CENTRAL ASIA AND THE SILK ROADS
Silk Road Foundation
For anyone who wants information and historical facts about the Silk Roads, this is a good resource. There are historical chronologies and short biographies of those who traveled the Silk Roads, dating back to 959 BC, timelines, the history of silk, and maps.
Produced by Jeffrey Hays, this site is rich in resources. There are details about the routes, the products, Samarkand, transportation along the Silk Roads, and other important information. In addition, there are a huge number of links to associated sites, some produced by Mr. Hays.
The Silk Road—an e-history
Daniel C. Waugh, Professor Emeritus at the University of Washington, has assembled a group of articles about the Silk Roads. He has written most of the articles himself; they cover the history, the geography, and culture of pastoral nomads, as well as cities, architecture, and works of art. Professor Waugh also participated in the Silk Road Seattle project: http://tiny.cc/wbk46w.
Asia Times Online—Central Asia News
This online journal has a Central Asian section. At the top of the homepage are the most recent articles, and below them is a section, “Best of Before,” with pertinent articles, such as book reviews from the prior year.
Images of Kazakhstan
The Bing search engine provides many images of Kazakhstan. This page has countless maps; one can hover over each map before clicking in order to choose the appropriate one. There are links to many other related images, including the scenery, women, and culture of Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan Virtual Travel Guide
A tour company has produced this helpful guide to Kazakhstan. In the leftside frame are links to subjects that include the history, politics, people, nature, and currency of Kazakhstan. Some subject areas, such as food, also have photos accompanying the article.
URL: http://tiny.cc/x8go5w EurasiaNet, located in New York City, is part of the Central Eurasia Project of the Open Society Institute. This page is devoted to information about Kyrgyzstan. The latest political and economic news is featured on the main page. There are also links to the views of local reporters.
BBC News—Kyrgyzstan Country Profile
This BBC profile is brief but provides a nice overview of Kyrgyzstan, a timeline of its history, information about the current president, and some essential facts. At the bottom of the page is a link to the Kyrgyz Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The link to the English version is http://mfa.kg/index_en.html.
Published in April 2011 by the Washington Diplomat, this twenty-page document covers topics such as energy, tourism, government, history, and investment. It is a sophisticated publication with excellent graphics.
Tourism Authority of Tajikistan
The Tourism Authority has created an informative site about Tajikistan with information translated into English. Along the top of the photo on the homepage are a variety of links to subsidiary subjects on the site. The link labeled “About Tajikistan” connects to the history, geography, and population statistics of Tajikistan and other pertinent subjects.
This English version of Turkmenistan Magazine offers a number of articles about contemporary Turkmenistan. The articles are arranged by category, such as “Society and Economy.” There is ample and broad coverage of the topic of each article.
Uzbekistan, the Gem of the Silk Road (video)
This five-minute video goes from city to city in Uzbekistan, showing images of the people, the landmarks, the bazaars, and the architecture. There is no narration, but each city is labeled as the video enters its region.
National Food of Uzbekistan (video)
URL: http://tiny.cc/fmho5w The mouth-watering and detailed depiction of food preparation in Uzbekistan is the core of this video. The communal nature of preparing food is easily seen. There is a musical score, but no narration. Despite the lack of explanation, the video reveals a great deal.
Samarkand—Crossroads of Culture
UNESCO’s World Heritage List consists of almost 1,000 properties throughout the world that have outstanding value. Samarkand is one of those on the list. In addition to the detailed description of the history and value of Samarkand, there are photos, videos, and documentation of the reasons for designating Samarkand a place of outstanding value.
This is an excellent view of today’s Mongolia. The video is more than an hour in duration. It begins with a look at the nomadic, agricultural life of many citizens and follows with views of the capital, Ulan Bator, with its temples, sidewalk cafés, traffic, and university. A long segment about the Gobi Desert is also shown, as it occupies one-third of the country.
The government of Mongolia produces this site. In the tab near the top, “About Mongolia,” one can find information about a variety of subjects, ranging from the flora and fauna to the weather.
Inner Mongolia (PRC)
The information presented here is fairly concise but is broad enough to introduce the basic facts about Inner Mongolia. It is easy to navigate, as the subtopics are listed in the left-side frame. In addition to the text are a map and other graphics. It is a site created by Jeffrey Hays, referred to earlier in the “Silk Roads” section.
Beauty, the Land of China: Inner Mongolia
Part of a larger site on China, this page provides a brief history of Inner Mongolia, its geography, food, and important cities. There are also brief comments on its population, climate, and other pertinent details.
This article by Gail Lapidus looks at the conflict between Russia and Chechnya in the 1990s and the role, if any, that outside governments can or should play in such struggles. She examines the causes of the conflicts, describes the crises, and writes about the failure of the West and the Russian government to resolve the conflict.
Chechnya: 200 years of background in Four minutes (video)
The bombing in April 2013 at the Boston Marathon prompted this video, produced by The Washington Post. The first section of the video refers to the bombing; the remainder of the video gives a brief history of Chechnya.
An entire column of Web Gleanings was devoted to Afghanistan in EAA Volume 17:2, Fall 2012. The online link to this column is here.