Brief History of Tajikistan:
The area that is today the Tajik Republic has been inhabited for thousands of years. It was part of the Persian Empire for a long period of time. Later it became part of the Batrian Empire and then the Arabs came, brining the religion of Islam.
In 875 AD the Samanid Empire came in to power. They ruled until 1000 AD and much of the Tajik culture comes from the Samanid Empire.
In the 19th century Tajikistan was absorbed into the Russian Empire. Following World War I and the rise of the Soviet Union, it also became part of the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union broke up, Tajikistan became an independent country if 1991.
The Geography of Tajikistan
Total Size: 143,100 square km
Size Comparison: slightly smaller than Wisconsin
Geographical Coordinates: 39 00 N, 71 00 E
World Region or Continent: Asia
General Terrain: Pamir and Alay Mountains dominate landscape; western Fergana Valley in north, Kofarnihon and Vakhsh Valleys in southwest
Geographical Low Point: Syr Darya (Sirdaryo) 300 m
Geographical High Point: Qullai Ismoili Somoni 7,495 m
Climate: midlatitude continental, hot summers, mild winters; semiarid to polar in Pamir Mountains
Major cities: DUSHANBE (capital) 704,000 (2009)
The People of Tajikistan
Type of Government: republic
Languages Spoken: Tajik (official), Russian widely used in government and business
Independence: 9 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National Holiday: Independence Day (or National Day), 9 September (1991)
Religions: Sunni Muslim 85%, Shi'a Muslim 5%, other 10% (2003 est.)
National Symbol: crown surmounted by seven, five-pointed stars
National Anthem or Song: Surudi milli (National Anthem)
Economy of Tajikistan
Major Industries: aluminum, zinc, lead; chemicals and fertilizers, cement, vegetable oil, metal-cutting machine tools, refrigerators and freezers
Agricultural Products: cotton, grain, fruits, grapes, vegetables; cattle, sheep, goats
Natural Resources: hydropower, some petroleum, uranium, mercury, brown coal, lead, zinc, antimony, tungsten, silver, gold
Major Exports: aluminum, electricity, cotton, fruits, vegetable oil, textiles
Major Imports: electricity, petroleum products, aluminum oxide, machinery and equipment, foodstuffs
National GDP: $16,220,000,000
** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.
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