Saturday, December 28, 2013

Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu - A Short Biography of Khorezms most famous son

Photo: Jalal ad din Manguberdi

Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu al-Khwarazmi (full name: Jalal ad-Dunya wa ad-Din Abul-Muzaffar Manguberdi ibn Muhammad) or Jaloladdin Manguberdi (Turkic for "God-given"), also known as Jalâl ad-Dîn Khwârazmshâh, was the last ruler of the Khwarezmian Empire. Following the defeat of his father, Ala ad-Din Muhammad II by Genghis Khan in 1220, Jalal ad-Din Mengübirti came to power but he rejected the title shah that his father had assumed and called himself simply Sultan. After the fall of Samarkand Jalal ad-Din with the remaining Khwarazm forces beat a forced retreat into Afghanistan, while pursued by a Mongol army. At the battle of Parwan, north of Kabul, the Khwarezmians with local Afghan Tajik allies defeated the Mongols (ED: the only time in Gengiz Khans lifetime that the Mongols were defeated in battle -  Interestingly even to this day no foreign army however mighty has ever been able to hold sway in Afghanistan).

After being deserted by his Afghan allies (as legend has it over a dispute about whom would have the white steed of the defeated Mongol General) the Mongols regrouped and soon after Jalal ad-Din and his troops were forced to flee towards India. On the left bank of the Indus River, however, the Mongols caught up with the Kharwarezms and at what has become known as the Battle of Indus inflicted a major blow against his army, killing most of his men along with slaughtering thousands of civilians with his army. He and his core followers famously putting up a heroic struggle against huge odds along the banks of the river, with the survivors including Mingburnu escaping across the Indus.

Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu was to spend the next three years in exile in India. Entering into an alliance with the Khokhars he captured Lahore and much of the Punjab. The next year he requested an alliance with Iltutmish against the Mongols. However the Sultan of Delhi refused, not wishing to get into a conflict with Genghis Khan and instead marched towards Lahore at the head of a large army. Mingburnu retreated from the city and moved towards Uchch inflicting a heavy defeat on its ruler Nasir-ud-Din Qabacha, and occupied Sindh and northern Gujarat before returning to Persia in 1224.

Once again he gathered an army and briefly re-established a kingdom, however he was unable to consolidate his power for long as once again his forces were pursued by the Mongols who met his forces in battle in the Alborz mountain range (located in northern Iran  stretching from the border of Azerbaijan along the western and entire southern coast of the Caspian Sea) after which he and his men had to make a forced crossing of the Caucasus whereupon they captured Azerbaijan in 1225, setting up their capital at Tabriz. After initially forming an alliance with the Seljuk Sultanate of Rûm against the Mongols, Manguberdi fell out with them and his forces went on the attack once more in 1226 sacking Tbilisi (capital of the Kingdom of Georgia). Several years of skirmishes were to follow and in 1230 his army captured the town then Armenian city Akhlat (now situated in Turkey) from the Ayyubids. However his forces were overextended and in 1230 where defeated by Sultan Kayqubad I the Seljuq Sultan of Rûm at Erzincan on the Upper Euphrates at the famous Battle of Yassıçemen (Yassi Chemen).

Once again he and a core group of followers managed to escape into the Mountains of Kurdistan finding refugee in the city of Diyarbakir, however in the ensuring confusion the Mongols capture his previous stronghold of Azerbaijan. (ED: Diyarbakir today is one of the largest cities in south eastern Turkey and in the heartland of the Kurdish struggle for self determination). Diyarbakir was to be his last sanctuary, as he was assassinated there in 1231 by a Kurdish assassin hired by the Seljuks.

Manguberdi's loyal followers, however, remained loyal to him even after his death, transforming themselves into a mercenary force called the Khwarezmiyya. Thirteen years later they made history when in pay of the Ayyubid Sultan Salih Ayyub of Egypt, the Khwarezmiyya they invaded Christian-held Jerusalem, capturing the city's citadel, the Tower of David; and on July 11, 1244, forcing the surrender of the crusader army. Of great note is that after being conquered by the Khwarezmiyya, Jerusalem would stay under control of Islamic sovereignty until 1917,  near the end of World War I, when it was taken from the Ottomans by victorious British and Commonwealth forces.(ED: The Australian Light Horse brigade playing a critical role in the battle).

Video: Jalal ad-Din Mingburnu (2:08)


Uzbekistan 25 som 1999 "Jaloliddin Manguberdi" the last Khwârazmshâh

Plates: Uzbekistan 25 Som 1999 - 800th Anniversary of
the birth of Jaloliddin Manguberdi (1198—1231)

Composition: Nickel Plated Steel
Weight: 5.9
Diameter: 27
Thickness: 1.7
Punch: Medal Alignment
Shape: Round
Edge: Plain

Friday, December 27, 2013

Case Study - Shakhpakhty Condensate Gas Field Karakalpakstan

Diagram: Hydrocarbon survey, exploration and production areas in Uzbekistan (Ustyurt region) Source: Gazprom website

Shakhpakhty Gas Field

Shakhpakhty is a gas condensate field located in Uzbekistan in the southeastern part of the Ustyurt Plateau within the Kungrad Region of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, and was discovered in 1962. Geological surveys carried out here before 1968 confirmed initial commercial gas reserves in the amount of 46.5 billion cubic metres.

