Kazakhstan Dispatch

by Nathan Hamm on 9/20/2004

Amanda checks in from Arys.

But take another drive, this time not at noon but as the sun is slowly setting, and the desert shows its loveliness. I can understand now why people live here and wish to conquer it, and not simply to pass through. Those pale grasses glow golden, and when the sun is not so high you can see the rivulets that past water left in the soil. The shrubbery no longer looks depressingly beat low towards the ground, but strong and fairly frequent; they take the color of evergreen pines. Flocks of birds appear. There are camels, both dromedary and bactarian, grazing along the side of the road (time for the tourist instincts: please stop the car, I’d like a photo). Somehow, this time of day which I like is harder for me to describe than high noon was. It’s as though the attitude of the place has changed, or perhaps just my own.

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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

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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