactria as well as the Indo-Greek king from 200 to 180 BC. He conquered extensive areas in present-day Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, and Iran. Demetrius I of Bactria remained undefeated in battles, which earned him the nickname, the Invincible. 
 37 
Mohammad Shahzad
(Cricketer - Wicket-keeper-batsman)
Mohammad Shahzad
6
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: January 10, 1988
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Jalalabad, Afghanistan
 38 
Hamid Karzai
(Former President of Afghanistan)
Hamid Karzai
25
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: December 24, 1957
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Karz
While he initially fought with the mujahideen in the Afghan War against the Soviets and later served as the deputy foreign minister, Hamid Karzai resigned in the wake of internal issues and the rise of the Taliban. Following the US-led mission against the Taliban, he became the Afghan president. 
 39 
Abdul Ahad Mohmand
1
Listed In: Miscellaneous
Birthdate: January 1, 1959
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Ghazni Province, Afghanistan
 40 
Dost Mohammad Khan
(Emir of Afghanistan from 1826 to 1863)
Dost Mohammad Khan
4
Birthdate: December 23, 1793
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kandahar
Died: June 9, 1863
Dost Mohammad Khan reigned as the Emir of Afghanistan from 1826 to 1863. His rule played an important role in the creation of present-day Afghanistan. Dost Mohammad Khan defeated the British in the First Anglo-Afghan War and secured Afghanistan's independence from foreign powers. He is also credited with reuniting Afghanistan after it had split into multiple principalities. 
 41 
Arshi Khan
(Arshi joined the Indian National Congress party to contest the 2019 elections for Mumbai)
Arshi Khan
2
Birthdate: November 29, 1987
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Afghanistan
 42 
Sonita Alizadeh
2
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: 1996 AD
Birthplace: Herat, Afghanistan
 43 
Sanai
(Poet)
Sanai
1
Listed In: Poets
Birthdate: 1080 AD
Birthplace: Ghazni, Afghanistan
Died: 1131 AD

Sanai was a Persian poet whose magnum opus The Walled Garden of Truth is considered the first mystical epic of Sufism in the Persian language. The book expresses Sanai's ideas on God, philosophy, love, and reason. His poetry had a major influence on Persian literature. Sanai’s work also inspired several celebrated poets like Rumi.

 44 
Zarifa Ghafari
(Afghan Politician and Former Mayor of Maidan Shahr)
Zarifa Ghafari
1
Listed In: Activists
Birthdate: 1992 AD
Birthplace: Paktia, Afghanistan
Zarifa Ghafari is an Afghan politician and activist. She served as the Mayor of Maidan Shahr from November 2019 to August 2021. Renowned for her efforts to promote women's rights in Afghanistan, Zarifa was mentioned in BBC's 100 inspiring and influential women from around the world list in 2019. She also received the International Woman of Courage Award in 2020.
 45 
Naghma
(Singer)
Naghma
4
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: April 23, 1954
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Kandahar
 46 
Khalil Sultan
(Amir of the Timurid Empire from 1405 to 1409)
Khalil Sultan
0
Birthdate: September 14, 1384
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Herat, Afghanistan
Died: November 4, 1411
Khalil Sultan reigned as the Amir of the Timurid Empire from 1405 to 1409. The grandson of the Turco-Mongol conqueror, Timur, Khalil declared himself as Timur's successor after Timur's death in 1405. Khalil Sultan was succeeded by Shahrukh Mirza, who took over his kingdom in 1409. 
 47 
Akhtar Mohammad Mansour
(Afghan Militant and Former 'Taliban' Leader)
Akhtar Mohammad Mansour
10
Listed In: Criminals
Birthdate: 1968 AD
Birthplace: Maiwand, Afghanistan
Died: May 21, 2016
Akhtar Mohammad Mansour was an Afghan militant best remembered for leading Taliban from 29 July 2015 until his death on 21 May 2016. He was killed in Balochistan, Pakistan in a US drone strike. After his death, Hibatullah Akhundzada succeeded him as the new leader of Taliban.
 48 
Sibghatullah Mojaddedi
(Former President of Afghanistan)
Sibghatullah Mojaddedi
5
Listed In: Leaders
Birthdate: September 27, 1926
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kabul, Afghanistan
Died: February 11, 2019
Sibghatullah Mojaddedi was an Afghan politician best remembered for his service as the Acting President of Afghanistan in 1992. He also served as the Speaker of the House of Elders from December 2005 to January 2011. Sibghatullah Mojaddedi is credited with founding the Afghan National Liberation Front.
 49 
Rohullah Nikpai
(Taekwondo practitioner)
Rohullah Nikpai
0
Listed In: Sportspersons
Birthdate: June 15, 1987
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Wardak, Afghanistan
 50 
Mozhdah Jamalzadah
4
Listed In: Singers
Birthdate: December 7, 1985
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Kabul