Just a few short weeks after TechWomen’s delegation trip to Sierra Leone, it was time for our second trip of 2019 — to Uzbekistan! Sixteen TechWomen mentors, 13 fellows from Uzbekistan and a record of 25 visiting fellows from Egypt, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan and Tajikistan arrived in the capital city of Tashkent, ready to begin a week of impact.
Fellows in Uzbekistan had been hard at work planning a week of diverse and interactive programming meant to educate and inspire women and girls throughout the region. At the day one program briefing, mentors and fellows learned more about the week’s schedule that would take them throughout the cities of Tashkent and Samarkand, interacting with students, entrepreneurs and women in STEM fields.
After the program briefing, the group enjoyed a day of sightseeing in historic Tashkent, a 6,000-year-old city with a rich cultural history. Currently the most populated city in Central Asia, Tashkent is home to intricate buildings from the 16th century and ancient sites once integral to the Great Silk Road. The afternoon began at the Museum of Applied Arts, a former diplomat’s home that now displays detailed wood carvings and suzani, colorful hand-embroidered textiles that can take nearly two years to complete.
The day continued with a visit to the bustling Chorsu Bazaar, the largest of 30 markets in Tashkent full of vendors selling fresh produce, breads, sweets and more. Translated into “crossroads,” Chorsu Bazaar was once the geographical center of Tashkent. Mentors and fellows toured the aisles of the market, sampling bread, produce and local sweets.
The day continued with a walking tour of Tashkent, visiting the Khast Imam Complex, home to an original 8th century manuscript Quran and the beautiful Barak-Khan Madrasah. The group also had the opportunity to ride the Tashkent metro, known for having some of the most ornate stations in the world. The day of activities ended at Independence Square, a nearly 30-acre park home to government buildings, gardens and sculptures.
Day one concluded at a welcome dinner, where mentors and fellows gathered to toast to the week ahead. Spending a day together built energy and excitement for the coming week, and the group, spanning multiple countries and cohorts, was united in a shared mission to deliver a week of inspiration and impact.
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