Uzbek president Islam Karimov yesterday awarded prizes to participants in the song contest "Uzbekistan is my Motherland," announced a decision to make this contest an annual event, and instituted a regular national holiday to mark it. On the preceding day, Karimov inspected the nearly completed building of the museum dedicated to Timur Lenq (Tamerlane) and his dynasty, rulers of a powerful and culturally advanced Central Asian mediaeval state centered in Samarkand, in present-day Uzbekistan. Karimov described independent Uzbekistan as a successor and heir to that state’s achievements. The song and museum events were timed to the opening of parliament. (Interfax, USIS Uzbek press review, August 28 and 29)
Uzbekistan, along with other newly independent states of ex-Soviet Central Asia, is catching up on some of the classical measures of the nation-building process. In this region’s current context, nation-building steps are also meant to overcome residual elements of Soviet consciousness and at the same time offset pan-Islamic ideas while promoting secularism.
Turkmen Oil-Refining Complex Undergoes Modernization.