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Nights out in a New Town

The author travels with Indian sex tourists to Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
posted by reenum on Jan 18, 2014 - 30 comments

Beating out Eden Wood and Honey Boo Boo for the Crown....

The first-ever Miss Uzbekistan is one of 110 pageant queen hopefuls in the 63rd Miss World Competition. The only problem? Apparently, nobody in Uzbekistan seems to know how 18-year-old Rakhima Ganieva won her crown. [more inside]
posted by Ruthless Bunny on Sep 17, 2013 - 34 comments

"Look 'round thee now on Samarcand, is she not queen of earth?"

In the first years of the Fifteenth Century Henry III of Castile sent Ruy Gonzalez de Clavijo as his ambassador to Samarkand. His journey introduced him to giraffes and many other sights unknown to Europeans of the time. Samarkand was then the center of the largest empire in the world, that of Tamerlane the Great (a.k.a Timur), the last of the nomad conquerors. His capital began as a city of the Sogdians, which became an important center of culture and trade, as is recorded in these 7th Century wall paintings. Samarkand was refashioned by Timur and his descendants, the most famous being the astronomer Ulugh Beg, and the Timurid legacy is still visible in Samarkand. After Timur's death, his empire disintegrated, and soon fell into decline, but left enough of a mark to inspire both Christopher Marlowe and Edgar Allan Poe. The Russian Empire conquered Samarkand in 1868, and the city was documented in the early 20th Century in color photograhs by Sergei Prokudin-Gorskii (this one's a favorite) and remained an out of the way place in the Soviet era.
posted by Kattullus on Oct 27, 2012 - 15 comments

The stench of lobbying and corruption

Britain’s secretive lobbying system - one company, Bell Pottinger which has had several more than slightly controversial clients has been exposed boasting that they can influence the British Prime Minister.
Among other briefs they have been advising the despotic Uzbekistan Government - reforms need not be fast. They have also been found to have been editing wiikipedia using up to 20 different accounts.
More on lobbying and a list of relevant related links
posted by adamvasco on Dec 9, 2011 - 13 comments

Congratulations, Mr Karimov!

Congratulations, Mr Karimov! On the eve of your first official visit to Brussels in years, President Islam Karimov of Uzbekistan, you deserve high praise. You have played the long game expertly and outmanoeuvred European foreign-policy makers so deftly that you have become a model of how to shrug off international pariah status. [more inside]
posted by ZenMasterThis on Jan 17, 2011 - 11 comments

Kitab.uz

KITAB.UZ is a website [est. in Sep 2007 by Otabek OGULYAMOV - ed.] dedicated to creation and maintenance of digital historical, literal and cultural works about Southern Uzbekistan. Scholars, students and all individuals who are interested in the following topics are welcomed to browse our pages.
posted by yegga on Aug 31, 2009 - 12 comments

Torture; to investigate or not to investigate.

Scott Horton discusses the latest reports about the pending appointment of a torture special prosecutor with Keith Olbermann. Last week, British judges revealed that the British Secret Services fed questions to the CIA in the full knowledge that the Agency was systematically using torture in interrogations; a clear violation of international law. Meanwhile BBC Newsweek airs "Confessions of an Uzbek KGB officer". Shortly after 11.00 mins in the video Yakobov refuses to comment more on Secret Rendition claiming his life could be in endangered. In a Sept. interview Yakubov's most interesting evidence is that he accompanied a CIA man to an interrogation, and that the CIA man was actually in the room during the torture of a detainee.
bradblog attempts to unravel the web of deceipt.
posted by adamvasco on Aug 12, 2009 - 11 comments

You can censor if you're rich

Craig Murray censored for attacking Alisher Usmanov. Ex UK ambassador to Uzbeckistan; Crag Murray has had his blog dumped by fasthosts and the bloggers (302 so far) fight back. Euro MP Tom Wise repeats some of Murrays allegations which have been published on the European Parliament website. Lots of Shenanigans; The controversy; An extremely rich man was accused of being a Vicious Thug, Criminal, Racketeer, Heroin Trafficker and Accused Rapist Oh, and he also wants to buy Arsenal FC.
posted by adamvasco on Oct 1, 2007 - 14 comments

