Category Archives: Central Asia

Land Beyond the River, by Monica Whitlock « Birds’ Books

Birds’ Books just posted a review of Monica Whitlock’s Land Beyond the River,

An informative journalistic description of the social and political developments in Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan during the 20th century.

The book gives accounts of the turbulent, and unfortunately often violent, recent events in the region such as:

unrest and revolution in Bukhara in the second decade of the 20th century, the Tajik civil war and its resolution in the 1990s, and ongoing displacement of Tajiks due to war, forced migration, and other hardships.

Read the review at: Land Beyond the River, by Monica Whitlock « Birds’ Books

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Online Tajik and Pashto lessons!

The Center for Languages of the Central Asian Region at Indiana University has just made on-line reading and listening lessons in Tajiki, Pashto, Mongolian, and Uyghur freely available via their Intermediate Level Reading and Listening Project.
Continue reading

Everyday Islam–Soviet Anthropologist on Central Asia « Birds’ Books

 Jamela just posted a review of Everyday Islam, a book by a soviet anthropoligist about the tenacity of tradition and failure of sovietization in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. You can read it here:

Everyday Islam–Soviet Anthropologist on Central Asia « Birds’ Books

Iranians and Americans pursue friendship in spite of politics

The headline of this news article, “Unlikely Ties Connect Iran and Portland, Oregon” , instantly caught my attention since so much of my life was shaped by my encounters with Iranians and the Persian language when I lived in Portland. Many of the Iranian-American ties described by Steve Holgate in this article were familiar to me, and some were new. Here are some of the new developments he describes: Continue reading

Tajik Folklorist’s Memoirs–Translation in Progress

Stories from the Land of Springs (Dushanbe, 1996) is the memoir of one of Tajikistan’s most prominent 20th-century folklorists. Rajab Amonov (1923-2002) describes his boyhood in the northern Tajikistan city of Uro Teppa. The book’s attraction lies in its both cultural and historic value. As a folklorist, Amonov details cultural practices still observable in many parts of Tajikistan. Written in the late 20th century, the account also discloses Amonov’s perspective on the changes that took place during the early years of the Soviet Union. Furthermore, Amonov knew the value of story, so his descriptions are couched in engaging narratives. Continue reading

What happened to Iranian Languages and Scripts?

There used to be an excellent web site called Iranian Languages & Scripts (IL&S) at http://iranianlanguages.com, but there has been nothing at this address for several months now. This site had introductory information, samples of writing, and bibliographies for all the languages of the Iranian language family, as well as some good articles on the history of the Iranian language, and on-line texts from the Avesta. If anyone knows a new address for this web site please leave a note with the new URL in the comments at the end of this post. Continue reading

Video of Iran

I found a nice video slide-show of Iran with Persian  background music at this link:

Iran from Another Perspective

Iran scene

This video was posted with along with a plea to take action to prevent the US from going to war against Iran. Personally, I don’t think the Bush administration would make such a foolish and politically unpopular decision. Nevertheless, I do support this effort to promote peace!