Uzbekistan (U.S. pronunciation: i/ʊz.ˈbɛk.ɪ.ˌstæn/, U.K. pronunciation: i/ʊz.ˌbɛk.ɪ.ˈstɑːn/), officially the Republic of Uzbekistan (Uzbek: O‘zbekiston Respublikasi, Ўзбекистон Республикаси) is the only doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of only two such countries worldwide. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south. Before 1991, it was part of the Soviet Union.
Bukhara (Uzbek: Buxoro; Persian: بخارا; Russian: Бухара Bukhara), from the Soghdianβuxārak ("lucky place"), is the capital of the Bukhara Province (viloyat) of Uzbekistan. The nation's fifth-largest city, it has a population of 263,400 (2009 census estimate). The region around Bukhara has been inhabited for at least five millennia, and the city has existed for half that time. Located on the Silk Road, the city has long been a center of trade, scholarship, culture, and religion. The historic center of Bukhara, which contains numerous mosques and madrassas, has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Persian-speakingTajiks constitute the largest element of the city's population. The city has long had a mixed population including Jews and other ethnic minorities.