Sunday, December 18, 2016

Suzani - Decorative Textiles

Painting with Suzani by Robert Falk, Savitzky Museum, Nukus

Suzani is a type of embroidered and decorative tribal textile made in  Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and other Central Asian countries. Suzan which means needle. Suzanis usually have a cotton (sometimes silk) fabric base, which is embroidered in silk or cotton thread. Chain, satin, and buttonhole stitches are the primary stitches used. There is also extensive use of couching, in which decorative thread laid on the fabric as a raised line is stitched in place with a second thread. Suzanis are often made in two or more pieces, that are then stitched together.  One of the things that make suzani fascinating is they are handmade and so no two are exactly alike. Every suzani has an intentional imperfection be it an unfinished corner, a distorted shape, or the “wrong” colour this is “because the world is not perfect, a suzani should not be perfect”.

Some patterns are abstracted and geometric, but most are legible: snakes, suns, knives to cut bad luck and hot peppers to ward it off, pomegranates for fertility, many forms of flowers Popular design motifs include sun and moon disks, flowers (especially tulips, carnations, and irises), leaves and vines, fruits and occasionally fish and birds.


The oldest surviving suzanis are from the late 18th and early 19th centuries, but it seems likely that they were in use long before that. In the early 15th century, Ruy Gonzáles de Clavijo, the Castilian ambassador to the court of Timur (Tamerlane), left detailed descriptions of embroideries that were probably forerunners of the suzani. In the nineteenth century, Uzbek women produced fabulous embroidered hangings,  bed covers, wrapping cloths, table covers, and prayer mats for their households and their daughters' wedding trove. Brides Suzani's were traditionally as part of their dowry, and were presented to the groom on their wedding day.

Suzanis were traditionally as part of their dowry, and were presented to the groom on their wedding day. These hand-embroidered vintage suzanis are infused with the character that only comes from everyday use. The story of each suzani is as rich as their colors, as intricate as the designs that cover their surfaces.

Source: http://www.wikiwand.com/en/Suzani_(textile)

Uzbekistan Red Book Stamps - Saiga Antelope

The Post office of Uzbekistan (O’zbekistan Pochtasi) and the State Communications Committee released the stamps on May 30, 2014 titled Fauna - Rare animals of Uzbekistan.«O'ZBEKISTON FAUNASI». The series consists of two stamps and two postage block of two of the most endangered large mammals in Uzbekistan the Saiga antelope and the Turkestan lynx both in the Red Book of Uzbekistan. Number of stamps minted was 10,000. Number of copies of each postage block - 7000.
Saiga tatarica 3200 Som
























Source: http://infocom.uz/2014/06/05/vypushhena-novaya-seriya-pochtovyx-marok-fauna-redkie-zhivotnye-uzbekistana/  

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Imom Ismoil al-Buxoriy (810-870)

Imom Ismoil al-Buxoriy also known as Muhammad ibn Isma`il al-Bukhari al-Ju`fi (Arabic: أبو عبد الله محمد بن اسماعيل بن ابراهيم بن المغيرة بن بردزبه الجعفي البخاري‎‎‎) was an Islamic scholar and theologian born in Bukhara who lived from 810  to 870. A follower of the Hanbali school of thought within Islamic jurisprudence he authored the influential Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī (Arabic: صحيح البخاري‎‎) one of the Kutub al-Sittah (six major hadith collections of Sunni Islam). Also recognised by Zaidi Shia Muslims.

The word sahih translates in Arabic as authentic or correct, the hadith themselves being prophetic traditions based on cases of life or sayings attributed to the Prophet  many after being transmitted orally for generations. Out of those al-Bukhari selected as “flawless” 7400 which he collected to include into his “As-Sahih”. To this day being considered the most authentic collection of hadith,  ahead of the other famous collection 'Al - Muwatta' by Bukhari's student in Nishapur Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj.

The work is considered the most authentic because of both its quality and the soundness of the chain of narrators of the selected ahādīth. Al-Bukhari followed two principle criteria for selecting sound narratives. First, the lifetime of the narrator had to overlap with the lifetime of the authority from whom he narrates. Second, it had to be verifiable that the narrators have met with the source. They also had to have expressly stated that they obtained the narrative from this authority. This is a stricter criterion than that set by 'Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj'. In addition al-Bukhari accepted the narratives from only those who, according to his knowledge, not only believed in Islam but practiced its teachings. The way he arranged and ordered the chapters in his book also demonstrated his profound knowledge and understanding of his religion. His work proving for over a millennia to be a guide in understanding the Islamic religions disciplines.

Al Bukhari also composed other books, including the al-Adab al-Mufrad, (which is an abridged collection of chains of narration going back all the way to the Prophet regarding matters pertaining to the Prophet, his practices and his times) which is a collection of hadiths on ethics and manners. Bukhari also wrote three works discussing narrators of hadith with respect to their ability in conveying their material: the "brief compendium of hadith narrators," "the medium compendium" and the "large compendium" (al-Tarikh al-Kabīr, al-Tarīkh al-Ṣaghīr, and al-Tarīkh al-Awsaţ).

