Events 0 comments on Silk, Spices, Veils and Vodka

Silk, Spices, Veils and Vodka

Felicity Timcke’s missive publication, “Silk, Spices, Veils and Vodka” brings both a refreshing and new approach to life on the expat trail. South African by origin, Timcke has lived in some very exotic places, mostly along the more challenging countries of the Silk Road. Although the book’s content, which is entirely composed of letters to the author’s friends and family, is directed primarily at this group, it provides “20 years of musings” that will enthral and delight those who have either experienced a similar expatriate existence or who are nervously about to depart for one.

Starting in Uzbekistan, Timcke’s world of “firsts”, the excitement of a new posting and a new place to explore are clear in the style and tone of her early letters written from the home of an Uzbek family that she and her husband live with. Her shopping visits to the stationery shop to buy toilet paper and of her first pay check arriving in a carrier bag of small notes gloss over the more sinister bureaucracy and control she discovers as she goes deeper under the country’s skin.

With interludes in a more familiar England, Timcke soon finds herself in Maputo, Mozambique chasing art deco buildings and avoiding being dragged into the local school musical extravaganza, before heading to Kabul, Afghanistan and being held hostage…by Americans. Forced to leave Kabul as the bombs intensify and her local supermarket falls victim she next heads to Iran and is keen to dispel the negative publicity as she celebrates New Year in Tehran, welcoming the New Year, that is the year 1389.

Finishing with a perhaps more civilised Dubai and Istanbul, Timcke’s book is well adapted to those who wish to dip in and out, read a letter or two at a time and then ponder for themselves what it might really be like if one day they were sent to live in these once faraway places full of silk, spices, veils and (in some cases) plenty of vodka.


ISBN: 978-0992787318

Buy this book on  AMAZON.CO.UK   




Events 0 comments on Felicity Timke

Felicity Timke

Felicity Timcke grew up and was educated in South Africa. After marrying her husband, Michael, as a new bride, she was swept off to explore the exotic lands of Aladdin and Marco Polo, Ali Baba and Genghis Khan, some of the fabulous characters who were her childhood fascinations and friends. As an English teacher, a librarian and a musician, Felicity has managed to combine her love of words, and her passion for exotic cultures, creating a kaleidoscope of the images she has seen and the people she has met on the Silk Road she has walked on through Central Asia: Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan and Turkey to mention some.  In a compilation of letters to her family and friends, Felicity invites you to share with her some of her most exciting, hilarious and awkward moments as well as her most moving and intimate experiences  in her biographical travelogue to destinations reached by roads less traveled in her book “Silk, Spices, Veils and Vodka”.

Author of “Silk, Spices, Veils & Vodka”


Events 1 comment on Ian Claytor

Ian Claytor

Ian Claytor is a British citizen who has been living in Kyrgyzstan since 1995 and has seen many changes in the country during that time. A former secondary school teacher of Religious Studies, Mathematics and Information Technology in Britain, he now runs a tour company and two hotels in Kyrgyzstan. His kaleidoscopic experience and interests fit well with the breadth and diversity by the different aspects of geography, history, wildlife and culture that can be found in his adopted home.


Available to pre-order 

Events 1 comment on 100 EXPERIENCES OF KYRGYZSTAN


100KG - cover

You would be forgiven for missing the tiny landlocked country of Kyrgyzstan on the map. Meshed into Central Asia’s inter-locking web of former Soviet Union boundaries, this mountainous country still has more horses than cars. It never fails to surprise and delight all who visit. Proud of its nomadic traditions, dating back to the days of the Silk Road, be prepared for Kyrgyzstan’s overwhelming welcome of hospitality, received, perhaps, in a shepherd’s yurt out on the summer pastures. Drink bowls of freshly fermented mare’s milk with new found friends and let the country’s traditions take you into their heart. Marvel at the country’s icy glaciers, crystal clear lakes and dramatic gorges set beneath the pearly white Tien Shan mountains that shimmer, heaven-like, in the summer haze as the last of the winter snows caps their dominating peaks. Immerse yourself in Central Asia’s jewel with its unique experiences and you will leave with a renewed zest for life and an unforgettable sense of just how man and nature can interact in harmony.

Discovery Magazine’s colorful new title, exploring the 100 essential experiences of Kyrgyzstan covers everything from its cities to culture, horse games to holidays and authors to yurts. Told through personal experiences written by locals, each vignette brings the reader closer to understanding and interacting with one of Central Asia’s most endearing and historic cultures. Nothing better prepares the reader for what to expect from Kyrgyzstan’s nature or people, nor celebrates the unique heritage left from thousands of years of Silk Road history. This publication, filled with stunning photography, brings out the exhilarating flavours of the country’s foods, spectacular scenery and warm-hearted people and delivers the urge to return time and time again and discover more of this wonderful corner of Central Asia.

