Capital | Tashkent
Population | 27,865,738 (July 2010 est.)
Area | 447,400 SQ KM
Official Language | Uzbek
Holidays | Independence Day, 1 September (1991 – from the Soviet Union)
Currency | Uzbekistani soum (UZS)
Time Zone | UTC +5
Best Time to Visit | April to June (spring)
Connecting with the Culture | Strolling through Khiva’s perfectly preserved historic heart. Enjoying the shaded plaza of Labi-Hauz in Bukhara. Stopping off in laidback Shakrisabz, the hometown of Timur. Crossing the Ferghana Valley, a fertile corridor beneath the majextic Pamir mountains.
Read | Tom Bissell’s Chasing Sea – a journey to the Aral Sea and an insightful look at modern Uzbekistan.
Listen | to the Best of Yulduz, by Yulduz Usmanova, Uzbek diva backed by traditional and modern instruments.
Eat | shashlyk, barbecued mutton
Drink | black tea or ayran- a salty yet thirst-quenching yogurt drink.
In a Word | Yoi bolsin (may your travels be problem free)
Characteristics | White-bearded old men whiling away the day in the shade, cotton fields, covered bazaars, the marriage of apricot brickwork and azure tile work.
Surprises | Sunset in oasis towns, spontaneous welcomes, invitations to family homes.
NEWS ABOUT UZBEKISTAN
Fashionista First Daughter to Release Album
(video googoosha, nochnaya)
(HN, 4/6/2012) - The oldest daughter of Uzbekistan's authoritarian President Islam Karimov says she will soon release a new music album. Gulnara Karimova wrote on Twitter that the songs on the album are "an experiment from trip-hop to soft rock and even pop" & are based on her own life experiences. The 39-year-old Karimova, who performs under the name GooGoosha, is often criticized for her opulent lifestyle in a country where the bulk of the population lives in poverty. Karimova currently lives in Cologny, Geneva, Switzerland, where she is currently the Permanent Representative at the Permanent Mission of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the United Nations Office & other International Organizations in Geneva.