Category Archives: Tajikistan

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

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

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

Phone calls between the CIS and the United States

Listed below are instructions for calling to/from the CIS (Commonwealth of Independent States, also known as the former Soviet Union)  and the United States. Continue reading

Writing about Yaghnobi grammar

My wife and I spent the fall of last year living with a Yaghnobi family in a village in Tajikistan. It was a fantastic experience. The family we lived with was extremely hospitable. We spent several hours every day sitting around the dastarkhon (tablecloth) with them, their extended family, and neighbors. We will always value the friendships we made there.

My purpose for living in a Yaghnobi community was to study the language and collect material for my MA Thesis. I am a graduate student in the Department of Linguistics at the University of Oregon and plan to graduate in the spring of this year.

I really enjoyed eliciting words and sentences in Yaghnobi, collecting stories, and analyzing the language. Since we lived in the home of Saifiddin Mirzoev who has a doctorate in philology and is head of the department of languages at the Rudaki Institute of Language and Literature, I received a great deal of expert consultation and was able to make tremendous progress in studying the Yaghnobi language.

Now I’m back home in Oregon working and writing my Thesis. I’ve been feeling a bit isolated in this work since I don’t know anyone else who is studying the Yaghnobi language. I’m hoping that this blog will be a medium for connecting and collaborating with other students and scholars of the Yaghnobi language.

 6/13/07 Update: I started a new blog, The Yaghnobi, and all new posts about the Yaghnobi language are being made there.