Zahid Tashkhojayev has a routine. Before he heads out for training with his amputee football team, he watches the news to put him in the moment. With his mental batteries recharged, Tashkhojayev says, he can face the future.
Tashkhojayev is a goalkeeper for Uzbekistan’s premier amputee football team, Matonat — the Uzbek word for courage.
The small village of Aknalich, about 35 kilometers (22 miles) west of Armenia’s capital, Yerevan, will soon be home to the world’s largest Yazidi temple. For a people striving to rebound after a 2014 massacre by Islamic State militants in Iraq, the structure is a symbol of resilience.
Turkmenistan finds itself isolated of its own volition, Iran through international sanctions. Over the last month, the two countries, which share a 922-kilometer border, have engaged in a flurry of diplomatic and economic activity that should boost bilateral relations.
Pope Francis visited Armenia to promote the values of peace and reconciliation, but, for many ordinary Armenians, the pontiff’s June 24-26 trip only deepened a divide that separates them from their own government.
Turkmenistan sits upon around one-tenth of the world’s proven natural gas reserves. Tajikistan is so poverty-stricken that around half its adult male population is forced to travel abroad in search of work.