Uzbekistan – sovereign democratic republic
Form of government – presidential
State territory of Uzbekistan is 447,400 sq km. Extension from north to south – 930 km, from west to east – 1425 km.
Total border extension – 6221 km.
Population – 27,2 million people
Geographical situation. Uzbekistan occupies the vast area in the middle of Central Asia, mainly, between two major rivers, the Syr-Darya and the Amu-Darya. It borders five states: Kyrghyzstan on the northeast, Kazakhstan on the north and northwest, Turkmenistan оп the southeast; оп the south, on the small part – Afghanistan.
Nature. Republic is amazing with its natural contrast. Monotonous dull deserts and high snow-covered mountains. Abounding rivers and extraordinary waterless areas. Mountains and foothills form approximately 1/5 part of republic’s territory. The highest mountain point – 4643 m. Big troughs range between mountains: Kashkadarya, Surkhandarya, Zerafshan. The largest intermountain trough is Ferghana valley – 370 km long, the width reaches 190 km. From three sides it is surrounded with mountain ranges and it is open only from the west.
Rivers of Uzbekistan are formed mainly due to the thawing of seasonal snow. The largest rivers, crossing the territory of Uzbekistan – Amu-Darya and Syr-Darya originate from the outer parts of the country. Amudarya, within the bounds of Uzbekistan comes with its middle and lower current parts. Zeravshan River is its biggest inflow on the territory of Uzbekistan. Syr-Darya is the second largest water-bearing river in Central Asia. Its largest inflow within the bounds of Uzbekistan is the river Chirchik. The middle of its current runs through the territory of Uzbekistan.
Lakes on the territory of Uzbekistan are few, not too large and irregularly spread. The largest – Aral Sea within the bounds of Uzbekistan comes with its southern parts. The second largest lake in Uzbekistan – Aydarkul, located in Kyzyl Kum desert. Considerable quantity of lakes is in highlands at a height of 2000-3000 m.
Flora. The complex relief of republic causes a variety of a vegetative cover. Flora of Uzbekistan has more than 3700 kinds of plants. No less than 20 % of kinds are endemics, i.e. one cannot face it anywhere else; most of them grow in mountains. Flora of steppes and deserts is unusually interesting consisting of few, but original bushes. Scattered on dunes, covered by sand, rough, knotty, bent and broken by winds, with fine leaves or absolutely leafless, represent some kind of a steppe wood, but wood without a shadow and coolness. Fastening a sandy ground with multi-meter roots, steppe brushwood prevent it from being blown by winds and forming loose mobile sand.
Fauna. It was formed in complete conformity with flora and is characterized by resources of specific structure. Best trotters live in deserts of Uzbekistan. Even, rather slowly moving animals, such as hedgehogs, presented in desert as big-eared and long-prickled kinds, have extremities notably longer, than European ones. The birds of desert have got ability for fast running on the ground (pretty-bustard) or for a prompt flight. The lizards adapt to fast movement not only owing to lengthened extremities, but also foot and tail.
Climate. Country is located far away from the oceans and other natural reservoirs. That is why climate here is hot, extremely arid, and sharply continental, which is expressed in big contrasts of day and night, summer and winter temperatures. Dryness, plentyness of warmth and sunshine, high disposition of the sun within a year is typical to this region.
People. Uzbekistan – the most populated republic of Central Asia (60%). Approximately 25 million people live here. Aboriginal population of Uzbekistan is
Uzbeks. Except of Uzbeks there are Karakalpaks, Tajiks, Kazakhs, Kyrgyz, Turkmen, Tatars and others. From Slavonic nation there are Russians, Ukrainians, Byelorussians, Greeks, Germans, Caucasians.
Uzbeks in anthropological meaning is a nation of mixed origin, for the most part including europeoids partly with mongoloid components.
Ethnogeny of Uzbeks has passed in Central Asian Middle East and neighboring regions, in close cooperation with ancient people of Central Asia – Sogds, Bactrians, Sako-massagets and other tribes. But athnonim “uzbek” was established later.
The language forms a part of Turkic group; it becomes spoken and written literary language of Uzbeks, living mainly in Uzbekistan. Variety of dialects is explained by the variegated structure of ethnic groups, taken part in forming of Uzbek nation. In XV century, owing to the efforts and work of Alisher Navoi, old-uzbek language has become common and advanced literary language, whose norms and traditions have been preserved until the end of XIX century. At the beginning of XX century, tendency of democratization of its norms has started; as a result, it became more ordinary and comprehensible.
Uzbek ethnos, until 1927, has used Arabic alphabet (until 1923 – traditional, after – reformed), in 1927-38s – latinized, since 1939 – alphabet, drawn on the base of Russian graphics (Cyrillic alphabet), from 1994 it has started to change to Roman letters.
Uzbek language has the status of official language of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
Religion. During thousands of years Central Asia has been the center of meetings and co-existence of different religions. Exactly religion was the first core of culture, uniting countries and continents, regardless of their nationalities and races.
Predominant religion in Uzbekistan is Islam. Uzbeks are sunni muslims of hanafi persuasion. There is an Islamic University founded in 1999 and a Muslim Board of Uzbekistan in Tashkent.
Orthodoxy came to the region with the Russians. Many other Christian denominations are represented in Tashkent and in other big administrative centers. The Catholic faith is preached by several Catholic churches and communities throughout Uzbekistan. There are also local Jewish communities in Tashkent, Samarkand and Bukhara. .
Money: National Uzbek currency is “sum”. There are 1, 3, 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 200, 500 and 1000 sum bills and 1, 5, 10, 25, 50 and 100 sum coins.
Electricity: Uzbekistan runs on 220 volt, 50Hz AC with twin round plug.
Time: Uzbekistan has one time zone, 5 hours ahead of GMT.