His burial place is located within a complex in the small village of Hartang, 30 km from Samarkand. It occupies a vast site, there are mausoleums, mosques, hotels for pilgrims, souvenir shops and religious literature. The mausoleum of Imam al-Bukhari being one of the main pilgrimage sites in the whole of Uzbekistan. Pilgrims who go to this and two other  shrines in Samarkand – the mausoleums of Shakhi-Zinda and Rukhabad – within one day, are said to be going on the “small Hajj”.                                      

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Armin Vambrey Orientalist

Vambéry, Armin (Hermann) (1832-1913)  born in the Austro- Hungarian empire in what is now Slovakia (albeit he was a native Hungarian speaker). A famed orientalist and linguist  after a year in Constantinople, he published a German-Turkish dictionary in 1858. Later, he also published various other linguistic works. He said to have spoken some twenty Turkic languages and dialects.

In the early 1860ies Armin travelled through Armenia, Persia and Turkestan and with his Turkic language skills was able to gain a deeper insight into the local customs than previous European travelers. Setting out from Budapest in June 1861 via Constantinople to onto Trebizond by crossing the Black sea and then overland via Kurdistan to Tehran . Here he joined a band of pilgrims returning from Mecca and spent several months with them traveling across Iran before crossing the desert to Khiva.

In these times travelling in central Asia was considered very dangerous for outsiders particularly to those like Vambery who were also it is said to be collecting information. (At various times Vambery worked for the Ottomans, the British as well as Austro-Hungarian authorities). For his trip to Khiva he was disguised as a travelling dervish who went by the name "Reshit Efendi,". Upon his arrival in Khiva he managed to keep up appearances during interviews with the Khiva Khan. Then onto Bokhara and Samarkand. Initially, he aroused the suspicions of the Bukharin Khan but managed to maintain his pretence, and left the audience laden with gifts. Upon leaving Samarkand, he then made his way back to Constantinople in Mach 1864, traveling by way of Heart. This was the first successful journey of its kind undertaken by a European to the heart of central Asia since medieval times.

On his return to Budapest he published his recollections from his travels in  Central Asian Journey. . This book was a great success and made him an internationally renowned writer and celebrity, with the Austrian Emperor rewarding him by granting him professorship in the Royal University of Pest in 1865.

References :
Ármin Vámbéry, Travels in Central Asia, being the account of a journey from Teheran across the Turkoman Desert on the Eastern shore of the Caspian to Khiva, Bokhara, and Samarcand, performed in the year 1863. (London, 1864.) 2354.d.1. (The book is divided into two parts: the first a description of his travels, the second devoted to notices concerning the geography, statistics, politics, and social relations of Central Asia). Other books in English Arminius Vámbéry, His Life and Adventures(ib. 1883) and Struggles of My Life (ib. 1904).

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Yellow Carrots

The wild carrot, Daucus Carota, is native to Central Asia. Within the subspecies Daucus Carota sativus, two varieties are recognised: The Western carrot (variety sativus) and the Eastern carrot (variety atrorubens).

The Yellow carrot is an Eastern cultivar, domesticated in Central Asia as early as the 9th century.
It yields a sweeter flavor at maturity than other cultivars while also retaining healthy texture; ie: its tap-root is not woody or fiberous. They have a firm and crunchy texture and an earthy sweet flavor with notes of celery and parsley. They belong to the Umbelliferae family along with parsnips, fennel caraway, cumin and dill. Whilst classified as a root vegetable its midribs and greens are also edible and nutritious.

Yellow carrots are also one of the key ingredients in  the national dish of Uzbekistan Plov (dozens of variations of this dish but usually consists of chunks of mutton, shredded yellow carrot and rice fried in a cast iron or aluminium pot. Staple food for both every day and celebrations). and also popular in soups, stews, salads and are used as an ingredient in stocks. Uzbekistan at 1.6 million tonnes per year is the second largest producer of carrots in the world after China.

They are rich in pro-healthy antioxidants both of lipophylic (carotenoids) and hydrophilic (phenolic compounds) characters. Yellow carrots accumulate xanthophylls, pigments similar to beta-carotene that support good eye health. In addition they contain lutein, a pigment similar to beta-carotene that is absorbed as Vitamin A in the body.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Kipchak Cuman Confederation

The Kipchak (also spelled Qipchaq,Kypchak, Kupchak, Kıpçak, or Qıpçaq) were a Turkic nomadic people. Originating in the Kimek Khanate, they conquered large parts of the Eurasian steppe during the Turkic expansion of the 11th and 12th centuries together with the Cumans, and were in turn conquered by the Mongol invasions of the early 13th century.

The Kipchak Cuman confederation probably originated near the Chinese borders in time settling on the River Irtysh alongside the Kimäks. In the course of the Turkic expansion in the 9th century they migrated further into Siberia and then westwards into the trans-Volga region. In the 11th century they continued spreading west occupying a vast territory in the Eurasian steppe, stretching from north of the Aral Sea westward to the region north of the Black Sea (now in Ukraine and southwestern Russia) establishing a state known as Desht-i Qipchaq. The western grouping of this confederation was known as the Polovtsy, or Kuman/Cumans who expanded into Europe reaching Moldavia, Wallachia, and part of Transylvania.

