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Capital: Tashkent (Toshkent)
Brief History of Uzbekistan:
The area of Uzbekistan has a long and rich history. Many of its cities were major trade centers on the famous Silk Road. Due to its location in Central Asia, many empires and conquerors passed through the land including Alexander the Great, the Arabs, the Samanid Dynasty, and the Mongols led by Genghis Khan.
In the 14th century the Timurid dynasty rose to power in Uzbekistan led by Tamerlane. Tamerlane's empire spread throughout much of the region and he had his capital at the city of Samarkland.
In the 1800s the Russians absorbed Uzbekistan into their Empire. The area was part of the Russian Empire and then the Soviet Union. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Uzbekistan became an independent country in 1991.
The Geography of Uzbekistan
Total Size: 447,400 square km
Size Comparison: slightly larger than California
Geographical Coordinates: 41 00 N, 64 00 E
World Region or Continent: Asia
General Terrain: mostly flat-to-rolling sandy desert with dunes; broad, flat intensely irrigated river valleys along course of Amu Darya, Syr Darya (Sirdaryo), and Zarafshon; Fergana Valley in east surrounded by mountainous Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan; shrinking Aral Sea in west
Geographical Low Point: Sariqarnish Kuli -12 m
Geographical High Point: Adelunga Toghi 4,301 m
Climate: mostly midlatitude desert, long, hot summers, mild winters; semiarid grassland in east
Major cities: TASHKENT (capital) 2.201 million (2009)
The People of Uzbekistan
Type of Government: republic; authoritarian presidential rule, with little power outside the executive branch
Languages Spoken: Uzbek 74.3%, Russian 14.2%, Tajik 4.4%, other 7.1%
Independence: 1 September 1991 (from Soviet Union)
National Holiday: Independence Day, 1 September (1991)
Religions: Muslim 88% (mostly Sunnis), Eastern Orthodox 9%, other 3%
National Symbol: khumo (mythical bird)
National Anthem or Song: O'zbekiston Respublikasining Davlat Madhiyasi (National Anthem of the Republic of Uzbekistan)
Economy of Uzbekistan
Major Industries: textiles, food processing, machine building, metallurgy, gold petroleum, natural gas, chemicals
Agricultural Products: cotton, vegetables, fruits, grain; livestock
Natural Resources: natural gas, petroleum, coal, gold, uranium, silver, copper, lead and zinc, tungsten, molybdenum
Major Exports: cotton 41.5%, gold 9.6%, energy products 9.6%, mineral fertilizers, ferrous metals, textiles, food products, automobiles (1998)
Major Imports: machinery and equipment 49.8%, foodstuffs 16.4%, chemicals, metals (1998)
Currency: Uzbekistani soum (UZS)
National GDP: $95,240,000,000
** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.
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