Some countries are unknown by most people, which unlikely could indicate them on a map. These countries are no fascinating, apparently, is not for their distance. Tajikistan is not an exotic destination, it hasn’t the appeal of Mongolia, is one of the countries in the world farest from the sea. A large part of territory of Tajikistan is more than 4.000 metres above sea, not being the Tibet. But in these remote areas and in these lands swept by the wind there’s a rich past, and a present absolutely interesting.
Only Central Asian country to fall in the civil war after the URSS break down, Tajikistan has different cultures end ethnicities. In the northern part, split from Uzbekistan in 1929, lives a Turkish origin population, the south is linked to the Persian Empire history and Persian origin are the local languages. In Tajikistan arrived Alexander the Great during his campaigns, making it the southest part of Bactria. A territory surrounded from high mountain ranges holding, with Achaemenid legacies, Hellenistic ancestry. Samarkand and Bukhara was Tajik, even if nowadays Tajiks are much less.
Very few known, today Tajikistan is a cross of different worlds, bordering in the East with China (with the region of Xinjiang), in the South with Afghanistan having as well highly unstable common borders with Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. For these the territory of Tajikistan continues to be very important for Russia, which is facing the influence of China in the region and trying to control the Afghan border. Tajikistan is a route for Afghan drug and Moscow fears for Islamic fundamentalism as well. However the Tajik Islam has ever been tolerant, especially in the East, the Autonomous Region of Gorno-Badakhshan, of Ismaili tradition.
To shed light on this country with “one thousand souls” is useful a book published in 2013 by Kirill Nourzhanov e Christian Bleuer: Tajikistan. A Political and Social History. This book is very complete, especially about the contemporary history of Tajikistan. Often journalism deals with some world areas only superficially when particularly important events happen; Tajikistan appears be one of these countries. For this reason this work is precious.
Reaching Tajikistan needs a long trip, not very easy, but absolutely repaying the difficulties. Landscapes are wonderful, particularly in the region of Pamir, where the Bartang river marks the boundary with Afghanistan and with his mud houses villages. In addition, the population here is really hospitable and talented at studies. Tajikistan is a country from the thousand surprises, where the time has stopped, bringing the traveller back to the simplicity of the travel, of the life as well. The Nourzhanov and Bleue’s book is a very useful tool to remember history doesn’t exist only if exhibited, allowing the reader to know better the events of today in an area always been a crossroads of people and cultures.