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Tajikistan and Afghanistan

Duration:
11 minutes
First broadcast:
Monday 30 September 2013

A few years ago, Tajikistan's long-serving president decided that his then-surname Rakhmonov was a bit too long. So he lopped off the 'ov' and reverted to the more Central Asian-sounding Rakhmon.

In other ways though, Emomali Rakhmon is thinking bigger, not smaller. The Tajik capital Dushanbe is experiencing a municipal building boom on a grand scale. Jamie Coomarasamy recently returned from the country, where he paid a visit to the world’s largest tea rooms and Central Asia’s biggest library (albeit one without many books).

Also on the programme, Julia Paul recently travelled from Belfast to Kabul, where she helped put together a project to support women writers. While in Kabul she found some surprising parallels between Northern Ireland and Afghanistan.

(Photo: Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon (L) speaks to people at a polling station in Dushanbe in 2006. Credit: Maxim Marmur/AFP/Getty Images)

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