January 11, 1998 |
High in the jagged Pamir Mountains, where wolves and snow leopards prowl a desolate no man's land, small squads of men are fighting a losing battle against a rising tide of opium and heroin sweeping toward the West. Foot soldiers in the war on drugs, these police and customs agents stand sentinel along the remote alpine highway that threads north from Afghanistan into the rock-ribbed underbelly of Central Asia.
November 13, 1990 |
The Chinese are already calling it "the New Eurasian Continental Bridge" or "the Iron-Silk Road." The grandiose titles apply to a new railway link that will enable travelers and trade to follow the footsteps of Marco Polo with greater ease than ever before. Trains linking China's eastern seaboard with Western Europe are due to start rolling on the 6,750-mile route in July, 1992.
July 2, 1991 |
Bao Xueli has two dreams. One is to make a pilgrimage to Mecca before he dies. The other is that his village will build him a real mosque. Bao, 81, is the imam, or Muslim religious leader, of a recently established village on newly irrigated land in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region of north-central China. His two dreams tell something of a people's faith--a faith that is struggling to survive and, perhaps, reassert its primacy.
December 2, 2007 |
Kashgar, China After 36 hours, three flights and two sleeping pills, I arrived in the western Chinese city of Kashgar. It was 10 p.m., and the sun was only starting to set when I disembarked on the runway, collected my bags from the airport's single conveyor belt and boarded a barely functioning minibus for town.
October 16, 2011 |
As a child growing up in Kaifeng in central China, Jin Jin was constantly reminded of her unusual heritage. "We weren't supposed to eat pork, our graves were different from other people, and we had a mezuza on our door," said the 25-year-old, referring to the prayer scroll affixed to doorways of Jewish homes. Her father told her of a faraway land called Israel that he said was her rightful home, she recalls. But "we didn't know anything about daily prayers or the weekly reading of the Torah.
March 7, 2005 |
As a U.N. refugee affairs officer in Jerusalem in the late 1980s, Arab American Jamil Khoury experienced the first Palestinian uprising "literally between the rocks and bullets," he says. Fast-forward to 2003 and the inaugural production of the Chicago-based Silk Road Theatre Project: Khoury's play, "Precious Stones," inspired by his tumultuous time in the Middle East.
December 9, 2007
Last September I visited the same places as Susan Carpenter described in "Revved Up for the Silk Route" [Dec. 2] but came away with very different impressions. One needs to have some understanding of Chinese history in order to appreciate the significance of the artifacts along the Silk Road. For example, the Flaming Mountain was the site of the Monkey King legends of the Tang Dynasty. When one tours China, its 4,000 years of continuing history is an important part of the package.
November 18, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Warning that virtual currencies are attracting money-launderers and drug dealers, U.S. officials called for greater government oversight of Bitcoin and other peer-to-peer payment systems during the first-ever congressional hearing on the fast-growing Internet-based technology. Treasury, Justice and Homeland Security department officials told members of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on Monday that websites facilitating payments with Bitcoin should receive more scrutiny from federal financial regulators to ensure that the relative anonymity granted by virtual currencies isn't exploited.
November 29, 2010 |
Rev up the engine and hit the road with “ Drives of a Lifetime: 500 of the World’s Most Spectacular Trips,” a new coffee-table book from National Geographic ($40, hardcover) that explores highways and byways around the globe. Some of the trips are long-distance odysseys on the far side of the planet, such as the Silk Road across the vastness of central Asia. Many are easy drives for Californians , such as the Gold Rush trail along the rolling foothills of the Sierra Nevada, and California Highway 1 along the rugged coastline of the Big Sur region.