Things have never quite returned to pushing the condemned from the top of minarets, but where Mohamed meets Marx, the Soviet regime of terror favoured by Stalin lives on.

The world is largely ignorant of this mumblistan, the seventh most corrupt country in the world, whose government holds so many thousands of innocents in jail under the auspices of the war on terror and whose cotton is boycotted by many western clothes retailers due to slave and child labour concerns.

But the country has extraordinary history. In 1405, within just 30 years, Timur, the country’s national hero, built an empire that stretched from India to Syria, centred on Samarkand, his sumptuous capital. The resplendent buildings of his reign have been restored and rebuilt.

Sounds like an interesting place to visit, no?

For a comprehensive view of my blogs, podcasts, photos and videos, see timothyway.co.uk.

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