"...as a Russian and Chinese-led alliance created to counter US hegemony"

The Shanhai Cooperative Organization. [wiki] When Moscow and Beijing engineered the creation of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) six years ago, I am not sure if they foresaw its emergence as an important actor in the international order. Iran, India, Pakistan and Mongolia, currently observers, are lobbying hard to get accepted into this club. The US request for membership was rejected two years ago.
posted by delmoi on Aug 23, 2007 - 14 comments

Bush the Dissident

Bush the Dissident. (WaPo) Background (and previously) here here here here and here.
posted by Avenger on Aug 19, 2007 - 45 comments

at the crossroads - a photographic journey through central Asia

Canadian photographer Christopher Herwig provides a fascinating glimpse of the people and places of 5 of the "-stan" countries of Central Asia. You can see more work and current projects on his flickr page. Noteworthy photo essays: Arsan Baths in Almatry, Soviet Roadside Bus Stops (seen here before), and his recent The Wheelbarrow Operators of Monrovia.
posted by madamjujujive on Apr 11, 2007 - 16 comments

Russia's discomfort with its Muslim minority

Russia's discomfort with its Muslim minority stems from a fear that the higher-than-average fertility of the Muslim population (6-10 children children per woman among Muslims vs 1.5 per woman among non-Muslims) will make the ethnic Russians of eastern-orthodox persuasion a minority within the state. [More Inside]
posted by gregb1007 on Jan 8, 2007 - 43 comments

Silence is Broken

A Disturbance in the Blogosphere: Publishing the UK/US/Uzbekistan Torture Memo. Braving arrest, bloggers have broken the UK’s law of silence with the truth about torture. Bloggers are mass publishing the leaked UK/US/Uzbekistan Torture Memos. The memos are from the correspondences of Craig Murray who was the United Kingdom's ambassador to Uzbekistan. These memos are evidence and a memorandum of record outlining the rendition and torture of US-arrested prisoners in Uzbekistan. From Craig Murray's Memo: 12. On the usefulness of the material obtained, this is irrelevant. Article 2 of the [UN] Convention, to which we are a party, could not be plainer: "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture." 13. Nonetheless, I repeat that this material is useless – we are selling our souls for dross. It is in fact positively harmful.
posted by Dunvegan on Dec 29, 2005 - 246 comments

The Butcher of Andijan

The Butcher of Andijan. Uzbekistan Interior Minister Zakirjon Almatov is currently on an extended visit to Germany. Nothing strange or particularly newsworthy about that, you might think - until you realise that Almatov has been declared persona non grata by the EU as one of 12 Uzbek officials "directly responsible for the indiscriminate and disproportionate use of force" in the massacre of hundreds of unarmed protesters in the east Uzbekistan city of Andijan.
posted by ZenMasterThis on Nov 28, 2005 - 8 comments

The Baburnama

The Baburnama Although Andijan has lately been in the news (NY Times, reg. required) as the site of riots against the US-backed government of Uzbekistan, its lasting claim to fame is that of the birthplace of Babur, the first Moghul Emperor.

Babur authored the Baburnama, often credited as the first Muslim autobiography and an endlessly entertaining read. The book's bloody-mindedness (Amazon's statistically improbably phrases include girth dagger, Uncle the Khan, and turn over the fortress) is leavened by a remarkably humane voice. A must.
posted by since1968 on May 19, 2005 - 8 comments

Friends with villains!

"The OSCE focuses only on establishment of democracy, the protection of human rights and the freedom of the press. I am now questioning these values." -Uzbek President Islam Karimov
Can we really wage an effective war on terrorism by aligning ourselves with villains? Does it strike anyone else as silly that we've justified our invasion of Iraq with the removal of Saddam while pairing with his Uzbek counterpart? Lack of political freedom and rampant poverty has tensions mounting in Uzbekistan(1 2 3 4).
posted by Tryptophan-5ht on Apr 1, 2004 - 19 comments

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