Commercial production began at Shakhpakhty in 1974, comprising 2.5 billion cubic metres per year. In 1983, the Shakhpakhty booster compressor station began operation, but was stopped in February 2002 due to inadequate power for the required upstream gas supply pressure. At that time, the operating organisation decided to shut down production and the wells were preserved. During the initial production period, 36.5 billion cubic metres of gas were produced from the deposit, which was then approximately 78.5% of the initially confirmed reserves.

In early 2003 a feasibility study was prepared in for investment in the follow-up Shakhpakhty field development based on the production sharing agreement with subsequent construction of  a new UGS facility. The reconstruction and further development of Shakhpakhty was carried out under a Production Sharing Agreement signed in 2004 for a period of 15 years.

In May 2004 Gazprom zarubezhneftegaz and Gas Project Development Central Asia AG established Zarubezhneftegaz  – GPD Central Asia as the field operator to implement the PSA. Under the PSA terms and conditions the investor obtained licenses for the rights to use subsurface resources, to produce and sell gas.

In August 2004 the consortium commenced the operations on the re-entry of wells and natural gas production. The work included surface construction and development, production and distribution of raw materials and the construction of the corresponding infrastructures, gas purification and storage, performing environmental protection measures amongst other activities.

Concurrently with resuming natural gas production, the operator started upgrading of the Shakhpakhty gas field infrastructure to boost the capacity for gas collection, treatment and transmission from the field to the Shakhpakhty booster compressor station (BCS) and gas compressor station at Karakalpakia.The gas produced at Shakhpakhty after leaving the Karakalpakia compressor station to be sent through the Central Asia-Centre gas pipeline to consumers in the C.I.S and Europe

In 2006 the Shakhpakhty booster compressor station and preliminary gas treatment works and base camp were completed.  Between 2005 and 2008 several wells were overhauled with a view to expand the producing well stock and extend the well service life. In 2010 the operator received a license for developing three additional underlying productive formations.

Sources: and

Oil and Gas Industry in Uzbekistan

The Oil and gas industry is one of the leading industries in Uzbekistan. About of 60 % of the country’s area has a potential for oil and gas exploitation. Currently there are some 211 hydrocarbon fields opened in the five oil and gas regions of Uzbekistan. Of which 108 – gas and gas condensate, 103 – oil and gas, oil-gas condensate and oil. Over 50 % of gas and oilfields are under development, 35 % are being prepared for the development, and on the others exploration is ongoing. Uzbekistan ranks the 8th place in the world’s leading producer of natural gas. Proved reserves of Natural Gas are 1.841 trillion cu.m. (1 January 2012 est.)

Note: proved reserves are those quantities of natural gas, which, by analysis of geological and engineering data, can be estimated with a high degree of confidence to be commercially recoverable from a given date forward, from known reservoirs and under current economic conditions.

Karakalpakstan National Anthem

State Anthem of the Republic of Karakalpakstan – Qaraqalpaqstan Ryespublikasi'ni'n' ma'mlyekyetlik gimni. Go to Karakalpakstan National Anthem

Uzbek Language

Uzbek the official language of the Republic of Uzbekistan, is an Eastern Turkic language and is similar to a number of other eastern Turkic languages including Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Turkmen and Azerbaijani. There are currently some 23.5 million Uzbek speakers mainly in living in the Republic of Uzbekistan, but also amongst the diaspora and neighbouring states including Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkey(Asia), Turkmenistan, Ukraine also Uzbek speakers found in Australia, China, Germany, Israel and the USA.

Uzbek belongs to the Qarluq family of Turkic languages, and consequently its lexicon and grammar are most closely linked to the Uighur language, while other influences arose from Persian, Arabic and Russian.

The influence of Islam, and by extension, Arabic, is evident in Uzbek, as well as the residual influence of Russian, from the time when Uzbekistan was under czarist and Soviet domination. Most of the Arabic words have found their way into Uzbek through Persian. Uzbek shares much Persian and Arabic vocabulary with neighboring languages such as Persian and its eastern dialects (Tajik and Dari).

The Uzbek language has many dialects, varying widely from region to region, but three main dialects, namely, Qarluq (spoken in the Ferghana Valley, Tashkent, the Kashka-Darya region, and in some parts of the Samarkand province). It contains a heavier admixture of Persian and Arabic), Kipchak (closely related to Kazakh/Karakalpak and spoken in Kashkadarya and Surkhandarya and in the regions around Bukhara and Samarkand) and Oghuz (closely related to Turkmen and spoken in Khorezm and Karakalpakstan) are differentiated. The commonly understood dialect Qarluq is used in mass media and in most printed material.

