About Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan from the perspective of an Egyptian journalist: A trip to Uzbekistan is a journey through time
26 July 2023
Uzbekistan from the perspective of an Egyptian journalist: A trip to Uzbekistan is a journey through time

An article about Uzbekistan was published on the web page of the largest Egyptian newspaper "Al-Ahram" under the heading "Samarkand: a journey through time".

The article is dedicated to the tourism potential of the ancient city of Samarkand and was written by Gad Al-Sharkawi, a correspondent for the Al-Ahram newspaper, who recently paid a visit to Uzbekistan to cover early presidential elections.

The author shares his impressions about the history, culture and traditions of Uzbekistan, the wide tourist opportunities of our country, as well as the diverse Uzbek cuisine.

According to the author, he had a dream to visit Uzbekistan since childhood, especially the ancient city of Samarkand, and see the legendary Registan Square with his own eyes. His longtime dream finally came true in 2023 when he received an invitation to cover the presidential elections in our country.

After the elections on July 9, the journalist traveled from Tashkent to Samarkand together with his guide. As the author quotes, the train, like everything else in this country, was spotlessly clean, and the entire trip lasted just over two hours. High-speed train Afrosiab which operates in the directions of Samarkand and Bukhara is not only clean but also quite fast to take you to the most ancient cities of Uzbekistan and Central Asia.

The journalist had only six hours to discover Samarkand and wanted to see everything in his city of dreams, which is described it as one of the most beautiful and mysterious cities in the world. The author provides the readers with information about Samarkand’s historical sights as the Gur-Emir Complex, Registan Square, the Shakhi-Zinda necropolis, the Bibi Khanum architectural complex and others.

“Despite the fact that I traveled to many countries of the world, Uzbekistan seemed familiar to me - its streets, people, cuisine, customs and history - all this left an indelible impression on me. The trip to Samarkand was a dream come true, where I felt like I got into a time machine and traveled to the distant past.

However, part of the dream remains unfulfilled, since in Uzbekistan you can make a fascinating journey through time in Bukhara, Khiva and other historical cities,"  the author sums up in his article.

For reference, the Al-Ahram publication was founded in August 1875 as the official newspaper of Egypt. With a daily circulation of about one million copies, the newspaper is the largest publication in Egypt and the Arab world. In terms of circulation, Al-Ahram ranks second in the world, behind the American daily The New York Times.

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Did you know?

Uzbekistan is one of only two countries in the world to be ‘double landlocked’ (landlocked and totally surrounded by other landlocked countries). Liechtenstein is double landlocked by 2 countries whilst Uzbekistan is surrounded by 5!

Did you know that Uzbekistan lies in the very heart of Eurasia, the coordinates for Uzbekistan are 41.0000° N, 69.0000°

Uzbekistan is home to the Muruntan gold mine, one of the largest open pit gold mines in the world! The country has 4th largest reserves of gold in the world after South Africa, USA and Russia

Uzbekistan is the world capital of melons. They have in excess of 150 different varieties, which form a staple part of the local diet, served fresh in the summer and eaten dried through the winter.

It is Uzbek tradition that the most respected guest be seated farthest from the house’s entrance.

Tashkent’s metro features chandeliers, marble pillars and ceilings, granite, and engraved metal. It has been called one of the most beautiful train stations in the world.

The Uzbek master chef is able to cook in just one caldron enough plov to serve a thousand men.

When you are a host to someone, it is your duty to fill their cups with for the whole time they are with you.  What you must not do, however, is to fill their cup more than half-full.  If you do that as a mistake, say it is a mistake immediately.  Doing it means you want them to leave.  Wow!  Amazing, right?

To Uzbeks, respect means a whole lot.  For this reason they love it if, even as foreigners, you endeavour to add the respectful suffix opa after a woman's name; and aka after a man's.  Example: Linda-opa and David-aka.  You could also use hon and jon respectively.

Having been an historic crossroads for centuries as part of various ancient empires, Uzbekistan’s food is very eclectic. It has its roots in Iranian, Arab, Indian, Russian and Chinese cuisine.

Though identified with the Persia, the Zoroastrism probably originated in Bactria or Sogdiana. Many distinguished scholars share an opinion that Zoroastrianism had originated in the ancient Khorezm. Indeed, today in the world there were found 63 Zoroastrian monuments, including those in Iran, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. Thirty-eight of them are in Uzbekistan, whereas 17 of these monuments are located in Khorezm.

One of Islam's most sacred relics - the world's oldest Koran that was compiled in Medina by Othman, the third caliph or Muslim leader, is kept in Tashkent. It was completed in the year 651, only 19 years after Muhammad's death. 

Tashkent is the only megapolis in the world where public transport is totally comprised of Mercedes buses. And due to low urban air polution it is one of the few cities where one can still see the stars in the sky.

You would be surprised to know that modern TV was born in Tashkent. No joke! The picture of moving objects was transmitted by radio first time in the world in Tashkent on 26 of July 1928 by inventors B.P. Grabovsky and I.F. Belansky.

Uzbekistan is the only country in the world all of whose neighbours have their names ending in STAN. This is also the only country in Central Asia that borders all of the countries of this region

Uzbeks are the third populous Turkik ethnicity in the world after Turks and Azeris (leaving both in Azerbaijan and Iran)

Did you know that there was silk money in Khiva? Super interesting right? Of course, but the best part of having silk money was that it could be sewn into your clothing.

Famous Islamic physician Ibn Sina (Avicenna in the Latin world) who was born near Bukhara was the one of the first people to advocate using women’s hair as suture material – about 1400 years ago.

Uzbekistan has a long and bloody history. The most notorious leader of Uzbekistan was Timur (or Tamerlane) who claimed descent from Genghis Khan. His military campaigns have been credited for wiping out some 5% of the world’s population at the time.

If you have thought that some of the Islamic architecture in Uzbekistan resembles that from Northern India, then that is because Timur’s great great great Grandson, Babur Beg, was the founder of the Moghul Empire that ruled much of India for almost four centuries! Babur’s great great Grandson was Shah Jahan, who built the Taj Mahal.

Uzbekistan was once a rum producig country. There is still a real arboretum in Denau (city near Termez on the border with Afghanistan), grown from a selection station that studied the prospects of plant growing in the unusual for the Soviet Union subtropical climate of Surkhandarya region: only here in the whole of the USSR sugar cane was grown and even rum was produced!

Uzbekistan has been ranked one of the safest countries in the world, according to a new global poll. The annual Gallup Global Law and Order asked if people felt safe walking at night and whether they had been victims of crime. The survey placed Uzbekistan 5th out of 135 countries, while the UK was 21st and the US 35th. Top five safest countries:

  • Singapore
  • Norway
  • Iceland
  • Finland
  • Uzbekistan
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