In the 12th centuries this nomadic confederacy of the Cumans and (Eastern) Kipchaks became involved in various conflicts with the Byzantines, Kievan Rus', and with the Hungarians and Pechenegs (Cuman involvement only), allying themselves with one or the other side at different times. In 1089, they were defeated by Ladislaus I of Hungary, and again by Knyaz Vladimir Monomakh of the Rus in the 12th century. They sacked Kiev in 1203.

The Kipchak remained masters of the steppe north of the Black Sea until the Mongol invasions. During the first Mongol invasion of Kievan Rus (1221–23), the Kipchak sided at different times with the invaders and with the local Slavic princes. In 1237 the Mongols penetrated for the second time into Kipchak territory and killed Bachman, the Khan of the eastern Kipchak tribes. The Kipchak confederation was destroyed, and most of its lands and people were incorporated into the Golden Horde, the westernmost division of the Mongol empire.

The Cuman tribes, fled to Hungary, and some of their warriors became mercenaries for the Latin crusaders and the Byzantines. The defeated Kipchaks also became a major source of slaves for parts of the Islāmic world. Kipchak slaves—called Mamlūks—serving in the Ayyūbid dynasty’s armies came to play important roles in the history of Egypt and Syria, where they formed the Mamlūk state, the remnants of which survived until the 19th century.

The Kipchaks and Cumans spoke a Turkic language whose most important surviving record is the Codex Cumanicus, a late 13th-century dictionary of words in Kipchak, Cuman, and Latin. The presence in Egypt of Turkic-speaking Mamluks also stimulated the compilation of Kipchak/Cuman-Arabic dictionaries and grammars that are important in the study of several old Turkic languages.
 
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kipchaks

Kipchak Language

Kipchak - The Kipchak language is the precursor language of a number of modern Turkic languages that are spoken in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia today. Kazakhs are remnants of Eastern Cuman-Kipchak tribes who lived in Northern Kazakhstan in the 10th century. So, their language originates from a more isolated form of earlier Kipchak. Bolgar-speaking Volga Bulgarians (later Kazan Tatars), Astrakhan Tatars, Balkars, Karachays, Kumyks, Cumans (later Crimean Tatars), Bashkirs and Mongolian aristocracy adopted the Kipchak language in the days of the Golden Horde.

The modern Northwestern branch of the Turkic language is often referred to as the Kipchak branch. The languages in this branch are mostly considered to be descendants of the Kipchak language, and the people who speak them may likewise be referred to as Kipchak peoples.

Karakalpak - Karakalpak is also a member of the Eastern Kipchak branch of Turkic languages, which includes Tatar, Kumyk, Nogai, and Kazakh. Due to its proximity to Uzbek, much of Karakalpak's vocabulary and grammar has been influenced by Uzbek. Like Turkish, Karakalpak has vowel harmony, is agglutinative and has no grammatical gender. Word order is usually subject–object–verb.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kipchak_language

The origin of the Oghuz Turks

The Oghuz is a linguistic term designating the Western Turkic or Oghuz languages from the Oghur sub-division of Turkic language family. Oghus also spelled Oğuz, or Ghuzz also refers to a confederation of Turkic peoples whose homeland, until at least the 11th century AD, was the steppes of central Asia known as Turkistan or Turan, which has been the domain of all Turkic peoples since antiquity.

According to many historians, the usage of the word "Oguz" dates back to the advent of the Huns (220 BC). Legend has it that the title "Oguz Khan" was given to Mete, the founder of the Hun empire, which is often considered the first Turkic political entity in Central Asia. Also in the 2nd century BC, a Turkic tribe called "O-kut" who were described as Huns (referred to as Hsiung-Nu or "colored-eyed people" in Chinese sources) were mentioned in the area of Tarbogatain, in present-day southern Kazakhstan. Greek sources also used the name Oufi (or Ouvvi) to describe the Huns. Prior to the Gokturk state, there are references to the "Sekiz-Oguz" ("eight-Oguz") and the "Dokuz-Oguz" ("nine-Oguz") state formations ruling
different areas in the vicinity of the Altay mountains.

Orkhon Museum, Kharkhorin, Mongolia

In the 6th century the "six Oguz tribal union" in the Turkic Orhun inscriptions  found in the Orkhon Valley in Mongolia, near Ögii Lake. Before the inscriptions were deciphered by the Danish linguist Vilhelm Thomsen, very little was known about Turkic script. These scripts are the oldest form of a Turkic language to be preserved.   
 
