The following are things I’m learning about a country, Uzbekistan, I will probably never see. I have American friends who used to live in Tashkent and other Americans who have visited to Bukhara and Sumarkand, but me…not to be. Recently I came across some interesting names so I need to educate myself about who Amir Temur and Babur were. What do the Kazakh people know about these characters? I wonder, because we as Americans know nothing about these Central Asian warriors and leaders.
First, who is Amir Temur? Doing a Wikipedia search (not to be confused with wikileaks) I came across this info:
Timur (from the Perso-Arabic form تیمور Tīmūr, ultimately from Chagatai (Middle Turkic) Temür “iron“; 8 April 1336 – 18 February 1405), normally known as Tamerlane (from Tīmūr-e Lang) in English, was a fourteenth-century conqueror of Western, South and Central Asia, founder of the Timurid Empire and Timurid dynasty (1370–1405) in Central Asia, and great great grandfather of Babur, the founder of the Mughal Dynasty, which survived until 1857 as the Mughal Empire in India.
Born into the Turco-MongolBarlas tribe who ruled in Central Asia, Timur was in his lifetime a controversial figure, and remains so today. He sought to restore the Mongol Empire, yet his heaviest blow was against the Islamized Tatar Golden Horde. He was more at home in an urban environment than on the steppe. He styled himself a ghazi yet some Muslim states, e.g. the Ottoman Empire, were severely affected by his wars. A great patron of the arts, his campaigns also caused vast destruction. Timur told the qadis of Aleppo, during the sack of that newly conquered city, “I am not a man of blood; and God is my witness that in all my wars I have never been the aggressor, and that my enemies have always been the authors of their own calamity.”
Next, here’s more from Wikipedia about the character Babur, not a very nice person in my estimation, supposedly he was a poet but I think a bloodthirsty one:
Babur was born on February 23 [O.S. February 14] 1483 in the town of Andijan, in the Fergana Valley which is in modern Uzbekistan. He was the eldest son of ʿOmar Sheykh Mirzā, ruler of the Fergana Valley, and his wife Qutluq Negār Khānum, daughter of Yonus Khān, the ruler ofMoghulistan.
Although Babur hailed from the Barlas tribe which was of Mongol origin, his tribe had embraced Turkic and Persian culture,converted to Islam and resided in Turkestan and Khorasan. His mother tongue was the Chaghatai language (known to Babur as Turkī, “Turkic”) and he was equally at home in Persian, the lingua franca of the Timurid elite.
Hence Babur, though nominally a Mongol (or Moghul in Persian), drew much of his support from the Turkic and Iranian peoples of Central Asia, and his army was diverse in its ethnic makeup, including Persians (Tajiks or Sarts, as they were called by Babur),Pashtuns, and Arabs as well as Barlas and Chaghatayid Turco-Mongols from Central Asia. Babur’s army also included Qizilbāsh fighters, a militant religious order ofShi’aSufis from Safavid Persia who later became one of the most influential groups in the Mughal court.
Babur is said to have been extremely strong and physically fit. He could allegedly carry two men, one on each of his shoulders, and then climb slopes on the run, just for exercise. Legend holds that Babur swam across every major river he encountered, including twice across theGanges River in North India.
His passions could be equally strong. In his first marriage he was “bashful” towards ʿĀʾisha Ṣultān Begum, later losing his affection for her.
He also had a great passion to kill people, cut heads of people and create pillars out of cut head. He claimed to have created several such pillars in his autobiography.
Finally, there is Ulugbek, but that’s enough of looking into Uzbekistan’s history through the eyes of Wikipedia. There has to be something that upholds virtue and other character traits that can help benefit children in schools that are building up a civil society. Food for thought, these two anecdotes about Central Asian leaders from the distant past…