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In August 1924, Anabibi Safaeva set off from her home city of Khiva, which was then the capital of the Xorezm People's Republic, to study in Tashkent, which was the administrative center of the Turkistan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic. Safaeva traveled with some 160 students in a convoy of three boats down the Amu River toward the Aral Sea. However, misfortune befell Safaeva: her boat was attacked by basmachis, a bandit or rebel gang.1 The basmachis killed all twenty-two of the men in Safaeva's group and carried off the women as captives. By the time that Safaeva was rescued, more than two months later, there was no longer a Xorezm People's Republic or a Turkistan Republic; instead, Safaeva's Khivan home was now in Uzbekistan, and Tashkent, the goal of her academic pilgrimage, had become the capital of Uzbekistan.

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Nationalism and the Colonial Legacy in the Middle East and Central Asia




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