Thursday, September 15, 2011

Transportation Networks in Central Asia

Greetings Comrades! My sincere apologies for the lack of posts the past two weeks. I have been busy with the beginning of fall semester.

I really enjoy all of my classes, two of which are on Central Asia. The first, "Central Asian Security Issues" is taught by Daniel K. Burghart, who has a wealth of on-the-ground experience in the region. For the first week, we read the first 120 pages of Daniel Hopkirk's "The Great Game," which was a real thrill. Hopkirk brilliantly captures the mystery of the steppe people and the challenges faced by European explorers during the 19th century. My second Central Asian class is a history course taught by Erik R. Scott, a post-doctoral candidate specializing in the Caucuses and Central Asia.

Last week, we were discussing nomadic pastoralism and the various steppe empires throughout history. I had quite a thrill in class last week when Professor Scott put up a picture of Yasawi's Mausoleum in Turkestan as an example of Timurid architecture and the contribution of Islamic scholarship in the region. While I was the only one in class who had visited Turkestan, another girl spent three weeks in Uzbekistan and had visited Samarqand and Bukhara, the bastions of Timurid architecture. Interestingly, she commented that the sites were incredible, but most of the tile work was restored during the 20th century. In Turkestan, the restoration efforts left much to be desired.

Finally, please read my new piece in Central Asian Newswire, "Transportation Networks are Expanding in Central Asia!" Thanks!

1 comment:

  1. Still admiring the poster you gave me from Yasawi's Mausoleum!!