eastern pamirs


The proprietor of my guest house suggested I head to the East of Pamirs. Suggesting it was a marvelous place go gain perspectives. And, indeed she was not wrong. Out here one has plenty of opportunity to contemplate the extremes of life and acquire insights about what it is to be human.

While the lower altitudes saw a yellowing of leaves betraying the coming fall, approaching the higher altitudes, they had already seen double digit minus temperatures and snow on the ground.

Though the Eastern Pamirs are formally Tajik territory, it's largely populated by Kyrgyz; ruled however by the former. Revealing maybe ironically that the drawing up of borders, not always accounted for the life within them. And so, like places elsewhere I've been to, borders have served to create additional challenges. During the times of Covid, with these two countries already having a strained relationship, many were left stranded on one side of the border with no means of going back to see their families on the other side, or getting back to work.

While Kyrgyz on the Tajik side feel discriminated against, they seem to have accepted this as a fact of life. Their main complaint has to do with the quality of life in these altitudes. Many looking to migrate to Kyrgyzstan where more opportunities present themselves, and the climate more hospitable.