Afghanistan is a country with a rich culture and history. For centuries, it has been home to some of the most talented people in the world. The government is known for its poets, musicians, and artists. Most people think it is all about war and conflict, but there is much more to Afghanistan. Today, Afghanistan is producing some of the most celebrities globally. Here are 20 of our favorite stars from Afghanistan.
20. Hamid Karzai – Politician
Hamid Karzai is a politician who served as the President of Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014. He was born in Kandahar and became involved in the Afghan resistance movement against the Soviet Union in the 1980s. In 2001, he was appointed Chairman of the Interim Administration of Afghanistan by prominent Afghan political figures. He was then elected President of Afghanistan in 2004 and was re-elected in 2009. During his time as President, he worked to improve the country’s infrastructure and economy. He also worked to bring peace to the country by signing a peace agreement with the Taliban in 2014.
19. Khaled Hosseini – Novelist
Khaled Hosseini is a novelist and physician. He was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and moved to the United States in 1980. His debut novel, The Kite Runner, was published in 2003 and became an international bestseller. His second novel, A Thousand Splendid Suns, was published in 2007 and became an international bestseller. Hosseini has won numerous awards, including the American Academy of Achievement Award.
18. Hangama – Ghazal Artist
Hangama is a Ghazal artist who has gained popularity in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. She was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and started her career as a radio presenter in the early 1990s. She started her career at 15 years old when she became the first female Ghazal singer in Afghanistan. She has released several albums and has been praised for her work. In 2008 she won the ATN Award for Best Female Singer.
17. Dawood Savage – Youtube star
Dawood Savage is a YouTube star from Afghanistan. He started his YouTube channel in 2012 and has since gained over 2 million subscribers. His channel is based on gaming, vlogging, and comedy, and he has also appeared in a few Afghan films and TV shows. He is known for his funny and entertaining videos.
16. Aryana Sayeed (Singer)
Aryana Sayeed is a singer from Afghanistan. She rose to fame after appearing on the Afghan version of American Idol in 2012. She has released several albums and singles. She is known for her powerful voice and stage presence. In 2014 she won the Best Female Singer award at the Afghanistan Music Awards. Aryana is also a reality TV star and was a contestant on the Afghan version of Survivor in 2015.
15. Nasrat Haqparast – Martial Artist
Nasrat Haqparast is a martial artist from Afghan parents who is a professional MMA fighter and has competed in the UFC. He was born in german after his parents immigrated to Germany as refugees. When he was 14 yrs old, his parents believed he was overweight, so they signed him up for kickboxing; that is how he started training in martial arts while he was still a teenager. He made his professional MMA debut in 2012 and has since competed in the UFC. He is known for his aggressive fighting style and has a record of 13 wins and five losses. In 2018 he was ranked as the #15 lightweight fighter globally by MMA rankings.
14. Nadia Nadim – Soccer player
Nadia Nadim is a professional soccer player who plays for the Portland Thorns FC in the National Women’s Soccer League and the Danish national team. She was born in Herat, Afghanistan, and moved to Denmark as a refugee in 2001. Nadim began her career with the Danish club Brondby IF. She has also played for Sky Blue FC in the United States and Manchester City in England. Nadim has represented Denmark at the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. Nadia Nadim is the first Afghan-born player to compete in the National Women’s Soccer League.
13. Mohammad Najibullah – Politician
Mohammad Najibullah, also known as Dr. Najib, was the President of Afghanistan from 1987 until 1992, when the mujahideen took over Kabul and established the Islamic State of Afghanistan. Najibullah was a member of the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA), and he became the de facto Head of State after the Soviet-backed government was ousted in 1992. He remained in power until 1996, when the Taliban seized control of Kabul. The Taliban killed Najibullah in 1996.
12. Layla Alizada – Actress
Layla Alizada is an Afghan-Canadian actress. She was born in Afghanistan and moved to Canada with her family at five. She has appeared in several films and television shows, including the hit Canadian show Degrassi: The Next Generation. Layla started her career at 18 years old when she was cast in The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption. She has since appeared in several films and television shows. Alizada is also a model and has appeared in several magazines, including Vogue and Elle.
11. Malalai Joya – Activist, politician, and writer
Malalai Joya is an Afghan activist, politician, and writer. She was elected to the Afghan Parliament in 2005, becoming the youngest person ever to be elected to that body. She was later expelled from Parliament for speaking out against the presence of warlords and criminals in the government. Joya has been an outspoken critic of the Afghan government and the international military presence. She has written a book, A Woman Among Warlords, chronicles her experiences as a politician in Afghanistan. She is currently living in exile due to death threats and has been named one of the 100 most influential women in Forbes magazine.
10. Moinuddin Chishti – Organization founder
Moinuddin Chishti was born in Afghanistan in 1143. He is the founder of the Chishti Order, which is a branch of Sufism. Chishti’s order is known for its emphasis on love, tolerance, and service to humanity. Chishti traveled to India in 1192 and settled in Ajmer. He became a famous preacher and attracted a large number of followers. He also gained the respect of the local ruler, Sultan Ali Shah. Chishti’s tomb is located in Ajmer and is a popular pilgrimage site for Muslims.