The main domain of the Oguz in the ensuing centuries was the area of Transoxiana, in western Turkistan. This land became known as the "Oguz steppe" between the Caspian and Aral Seas. Oguz are said to have first come there in the period of the caliph Al-Mehdi in the years between 775 and 785 from the Zhetysu now the South-Eastern part of modern Kazakhstan after conflict with the Karluk branch of Uighurs. Mass migrations of the Oghuz into Western Eurasia occurred from the early part of the 9th Century onwards, during the period of the Abbasid caliph Al-Ma'mun (813–833). They established trading, religious and cultural contacts with the Abbasid Arab caliphate who ruled to the south. This influence led to most of them to converted to Islam and renounced their Tengriism belief system.

Mass migrations of the Oghuz into Western Eurasia occurred from the early part of the 9th Century onwards, during the period of the Abbasid caliph Al-Ma'mun (813–833). They established trading, religious and cultural contacts with the Abbasid Arab caliphate who ruled to the south. This influence led to most of them to converted to Islam and renounced their Tengriism belief system.
In the mid 9th century, the Oguzes drove the Bechens from the Emba and Ural River region toward the west. By the 10th century, they inhabited the steppe of the rivers Sari-su, Turgai, and Emba to the north of Lake Balkhash of modern-day Kazakhstan. It was in this area that one branch of the Oğuz later founded the Seljuk Empire, and it was from here that they spread west into western Asia and eastern Europe during the mass Turkic migrations from the 9th -12th centuries. By the end of the 11th century they controlled an empire stretching from the Amu Darya to the Persian Gulf and from the Indus to the Mediterranean Sea by the end of the 11th century.

Also in the 11th century, a Tengriist Oghuz clan—referred to as Uzes or Torks in the Russian chronicles — overthrew Pecheneg supremacy in the Russian steppe. Harried by another Turkic horde, the Kipchaks, these Oghuz penetrated as far as the lower Danube, crossed it and invaded the Balkans, where most they were either crushed or struck down by an outbreak of plague, causing the survivors either to flee or to join the Byzantine imperial forces as mercenaries (1065). Oghuz warriors served in almost all Islamic armies of the Middle East from the 1000s onwards from Byzantium to Spain and Morocco.

"The term 'Oghuz' was gradually supplanted among the Turks themselves by the term Türkmen or Turcoman, from the mid 900's on, a process which was completed by the beginning of the 1200s." The Ottoman dynasty, who gradually took over Anatolia after the fall of the Seljuks, toward the end of the 13th century, led an army that was also predominantly Oghuz.

Linguistically, the Oghuz are listed together with the old Kimaks of the middle Yenisei of the Ob, the old Kipchaks who later emigrated to southern Russia, and the modern Kirghiz in one particular Turkic group, distinguished from the rest by the mutation of the initial y sound to j (dj). Today this language is spoken by the Azerbaijanis of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the South Azerbaijan region of Iran, Turks of Turkey and Cyprus, Turkmens of Turkmenistan and northeastern Iran, Qashqay and Khurasani Turks of Iran, Balkan Turks of Greece, Bulgaria and the former Yugoslavia as well as Gauguz (Gokoguz) Turks of Moldova.

Source: Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oghuz_Turks

Saturday, September 24, 2016

New Cement plant in the Karauzyak region of Karakalpakstan

The Uzbek - Chinese joint venture, Titan Cement new 'state of the art' Cement plant in the Karauzyak region of Karakalpakstan has been completed and has started operation. The plant has a production capacity of 1.2Mt of high-quality cement per annum. The total cost of the project was $40m and has resulted in the creation of more than 200 jobs.

The project will be implemented in three phases. The first stage 200,000 tonnes is completed, the second one will be implemented before the end of 2017. The production capacity will double. The final stage will be completed in 2018 and will allow to produce an additional 700,000 tons of products.
 
Through the installation of modern equipment, the new plant is able to produce high-quality cement in compliance with international standards. In the first two stages, the products manufactured use a new technology - a vertical furnace. The third stage involves the introduction of an even more productive line utilising a rotary kiln. It is looking to sell its product to the domestic market, whilst also exporting cement to neighbouring countries including Kazakhstan  and Turkmenistan.

Eight cement plants now operate in Uzbekistan, with a total production capacity of more than 8.6Mta. By year end 2020, Uzbekistan plans to double this capacity to approximately 16.7Mta.

Source: http://www.globalcement.com/news/itemlist/tag/Karakalpakstan

http://www.cemnet.com/News/story/159871/sino-uzbek-jv-brings-karakalpakstan-plant-online.html

http://ut.uz/en/business/karakalpakstan-became-a-producer-of-cement/

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Uzbekistan Airlines has restarted flights from Moscow to Nukus


Uzbekistan Havo Yollari (Uzbekistan Airways) has restarted passenger flights to Moscow from Nukus. The flights on A320 airliner once a week on Mondays.

