The Tajik government announced yesterday that it has changed the name of the Peak of Communism into Peak of Ismail Samani. The 7,495-meter peak in the Pamir Mountains is Tajikistan’s highest; its earlier name had been Stalin Peak (International agencies, October 5). Communist place names are ubiquitous in Tajikistan to this day.
Ismail Samani was the founder of the Samanid dynasty and state, which ruled large parts of Central Asia during the ninth and tenth centuries. The center of that state was Bukhara in present-day Uzbekistan. The Uzbek government not only celebrates the Samanid heritage, but also seeks to exercise political influence in post-civil war Tajikistan. Tashkent is undoubtedly pleased by Dushanbe’s choice of the Samani name, and may even have inspired it.–VS
STATE RATIONALIZATION PRESSES ON.