History of Faryab Province

Faryab is the province of Afghanistan which gained its independent recognition in 1964 after the administrative reforms of 1930s. Before that it was known as Maymana which was a sub-province of Balkh.

The name Faryab takes its name from a famous Islamic philosopher, Al-Farabi also known as Ibn-al-Nadim who belongs to the area founded by Sassanids in the town. The Faryab is a Persian terminology which means “Land irrigated by diversion of river water”. During colonial era, the territory was a part of Greater Khorasan. Faryab has a vast history and has been ruled by various empires time after time.

In 586 BC, Jews entered and settled in this area after escaping from Jerusalem which was under attack by Nebuchadnezzar. At that time the territory was being ruled by Persian. After that Persian gave the area to Greek rulers which was later on claimed by Alexander the Great in 326 BC. Persian reclaimed the area in the 3rd century AD which remained under their supremacy until the 7th century AD.

By 661 AD, northern Afghanistan was conquered by the Arab Muslims. The area encountered a vast battlefield when two of the great cultures of the world (Arab & Persian) collided with each other, not only for the political and geographical supremacy but also for ideological supremacy. This was the end of the Pre-Islamic period and the end of Zoroastrianism & Buddhism in the region. After this the area was ruled by various Islamic dynasties like Samanids, Ghaznavids, Saffarids, Ghurids and e.t.c.

Faryab again witnessed a catastrophe in 11th century when it was invaded by Mongols under the leadership of Genghis Khan. They entered from the north and destroyed all the cities and towns ,including Maymana, that came in their way. Populations massacred, fields and livestock were stolen or burnt. The irrigation system was destroyed. They ruled the area in a decentralised manner by giving the tribal chiefs full independence, this mode of ruling remained in practice till the end of 19th century.

-In 1500, the Uzbek Prince Khanate of Bukhara’s dynasty swept across the Amu Darya. By 1505 he was able to reach to Faryab and surrounding areas. With the support of a large of number of rural Arab population, he ruled the area till the mid-18th century.

In 1748 Ahmed Shah Durrani conquered the territory and it came under the jurisdiction of Durrani Empire.  During the three Anglo-Afghan wars that were fought in the 19th and 20th centuries, the area remained untouched by the British.

During the Afghan Civil War in 1990s the area of Badghis and Faryab province became a frontline between Taliban & opposite forces. In Mid 1990s Ismail Khan exiled to Faryab so that he could rebuild his forces against Taliban but he was betrayed by Abdul Malik Pahlawan who raised the flag of Taliban in May 1997 over the capital of Maymana.

After the fall of theTaliban government, in late 2001, Faryab province is being considered as one of the most peaceful provinces in Afghanistan. Government is now focusing on the development of the province by expanding its agricultural potential. The activity of re-forestation of few areas of the province is being done which has been depleted in recent past.

The Province Reconstruction Team (PRT) was created between 2006 and late 2014 which is being led by Norway. Afghanistan also signed a deal with the China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) for the exploration and development of oil blocks in the region. It is expected that this project will help Afghanistan in earning billions of dollar in years to come. While CNPC was exploring the fuel in the region they also discovered huge deposits of gas reserves in the Andkhoy district of Faryab.


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