Religion: Muslim, Russian Orthodox
Language: Uzbek, Russian
Industry: Mining equipment, Tobacco, Chemical products, Textiles
Exports: Cotton, Food products
Climate: Arid and semi-arid
Tashkent, with a multi-ethnic population of 2.3 million, is the largest city in Central Asia and the capital of the new Republic of Uzbekistan. Uzbekistan borders on Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, and Turkmenistan. Tashkent is a desert city on the legendary "Silk Road" trade route that connected China and Europe for thirteen centuries. In 1220 the city became part of the empire of Genghis Khan and after that part of the Russian empire in 1865. With the breakup of the Soviet Union in 1991, Tashkent became the capital of independent Uzbekistan.
In 1966 an earthquake destroyed most of the city. Now it is an industrial and cultural hub of Central Asia with a diverse economy. Irrigation projects have turned desert land into fields that produce fruit, vegetables and cotton.
The Seattle-Tashkent Association, established in 1973, was the first US-Soviet sister city affiliation. Over the years it has organized exchanges with school children and teachers, mountain climbers, physicians, chefs, lawyers, broadcasters, and folk dancers. In 1988 the association and Plowshares Peace Corps volunteers organized the entire Seattle community in the design and creation of the Seattle Peace Park in Tashkent. The association maintains an active program with its many friends and organizations in Tashkent. In 1991 Uzbekistan became an independent, sovereign nation, and the country and Tashkent City have continued the long history and ongoing partnership with the City of Seattle and its sister city organization.
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