Life at Khanabad

by Nathan Hamm on 4/27/2004

EurasiaNet has a story underlining difficult life in Khanabad, where the US airbase in Uzbekistan is located, is for residents.

There are a litany of issues, all of them entirely valid,* that the villagers have. It sounds as if the US military has made some genuine attempts at helping the village out, but they foolishly gave money to local authorities that went to “other projects.”

The Uzbek security around the base is fascinating. You have to wonder whom they are most interested in protecting from whom…

*The “taxi” thing is something I’m not entirely buying though. No villager made a comment on that one, and this situation (walking 2km to the road for transport) isn’t uncommon. I understand they lost their direct service, but… I lived on a collective farm where many people went to Tashkent for work and had to walk to the taxis and buses. Also, “taxi” is a not entirely accurate to English speakers as it implies a hired car. There’s also the much more widely used marshrutnoe taxi or marshrutka that is shared and follows a certain route. I would bet people were taking these before the airbase too.

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Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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