central asia heritage 1

Central Asia: rebuilding a heritage

I spent a couple of weeks this summer in Central Asia, visiting the Silk Road nations of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. These countries have had a chequered history. From a rich heritage as trading posts, and at the heart of Timur’s vast empire, all three nations have natural beauty but also magnificent historic cities, fortresses, mosques and madrassahs which play a substantial part in their[…]

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turkistan and otrar 04

Turkistan and Otrar: Exploring Kazakhstan’s deep south

We arrived in Turkistan on a Thursday. It was our first day in Kazakhstan; after an overnight train journey from Bukhara to Tashkent, we took a private bus to the border. Kazakhstan was a shock to the system right away; very different from Uzbekistan, less Islamic and less developed, the wide open spaces and long distances were immediately striking. The drive north took us along[…]

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