About Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan’s heritage included in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register 2023: The Complete Works of Mawlana Rumi and The Qushbegi Chancellery of the Bukhara Emirate
23 August 2023
Uzbekistan’s heritage included in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register 2023: The Complete Works of Mawlana Rumi and The Qushbegi Chancellery of the Bukhara Emirate

This year, UNESCO announced the inscription of 64 documentary collections on the Memory of the World Register, bringing the total number of inscribed collections to 494.

UNESCO Memory of the World Register, along with 62 new documentary collections, now includes two historical archival documents submitted by Uzbekistan, making a total of 64 new items of documentary heritage included in 2023.

2 new documents proposed by Uzbekistan were: The archival collection of The Qushbegi Chancellery of the Bukhara Emirate and the Works of Mavlono Jalaluddin Rumi, which are now included in the UNESCO International Memory of the World Register for 2022-2023. The decision to expand the registry was made at the 216th meeting of the Executive Board of UNESCO.

The Qushbegi Chancellery (administration) of the Bukhara Emirate is a collection of the largest archives of Central Asian rulers in Bukhara. It includes documents reflecting the historical events that took place on the territory of modern Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and partly Afghanistan for over 200 years. It also provides fundamental information about the diplomatic relations of the Bukhara Emirate with Russia, Great Britain, Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Japan, and the United States of America as well as with Khiva and the Kokand Khanates in Central Asia.

The collection is currently stored in the State National Archive of Uzbekistan. All documents in this collection, which has about 9.5 thousand folders, are original and authenti. The documents are written in several languages such as Arabic, Persian, Uzbek, Chagatai, Russian and others.

The second document included in the register, Mawlana’s Kulliyat or The Complete Works of Mawlana Jalaluddin Rumi, represents the complete works of the poet, philosopher, scholar and theologian Rumi, who lived in the 13th century and is considered one of the great Sufi masters of all times. Mawlana Rumi’s works carry deep spiritual philosophy and wisdom, still affecting the whole world with their depth and beauty.

Mawlana’s Kulliyat includes his complete works: Masnavi, Divân-e Shams, Fihe mâ fih (The Discourses), Majâles-e Sab’a (Seven Sermons), Maktubat (The Letters). Rumi’s all works are written in Persian but some of them also include Arabic, Turkish and Greek expressions, which supports the multicultural and international approach of his philosophy and personality even during those times. With thousands of manuscript copies all around the world, Mawlana’s works are translated into numerous languages and still read with love and appreciation all over the world by people of different confessions, nationalities and ages. Mawlana’s works have the greatest academic significance for the study of the history and culture of the people of Eastern countries. The current document was prepared and proposed in cooperation with Bulgaria, Germany, Iran, Tajikistan and Türkiye.

The Memory of the World Program was founded by UNESCO in 1992 to preserve the valuable archival and library collections of the world and to widely disseminate information about the treasures stored in them.

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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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