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 -
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 -
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 -
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.
attempts to unravel the web of deceipt.
posted by adamvasco
on Aug 12, 2009 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
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 -
"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 -