Meaning of UZBEKISTAN in English

officially Republic of Uzbekistan, Uzbek Uzbekiston, or Uzbekistan Respublikasi country in Central Asia. It lies mainly between two major rivers, the Syr Darya (ancient Jaxartes River) on the northeast and the Amu Darya (ancient Oxus River) on the southwest, though they only partly form its boundaries. Uzbekistan is bordered by Kazakstan on the northwest and north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan on the east and southeast, Afghanistan on the south, and Turkmenistan on the southwest. The autonomous republic of Qoraqalpoghiston (Karakalpakstan) is located in the western third of the country. Uzbekistan has an area of 172,700 square miles (447,400 square kilometres). The Soviet government established the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic as a constituent (union) republic of the U.S.S.R. in 1924; Uzbekistan declared its independence from the Soviet Union on Aug. 31, 1991. The capital is Tashkent (Toshkent). officially Republic of Uzbekistan, Uzbek Uzbekiston, or Uzbekiston Respublikasi country in Central Asia that gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991. It is bounded by Kazakstan on the north and west; by Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan on the east and southeast; by Turkmenistan on the southwest; and for a short distance in the south by Afghanistan. The capital is Tashkent (Toshkent). Area 172,700 square miles (447,400 square km). Pop. (1996 est.) 23,206,000. Additional reading Geography Recent accounts from travelers to Central Asian countries include Philip Glazebrook, Journey to Khiva (1992); Georgie Anne Geyer, Waiting for Winter to End: An Extraordinary Journey Through Soviet Central Asia (1994); Scott L. Malcomson, BorderlandsNation and Empire (1994); Colin Thubron, The Lost Heart of Asia (1994); and Charles Undeland and Nicholas Platt, The Central Asian Republics: Fragments of Empire, Magnets of Wealth (1994). On Uzbekistan itself, studies include Edward Allworth, The Modern Uzbeks: From the Fourteenth Century to the Present: A Cultural History (1990), and Uzbek Literary Politics (1964); William K. Medlin, William M. Cave, and Finley Carpenter, Education and Development in Central Asia: A Case Study of Social Change in Uzbekistan (1971); William Fierman, Language Planning and National Development: The Uzbek Experience (1991); James Critchlow, Nationalism in Uzbekistan: A Soviet Republic's Road to Sovereignty (1991); I.A. Karimov, Uzbekistan: The Road of Independence and Progress (1992); and Bakhtiyar A. Nazarov, Denis Sinor, and Devin DeWeese (eds.), Essays on Uzbek History, Culture, and Language (1993); and International Monetary Fund, Uzbekistan (1992), on the economy. History Ren Grousset, The Empire of the Steppes: A History of Central Asia (1970; originally published in French, 1939), although dated, is still the most comprehensive and basically sound survey of the region in English. Denis Sinor, Inner Asia: HistoryCivilizationLanguages, 2nd rev. ed. (1971), serves as a broad overview. Additional works on the region's history include Gavin Hambly (ed.), Central Asia (1969; originally published in German, 1966); Geoffrey Wheeler, The Modern History of Soviet Central Asia (1964, reprinted 1975); and A.H. Dani et al. (eds.), History of Civilizations of Central Asia (1992 ). Various topics on Central Asia are treated in The Encyclopaedia of Islam, new ed. (1954 ). The best short sketch on the region's history is found in Eshan Yarshater (ed.), Encyclopaedia Iranica, vol. 5, fascicles 23 (199091). On Uzbekistan itself, studies include James Critchlow, Nationalism in Uzbekistan: A Soviet Republic's Road to Sovereignty (1991); I.A. Karimov, Uzbekistan: The Road of Independence and Progress (1992); and Bakhtiyar A. Nazarov, Denis Sinor, and Devin DeWeese (eds.), Essays on Uzbek History, Culture, and Language (1993). Edward Allworth David Roger Smith Gavin R.G. Hambly Denis Sinor Administration and social conditions Government In 1992 Uzbekistan adopted a new constitution to replace the Soviet-era constitution that had been in effect since 1978. The new constitution provides for legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government, dominated by a strong executive. Personal liberties generally are protected, but the government is given the right to restrict some of these liberties in certain circumstances. Nationalist or religious political parties are prohibited. A 150-member legislature (the Oliy Majlis, or Supreme Assembly) consists of members elected by territorial constituencies to five-year terms. The legislature has the authority to amend the constitution, enact legislation, approve the budget, and confirm presidential appointees. The president is the head of state and is elected for a maximum of two consecutive five-year terms, though the term can be extended by referendum. The president appoints the cabinet and the high court justices, subject to parliamentary approval, and has the authority to issue binding decrees and repeal legislation passed by local administrative bodies. The highest courts are the Constitutional Court, the Supreme Court, and the Higher Economic Court (for commercial cases), in addition to two high courts for the autonomous republic of Qoraqalpoghiston. Judges are appointed by the president, subject to approval by the legislature. Health and welfare Hospital care for Uzbeks improved after 1924. Death rates at first fell markedly, but new problems later arose in public health because of environmental contamination, especially around the Aral Sea (see