Today is officially the end of my first week in this lovely city. Its a lot larger then I thought it was, and I sometimes feel lonely, its bound to happen, but it still hasnt ceased to amaze. I have had amazing conversations about everything from NashaRussia (a comedy show in the post-soviet world), to female Imams, to why my goatee is turning blond, to Microfinance, religion, reading, beer, and of course Hizb-ut-Tahir. Don’t be afraid about the last one family and friends, and maybe even people I do not know. This was brought up because Tajikistan sentenced 4 people to prison terms for being members. The discussion was not if they were a group that should be watched and maybe even jailed, but if the jail sentence was too lite.
This town though not in the south has known its fair share of violence. At the entrance to the Ferghana Valley it has been a place that some religious extremists have run through. Right near where I lived about 10-12 years ago (I dont remember right now), there was a gun fight between on extremist group and the state forces. Even to this day there is always an army guard standing on top of the hill.
But the thing I have come to love most happens around 7:45-8:15 in the evening. I sit out on my porch, which is raised, and as the wind blows softly through the hot streets, I drink tea and read while listening to different mosques start their calls to prayers. It is one of the most relaxing things I have ever experienced, and those who have never had to opportunity to experience a country, or part of a country, where this was possible. I recommend it.
I even can stand the call to prayer alarm clock I have now. Needless to say, after one week, I am still just beginning to get settled, but its on its way.