The high point for me was when I discovered a reader from far away Uzbekistan clicked on the blog, making the 143 blog this country has reached. Literally too pooped to post, too drained when you get home to even want to write.
I sure wish I know who this reader was, and the joy of new readers is my journey into discovery of countries, people, history and my beloved maps.
The central Asian country is one of only two doubly landlocked countries in the world (surrounded by landlocked countries).
|One of the ancient mosques
Samarkand, a major city on the route, contains a landmark of Islamic architecture--the Registan, a plaza bordered by three ornate, majolica-covered madrassas dating to the 1400s.
It's officially a democratic republic with a diverse culture and its official language is Uzbek, a Turkic language written in our Latin alphabet. Russian is also widespread as a language.
|What's left of the huge Aral sea
Uzbekistan also has the world's second highest rate of slavery with 3.97% of the country's men, women and children living in bondage to slave masters in both domestic and industrial labor, being forced to pick cotton for the country's main export. There are currently 1.2 million slaves in the country.
Who's invaded? Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, the USSR. Ever hear of Tamerlane? This is his home, and his real name was Timur. His man name struck terror across the Asian world, seeking to emulate Genghis Khan.
It's interesting to me that in America, we never studied any of this in history. Why?
The flag colors and symbols carry cultural, political, and regional meanings. White stands for peace and purity, while blue represents water and the sky. It also alludes to the flag of Timur. Green epitomizes nature and fertility – though it may also represent Islam – while the thin red stripes represent the "life force" within everyone. The crescent evokes "the rebirth of" Uzbekistan as an independent country, and the Islamic faith practiced by 88 percent of Uzbekistan's population The twelve stars, which signify the months of the Islamic calendar and the as constellations featured in the zodiac.
Thank you Uzbek reader. I learned so much. And you got me back to blogging.