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Uzbek ambassador to review IU research


By IDS Reports




Music performances, Uzbek food and a talk by the Republic of Uzbekistan’s ambassador to the United States will be part of a program from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. today in the Indiana Memorial Union’s University Club.

Ambassador Ilhom Tuychievich Nematov  is scheduled to visit IU to review its educational offerings about Uzbekistan, according to a press release.

The Department of Central Eurasian Studies, Inner Asian and Uralic National Resource Center  and the IU Uzbek Student and Scholar Association are the event’s
sponsors.

Nematov is the former ambassador of Uzbekistan to India and the former ambassador of Uzbekistan to the Russian Federation,  according to the Embassy of Uzbekistan to the United States website.  

Christopher Atwood, chair and professor of Central Eurasian Studies, said the department has classes that cover a lot of material about Uzbekistan  and offers three years of classes in the Uzbek language.

IU has taught Uzbek since 1965, making it the oldest continuous program in Uzbek pedagogy in North America, Atwood said in a press release.  

“Part of IU has lots of Uzbek culture taught at IU in a very high active way,” Atwood said.

Nematov will go on a tour of campus and meet with students studying Uzbek, according to the press release. Atwood also said Nematov will attend a Central Eurasian Studies faculty dinner.

Atwood said he hopes Nematov’s visit is instrumental in improving the relationship between the U.S. and
Uzbekistan.

“I think Uzbekistan has a period where the relationship with the United States has been a little bit frosty,” Atwood said.  “And right now Uzbekistan is trying to strengthen those relationships and reach out again to the United States.”

Atwood said Uzbekistan is formerly part of the Soviet Union and is by far the largest Central Eurasian country in terms of population. 

“Uzbekistan, with its historic cities of Bukhara and Samarkand, has long been a major stop on the historic Silk Road and a center of Asian literature, philosophy, science, religion, music and culture,” Atwood said in the press release.

Atwood said there are now more opportunities for students to study in Uzbekistan.    

Central Eurasian Studies  offers the federally funded Turkish Flagship Program which develops unique Uzbek language courses for students with Turkic Language background, according to a press release.

“Uzbek and Turkish are really closely related languages and so they are very similar,” Atwood said. “In theory, it might be more successful if students studying Turkish first then go into a more intensive class where they study Uzbek.”
 
— Matt Stefanski

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