above Drainage), and maternal and infant morbidity and mortality rates now rank among the highest in the former Soviet states. The longevity of adult males also continues to lag behind rates elsewhere in the former Soviet republics. The poor quality of health care in Uzbekistan is attributable to discriminatory allocations for health care during the Soviet period and to a lack of sufficient attention to environmental problems by public health officials. Cultural life During the 1980s religious practice surged, transforming many aspects of Uzbek life, especially in the towns of the Fergana Valley and other concentrations of Muslim believers. This resurgence affected the republic's cultural life through the increased activities of religious schools, neighbourhood mosques, religious orders, and religious publishing ventures and through the Islamic Renaissance Party. Over the centuries, the territory of what is now Uzbekistan has produced great scholars, poets, and writers whose heritage has enriched the general culture of humanity. The scholar and encyclopaedist al-Biruni, who lived in the 11th century, produced a series of geographic works about India and a wide range of writings in the natural sciences and humanities. In the 15th century the astronomer and mathematician Ulugh Beg founded a famous observatory in Samarkand. The late 15th-century scholar, poet, and writer 'Ali Shir Nava'i greatly advanced Turkic-language literature and was also a talented artist and composer. The major writers of the early 20th century broke from the Nava'i tradition in their style but continued to revere it in their literary history. In the Jadid era (190020) the foremost modern poets and prose writers included Abdalrauf Fitrat, Sadriddin Ayni, and Abdullah Qadiri, each of whom was bilingual in Uzbek and Tajik. These writers all began as poets and subsequently branched out to produce many of the first modern indigenous plays, stories, and novels of Central Asia. The younger poets Batu, Cholpn (Abdulhamid Sulayman Yuns), and Elbek (Mashriq Yunus Oghli) offered metres and rhyme schemes quite different from the verse composed in the traditions long employed by the poets of the region. Fitrat gained fame and popularity for such prose and poetic dialogues as Munazara (1909; The Dispute), and Mahmud Khoja Behbudiy became known for a stage tragedy, Padarkush (1913; The Patricide). Abdullah Qadiri became known for a first Uzbek historical novel, Otgn kunlr (192226; Days Gone By), and Cholpan introduced a new lyricism in his short poems. Hamza Hakim-Zada Niyaziy was also an early 20th-century playwright and poet later much favoured by Soviet authorities for his simplified, class-oriented plots and subjects. Most of these writers died violently either during the Russian Civil War or, more commonly, in Joseph Stalin's purges of the 1930s. As a result, Uzbekistan's intellectual and cultural life suffered trauma for decades to come. Only since independence have its finest modern authors regained posthumous recognition. During the second half of the 20th century there was a great increase in the number of writers but not in the quality of the writing. Until the 1980s most Soviet Uzbek authors produced tendentious novels, plays, and verse in line with official Communist Party themes. Among the older generation of contemporary authors is Asqad Mukhtar (b. 1921), whose Socialist Realist novel Ap singillr (Sisters; original and translation published during the 1950s), has been translated into English and other languages. Mukhtar, along with others of his generation, effectively encouraged the creative efforts of younger Uzbek poets and authors, a group far less burdened than their elders by the sloganeering characteristic of Soviet Socialist Realism. Among these newer voices, Razzaq Abdurashid, Abduqahhar Ibrahim, Jamal Kamal, and Erkin Wahid, all born in the 1930s, and Rauf Parfi, Halima Khudayberdiy, Muhammad Ali, Sharaf Bashbek, Mamadali Mahmud, all born in the 1940s or later, stand out. Several of these new writers have contributed striking dramas and comedies to the theatre of Uzbekistan. Privately organized drama and theatre were very active in Samarkand, Margilan, Tashkent, and other cities before 1917. In the difficult economic situation of the 1990s, however, the loss of government subsidies led to a drastic decline in theatrical activity, and the cinema and television have further emptied the seats in legitimate theatres. Musical tradition throughout southern Central Asia provides a distinctive classical form of composition in the great cycles of maqoms handed down from master performers to apprentices. Television and radio as well as concert halls offer maqom cycles in live performances. Uzbekistan's cultural heritage includes magnificent monuments in the national architectural tradition: the mausoleum of the Samanid ruler Isma'il I (9th and 10th centuries) in Bukhara, the great mosques and mausoleums of Samarkand, constructed in the 14th and 15th centuries, and many other fine tombs, mosques, palaces, and madrasahs. An interesting recent development is the reclamation, renovation, and reconsecration of many smaller old mosques, some very elegant though badly damaged; these had been relegated by communist authorities to serve as garages, storehouses, shops, slaughterhouses, or museums. Muslim rebuilders now accurately reconstruct these damaged buildings as part of a comprehensive drive to re-create the Islamic life suppressed by the communists between 1920 and 1990. Edward Allworth

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