Timur’s scholarly grandson, Ulugh Beg, was more interested in the stars above then following in his grandfathers footsteps in the battlefields below. His life’s ambition was to make his city of Samarkand the center of Islamic education and did this by inviting many other scholars to teach, study and conduct research inside the Registan. Kazu-ZadeContinue reading “Duality”
Tag Archives: Uzbekistan
Diary of a Madman
History, largely written by conquerors, depends on what side of it you’re on. How are you remembered Timur? A military genius who was fluent in Persian, Mongolian, and Turkic? A blood thirsty butcher responsible for the death of 5% (at the time) of the world’s population? Or fondly as pictured here in Shakhrisabz as ‘Amir’Continue reading “Diary of a Madman”
The World Shall Tremble
Ambitious warlord, patron of the arts and or just a bloodthirsty and vengeful tyrant? Timur the Great or Timur the Terrible. His reign centered here in Samarkand where many still revere him. He now lays to rest under a tombstone made of jade whose inscription reads: “When I rise from the dead, the world shall tremble.”
I’ve always been entranced by the vibrate tile work exteriors on historic buildings across much of Central Asia and Iran. But why so much blue? Isn’t green the color of Islam? Turns out that in many cultures and languages, there is little to no distinction between the two. Ask a Japanese person what the colorsContinue reading “Color Blind”
Partially restored tiles from the Kuhna Ark in Khiva, Uzbekistan. Before or after? Which do you prefer?
The Ties that Bind
On the streets of old Khiva
It’s the Thought that Counts
Zakāt, or giving alms, is an important part of of many religions and cultures and is frequently left on tombs of historic figures throughout Central Asia. 200 Uzbek Som (UZS), the 3rd largest bill of the state, is worth about $0.07 USD at 2850 UZS to the dollar (black market rate). One hopes their prayersContinue reading “It’s the Thought that Counts”
Parachute of Stars
Details in the ornate overload of Isfandiyar Palace, Khiva.
The area around Dishon-Qala in Khiva is ubiquitous Central Asia: every view contains layers of history to be sifted through at any moment. What arrests your vision first? The ancient fortress in the background? Perhaps the playground with prominent Soviet ‘Cosmonauts to the Stars’ theme? Or perchance the newly painted color scheme reflecting the thoughtsContinue reading “Time Rocket”
The Folly of Man
Old ships rest on the bottom of what was once the harbor in Moynaq, Karakalpakstan. The Aral Sea has retreated hundreds of kilometers to the north leaving a vast seabed exposed to the blazing sun in its wake. When will humanity learn the consequences of its actions?
The 19th century Kalta Minor minaret stands magnificently in the afternoon sunlight. Its architect, having completed only 26 meters of the structure, fled after fearing that he was going to be put to death by the Khan. As good excuse as any I suppose for leaving something so beautiful incomplete.
A Little Time in Japan and Little Time in China
Japan will always be on the top of my travel list. June was spent traveling around the southern parts of Japan. Previous visits were short, but we now had the ability to spend as much time as we liked or could afford on the weak USD. We started in Osaka since a couple of friendsContinue reading “A Little Time in Japan and Little Time in China”