chapter  11
14 Pages

/Bukhara Between Two Worlds

The Impact of the West With respect to the internal life of Bukhara, 1885 was a much more significant date than 1868. The advent of the railroad, ending Bukhara’s physical isolation and bringing an influx of outsiders, signified the beginning of a new period in the life of the khanate. It remained merely a beginning, however, for Bukhara seemed suspended indefinitely between the world of medieval Islam and that of the nineteenth-century West. Although the newcomers brought with them the technology and culture of ninetcenth-century Russia, the great majority of the population remained almost totally unaffected by Western influence. The emir’s court occupied a position between the two extremes, reflecting an odd mixture of the old and the new.