26th.September – 10th.Oktober 2019, Usbekistan
Uzbekistan is a Central Asian nation and former Soviet republic. It is known for its mosques, mausoleums and other sites linked to the Silk Road, the ancient trade route between China and the Mediterranean.
Uzbekistan has an area of 447,400 square kilometres and is the 56th largest country in the world by area and the 42nd by population. Uzbekistan lies between latitudes 37° and 46° N, and longitudes 56° and 74° E. It stretches 1,425 kilometres from west to east and 930 kilometres from north to south. Bordering Kazakhstan and the Aralkum Desert (former Aral Sea) to the north and northwest, Turkmenistan and Afghanistan to the southwest, Tajikistan to the southeast, and Kyrgyzstan to the northeast, Uzbekistan is one of the largest Central Asian states and the only Central Asian state to border all the other four. Uzbekistan also shares a short border (less than 150 km) with Afghanistan to the south.
Uzbekistan is a dry, landlocked country. It is one of only two doubly landlocked countries in the world (that is, a country completely surrounded by landlocked countries), the other being Liechtenstein. In addition, due to its location within a series of endorheic basins, none of its rivers lead to the sea. Less than 10% of its territory is intensively cultivated irrigated land in river valleys and oases, and formerly in the Aral sea, which has largely desiccated. The rest is a vast desert (Kyzyl Kum) and mountains. The highest point in Uzbekistan is the Khazret Sultan, at 4,643 metres above sea level, in the southern part of the Gissar Range in Surkhandarya Province, on the border with Tajikistan. The climate in Uzbekistan is continental, with little precipitation expected annually (100–200 millimetres). The average summer highest temperature tends to be around 40 °C, while the average winter lowest temperature is around −23 °C .
What is now Uzbekistan was in ancient times part of the Iranian-speaking region of Transoxiana and Turan. The first recorded settlers were Eastern Iranian nomads, known as Scythians, who founded several kingdoms. The area was incorporated into the Iranian Achaemenid Empire and, after a period of Macedonian Greek rule, was ruled by the Iranian Parthian Empire and later by the Sasanian Empire, until the Arab conquest of Iran in the 7th century. The Muslim conquest converted the majority of the population, including the local ruling classes, into adherents of Islam. During this period, cities such as Samarkand, Khiva and Bukhara began to grow rich from the Silk Road. The local Khwarezmian dynasty, and Central Asia as a whole, were decimated by the Mongol invasion in the 13th century. After this, the area became increasingly dominated by Turkic peoples. The city of Shahrisabz was the birthplace of the Turco-Mongol warlord Timur, who in the 14th century established the Timurid Empire and was proclaimed the Supreme Emir of Turan with his capital in Samarkand. The area was conquered by Uzbek Shaybanids in the 16th century, moving the centre of power from Samarkand to Bukhara. The region was split into three states: Khanate of Khiva, Khanate of Kokand, and Emirate of Bukhara. It was gradually incorporated into the Russian Empire during the 19th century, with Tashkent becoming the political centre of Russian Turkestan. In 1924, after national delimitation, the constituent republic of the Soviet Union known as the Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic was created. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, it declared independence as the Republic of Uzbekistan on 31 August 1991.