Linda Tilton travels to Uzbekistan, Oct. 24 - Nov. 3, 2002

"Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all."

Helen Keller


Uzbek flag

The purpose of the trip:

Uzbekistan is the most populated country in Central Asia and it touches all borders of all the "Stans". Therefore it plays a key role in the stabilization of that region. Since 1991, the United States and Uzbekistan have created a strong partnership, especially in the areas of foreign policy and security. The terrorist attacks against the U. S. on September 11, 2001, has strengthened Uzbekistan's commitment to playing a key role toward the stabilization of Central Asia.

The U. S. State Department has requested that Heart to Heart International, a humanitarian relief and development organization, deliver humanitarian aid, in the form of medicines and medical training, to needy areas throughout Uzbekistan. A C-17 cargo plane has been made available to deliver the medications and supplies. Cities that Heart to Heart will be visiting are: Tashkent, Andijon, Samarkland, Qarshi, Bukarah, Nukus and Urgench.

For more information about Heart to Heart, please visit

Elsewhere on the web:

CIA Fact Book about Uzbekistan

Latest news from Uzbekistan

Library of Congress info about Uzbekistan

Lonely Planet guide to Uzbekistan

Sevara Nazarkhan, an Uzbek pop singer

Click for Tashkent, Uzbekistan Forecast Click for Samarkand, Uzbekistan Forecast

Weather across Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan in Cyrillic

Population: Approximately 25,000,000

Official name: Republic of Uzbekistan

The name "Uzbekistan" comes from the name of one of its former rulers Özbeg (Uzbek), who was a descendent of Ghengis Kahn. "Stan" means "place". So, Uzbekistan means "Uzbek's Place."

Capital: Tashkent

Size: About the size of California

Language: Uzbek is the official language.

Other spoken languages include, Tajik and Russian. The written language has changed four times, from Arabic to Latin, then Iranian to Cyrillic. The government is now planning to replace the Cyrillic alphabet with the Latin alphabet.

Time zone: GMT +5. It is 11 hours ahead of my time zone in Kansas City, Missouri.

Currency: In 1994, Uzbekistan introduced the som (sum) (soum).
1 som = 100 tien (tyn)
Som comes in demoninations of 20, 5, and 1.
Tien comes in 50, 10 and 1.
As of July 1, 2002, 1 USD = 950 som.

Education: Children are required to begin school at age 6, though some children start earlier. They must complete 9 years of schooling, then may go on to a career, trade school or prepare to go on to university. The literacy rate is 99 percent.

Uzbek etiquette:

  • 1) Don't point with your finger. Point with your whole hand.
  • 2) Don't show or point with the bottom of your shoe.
  • 3) It is considered unclean to eat or drink with your left hand.
  • 4) If invited to someone's home, arrive on time.
  • 5) Take your shoes off when you enter the house.
  • 6) Don't place your nan (flatbread) upside down on the table. It is considered to be bad luck.
Click for larger view.At the time of my visit, 200 CYM = 22 cents; 500 CYM = 55 cents.
Click for full view The C-5 is the largest plane in the Western Hemisphere. It is used to transport items such as tanks to other parts of the world. Our seating area was five stories above ground. I rode it, with my seat facing backwards, between Washington, D.C. and Taskent for 14 nonstop hours. We refueled in midair above Scotland.
Uzbek familyAn Uzbek family out for a walk. The woman on the left is wearing a traditional silk dress.
Click for full view.Bob Squeri, of San Fransico, Larry Ellingson of Fountain Hills, Arizona and me wearing our new Uzbek clothing which was purchased at the bazaar in Tashkent.
Click for full view.A student who helped pass out balloon animals at the blind school in Samarqand.
Click for larger view.A fabulous Uzbek meal. For recipies for Uzbek food visit,
Click for full viewMe in front of the ornate tile work at the Shakhi Zinda Ensemble, in Samarqand. It was built by Ulubeck (Uzbek) on behalf of his son in 1434 - 1435.
Click for larger view.A young boy, at the Kilbry Orphanage in Tashkent, in traditional Uzbek clothing, with Sheryl Foreman of Centennial, Colorado.
Click for larger view.Staff at the the Kilbry Orphanage with Brenda Harrison of Pekin, Illinois.

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