Nukus airport operates more than twenty passenger flights to the cities of Uzbekistan and CIS daily

Schedule: 29 March 2016 - 31 October 2016


Nukus (NCU) - Moscow Domodedovo (DME)
Operational daysDeparting NukusArriving MoscowDurationAircraftFlight
Monday10:4512:253:40320HY 625

Moscow Domodedovo (DME) to Nukus (NCU)
Operational daysDeparting MoscowArriving NukusDurationAircraftFlight
Monday13:5519:203:25320HY 626
.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Green Teahouse by Alexander Volkov

The Karakalpak Museum of the Arts, the Savitsky Collection Nukus - The Green Teahouse by Alexander Volkov
From the extraordinary Karakalpak Museum of the Arts in Nukus known as the Savitsky Collection, one of the largest collections of Russian and Uzbek Avant Garde art in the world. The museum also houses a vast folk art collection of pile rugs, flat weaves, embroidery, appliqué work, jewelry and hand-made textiles from Karakalpakstan.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Major gas chemical complex commissioned in Uzbekistan


The Ustyurt Gas Chemical Complex, the largest in Central Asia has recently been commissioned in Karakalpakstan. The Prime Ministers of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev and South Korea Hwang Kyo-ahn both officiating at a ribbon-cutting ceremony held on site on May 21, 2016. The project is located approximately 1,300 kilometers (km) from Tashkent on the Ustyurt plateau in the Kungrad region.

The project involved both the upstream development and operations at the Surgil Field involving drilling new production wells and constructing upstream infrastructure including expanding the complex gas treatment unit to supply up to 3 billion cubic meters per annum (BCMA) of gas and 115 thousand tons per annum (KTPA) of condensate; and the downstream development and operations at the gas treatment site is located approx. 115km southwest of the Surgil Field.

The integrated gas to chemical complex production (gas-to-chemical) comprises five plants a gas separation plant, an ethylene, a high-density polyethylene plant, a polypropylene plant, and supporting facilities; product transportation, water supply infrastructure; the project also includes three 35-megawatt gas turbine generator sets so its power supply independent of the national grid.

The project is sourcing gas from its own Surgil Field and will also purchase gas, through a gas supply agreement with UNG, from the Severniy-Berdakh and Vostochniy Berdakh Uchsay fields. Each is currently on-stream and the incremental production of the three gas fields available to the project provides the required gas volume. Condensate supply required for the polymer process is being provided under long-term supply contracts.

The upstream and downstream components of the project  are connected by two parallel 115-km pipelines constructed to supply gas and condensate from the Surgil Field to the gas separation plant. The complex at full production is expected to annually process 4.5 billion cubic meters of natural gas, produce up to 4 billion cubic meters of marketable gas, 387,000 tons of polyethylene, 83,000 tons polypropylene.

A consortium of Korean companies joined Uzbekneftegaz having established the Uz-Kor Gas Chemical joint venture in May, 2008. Ustyurt GCC project was implemented on a parity basis. The Korean consortium included Lotte Chemical 24.5%, Korea Gas Corporation 22.5% and GS E& R 3%. The consortium established a joint venture, the UZ-Kor Gas Chemical LLC, with the Uzbekistan state-run company Uzbekneftegaz 50%. The consortium financed 50 percent of the project, and the Uzbekistan financed the other half to develop the gas chemical complex. The main customers  base likely CIS, Eastern Europe and Turkey and later western regions of China.

General contractors of the project were the Korean Samsung Engineering, GS Engineering and Hyundai Engineering. The construction of the complex began in 2011. The total cost of the project amounting to nearly US $ 4 billion. Participants of the project allocated approximately $1.4 billion and attracted about $2.5 billion from financial institutions in order to implement the project.

Source:http://www.mrcplast.com/news-news_open-318462.html 

Monday, April 18, 2016

Saiga Conservation Website - Highly Recommended

Saiga Conservation Alliance Website (highly recommended) go to http://www.saiga-conservation.com/news.html
Saigas are one of the most threatened species on earth. Their numbers have declined by 95% in just 15 years. The Saiga Conservation Alliance (SCA) is committed to saving the critically endangered saiga antelope from imminent extinction and I highly recommend their website - it is well worth following.

Photo . Victor Tyakht


Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu el ultimo Khwârazmshâh


Imperio Jorezmita
Los Jorezmitas fueron una dinastía musulmana sunní de origen mameluco turco que fundó un imperio conocido normalmente como el Imperio corasmio, primero como vasallos de los selyúcidas y más tarde como gobernantes independientes en el siglo XI. El imperio sobrevivió hasta la invasión mongola de 1220.
 
Jalalad-Din Mingburnu (nombre completo: Jalal ad-Dunya wa ad-Din Abul-Muzaffar Manguberdi ibn Muhammad) o Manguberdi (túrquico), también conocido como Jalâl ad-Dîn Khwârazmshâh, fue el último gobernante del Imperio Jorezmita. Nacido hacia 1199 aproximadamente. Después de la derrota de su padre, Ala ad-Din Muhammad II por Genghis Khan en 1220, Jalal ad-Din Mengübirti llegó al poder, pero rechazó el título de sah que su padre había asumido, y se llamó a sí mismo simplemente sultán. Jalal ad-Din se retiró con las fuerzas jorezmitas restantes, mientras eran perseguidos por un ejército mongol y en la batalla de Parwan, al norte de Kabul, derrotó a los mongoles.


