Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wheels Down in Tajikistan

Modern Tajiks regard the Samanid Empire as the...Image via Wikipedia
Out of Qatar, the Middle East and into Central Asia - Tajikistan to be precise. A Persian people going back to the Samanids and their empire - a monument (see picture) to the Samanids adorns a central square. 

Dushanbe has changed since my last visit here back in 2008, at least physically.  Less dust, new buildings. The Tien Shen range of mountains is still on the horizon.  There are still police every 20 meters or so on the main street, Rudaki, arbitrarily stopping cars and extorting bribes from drivers on fabricated violations. For Independence Day (September 9) the government raised the largest flag pole in the world for a mere $35 million while sidewalks are still pitted and broken in many places. Some things never change.

More soon from Dushanbe and beyond...
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