Saturday, January 22, 2011

Beards in Beautiful Tajikistan

The Northern Alliance, which by report makes up most of Afghanistan’s military and which is the strongest fighting force in the country, is made up mainly of Tajiks. The Tajiks in Afghanistan are close, and closely related, to Tajiks in Tajikistan, just across the porous northern border.

Tajiks on both sides of the border hate the Taliban, who tried to take over Tajikistan after the War with the Soviets had been won. The two civil wars ruined a beautiful and — for Muslims – moderate country. To be fair -- as all good Liberals must be -- Talibs also hate moderation. As do some Christians here at home. And some atheists I could name.

However, the Taliban is resurgent in Tajikistan. The government, to oppose them, is pursuing men with beards, to shave 'em.

If Tajikistan falls, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan will fall, according to Nixon's infallible Domino Theory. What! You don't know what a "Nixon" is? Ah, youth. Well, it was thought to be a person with a theory -- a proven fact, really -- that if we let South Vietnam become Communist, all of Asia would Follow Suit, as dominoes fall when stacked end on end. A law of nature really. And that's just what happened! Thailand, Laos, India, Pakistan, and all the rest are now controlled by commie pinko rats, just as Nixon predicted! Whataguy.

Ich bin ein Tajik! As well as a Palestinian.

Or would be but for my beard.

Palestinians love beards; Tajiks don't trust 'em: what’s a Liberal to do?


Here are some pics of Tajikistan and Tajiks, to support my contention that it is a beautiful country. But first, a map:

What an oddly-shaped country! Note the odd Afghanistan spur that separates Tajikistan from Pakistan, created by the British who didn't want any prat of Tajikistan to touch British India, as it was then. The spur has a deep ravine guarded by steep mountains, and was the Uighurs' main connection with the outside world until the kindly Han ethnic group -- the largest in China; the largest in the world -- forced its closing.

Ich bin ein Uighur also, for that matter. "Come in. I contain multitudes." Krishna Fluting, John Barry (1959). Made an impression, as you can see.

Migrant Tajiks working in Russia because there isn't enough work at home.

This is as it was in my home town, before machines took over.

And football, as always, everywhere.

In 2005, Farrukh Berdiev made a spectacular save in a game against India, winning the game. His fame is assured for life.

Tajik President Emomali Rahmon's eldest son, Rustam Emomali, plays on this team, which he recently formed. You can see the close family resemblance to George W. Bush, who also had a dad and a team.

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