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New Face of Dushanbe

The capital of Tajikistan, Dushanbe, is a fairly new city which grew of a small village in the early 1900’s. It was called Dushanbe, meaning Monday, after the village where the Monday markets were held. Following the Soviet Union take-over in Central Asia, it was made the capital of the newly created Tajik Republic in 1925, and renamed Stalinabad four years later. It finally regained its original name of Dushanbe in 1961.

The city was badly damaged as a result of the civil war in Tajikistan that erupted shortly after its independence in 1991 and continued for five years. However, the subsequent recovery of the Tajik economy has transformed Dushanbe into a rapidly growing commercial, cultural and industrial centre. This development has had a great impact on the appearance of the city, especially in the last few years when some parts of the city have changed beyond recognition.

New modern buildings have sprung up and the façades of some old Soviet style blocks have been revamped, replacing the concrete with glass. Glittering western style discotheques and night clubs have opened and Iranian pop singers living in Los Angeles are frequently invited to give concerts. Expensive foreign cars cruise the streets and satellite dishes have multiplied on the rooftops.

But these changes seem to be rather superficial, whilst more fundamental improvements in the infrastructure are still needed. Blackouts still occur, and some uneven roads and muddy streets remain the same as before. None of these, however, lessens the charm of this vibrant city, examples of which we can see in this multimedia report by Dariush Rajabian who recently visited Dushanbe.

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- Sobir، 2010/02/07
It seems neither Patrick nor Anonymous have recently visited Dushanbe. It's changed its face a great deal and Moin & Afshin are among those Iranian LA pop stars who visited Dushanbe just in one year (2009). And you can rarely see Russian cars on Dushanbe streets indeed. There are still many problems of course and they've been mentioned in the report too.
- Anonymous، 2010/02/07
New modern buildings; Glittering western style discotheques and night clubs; concerts of Iranian pop singers from Los Angeles; Expensive foreign cars cruising the streets .... is the reporter coming from another Dushanbe or from the future - "MONDAY 2050" :)
- Patrick، 2010/02/05
I recently worked for two years in Dushanbe.I don't completely agree with some of the things he said. My friends there haven't mentioned any "glittering western style discotheques" or "frequent visits by Iranian pop singers living in Los Angeles. I certainly don't think most of the new cars are Mercedes or Opels! Sadly, much of the luxury flashed in the city is by narcotraffickers and corrupt government officials. Don't let my comment cause you to think poorly of the city: with all its problems it can still be lovely and the people are warm and friendly.
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