The Republic of Tajikistan is a rugged, mountainous, landlocked country in Central Asia with lush valleys to the south and north. It borders Afghanistan to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east. Pakistan also borders Tajikistan to the south east but is separated by the narrow Wakhan Corridor. It is a major water source for Central Asia, with many wild and beautiful rivers flowing through it and across its borders. Most of Tajikistan is extremely rural and has vast areas of alpine and desert wilderness, though the southwest region is intensely farmed.
In 1991 Tajikistan was plunged into civil war almost as soon as it became independent from the Soviet Union. The country’s economy has never really recovered from the civil war, poverty is widespread and it is Central Asia’s poorest nation. The Tajik people share culture and history with the Iranian people and speak a dialect of the Persian language (officially named Tajik). The country has many other ethnic groups, primarily… [end of sample extract]