Debido a la invasión mongola, el saqueo de Samarcanda y a la deserción de sus aliados afganos, Jalal ad-Din se vio forzado a huir a la India. En el río Indo, sin embargo, los mongoles dieron con él y diezmaron sus fuerzas junto con miles de refugiados en la batalla del Indo de otoño de 1221. Escapó y buscó asilo en el sultanato de Delhi pero Iltutmish le negó el asilo en deferencia a su relación con el califato abasí.

Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu pasó tres años en su exilio en la India. En 1223 Mingburnu entró en una alianza con los khokhars y capturó Lahore y gran parte del Punjab. Solicitó una alianza con Iltutmish contra los mongoles. El sultán de Delhi se negó, no deseando entrar en conflicto con Genghis Khan y marchó hacia Lahore a la cabeza de un gran ejército. Mingburnu se retiró de Lahore y se movió hacia Uchch infligiendo una severa derrota a su gobernante Nasir-ud-Din Qabacha, y saqueando Sindh y el norte de Gujarat antes de regresar a Persia a inicios de 1224 tras enterarse de los éxitos de su último hermano Ghijath ad-Din Pir-Schah en el golfo pérsico, al oeste del actual Irán.

Consiguió un ejército y restableció un reino. Los gobernadores de Kermán (capital Qutlughchaniden) y Fars (dinastía túrquica Salghúrida) se le sometieron. Se hizo con el Juzestán, amenazando a los califas de Bagdad. Sin embargo, nunca consolidó su poder, y pasó el resto de sus días luchando contra los mongoles, pretendientes al trono y los turcos seljúcidas de Rum. Perdió su poder sobre Persia en una batalla contra los mongoles en las montañas Alborz y huyó al Cáucaso, para capturar Azerbaiyán y derrocar a sus atabeg en la primavera de 1225, estableciendo su capital en Tabriz. Posteriormente venció al Reino de Georgia en batalla cerca de Garni, pudo tomar Tiflis pero los azeríes se rebelaron y debió someterlos. Finalmente, saqueó Tiflis el 9 de marzo de 1226, destruyendo todas las iglesias y masacrando a la población cristiana de la ciudad. Ocupado en combatir a los ayubidas de Akhlat, no pudo impedir a los georgianos y armenios capturar Tiflis, pero reaccionó en cuanto pudo y los cristianos debieron retirarse sin pelear.

En 1227 Jalal ad-Din obtuvo una breve victoria sobre los selyúcidas. Es vencido por los mongoles en agosto 1228 en Isfahán, donde casi es capturado; buscando aliarse con el califa, quien estaba más interesado en ayudar a los georgianos a enfrentarlo. En 1229 envía un ejército hasta Derbent, que acampa a orillas del lago Seván en dos campamentos. Los cristianos asaltan y destruyen uno de los campamentos, los jorezmitas sobrevivientes se retiran. Jalal ad-Din avanzó y la reina Rusudan contrato mercenarios cumanos y osetios para fortalecer sus mermadas fuerzas. En la batalla de Bolsini en la primavera de ese. Los cumanos se cambiaron de bando y los jorezmitas ganaron el combate. Después asedia los fuertes de Gagi y Kvarin y se retiro en el otoño.

El 14 de abril de 1230 capturó la ciudad de Akhlat de los ayubidas (tras atacarla sin éxito en 1226 y 1229). Esto motiva una alianza entre selyúcidas y ayubidas. El 10 de agosto es derrotado por el sultán Kayqubad I en Erzincan en el Alto Éufrates en la batalla de Yassıçemen. Evacúa Akhlat y escapó a Diyarbakir. Además, el general mongol Chormagan ataca en el invierno de 1230-1231 Azerbaiyán aprovechando su debilidad. Incapaz demovilizar un nuevo ejército se refugia en Kapan, para morir a manos de un asesino kurdo contratado por los selyúcidas en agosto de 1231.

THE KHWAREZM SHAHS DYNASTY


Khwarazm Shah Dynasty  (c. 1077–1231) was a Sunni Muslim dynasty of Turkic mamluk origin. The dynasty ruled large parts of Central Asian during the high Middle Ages first as vassals of the Seljuqs and Kara-Khitanand and later as independent rulers, up until the Mongol invasion of Khwarezmia in the 13th century.

Mahmud of Ghazni

The dynasty dates from a revolt in 1017 where Khwarezmian rebels murdered the ruler of Khwarezm Abu'l-Abbas Ma'munand and his wife, Hurra-ji, sister of the Ghaznavid sultan Mahmud. In response, Mahmud invaded and occupied the region of Khwarezm, which included Nasa and the ribat of Farawa.

As a result, Khwarezm became a province of the Ghaznavid Empire from 1017 until it fell to the Seljuqs in 1034. In 1077 the governorship of the province passed to  a former Turkic slave of the Seljuq sultan Anush Tigin Gharchai. During his governorship, he assured his family's place in the region and after his death in 1128, his son Atsiz was appointed as the new governor by the Seljuk Sultan Sanjar. Ala ad-Din Atsiz was a ruthless ruler; he laid heavy taxes on the people and began expansion his territories and Sanjar soon moved against him, however let him to continue to govern the region, because a new danger was coming from the Steppes. In 1141, the Seljuq Sultan Ahmed Sanjar was defeated by the Kara Khitay at the battle of Qatwan, and he became a vassal to Yelü Dashi of the Kara Khitan. 

