Editor’s note: In this third part of a special photo series, Muslim Harji of Montreal focuses on Uzbekistan, with some stunning photos of Islamic buildings in the Silk Road cities of Samarkand and Bukhara, as well as the region’s markets and foods.
Following Harji’s photos, we have gone back to 2002, the year when the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. dedicated its annual Folklife to the theme of the Silk Road. We have included a small collection of photos from the historic festival and prepared a brief thematic anthology from a special program book that was published for the festival (the book is now out of print). The Silk Road festival was opened in the presence of His Highness the Aga Khan, whose Trust for Culture provided crucial support for the Festival.
We remind our readers that this post on the Silk Road follows two earlier inspiring pieces by Muslim Harji specifically on the Ismailis of Badakhshan. If you missed the posts (or are new to this blog) we invite you to click on An Ismaili Wedding in the Pamirs Through My Lens by Muslim Harji and The Ismailis of Badakhshan Through My Lens by Muslim Harji.
1. THE SILK ROAD CITIES OF UZBEKISTAN THROUGH THE LENS OF MUSLIM HARJI
Sprawling Tashkent is Central Asia’ss hub and the place where everything in Uzbekistan happens. It’s one part newly built national capital, thick with the institutions of power, and one part leafy Soviet city, and yet another part sleepy Uzbek town, where traditionally clad farmers cart their wares through a maze of mud-walled houses to the grinding crowds of the bazaar. Tashkent is a fascinating jumble of contradictions.
Juma Mosque, Tashkent. Photo: Muslim Harji. Copyright.
The beautiful dome ceiling and skylight, Juma Mosque, Tashkent. Photo: Muslim Harji. Copyright.
Nut and dry fruit vendor, Chorsu Baazar, Tashkent. Photo: Muslim Harji. Copyright.
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