the young and the old
Well, Samarkand is certainly one of the oldest cities, it just recently celebrated ist 2750 anniversary. This is already wicked enough and has mainly to do with the glorious history of the silk road and being in the middle of the trade route between Europe and Asia. The city has seen many rulers over the centuries and every empire set ist mark. There have been the Persians, who were defeated eventually by Alexander the Great. Western Turks and Arabs brought Islam to the area which remained the predominant religion and was only shortly disturbed by Mongolian rule and the soviets. Last named had of course a major impact on the whole region. The Russians sacked Samarkand in 1868 and eventually it became the capital of the new founded Uzbek SSR in 1925, which status it lost five years later. But lets quit the over all definition to a more personalized one. I was invited to work as a German teacher in a languagecamp in the south of Uzbekistan this very summer. I received actually some sort of a diplomatic status, because i was invited by the GTZ, which is dealing with practical support for the development of the region. During the camp i got to know this very special girl called lola. She was quite fit in languages and worked as a guide in her hometown Samarkand. And her heritage already tells a lot about the region. Her father is tadschik, which is the state surrounding the greater country of Uzbekistan. But before the Russians came there was nothing like states in the ares. People mainly lived like nomads and rather referred to their families and tribes than to ruling by a king or a president. The soviets created the first ever known borders and defined as well the languages of the regions. Of course this seems ridicolous, but it had some advantages as well. I hired lola as my guide in Samarkand and seeing old pictures in one medressa of old people wearing turbans I asThis photo was shot on film. Taken by wil6ka with a Lomography Fisheye One (available in our Online Shop). This photo can also be found in the album Uzbekistan Fish.