Tag Archives: Islam

To the last city.

No, that’s a misnomer. Tashkent was, if anything, Uzbekistan’s first city, at least in the modern sense of the term. First one to be occupied by the Russians, first one to be reached by a railroad, first to host all … Continue reading

Posted in Central Asia, Uzbekistan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Looking up in Uzbekistan.

Remember shoegazing, that 1980s genre? Well, had any of those musicians been in Ulug Beg Madrasa, in Samarkand, they’d have missed this. Sometimes it’s useful to be walking with one eye to the heavens and one to the floor. Especially … Continue reading

Posted in Central Asia, Uzbekistan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

A sunset over Po-i-Kalyon

Showcasing Bukhara must be the easiest job ever, or so I thought with the clarity that suddenly comes when you’re into your third pint-sized bottle of Portland beer (the fact that an Uzbek brew had the picture of a clipper … Continue reading

Posted in Central Asia, Uzbekistan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 16 Comments

The whistling man of Registan.

Denying it would be pointless, and I won’t: I am an unabashed Morricone fan and – the two go hand in hand, really – an Alessandroni devotee. Whilst I appreciate that Morricone’s fame is somehow a given, I’m aware that … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Central Asia, Uzbekistan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

A strange capital for a strange country. Dušanbe.

With hindsight, it was surprising that we had no plans for Dušanbe; it was meant to be the last leg of our journey, a simple stop-gap, an interlude between the last leg of the Highway and the flight home. In … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Central Asia, Tajikistan | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

Where kites fly above the fort.

I often think that I’d have been a Portuguese explorer. This isn’t because of an unquenchable thirst for boot, a penchant for ending up chewed by unfriendly natives, or an interest in being consumed by hideous tropical diseases; rather, it’s … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Sri Lanka | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 18 Comments

Weren’t all they supposed to be madmen?

Lunatics. Zealots. Religious fanatics. These were a few of the attributes that friends and acquaintances slapped on the people of Iran whenever the topic came up. Unrequested opinions were offered, together with garbled memories of articles penned down by the … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Iran | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

An afternoon south of the river: finding Armenians in Iran and how civilization begun.

“…a wicked regime where anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial is official ideology, and with […] killing of women just because they’re women”  – Sarah Palin The south bank of the dried Zāyanderūd river is Armenian at heart. This piece of Iran, long … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Iran | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

People of the Book.

Cynics would say that, were copyright infringement laws to exist back then, the Apostles and Prophet Muhammad would’ve landed in court, for the similarities and reciprocal borrowings between Judaism, Christianity and Islam are staggering. This holds true for the theory but also … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Israel | Tagged , , , , , | 6 Comments

(Not finding) my religion in the Holy Land: confession of a sceptical in Jerusalem.

For some people, the moment of detachment from a religious view they used to hold is a momentous one, the culmination of days – perhaps months – of introspection, self-assessment and doubt. In my case, instead, I cannot point out … Continue reading

Posted in Asia, Faith, Israel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments