Oasis of Sand

The ancient Silk Road city of Merv in the Karakum desert (Turkic for “Black Sand”) reminds me of a bit of the fate of ancient Carthage. Tracing its origins to the 3rd century BC, it was the largest city in the world in the 12th century only to be razed to the ground some 300Continue reading “Oasis of Sand”

The Pious Payout

When Turkmenistan’s President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedovmade completed his first Hajj, it was the perfect time for citizens of Mary to ask him for the funds needed to finish the building of Mary’s mosque. The money was awarded and the inauguration of the Hajj Gurbanguly Mosque commenced two years later. The President proclaimed its’ opening was “evidenceContinue reading “The Pious Payout”

Friday Evening Traffic Jam, Turkmenistan Style

Don’t you just hate it when you’re on your way to visit a ancient city that’s been abandoned for 500 years and you’re held up by a herd of camels? Yeah, me too. I mean who wouldn’t want to just gawk at these magnificent ‘ships of the desert’ as they slowly made their way alongContinue reading “Friday Evening Traffic Jam, Turkmenistan Style”