9. Azita Ghanizada – Actress
Azita Ghanizada is an Afghan-American actress. She was born in Afghanistan and moved to the United States with her family at three. She has appeared in many television shows, including the hit show Alphas. Ghanizada is also a model and has appeared in several magazines, including Vogue and Elle. She has been named one of the 100 most influential women in the world globally magazine. If you’re looking for a strong and beautiful Afghan woman to admire, Azita Ghanizada is an excellent choice.
8. Annet Mahendru – Afghan American actress
Annet Mahendru is an Afghan American actress born in Kabul, Afghanistan, and moved to the United States when she was four years old. She is best known for her role as Nina on The Americans’ FX series. Mahendru has also appeared in several films and television shows, including Nurse Jackie, Californication, and NCIS. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California, and is married to Australian director and writer Louie Gibson; Louie is the son of Mel Gibson, who is also an actor. Annet and Louie both have a son who was born in 2018.
7. Mohammed Zahir Shah – Politician
According to Wikipedia, Mohammed Zahir Shah was the last King of Afghanistan, ruling from 1933 until he was overthrown in 1973. He has since lived in exile in Italy. Born in Kabul, Zahir Shah was the son of Mohammed Nadir Khan, who would later become King of Afghanistan himself. Zahir Shah was educated in France and Switzerland and ascended to the Afghan throne at the age of 19 following the assassination of his father. During his reign, Zahir Shah oversaw a period of modernization and reform in Afghanistan. He introduced western-style education, abolished slavery, and improved infrastructure throughout the country. He also promoted women’s rights, including appointing the first female minister in Afghan history.
6. Abdul Rashid Dostum – Politician
Abdul Rashid Dostum is an Afghan politician who has served as Vice President of Afghanistan since 2014. He also previously served as Acting President of Afghanistan from 2016 to 2017, following the resignation of President Ashraf Ghani. Dostum was born in 1954 in the Jowzjan Province of Afghanistan. He began his career as a police officer in the 1970s before joining the Afghan Army in 1978. He rose to prominence during the Soviet-Afghan War, leading Afghan forces against the Soviet Army.
5. Hafizullah Amin – Politician
Amin was born in 1929 in Paghman, Afghanistan. He studied at Kabul University and later at Columbia University in New York City. After returning to Afghanistan, he served as the Minister of Foreign Affairs and as the Ambassador to the Soviet Union. He was a General Secretary of the PDP Party from Sep 1979 and died in Dec 1979 due to Ballistic Trauma. He was a member of the Pashtun ethnic group and belonged to the Musahiban branch of the Royal Family.
4. Mohammed Daoud Khan – Politician
Born in Kabul, Mohammed Daoud Khan was the Prime Minister of Afghanistan from 1953 to 1963 and served as its Interior Minister and Defense Minister. According to Wikipedia, he was a crucial figure in creating the Afghan Republic and played a significant role in modernizing the country. Khan was assassinated in a coup d’état in 1978, but his legacy continues to be honored in Afghanistan. In 2011, a street in Kabul was named after him, and his portrait can also be seen on Afghan banknotes.
3. Rashid Khan – Afghan cricketer
Rashid Khan is an Afghan cricketer who plays for the national team and the Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League. He is a spin bowler and bats right-handed who made his international debut for Afghanistan in 2015 and quickly established himself as one of the best spin bowlers in the world. He has played in numerous Twenty20 leagues worldwide, including the IPL, Big Bash League, and Pakistan Super League. In 2019, he was ranked the No. 1 bowler in Twenty20 cricket by the International Cricket Council.
2. Mohammad Qayoumi – Politician
Mohammad Qayoumi is an Afghan-American engineer and politician who has served as the President of San José State University since 2011. He was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 1952. He received his engineering degree from Kabul University before moving to the United States to pursue his Ph.D. at Michigan State University. After several years working in the private sector, he returned to Afghanistan to help rebuild the war-torn country. He served as the associate vice president (Administration) of San Jose State University from 1986- to 1994 and as the Vice-Chancellor (administrative services) from 1995-to 2000 at the University of Missouri-Roll. He then moved back to the United States to take up his current San José State University position.
1. Omar Akram – Artist and Grammy award winner
The first spot goes to Grammy winner Omar Akram. He is an Afghan-American composer and pianist who has been active since 2002. His work includes solo albums, film scores, and contributions to various compilations and benefit albums. His album “Echoes of Love” won him a Grammy Award for Best New Age Album. At four, he began playing the piano and later studied jazz at the prestigious Berklee College of Music. According to Wikipedia, he has released seven albums, including the Grammy-winning Echoes Of Love and Secret Journey. He is most famous for his writing work on Huffington Post and his outstanding music.