Sharaf Rashidov’s 100th birth anniversary: remembering the Uzbek statesman and a writer

This year marks the 100th anniversary since birth of Sharaf R. Rashidov, the first secretary of the Uzbek communist party (in office from 1959 until 1983). Rashidov was born on November the 6th 1917, the day before the Bolsheviks under Lenin seized power in Russia. His birthday seems symbolical as he would become the highest […]

Back in the USSR: The Spirit of Beatlemania in Kazakhstan

The site of a Silk Road oasis laid waste by the Mongols, the modern history of Almaty began with the construction of a Russian piedmont fort in 1854, around which a minor provincial centre grew. Upon hearing that Trotsky had been exiled to Alma-Ata in 1928, one of his enemies quipped that ‘even if he […]

The Shadow of History – The Last Emir of Bukhara

In the orange early morning light, women holding parasols walked their children to school down gravel alleyways filled with the ever present hum of air-con units. Broom-wielding figures in high-viz orange jackets cast bulbous shadows as they swept the dust from side to side. As the sun arced towards its zenith a haze developed, the […]