My biggest achievement in 2019 in terms of writing was publishing my new blog about Tamara Khanum on BBC Uzbek online platform on the 9th October 2019. It was a worthwhile endeavour to spend hours and hours searching for new facts and reading snippets of information, I could find in the British Library and in the archives of the English Folk Dance and Song Society (EFDSS). I am immensely thankful to the EFDSS staff for granting their support and assistance in finding the right resources and even scanning them for me! Without their support this article would never come to its current shape.
At the end of my research, I finally put the puzzle together, bringing to light this story about participation of the outstanding Tamara-Khanum and accompanying her musicians in the First International Folk Dance Festival, that took place in London in 1935. Tamara Khanum arrived to London with Usto Olim Komilov (a famous musician, choreographer, cultural activist and mentor) and musicians, Tokhtasyn Jalilov and Abdukodir Ismoilov, who introduced the Uzbek culture to the British public for the first time in 1935.
Initially, the story was written in English. The BBC Uzbek journalist, Ibrat Jumaboyev read the original and liked it so much that he proposed to translate it into Uzbek language and publish on BBC Uzbek News online platform for the Uzbek-speaking readers. Needless to say, I was very pleased when I saw my article published on BBC News Uzbek! Some time later, the Russian and English versions were published (with some modifications) on Voices on Central Asia and Central Asian Analytical Network, CAAN.
I am pleased to share the links for all three versions here:
UZBEK: Ўзбекистон ва Британия: 1935 йил Лондонда Тамарахоним қандай кутиб олинган ёхуд Усто Олим салласи сири (BBC News Uzbek, 9/10/2019)
ENGLISH: How they met Tamara Khanum in London and the secret of Usto Olim Komilov’s turban (Voices on Central Asia, 22/10/2019)
RUSSIAN: Как встречали Тамару Ханум в Лондоне и секрет чалмы Усто Олима Комилова (CAAN, Central Asian Analytical Network, 22/10/2019)