Author: Ian Claytor

Design: Aleksandra Vlasova

Editors: Nick Rowan, Roger Chao

Available for pre-orders

Events 0 comments on Galina Dolgaya

Galina Dolgaya

Galina Dolgaya  was born on April 13, 1959 in Tashkent city. She was graduated from the Tashkent institute of the National Economy, faculty of Economic cybernetics.  And worked as a programmer and a teacher. Since 2007 started to write sketches about her travels and impressions, novels and verses.  She participated on Open Central Asia book forum and Literature festival 2013 in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and took the 1st place in “Literary work” category.

Events 0 comments on Aygul Khakimjanova

Aygul Khakimjanova

Aygul Khakimjanova (Kazakhstan) – Illustrator

1984 –  she finished Kazakh Pedagogical University named after Abai, art and graphic faculty. The member of the Union of artists Kazastan since 1995. In 2002 I entered association of artists – book schedules of Kazakhstan.

Since 1995 to the present – the illustrator of books for children and magazines. Iluustrated Kazakh fairy-tales: «Керқұла атты Кендебай», «Ер Төстік», «Күн астындағы Күнікей қыз»


Events 1 comment on Robin Thompson (UK)

Robin Thompson (UK)

Robin Thompson (UK)

First degree: BEng Electrical and Electronic Engineering (1988).

Second degree: MA Languages (Interpreting and Translating), Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh (2005), first class honours.

Associate member of Institute of Translation and Interpreting Professional member of (translator website) A keen traveller in central Europe and the former Soviet countries, notably Central Asia.

Have lived in Germany (Frankfurt/Main and Leipzig, 2000-3), Russia (Moscow, 2004), Turkmenistan (Ashgabat, 2005-6), Turkey (Istanbul, 2008).

Freelance translator from Russian to English periodically since 1998. Currently developing a business specifically for tourism and culture translations concentrating on Central Asia (website to follow).

Translation from German since 2002.

Have informally acted as a guide and interpreter to visitors to the UK and also for groups to the fomer Soviet countries. A keen travel writer (see blog on recent trip to Almaty and Bishkek).

Other interests: cycling, hiking, museums, community baking, mindfulness meditation.

Currently based in Scotland, UK, working as a translator from home with occasional work

Translated & edited: Under the Wolf nest: A Turkic Rhapsody by Kairat Zakiryanov

Events 1 comment on Marinika Babanazarova

Marinika Babanazarova


I, Marinika Maratovna Babanazarova, nee Nurmukhamedova, was born on September 7, 1955 in Moscow region (Russia) in the family of the outstanding karakalpak scholar Marat Nurmukhamedov.

Up to 1966 our family lived in Nukus, Karakalpakstan, then moved to Tashkent. In 1972, after graduating from the secondary school, I entered the faculty of Roman-Germanic languages of Tashkent State University, which I graduated with honours in 1977. In 1976 I got married with medical doctor Damir Babanazarov and moved again in Nukus, where I gave lectures and practical courses of the English stylistics in Nukus State University. In 1983 was invited to Nukus Art Museum by Mr. Savitsky, the founder and first director of the museum who was the friend of our family. The same year I started to study history of arts by correspondence in Tashkent Art Institute. In 1990 I got a diploma of art historian.

In the museum I started with scientific secretary and curatorial activities. In 1984, after Savitsky’s death, I was appointed the director of the museum at the staff’s

Request and according to Savitsky’s will.

During all the years I arranged and participated in the exhibitions in more than 20 cities of the Soviet Union, after 1991, 5 exhibitions abroad were held and the catalogues were written by me. One of them “Avangard, ostanovlennyi na begu” 1989 has become the bestseller of that year. Some exhibitions, like “Forgotten Canvases”(Moscow, the Oriental Arts Museum, 1988), in the Russian  Museum of St.Petersbourg in 1991, in the Chemnitz Museum (Germany), 1995, “Les Survivants des Sables Rouges” in France 1998 under high patronage of President Chirac were very successful and got worldwide recognition.

