On May 18-19, Ambassador Spratlen visited Samarkand, Uzbekistan’s second largest city after Tashkent. The visit was anchored by three official events: a meeting with Rector Kholmukhamedov Rahimovich of Samarkand State University (SamSu) and the delivery of remarks to the students; a visit to the Afrosiyab Museum, the site of the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) project; and a ground breaking ceremony for the National Veterinarian Laboratory Training Center at the Samarkand Agricultural Institute – a DTRA-led project.
At SamSU, Ambassador Spratlen emphasized three main areas for potential future cooperation: English language teaching and learning; partnerships among Uzbek and U.S. universities; and student exchanges. The Rector expressed hope for cooperation in all these areas. Following Ambassador Spratlen’s remarks to over 80 SamSu students, the students actively participated in a Q&A session. The Ambassador also met with U.S. government program alumni for an informal dinner and discussion.
Besides the official engagements, Ambassador Spratlen visited some of Samarkand’s historical highlights, such as the Tomb of the Prophet Daniel, the Gur-e Amir Mausoleum, and the Ulugbek Observatory. The Ambassador was honored to be invited by the Director of the Gur-e Amir Mausoleum to the crypt containing the tombs of Amir Temur, Ulugbek, and other major scholars and ancient prophets.