Ala ad-Din Atisz

After Atsiz died in 1156, he was succeeded by his son Il-Arslan who in 1157 proclaimed Kharwarezms independence and successfully defeated both the Kara-Khitai and neighbouring Qarakhanids and captured important Transoxiana towns Bukhara and Samarkand. On his death in 1172 his son Ala ad-Din Tekish became the new Khwarezm Shah.

As the Seljuk state fell into chaos, the Khwarezm-Shahs continues to expand their territories southward. Tekish invaded Khorasan in 1183 and in 1194 defeated and killed the last Sultan of the Great Seljuq Empire, Toghril III the new empire gaining parts of Khorasan and western Iran. In 1200, Tekish died and was succeeded by his son, Ala ad-Din Muhammad, who soon initiated conflict with the Ghurids (from Afghanistan) however was defeated by them at the battle of Amu Darya (1204).

Following their sack of Khwarizm, Muhammad appealed for aid from their former suzerain, the Kara Khitai who sent him an army. With this reinforcement, Muhammad won a victory over the Ghurids at Hezarasp (1204) and forced them out of Khwarizm. Muhammad's gratitude towards them was however short-lived. He again initiated a conflict, this time with the aid of the Kara-Khanids, and defeated a Kara-Khitai army at Talas (1210), but allowed Samarkand (1210) to be occupied by the Kara-Khitai. In 1212 he overthrew the Kara-khanids and by 1215 also defeated his old adversary the Ghurids. In the year 1212, Muhammad II shifted capital from Gurganj (now known as "Urgench") to Samarkand.
In a few short years Muhammad II had incorporated nearly the whole of Transoxiana and present-day Afghanistan into his empire, which after further conquests in western Persia (by 1217) stretched from the borders of India to Anatolia. By 1218, the empire had an area of 3,600,000 km2.and a population of 5 million people.
 
In 1219 the leader of the Mongols Genghis Khan sent a trade mission of 500 merchants to the state, but at the town of Otrar the governor, suspecting the Khan's ambassadors to be spies, confiscated their goods and executed them. Genghis Khan demanded reparations, which the Shah refused to pay. Genghis retaliated with a force of 200,000 men, launching a multi-pronged invasion.

 
Mongol Siege

In February 1220 the Mongolian army crossed the Syr Darya and soon stormed Bukhara, Gurganj and the Khwarezmid capital Samarkand. They moved on Gurganj, the Shah fled westward and died some weeks later of pleurisy on an island in the Caspian Sea.
His son Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu became the new Sultan (he rejected the title Shah) soon retreated into the mountains with his remaining Khwarazm forces, while pursued by a Mongol army. However his forces and local allies regrouped and defeated the Mongols at the battle of Parwan, north of Kabul. However another Mongol army soon moved against them (and after being abandoned by his Afghan allies) forcing the Khwarazm forces to flee towards India.
 
Jalal al-Din Khwarazm-Shah crossing the rapid Indus River, escaping Genghis Khan and the Mongol army.

Unable to move fast enough the Mongols caught up with them and at a disastrous clash known as the battle of the Indus slaughtered much of his army along with thousands of refugees. He & other survivors however famously escaped across the Indus and sought asylum in the Sultanate of Delhi. However the Sultan of Delhi Iltumish refused, not wishing to get into a conflict with Genghis Khan, and  marched towards Lahore at the head of a large army. Mingburnu retreated and moved towards Uchch inflicting a heavy defeat on its ruler Nasir-ud-Din Qabacha then plundered Sindh and northern Gujarat before returning to Persia in 1224. Once in Persia he once again regathered an army and re-established a short lived kingdom.
 
However he was unable to consolidated his power and had to struggling against the Mongols, the Seljuks of Rum, and pretenders to his own throne. In less than a year he lost control of Persia after being defeated in a major battle against the Mongols in the Alborz Mountains. Escaping to the north through the Caucasus, his army captured Azerbaijan in 1225, setting up his capital at Tabriz. In 1226 he attacked Georgia and sacked Tbilisi. Following on through the Armenian highlands he clashed with the Ayyubids, capturing the town Ahlat along the western shores of the Lake Van, who sought the aid of the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm. Sultan Kayqubad I forces defeated his at Arzinjan on the Upper Euphrates at the Battle of Yassıçemen in 1230. He escaped to Diyarbakir, while the Mongols conquered Azerbaijan in the ensuing confusion. He was murdered in 1231 allegedly by Kurdish assassins. (Even then the Kurds were fiercely independent - nothing has changed).