In Afghanistan a related but distinct and separate language (Grimes 1992), Southern Uzbek, is spoken by about 1.4 million people. It should also be noted that the term Uzbek has been used, especially in the early 20th century, to refer loosely to other Turkic languages in the region.

An early form of Uzbek, known as Chagatai Uzbek (after one of the sons of Genghis Khan) and written with the Arabic script, emerged as a literary language in the 14th century. A version of the Latin alphabet replaced the Arabic script in 1927, and was in turn replaced by the Cyrillic alphabet in 1940. Until 1992, Uzbek almost everywhere continued to be written using the Cyrillic alphabet. Today in Uzbekistan the Latin script has been officially re-introduced, although the use of Cyrillic is still widespread.

This profile focuses on Uzbek (or Northern Uzbek) as spoken in Uzbekistan.

Uzbek is a member of the Eastern Turkic (or Karlik) group of languages which also includes Uighur. Eastern Turkic is a subgroup of Common Turkic which also includes Turkish, Azerbaijani, Tartar, Kyrgyz, Kazakh, and others. The Turkic languages, and the Mongolian-Tungus (Manchu-Tungusic) languages of Siberia and northeastern China are major divisions of the Altaic family or phylum (see Ruhlen 1987).

The major dialects recognized within Uzbek are Karluko, Chigile, Kypchak, Oghuz, Qurama, Lokhay, and Sart. Oghuz might be a dialect of Khorasani Turkish rather than a dialect of Uzbek (Grimes 1992). Some claim that at least twelve other dialects exist in addition to standard Uzbek, all of which differ considerably from the standard form in sound system, word formation, and vocabulary (Akiner 1989).


Nonstandard Uzbek had been written with a version of the Arabic alphabet ever since the Arab conquest of the ninth century (Fierman 1985). During the Timurid dynasty (late fifteenth century) Turkish, in the form of the Chaghatai dialect, became a literary language in its own right.(ED: In modern Uzbekistan, Chaghatai is called Old Uzbek).

Between 1926 and 1927, preliminary work was done in Uzbekistan to shift the alphabet from the Arabic to the Roman alphabet, which was adopted by the late 1920s. In 1940, the writing system underwent another shift from the Roman to the Cyrillic alphabet.

In September 1993 Uzbekistan announced plans to switch its alphabet from Cyrillic, which by that time had been in use for more than fifty years, to a script based on a modified Latin alphabet similar to that used in Turkey.

The official name of the country in Cyrillic was Uzbekiston, with a breve accent over the Cyrillic U; now in roman script the country is known as O`zbekiston, with an open quote after the O.

The use of O for what was formerly a long A is a feature of Uzbek phonetics. Many places have official names that are at variance with the more familiar spellings, e.g. the capital is Toshkent rather than Tashkent. The autonomous republic of Karakalpakstan is officially Qoraqalpog`iston Respublikasi (and the Kara-Kalpak people are Qoraqalpoq); and Nukus is Nuqus. (ED: Karakalpaks in Karakalpak language are called Qaraqalpaq and their capital Nukus is Nökis).

Like all of the Turkic languages, Uzbek is agglutinative, that is, grammatical functions are indicated by adding various suffixes to fixed stems. Separate suffixes on nouns indicate both gender and number, but there is no grammatical gender. There are five nominal cases: nominative, genitive, dative, accusative, and ablative; number is marked by a plural suffix. Verbs agree with their subjects in case and number, and, as in nouns, separate identifiable suffixes perform these functions. There are also suffixes for tense, aspect, and mood.

Subject-Object -Verb word order in Uzbek is a typical Turkic characteristic, but other orders are possible under certain discourse situations. As a SOV language where objects precede the verb, Uzbek has post-positions rather than prepositions, and relative clauses that precede the verb.

Uzbek has 10 vowels, and 25 consonants. Unlike other Turkic languages, it only has a very reduced form of vowel harmony operating (whereby the vowels of suffixes must harmonize with the vowels of noun and verb stems; thus, for example, if the stem has a round vowel then the vowel of the suffix must be round, and so on.)  However, whereas the system is active in colloquial forms of the spoken language, it is poorly reflected in the written language.

Lexical influences include Arabic, Persian, Tajik, and modern Russian loan words.


The Uzbeks have played an important role in their region since the beginning of the fifteenth century, when present-day Uzbek began to take shape during the modern Turkic period. At that time, a strong cultural movement advocating the use of Uzbek emerged, which led to the creation of a rich Uzbek literature, a large part of which remains unstudied. The literary language of the period has Arabic and Tajik influences especially in the area of word borrowing.

The development of written Uzbek has undergone some dialectal shifts. The first post-revolutionary standard was based on the dialect of Turkistan (ED: Uzbek speaking area of southern Kazakhstan)(Comrie 1981), in the north of the Uzbek-speaking area. Subsequently it was decided to shift the standard dialect and base it on the dialect of the capital city, Tashkent. Thus, current standard Uzbek is based largely on the dialect of Tashkent and differs considerably from the earlier standard.


(ED: Uzbek is spoken widely in Karakalpakstan, particularly in the South of the Republic)