It’s Uzbekistan! Not Pakistan!


Amina Orzueva , Contributor

Whenever, I tell someone I am from Uzbekistan, they always think I am talking about Pakistan. Yes, Uzbekistan and Pakistan both have, “stan,” at the end of their name. They are both in Asia, and both countries have a predominantly Muslim population. However, they are two different countries!

There is a lot of students at FDR who are from Uzbekistan, but not many people here know about the country. Uzbekistan is located in Central Asia, and it is bordered by Kazakhstan, to the north, Kyrgyzstan to the northeast, Tajikistan to the southeast, Afghanistan to the south, and Turkmenistan to the southwest. Uzbekistan is one of only two, “doubly landlocked,” countries. It is a country completely surrounded with other landlocked countries. A landlocked country is a country that does not have direct access to the ocean.

Uzbekistan has 12 provinces, one autonomous republic, and one independent republic. Uzbekistan’s capital, and largest city, is Tashkent. Uzbekistan was part of the Soviet Union, short for the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics or USSR, was a transcontinental union that spanned much of Eurasia from 1922 to 1991. Uzbekistan gained its independence on August 31, 1991. Uzbekistan is a republic with legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government, dominated by a strong executive. Uzbekistan has only had two presidents! Islom Karimov served for 25 years, until his death on September 2, 2016. Since then, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, has been the president.

The official language of Uzbekistan is Uzbek. Uzbek was derived from Chagatai Turkic which used to be a language used throughout Central Asia. Although a lot of people speak Uzbek in Uzbekistan, there is a group of people whose first language is Tajik. These people mostly live in Samarkand and Bukhara. Uzbekistan has one of the world’s largest open-pit gold mines. It also has the highest level of annual production at 66 tons! The pit is around 3.35 kilometers, by 2.5 kilometers, and at least 560 meters deep. Uzbekistan is the world’s largest gold producer!

Uzbekistan’s famous dish is Plov. Plov is made with rice, carrots, onions, garlic, either beef lamb or chicken, and spices. Plov with Uzbek bread, or “non,” and a salad made with fresh vegetables is the best meal you can have!

Next time, you see an Uzbeki restaurant, I highly encourage you to try the food, you will not regret it!