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Friday, February 26, 2010

Tajikistan


Map of Tajikistan showing cities, towns, and features

Officially known as Jumhurii Tojikiston in the Tajik language, the Republic of TAJIKISTAN is a mountainous, former-Soviet republic and current sovereign country located in Central Asia. There are four bordering countries: Afghanistan to the south, China to the east, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and Uzbekistan to the west. Independence from the Soviet Union (USSR) was declared on September 9th, 1991, the date on which Independence Day is celebrated annually by Tajik people.

People and Places
Tajik (Tajiki Persian) is the country's official language, while Russian is still used for communication by about 40,000 citizens as a remnant of the Soviet era. Other languages include Arabic, Ishkashimi (about 500 writers and speakers), Kyrgyz, Parya, Pashto (Southern), Persian (Iranian), Shughni, Uzbek, Wakhi, Yagnobi, and Yazgulyam. Over 80% of Tajik people are Muslims, 1.5% are Christians, and about 0.14% are Jewish. Tajikistan's capital is Dushanbe, which has over 750,000 residents living there. Other cities include Garm, Khujand, Khorugh, Murghob, Qurghonteppa, and Tursunzoda. The state's currency is the Tajikistani Somoni, and its ISO 4217 currency code is TJS.

Land Features
Known in the Soviet era as Communism Peak (Pik Kommunizma), Pik Imeni Ismail Samani — also known as Ismoili Somoni Peak or Qullai Ismoili Somoni — is Tajikistan's tallest mountain. This peak stands 7,495 meters and 24,590 feet tall above sea level. Evgenii (Eugene) Abalakov was the first person (according to known records) to successfully climb this mountain in 1933. Mountains such as Qullai Ismoili Somoni, Pik Korjenevskaya or Korzhenevskaya Peak (7,105 meters), and Qullai Abuali ibni Sino* (7,134 meters) are located in the Pamir mountain range, dominating the land of eastern Tajikistan. Major lakes and reservoirs include Kayrakkumskoye Vodokhranilishche or Kairakum Reservoir in northern Tajikistan's panhandle region; Nurek Reservoir (southwest); Qarokŭl or Karakul (northeast); Sarezskoye or Sarez (east-central); and Yashikul (southeast). Visit this post from 2016 (↗) for information about rivers.

* Also known as Avicenna Peak or Pik Avicenna in Tajikistan, Qullai Abuali ibni Sino was renamed to commemorate Avicenna (Ibn Sīnā), a revered academic scholar of the Islamic Golden Age. During the Communist years of the Soviet Union (USSR) and into the early 2000s, this mountain was named Pik Lenin (Lenin Peak). This mountain is located on the Tajikistan-Kyrgyzstan border.

This post was updated with a new map and more information on January 30th, 2017.

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