Bukhara (بُخارا in Persian, Buxoro in Uzbek; Бухара in Russian; also Boxara in Tatar) is one of the major cities of Uzbekistan, capital of the Bukhara region (Bukhoro Wiloyati ). The majority of city's population are Persian-speaking Tajiks. It forms together with Samarkand the two major centers of the Tajiki-Persian culture and history. During the Soviet times these two Tajiki centers were annexed to the Uzbekistan SSR, much to the disgust of the Tajiks of Central-Asia. Ever since a harsh program of assimilation and cultural confinement has been carried out on the Tajiks of Uzbekistan by the Uzbek authority.
Bukhara is also home to a large number of Jews, whose ancestors settled in the city during Roman times. The term 'Bukharan Jew' is frequently used to describe all Jews who come from Central Asia.
Bukhara has been one of the main centers of Iranian civilization during the history. Its architecture and archaeological sites form one of the pillars of the Persian history and art. The region of Bukhara was for a long period a part of the Persian Empire. The origin of its inhabitants goes back to the period of Aryan immigration into the region. The Iranian Soghdians inhabited the area and some centuries later the Persian language became dominant among them. The Last emir of Bukhara was Muhammad Alim Khan (1880-1944)*
The historic center of Bukhara has been listed by UNESCO as one of the World Heritage Sites. It contains numerous mosques and madrassas.
A statue of the populist philosopher and wise man Nasreddin can be found on a central square. It shows him riding his donkey backwards and grasping its tail, as he is traditionally depicted.
- Moorcroft, William and Trebeck, George. 1841. Travels in the Himalayan Provinces of Hindustan and the Panjab; in Ladakh and Kashmir, in Peshawar, Kabul, Kunduz, and Bokhara... from 1819 to 1825, Vol. II. Reprint: New Delhi, Sagar Publications, 1971.
Last updated: 05-09-2005 20:51:17