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Discovery Central Asia #29
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DEAR READERS

Dear readers,

It is always such a great pleasure and honor to present a new issue of our magazine to your attention. The current one is the first in year 2008 and the twenty-third first since we've started publishing. This issue and its timing mean a lot to us: we still remember the spirit of the New Year, yet already anticipate the approaching advent of the spring, which always brings us new hopes and renewal, as it does to the whole nature. Starting with this issue we shall present you with materials not only on assorted topics as before, but also with thematic issues, trying to expose all the flavors of unique Central Asian cultures and regions in a new light. We also bring back our section on China, hoping to make it permanent for all issues in the future.

Our land have seen various countries and nations appear, thrive, decline and perish, but never vanish without a trace - nature abhors the vacuum, and so does the history. They remain with us through names they gave to valleys, mountains, rivers, and lakes, and through bits of their customs, traditions and legends, inherited and brought to us by younger nations. The brightest example of such a remaining tradition is Navruz - an exotic, bright, joyful holiday, a celebration of arriving spring, well-known and observed in Azerbaijan, Albania, Pakistan, India, China, and many other countries. Navruz came to us from the ancient Zoroastrian culture: it was adopted by Islam, which has influenced our land so profoundly.  The major article in this issue is devoted to this wonderful holiday.

Central Asian culture of is a source which can be appealed to many times, and every time it will show you yet another unknown side. Central Asia was presented to the world by numerous prominent scientists, writers, poets, who made a valuable contribution to popularization of this land. This region hasn't grown scarce with talents of its own: we start a new column named “Famous People”, and with it's first appearance it will get you acquainted with Ingan Jubangaliyev, an artist from Kazakhstan.

This issue also continues the theme of ecotourism with a story about Ugam-Chatkal national park. We feel that during the last year we have not paid enough attention to our “Cuisine” section, and plan to make up for that too. 

We shall also proceed with our review of books, and for this issue we've chosen a new book by Rafis Abazov, as well as “Mysterious Asia (Forgotten Legends of Great Silk Road)” and a serious political research by Charles van der Leeuw  all in a hope that these modest short reviews will inspire you to read those books yourself.

We do our best to make your time spent with our magazine both fascinating and useful by trying to embrace all possible spheres of life in our wonderful region, for all of you  traveling, planning a journey, or just enjoying your evening rest, having an imaginary voyage through impressions from what our magazine has told you.

Discovery Central Asia #23

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