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100204.  Fri Oct 06, 2006 3:40 pm Reply with quote

Afghanistan is now open to tourism for the first time in 23 years. Many people will be curious to see it first hand, especially since it has been on television so much recently.
ABDUL RAHMAN Afghan Minister of Tourism,2002

100211.  Fri Oct 06, 2006 4:17 pm Reply with quote

I think I'll leave it for a bit.

100316.  Sat Oct 07, 2006 4:29 am Reply with quote

I wonder which is safer for tourists, in fact rather than in image: Afghanistan, or Florida?

102045.  Wed Oct 11, 2006 8:18 am Reply with quote

I may be mistaken, but wasn't he the first minister under President Hamid Harzai to be assassinated? The point I'm trying to make is that I would not have thought that the Afghan Department of Tourism was such a controversial portfolio.

gerontius grumpus
110124.  Tue Oct 31, 2006 5:58 pm Reply with quote

The RAF patrolling India's north west frontier between the world wars had to fly sorties over Afghanistan. In the 1920s they flew DH9As, later converting to Hawker Harts. If they had thebad fortune to get shot down, pilots and aircrew risked castration by their captors. this led to arrangements being made to pay 'goolie money' to avoid this punishment.

110692.  Wed Nov 01, 2006 1:30 pm Reply with quote

Fortunately by the time I motored through the country in the 1960s this was all in the past (well obviously) but also fortunately nobody told me about this earlier predeliction. If they had done I might have motored a bit quicker.

161024.  Thu Mar 29, 2007 5:06 am Reply with quote

In light of all the recent conflict, I heard they're changing their country's name to Really Really-bad....

181825.  Mon Jun 11, 2007 12:18 pm Reply with quote

I heard once (not sure where from - one of those 'facts' that floats around in the air) that the name 'Afghanistan' is the only word in the English language where the letters f, g and h appear immediately after each other in the order they appear in the alphabet.

181951.  Tue Jun 12, 2007 5:16 am Reply with quote

I certainly can't think of another one, other than Afghan.

181974.  Tue Jun 12, 2007 6:05 am Reply with quote


Yeah, all right, I made it up.

182045.  Tue Jun 12, 2007 8:13 am Reply with quote

Yea, I reckon you did. Although it and HALFGHOUL both get a handful of mentions on Google.

The only ones which would be allowable in Scrabble though are AFGHAN(S) and AFGHANI(S). The latter has two meanings - both a person from Afghanistan (in which sense it would be a proper noun and so not allowed) but also the unit of currency of Afghanistan. The -s plural of that is permitted, even though it would be Afghaniha in Persian and Pashto, which are the main languages of Afghanistan.

182630.  Thu Jun 14, 2007 5:47 am Reply with quote

Is 'Afghani' the only nationality to contain three consecutive letters of the alphabet?

190145.  Wed Jul 11, 2007 8:04 am Reply with quote

grimwig wrote:
Is 'Afghani' the only nationality to contain three consecutive letters of the alphabet?

No it isn't, 'Tuvaluan' also has three consecutive letters.

192652.  Thu Jul 19, 2007 7:35 am Reply with quote

Going back to the name, Afghanistan simply means Land of the Afghans. The name Afghan itself probably derives from the sanskrit word for horsemen - "Ashvaka".

The people of the region were referred to as Ashvakas and over the years this gradually changed to Avagana tehn eventually Afghan.

192830.  Thu Jul 19, 2007 1:53 pm Reply with quote

grimwig wrote:
Is 'Afghani' the only nationality to contain three consecutive letters of the alphabet?

The 14th century book The Travels of Sir John Mandeville mentions the Kingdom of Abchaz (presumably a forerunner of modern-day Abkhazia). So an inhabitant of that kingdom would have been an Abchazi.


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