I learnt the legend of how felt was discovered from ten-year old Altynbek, my guide as we rode through Chong Kemin valley on a horse and cart. Altynbek told of a poor boy who stuffed holes in his shoes with wool. After days of walking and sweating it pressed into felt. Continue reading →
The publishing house Hertfordshire Press with the support of American University of Central Asia has launched the first national book launch of Kyrgyz writer Kazat Akmatov in Bishkek
Thirteen Steps of Erika Klaus
The national book launch was held on August 22, in American University of Central Asia. The presentation arose a great interest, there had been more than 30 guests, and among them there were representatives of Transparency International Kyrgyzstan, GIZ National Office, Wakan Tanka Publications и Vrijdag Publishers, and of course journalists from local radio and newspapers. Continue reading →
Fifty kilometers southwest of Kashgar in the remote northwest Xinjiang province of China lies Upal (Opal), a Uyghur market oasis strategically located on the old Silk Road between China and Pakistan. Upal is the final home and resting place of the first man of Turkish words: Mahmud Kashgari (c. 1029-c. 1101) the eleventh century lexicographer of the Divan-I Lugat al-turk, or dictionary of the Turkish language. According to the Encyclopedia of Islam, Kashgari was born Mahmud Kashgari ibn Husayn ibn Muhammad in Barskhan (Barsghan) on the shore of Lake Issyk-kul in present-day Kyrgyzstan (although some sources say he was born in Kashgar, hence his surname) into an aristocratic Uyghur family of scholars connected on his father’s side to the reigning Karakhnid Dynasty. His mother, of Arab descent, was an intellectual named Bibi Rābiy’a al-Basrī after the pious female Sufi saint from Baghdad. Continue reading →
Continuing the Traditions of Kyrgyzstan – in Cornwall
The yurts are tucked into a fold of the valley, hidden from the path. I walk down a steep slope, glimpsing the curve of tunduks. Grass crunches under foot, crispy as it emerges from heavy winter snow. A river rumbles over boulders; delicate white flowers decorate the ground. I can see no other signs of habitation and hear only the water and pheasants calling across the fields. Here, on the edge of wild Bodmin Moor, where sheep and horses graze freely, I feel as if I am back in Kyrgyzstan. In this remote Cornish valley, Tim Hutton is creating a yurt camp where visitors can enjoy the peace of living with nature. He makes the yurts himself using methods learnt in Kyrgyzstan. In this secluded valley, the traditional crafts of Kyrgyzstan are being continued and celebrated. Continue reading →
Irish Senator, Fiona O’Malley, volunteered through VSO (Voluntary Service Overseas) with The State Committee on Youth Affairs, Sports and Tourism of Tajikistan and the local government of Penjkent. Open Central Asia tracked her down to get an exclusive interview.
Please tell us a little bit about your background?
I have been in politics for more than ten years – as a counsellor, TD and Senator. The Prime Minister of Ireland (Taoiseach) appointed me to the upper house of The Irish Parliament in 2007. I am a public servant and believe passionately in my responsibility to represent the people who put me where I am today. Continue reading →
“Seek the strongest colour effect possible … the content is of no importance”
For many centuries the Silk Road was a great highway for the export of luxury goods from China to Europe. Silk, fabrics, porcelain, furs, spices, gems, carpets and other exotic goods of Asia moved along this “road” to the West. In the 19th century the Ikat fabrics from Central Asia became very popular among the traders on the Silk Road. Samarkand and Bukhara became the centres of the finest Ikat fabric production called the Han Atlas, which is a 100% percent natural hand-woven and hand-dyed fabric. Its pattern and design was an indication of luxury, power and high social status. Continue reading →
By Taleh Ziyadov
For centuries, Azerbaijan acted as a natural crossroads for the ancient Silk Road between Europe and Asia and a home to the world’s diverse cultures, religions and peoples. It has also been endowed with abundant natural resources, of which oil has become the most acknowledged and remembered. Continue reading →