Fabled Cities of Central Asia: Samarkand, Bukhara, Khiva

Robin Macowan, Author, Robin Magowan, Author, Vadim E. Gippenreiter, Photographer
Robin Macowan, Author, Robin Magowan, Author, Vadim E. Gippenreiter, Photographer Abbeville Press $65 (191p) ISBN 978-0-89659-964-2
Reviewed on: 03/01/1990
Release date: 03/01/1990
In Samarkand, the Soviet city whose fabled mosques stand as testament to its 14th-century Mongol ruler Tamerlane, debt-ridden farmers work 12- to 16-hour days on 30,000-person collective farms. Bukhara, one of the holiest cities in Islam, once had 250 religious academies; today, only one is in use. The third predominantly Moslem city on this visually spectacular tour of Soviet Central Asia is cotton-producing Khiva, whose prosperity once rested on the slave trade--one million people were snatched from Persia in the first half of the 19th century. British travel writer Magowan here teams with Russian photographer Gippenreiter to capture the architecture, people and sights of this region. They show us a paradoxical world where Persian and an ancient Indo-European tongue are still spoken, where women wear blazingly colorful costumes, where going shopping means ``entering into a relationship'' and where Moslem faith persists despite official repression. (Apr.)
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