In 1993 I participated in the International Visitors Program in USIA for the Museum Managers. Upgraded my knowledge in the  Louvre Museum of Paris in 1998, in the British Museum in 2000, studied the work of many other European museums, read lecture in Stockholm Ethnographical Museum (1999) and the Swedish Aral Sea Society (2003), in Austrian Oriental Society in Vienna (2002), participated in the Conference in Almaty “Central Asia and Avangarde Art”,” Interpreting Asian Cultures  in the museums” in the British Museum (2000), ICOC conference in Washington (April, 2003) and read lectures on Karakalpak textiles to rug societies of Philadelphia, Indianapolis, Los angeles, Seattle (USA) – April-May (2003).

In 1996 for outstanding activities in preserving and propaganda of culture was included in “Who’s Who in the World” 13-th edition of Marquis (USA) encyclopaedia, as well as into “International Biographical Directory” of Cambridge and “Women of the World. Who’s Who” 1997   for the same reasons.

I am the member of Boards of many commitees of Karakalpakstan Friend of Culture NGOs like Culture Fund, Fund for Preservation of Archaeological Monuments, “For Healthy Generation”, “Cultural Heritage”, etc.

I have built links with many foreign experts in restoration e.g. “Restorateurs Sans Frontiers ”, museology, NGOs and funds for the  sake of preservation of the cultural values and community development, met many outstanding personalities (Albert Gore, Prince of Wales, Secretary Albright and others). I was a member of Karakalpak Parliament (1995-1999), and am a member of Central Elections Committee of the Republic of Uzbekistan, member of Woman’s Committee of Uzbekistan  (1998-2001).

I have 2 daughters.

List of major publications:

1.Avangard, ostanovlennyi na begu. E. Kovtun, Marinika Babanazarova, E.

Gazieva. Aurora Art Publishers, Leningrad, 1989

2. Russissche Avantgarde. Grafik aus dem Kunstmuseum Nukus, Karakalpakstan.

Stadtische Kunstsammlungen Chemnitz. Daco-Verlag Stuttgart. 1995

3. Les Survivants des Sables Rouges. Art russe du Musee de Noukous.

Ouzbekistan 1920-1940. Conseil Regional Basse-Normandie, 1998

4. XX century Avantguard. From the collection of the State museum of arts of

the Republic of Karakalpakstan. Tashkent, 2003

5. A World of Carpets and Textiles. Washington D.C., 2003

6.A guide-book on the Savitsky Art Museum.2006(English,French)

She author of Igor Savitsky-Artist, Collector, Museum Founder


Events 0 comments on Ekaterina Bashmanova

Ekaterina Bashmanova

Ekaterina Bashmanova, 20 years old. The student of the Kyrgyz-Russian Slavic university on specialties “International Journalism”. Hopes to succeed in the sphere of literary criticism. Whether it is worth saying that literature – her biggest passion in life.  Though not the only –  very vividly is interested also in history, geography, music, mountaineering.  Surprising combination of risk and congenital care.

Events 0 comments on DR. KASHKAROV Roman Danilovich

DR. KASHKAROV Roman Danilovich

DR. KASHKAROV Roman Danilovich (1962)

Candidate of Sciences (Biol.), the supervisor of a scientific group at the Department of Zoology in National University of Uzbekistan. In 1984, he graduated from Tashkent State University, vertebrate Department of Vertebrate Zoology. The field of scientific interests includes ecology, protection and sustainable use of terrestrial vertebrate animals.

For more than 20 years (from 1984 to 2005) Dr. Kashkarov worked as a zoologist at the Uzbek antiplague station. From 2000 to 2005 he took part in the work of different international projects: Red Listing (INTAS project № 99-1483); “STEPICA, b-ii Call identifier” (University of Oslo, Norway); Central Asian transboundary GEF project for conservation of biodiversity of the West Tian-Shan; “Co-ordination of scientific activities towards elaboration of common strategy for environmental protection and sustainable management in Syr-Darya River Basin, in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan” (Warsaw University, Poland).

From 2005 he was a National Coordinator of “Important bird areas” program in Uzbekistan”. In 2008 he became an executive chief at the NGO “Uzbekistan Society for the Protection of Birds”. In 2002, he started work on zoological collections as junior research worker. From 2004 he is a head of scientific group. He was a participant and leader of more than 70 zoological expeditions.

He is the Author and co-author of more than 60 scientific publications including “Ecological Atlas of Uzbekistan” (2007), books “About mammals of Kyrgyzstan” (2003), “Mammals. Encyclopedia” (2008), “Important bird areas of Uzbekistan” (2008), “Reference catalogue of zoological collections of Uzbekistan” (2009).

In 2009, Uzbekistan Science and Technologies Center awarded grants for the realization of the next project “Creation of information system for Uzbekistan vertebrate animal data management for the purpose of biodiversity conservation and efficient nature manager based on electronic bases of zoological collections”.