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A dedicated traveller with a passion for calligraphy, miniature paintings and textiles, Russell has travelled extensively through the Middle East, Iran & Central Asia.
His language studies include French, German, Japanese, Arabic, Persian & Mandarin. It is an amazing privilege to travel in the heart of the Silk Road.
She gained international fame collecting and performing folk dances and songs from diverse nations; a remarkably quick learner, she could perform a piece like a native within a few days of first encountering it.
We visit artisans’ workshops where local craftsmen specialise in a variety of handicrafts, including tin-covered wooden bookstands, miniature paintings, weaving and metalwork.
In the traditional streets nearby and of particular note, is the house workshop of master block-printer Yuriy Pak.
The complex takes its name from Mazar Kaffallya ash-Shashi – the first Imam and preacher of Islam in Tashkent (‘Hazrat Imam’ translates as ‘The Holy Imam’) and includes the Barak Khan Madrasa.
One of the earliest structures within the ensemble is a large mausoleum (1530) crowned with double cupola and built by the founder of the Uzbek Sheybanid dynasty, Suyunidj-khan.
In nearby Chimbai village we visit one of the few remaining families making nomadic yurts in the traditional manner.