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Monday 1st March
Salom from Uzbekistan
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Salom from UZBEKISTAN

The pupils from the Tashkent School, a private school, have a website where they write about their activities. They have made a number of educational visits that you can read about in the information on their field trips. They have been to Lepoushka Bakery, a Zoo and Botanical Garden, the Astronomy Institute in Tashkent, the Museum of Applied Arts and a Cotton Factory. (Cotton is a very important crop in Uzbekistan and the country is one of the world's largest cotton exporters.)

As well as taking subjects such as art, history, maths, music and science, the pupils at the Tashkent School study Russian and English.

Emails from Uzbekistan
"Our school is in the capital of Uzbekistan, a little country north of Afghanistan. The capital of Uzbekistan is Tashkent. Uzbekistan is an ancient country with many ancient monuments in cities like Khiva, Samarkand and Bukhara."

"I like Uzbekistan it is very nice here ... the food they call sashlik here, it is sheep meat on a stick that is cooked over this grill. When it is done we have their famous bread call lepushka." ... "Uzbek foods are plov (rice, meat and a lot of spices) and lipioshka (round bread) and meat kebabs. In Uzbekistan people also grow a lot of big juicy melons."

"I like to go shopping with my local friend to the shop called a bazaar".

"We also have a holiday that is Kurban Hait day, in this day we get one holiday when it actually is two or three days for the Russian schools. In this holiday Uzbek people eat plov and liposhki, this is the traditional food."

"My favorite subject is computer lab. Do you have computers in your school? We have a lot of computers, and we can use Internet. We use Internet to research about different topics. My recent research was about Mayan people. I also did research about unclean water. Did you know that asbestos, copper, lead, sewage, PCB's, DDT, dioxin, pesticides, invasive, pathogens, and more pollute waters?"

"Today we are playing soccer against another school. I bet we'll beat them as we always do. They just have one good player who is two times older than all of us and he never passes."

"I like David Beckham. His aim in shooting is practically 100%. He never shoots wide. He plays right midfield."

"My favorite hobbies are soccer and playing computer. My favorite soccer players are David Beckham, Zineadeane Zidane, and Luis Figo. I like to play games on my PC like GTA: 4 and Medal of Honor." ... "My favorite hobbies are to read, roller skate, roller blade, and play soccer."

Emails from Tashkent 11 November

"Hey last night on Nov 10 we had an earthquake but it just was 2 seconds." ... it was a 5 point."

Uzbekistan also has many holidays. For example Navruz (New Day) is our national holiday. In this holiday we make Sumalak (it is a special food made only for Navruz) and given to everyone that we know. We make this food in special huge pots. It has brown color (like chocolate) It is so delicious. Yesterday we had Kurban Khait (Feast of the Sacrifice) it's also holiday. On this holiday we need to wear new clothes, our house needs to be clean, people give money to children. Every child likes this holiday as they are getting money and buying candies whatever they want.

Email about Haj

I am sorry I did not write letter to you because I went to Haj. Do you know about Haj? Here is my short article about Haj.

My Spiritual Journey: The path of Islamís historical and spiritual journey is paved by five basic pillars, which are as follows: Namaz - Performing five times prayers, Rooza - Observing fasts in Ramadan, Haj - Performing the pilgrimage, Zakat - Giving out money to the poor, Iman - Faith in God.

All above pillars are equally important and are compulsory to all Muslims to perform in various stages of their life. Today I am going to share my experience of one of the most important pillars, HAJ.

Haj is compulsory for each Muslim once in life time, provided if they can afford it. Haj takes place on 9th Zil Hajjah Islamic calendar. Its rituals start on 8th Zil Hajjah when each pilgrim wear Ihram (two white sheets of cloth) and proceed to Makkah to perform Tawaf (seven circles of holy kabah). I with my family did the same just before mid day, although Holy Kabah was thoroughly crowded but we managed to complete it and immediately left for Mina.

Mina is situated about 5 km from Makkah and is known as city of tents, where we have to spend a whole night in the tent and offer our 5 prayers. Next day on 9th Zil Hajjah soon after Fajr prayers 0600 hours we left for Arafath, which is the open ground and has a mosque in the center, this is the ground where our last prophet Mohammad offered his last sermon to all Muslims, we spent the whole day there and kept praying until 1800 hours. After sunset we left for Muzdalifah, which is close to Arafath, after arriving at Muzdalifah we kept praying until dawn.

On 10th Zil Hajjah we went to Jamarta to throw stones at Great Satan, I walked almost 12 km up and down and threw stones along with 2.4 millions other Hajis. Unfortunately due to over-crowding and rush 244 pigrims died due to a stampede on the spot. Soon after we slightly trimmed our hair and slaughtered four goats as it is one of the Haj rituals. In the same evening we went to Kabah to perform Tawaf and with this we completed our Haj. (Mecca is in Saudi Arabia)

Emails from Uzbekistan

Thank you for the letters from your students. Following are replies from my kids. ... these will be the last letters we write this year. I hope your end of the year is going well.

Our school is going to close for summer holidays on June 12. It will re-open on August 28.

Read the WIZ information on UZBEKISTAN - bordered by
Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan).


Thanks to Olga Grebennikova, UNDP Kyrgyzstan (Kyrgystan) for the top photo

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