Along the Silk Road in Central Asia (eg Samarkand and Bukhara) and the struggle between empires.

Phil Cooper


Organisation:
Phil Cooper HistoricTravelTalks
Region:
East Midlands
Notice Period:
Regular (more than one month's notice)
Type:
U3A, Rotary, Probus, Schools
Fee:
Expensed: Expenses
Category:
Travel
Updated:
30th October 2018
Tagged:
Central Asia | Silk Road | Tamerlane | Mongols

A journey along The Silk Road in Central Asia The Golden Road to Samarkand. “Sweet to ride forth at evening from the wells, When shadows pass gigantic on the sand, And softly through the silence beat the bells, Along the Golden Road to Samarkand," james Elroy Fleckner. This starts in the capital of Turkmenistan, Ashgabat journeying on to Kunya Urgench. This was an important city on the Silk Road. It was laid to waste by Genghis Khan and Tamerlane. Khiva was founded by Shem the son of Noah and was a centre for Persian traders, before coming under Turkic occupation. It was also know as the “City of Slaves”. Bukhara was the holiest city in the area the Kalyan mosque can hold 20,000 worshippers. British intelligence officers were held in the Zindon jail, before meeting their fate in front of the Ark. The British intelligence officers were occupied in a “cloak and dagger” confrontation with Imperial Russia, in the 19th century, as Russia sort to gain a foothold in British India. This intrigue I deal with and was known as “The Great Game”. Samarkand is a place of fabulous buildings, starting off with the Registan. It is know for being the capital of the empire of Tamerlane (1360- 1405), which covered an area which now encompasses parts of 22 countries. His mausoleum, the Gur- e – Amir is a most impressive building. He also started the construction of the Bibi – Khanym mosque, named after his wife, which is the largest in central Asia.

Lastly of interest is how the Great game eventually was resolved, which was in Kashgar, Western China, which I deal with briefly. Many are not aware of this conflict, but in 1885 when Russia occupied Panjdeh in what was Afghanistan, the two countries nearly came to war.

Feedback "Re your talk, usually folks need only to talk for 1/2 hour, partly because too long a talk folks of older years (like children) , their attention is not too good, obviously this does not hold with a slide show, which needs ,in most cases to be longer. HOWEVER, your talk was extremely interesting and I do believe, if you had spoken for much longer  (an hour+) everyone should enjoy it, and no-one would be bored. I did like the aspect that you kept referring to the map when relating to the history this indeed helps when discussing reasons and timings when situations occurred in the distant past. I also feel that your talk appeals to almost all  age groups, and both male and female. I also think you are right to try and emphasise the "Great Game" aspect, as like the others at the coffee morning I was completely unaware of the associated history and political links to "The Silk Road" or rather  "Roads".

Views: 217 | Enquiries: 2

About Phil Cooper

I have accumulated what I feel are good photographs to illustrate my talks which relate to my travel experience. These are to places, often with a historical background and often not readily visited. These include Syria and Jordan, the Silk Road in Central Asia and Western China,, India, Cuba and Peru.

“Great presentation – I spoke to people tonight they were the cleanest photos seen at a Travel Club Presentation. Very good 9 out of 10. It must have been good, hardly anyone dropped off to sleep!” (Taradale Travel Club New Zealand).

My blog site is http://historictraveltalks.blogspot.co.uk (Copy and paste)

The last trip I undertook was to Northern India and the wildlife reserves in Assam, such as Kaziranga, where there is a large variety of wildlife, including the vulnerable One Horned Rhino. This is the basis of a talk which was well received at Havelock North Rotary Club, Hawkes Bay New Zealand in February 2018.

I look back at my trip in the Middle East - from Cairo to Istanbul and reflect on what I saw then and what I see currently in places like Aleppo. However the highlight for me was the crusader fortress of Krak des Chevaliers, which is shown on the photo I have included. This was described by TE Lawrence as "perhaps the best preserved and most wholly admirable castle in the world". Indeed he associated with many places along this journey.

I research the topics thoroughly and I provide a narrative and background to illustrated talks. I operate on a voluntary basis and am prepared to travel within reasonable distances from my home in North Nottinghamshire.

 Along the Silk Road in Central Asia Talk Feedback

This part of Central Asia included in particular Kunya Urgench, Khiva, Bukhara and Samarkand. The buildings are simply stunning and the area is historically very interesting. It is the arena where the Great Game was played out, the political and diplomatic confrontation between Britain and Russia in the 19th century, which was described by one of the audience as fascinating.

"Very interesting talk. I could hear every word. I knew nothing about this area and learnt a lot. Pleased I came!!"

“Your talk was extremely interesting and I do believe, if you had spoken for much longer   everyone should enjoy it, and no-one would be bored. I did like the aspect that you kept referring to the map when relating to the history this indeed helps when discussing reasons and timings when situations occurred in the distant past. I also feel that your talk appeals to almost all  age groups, and both male and female.”

I am a former graduate Biology teacher and also coached cricket for 24 seasons. mainly in New Zealand,Scotland and Amsterdam. as a professional.

I currently spend the early part of the year in New Zealand (mainly January and February) and I have delivered several talks, often in New Zealand, which of course I also have an extensive knowledge of having visited the country 14 times. This would be another option, but i suspect many have already visited this wonderful country.


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