Sultan Jalal ad-Din's followers remained loyal to him even after his death and from 1231 raided the Seljuk lands of Jazira and Syria for the next several years, calling themselves the Khwarezmiyya. Ayyubid Sultan as-Salih Ayyub, in Egypt, later hired their services against his uncle as-Salih Ismail. The Khwarezmiyya, heading south from Iraq towards Egypt, invaded Crusader Christian-held Jerusalem along the way, on July 11, 1244. The city's citadel, the Tower of David, surrendered on August 23, 1244 and the Crusaders expelled. This triggered a call from Europe for the Seventh Crusade, but the Crusaders would never again be successful in retaking Jerusalem. After being conquered by the Khwarezmian forces, the city would stay under Muslim control right until 1917 when it was taken from the Ottomans by British and Commonwealth forces in WW1 with the help of their Arab allies.
 
THE KHWAREZM SHAHS DYNASTY
Altuntashid
  • Altun Tash 1017-1032
  • Harun 1032-1034
  • Ismail Khandan 1034-1041
Under the Oghuz (Seljuq)
  • Shah Malik 1041-1042
Anushtiginid (Seljuq Vassals)
  • Anush Tigin Garchai 1077-1097 
  • Ekinchi 1097 
  • Qutb ad-Din Muhammad I 1097-1127
  • Ala ad-Din Aziz 1127-1156
  • Il-Arslan 1156-1172
  • Sultan Shah 1172-1193
  • Ala ad-Din Tekish 1172-1200
  • Ala ad-Din Muhammad II 1200-1220
  • Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu 1220-1231

Sources:

Friday, February 12, 2016

Kyzylkum desert unusual winter snows

The Uzbek Kyzylkum desert covered with snow
Source: State Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan for Nature Protection
 
This winter the Kyzylkum desert (in summer one of the hottest places in Uzbekistan) has seen a lot of snow which is a rarely observed phenomenon.

Read the full story in http://www.uzdaily.com/articles-id-35096.htm


The Kyzyl Kum (red) desert is located between the rivers Amu Darya and Syr Darya, north of the Karakum (black) desert. It mainly consists of sand dunes and is located on a vast plateau (with an average elevation of 300 m above sea level in the southeast and 53 m in the northwest). Temperatures can be very high during the summer months, from mid-May to mid-September (up +50 °C in July ) and relatively cold winters (from 0 °C to –9 °C in January). The annual precipitation is low, from 100 mm to 200 mm, most of which falls in winter and spring.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Short photo essay on Karakalpakstan

The father of Algebra - The great mathematician Al-Khwarizmi

Muhammad ibn Musa Khwarizmi (780-850 CE), from Khwarezm (based around north western Uzbekistan) was the greatest scientist of his time, working in mathematics, geography, and astronomy. From a variant of his name "Al-Khwarizimi", has come the words "algorism/algorithm," and "logarithm". The word 'algorithm' signifying arithmetic, or at any rate any process involving repeated calculation.  He wrote a treatise in Arabic language in the 9th century, which was translated into Latin in the 12th century under the title Algoritmi de numero Indorum. This title means "Algoritmi on the numbers of the Indians", where "Algoritmi" was the translator's Latin for Al-Khwarizmi's name. The book introduced the concept of the Algorithm, which is used in our everyday lives. Al-Khwarizmi was the most widely read mathematician in Europe in the late Middle Ages, primarily through his other book, Compendious Book of Calculation by Completion and Balancing, known in the west simply as the "Algebra" This work became 'the prototype' for all works on Algebra and is undoubtedly the beginning of algebraic calculus and decimal arithmetic.

In CE 825 Al-Khwarizmi wrote his famous treatise on Algebra entitled 'Kitab al Mukhtassar fi'l hisab al jabr wa'l muqabalah' (Compendious Book of Calculation by Completion and Balancing). The book introduced the fundamental concept of "reduction" and "balancing", referring to the transposition of subtracted terms to the other side of an equation (termed the completing part) , that is, the cancellation of like terms on opposite sides of the equation. This is the operation which Al-Khwarizmi originally described as al-jabr. In it he gave numerous detailed examples including an exhaustive account of solving polynomials up to the second degree.]

Kitab al-mukhtasar was also instrumental in introducing the numerical system and the use of the zero, which derives from the Arabic sifr, 'void.The book was the first to introduce squares, roots, and numbers to describe equations. It also introduced a method similar to long division to extract the square root (jithr) of a number and was the first to introduce the concept of mal (power) for the squared unknown variable. In he gave geometrical solutions of quadratic equations. And set out geometric representations of quadratic equations having two variables, e.g. the circle, ellipse, parabola and hyperbola (conic sections) etc. He also dealt with measuring areas and volumesIt was also the first work in which that word Algebra appears in the mathematical sense, 'Algebra' meaning in Arabic 'restoration', that is the transposing of negative terms of an equation and set algebra as a subject independent of geometry" This is perhaps one of the most significant advances ever made in mathematics and was a revolutionary move away from the Greek concept of mathematics which was essentially geometry. Algebra was a unifying theory which allowed rational numbers, irrational numbers, geometrical magnitudes, etc., to all be treated as "algebraic objects". It gave mathematics a whole new development path so much broader in concept to that which had existed before, and provided a vehicle for future development of mathematics in later times.