The Hazara Encyclopaedia is a reference which provides a vast breadth of information and knowledge about Hazara as the third large ethnic group in Afghanistan. The majority of Hazaras are Shia Muslims including Ismailis as well as Sunni Muslims; they mainly live in Afghanistan, but there are many living in Iran and Pakistan as well.
The Hazara Encyclopaedia project is one part of a greater and more extensive proposal of the Encyclopaedia of Afghanistan’s Ethnicities, which aims to build a base of knowledge and information of Afghan society and culture as a whole; considering that Afghanistan is comprised of nearly 50 ethnic groups including Pashtuns, Tajiks, Hazaras and Uzbeks, very few extensive and reliable studies have been conducted on them thus far. However, the project will start with the Hazara ethnic group as there are many existing sources of knowledge available, and a number of researchers have studied this group before.
The idea was initially proposed by a number of academics and cultural activists in Kabul in the spring of 2011, with the aim of promoting and strengthening academic research on Afghanistan history and society, especially on its various ethnicities. In early 2012, this idea was discussed among a number of Afghan and non-Afghan researchers outside of the country, which resulted in designing a primary plan on the areas of research, the main components of the encyclopaedia and methods of funding the project.