Saturday, November 10, 2007

Uzbekistan; Fergana, Samarkand, and Khiva

We spent about three weeks in Uzbekistan, mostly looking at the beautifully tiled monuments and frequenting bazaars. Uzbekistan bazaars were very orderly, with wide walkways and permanent, uniformly designed shop counters. While walking through the bazaars, many people would stop us to talk, and to give us things-fruit, pottery, a silk purse. The people of Uzbekistan had beautiful, big smiles and many gold teeth. We enjoyed Uzbekistan for its history and its people.

Before entering Uzbekistan we were in Osh, which is a largely Uzbek but was made a part of Kyrgyzstan by Soviet gerrymandering. Here people were very vocal about the government in Uzbekistan, telling us many things about government corruption and repression of peoples rights. These people all believed that they personally were better off and had better lives because Osh was in Kyrgyzstan territory. Once we arrived in Uzbekistan, the people where very quiet about the government. Sometimes we gently tried to draw them out, asking how they liked living here. The response was always "the sun is shining" with a gesture towards the heavens. I always felt very sad whenever I heard this response. We saw a few signs of the things we heard of. Everywhere we went in Uzbekistan there was many government military checkpoints. The Internet was filtered, which is why I was unable to properly update the blog. Many people talked of trying to leave, and some asked us to help them with invitations to America. In Tashkent the police attempted to take us in a small room and search us so they could remove us of our money. We loudly told them no in Russian and they reluctantly let us go.

Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan

Spinning silk thread at the silk factory, Fergana valley

Colorfully dressed women in Fergana

Samarkand, Uzbekistan

Shakh Zindah Mausoleums, Samarkand

The Guir Emir Mosoleum, where Tamerlane was interred, used over 17 Kilograms of gold in its interior decoration

A typical Uzbekistan street

The Registan Madressa complex, Samarkand

Close up of the dome, Registan

Intricate tile work in the Registon

Tile work detail, Samarkand

Beautifully carved door in a mosque minaret. Samarkand

Carved door in the Jewish cemetary, Samarkand

People of Samarkand

Women in Samarkand's bazaar selling ready made salads

Samarkand bazaar

A girl in her school uniform. Samarkand

An Uzbek family, Samarkand

It's the wedding season in Uzbekistan and all the brides look like they are about to be hanged.

Tim on a park bench

Khiva, Uzbekistan

Ladies watching the world from their porch step

Painted ceiling in Khiva

Many of the doors are beatifully carved throughout Uzbekistan

Me, in front of 800 year old carved pillar in a Khivan mosque

The city gate in old town Khiva

1 comment:

Ruslan said...

Amazing pictures of Samarkand.