Samarkand, alternatively Samarqand, is a city in south-eastern Uzbekistan and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in Central Asia. There is evidence of human activity in the area of the city from the late Paleolithic era, though there is no direct evidence of when Samarkand was founded. C. Prospering from its location on the Silk Road between China and the Mediterranean, at times Samarkand was one of the greatest cities of Central Asia. By the time of the Achaemenid Empire of Persia, it was the capital of the Sogdian satrapy; the city was taken by Alexander the Great in 329 BC, when it was known by its Greek name of Marakanda. The city was ruled by a succession of Iranian and Turkic rulers until the Mongols under Genghis Khan conquered Samarkand in 1220. Today, Samarkand is one of the largest cities of Uzbekistan; the city is noted for being an Islamic center for scholarly study. In the 14th century it is the site of his mausoleum; the Bibi-Khanym Mosque, rebuilt during the Soviet era, remains one of the city's most notable landmarks.

Samarkand's Registan square was the ancient centre of the city, is bound by three monumental religious buildings. The city has preserved the traditions of ancient crafts: embroidery, gold embroidery, silk weaving, engraving on copper, ceramics and painting on wood. In 2001, UNESCO added the city to its World Heritage List as Samarkand – Crossroads of Cultures. Modern Samarkand is divided into two parts: the old city, the new city developed during the days of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union; the old city includes historical monuments and old private houses, while the new city includes administrative buildings along with cultural centres and educational institutions. The name originates in the Sogdian samar, "stone, rock", kand, "fort, town". Along with Bukhara, Samarkand is one of the oldest inhabited cities in Central Asia, prospering from its location on the trade route between China and the Mediterranean. Archeological excavations held within the city limits as well as suburban areas unearthed forty-thousand-year-old evidence of human activity, dating back to the Late Paleolithic era.

A group of Mesolithic era archeological sites were discovered at Sazag'on-1, Zamichatosh and Okhalik. The Syob and Darg'om canals, supplying the city and its suburbs with water, appeared around the 7th to 5th centuries BC. There is no direct evidence. Researchers of the Institute of Archeology of Samarkand argue for the existence of the city between the 8th and 7th centuries BC. Samarkand has been one of the main centres of Sogdian civilization from its early days. By the time of the Achaemenid dynasty of Persia it had become the capital of the Sogdian satrapy. Alexander the Great conquered Samarkand in 329 BC; the city was known as Maracanda by the Greeks. Written sources offer small clues as to the subsequent system of government, they tell of an Orepius who became ruler "not from ancestors, but as a gift of Alexander". While Samarkand suffered significant damage during Alexander's initial conquest, the city recovered and flourished under the new Hellenic influence. There were major new construction techniques.

Alexander's conquests introduced classical Greek culture into Central Asia. This Hellenistic legacy continued as the city became part of various successor states in the centuries following Alexander's death, i.e. the Seleucid Empire, Greco-Bactrian Kingdom and Kushan Empire. After the Kushan state lost control of Sogdia, during the 3rd century AD, Samarkand went into decline as a centre of economic and political power, it did not revive until the 5th century AD. Samarkand was conquered by the Persian Sassanians around 260 AD. Under Sassanian rule, the region became an essential site for Manichaeism, facilitated the dissemination of the religion throughout Central Asia. After the Hephtalites conquered Samarkand, they controlled it until the Göktürks, in an alliance with the Sassanid Persians, won it at the Battle of Bukhara; the Turks ruled over Samarkand until they were defeated by the Sassanids during the Göktürk–Persian Wars. After the Arab conquest of Iran, the Turks conquered Samarkand and held it until the Turkic Khaganate collapsed due to wars with the Chinese Tang Dynasty.

During this time the city paid tribute to the ruling Tang. The armies of the Umayyad Caliphate under Qutayba ibn Muslim captured the city in circa 710 from the Turks. During this period, Samarkand was a diverse religious community and was home to a number of religions, including Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Manichaeism and Nestorian Christianity. Central Asia was not settled with Arabs by Qutayba, who forced the local rulers to pay tribute but left them to their own devices. Much of the population of the city converted to Islam; as a long-term result, Samarkand developed into a center of Arabic learning. Legend has it that during Abbasid rule, the secret of papermaking was obtained from two Chinese prisoners from th

Oana Lungescu

Oana Lungescu is a Romanian journalist, with philological education, since 2010 spokesperson of NATO. Born in Bucharest, in 1981 she graduated from the Faculty of Philology of the University of Bucharest, the English-Spanish section. Between 1981 and 1983 she worked as an English teacher at Buşteni. In 1983 she refused to cooperate with the Securitate Securitate prepared an informational tracking file of Lungescu and gave her the Lorena code, her mother from Cluj, had settled in 1981 as a doctor in the town of Viersen, North Rhine-Westphalia. Oana Lungescu requested in 1983 the granting of a passport for visiting the mother, a request refused by the Romanian authorities. Securitate tried to force her collaboration through blackmail with a passport and medication for her father, a lawyer ill. After her father's death in 1985, she was allowed to go to the Federal Republic of Germany, where she obtained German citizenship. Between 1985 and 1992 she worked as a reporter for the Romanian section of the BBC.

Until 1996 she moved to the post of editor and auxiliar of the Romanian section of the BBC, with the editorial name "Ana Maria Bota". In 1997, she moved to BBC World Service, where she worked as a correspondent in Brussels and Berlin until 2010, when NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen named her as the new spokeswoman, succeeding James Appathurai. @NATOpress Oana Lungescu Twitter account BBC în limba română, 1939-2008, interview on 30 August 2011 Oana Lungescu, În România, de Paști Oana Lungescu, Euro election gets celebrity veneer "Cel mai tanar informator al Securitatii avea 10 ani"

The Milkman

The Milkman is a 1950 comedy film starring Donald O'Connor, Jimmy Durante, Piper Laurie. Roger Bradley is the son of the owner of a milk company, he wants to get a job as a milkman at his father's company, but his father denies it because of Roger's after-war trauma: when he gets stressed or frustrated, he quacks like a duck. Roger does not see any problem with the quacking. In revenge, he gets a job with Breezy Albright at another milk company, he becomes successful and falls in love with the boss's daughter, Chris Abbott. The studio commissary doubled as the milk company in the film. Laurie, O'Connor, Durante were shooting a scene where Durante stuck his head out of the milk truck and whistled to make the truck move forward; the large crew and about a hundred spectators gathered to watch him work, when he tried the whistle on the first take, his uppers flew out across the street about 25 feet. "When it landed, everything stopped," Laurie remembered in her autobiography. "Not wanting to acknowledge that it had happened, people tried to pretend.

Donald and I were frozen. There they were, the half circle of teeth, sitting out there smiling at everyone. Nobody knew. Should somebody pick the damn thing up? After what seemed like an eternity, Jimmy jumped out of the truck and scampered over to his teeth, he picked them up, brushed them off, threw them back into his mouth, jumped back onto the truck as if nothing had happened." Donald O'Connor as Roger Bradley Jimmy Durante as Breezy Albright Piper Laurie as Chris Abbott Joyce Holden as Ginger Burton William Conrad as Mike Morrel Henry O'Neill as Roger Bradley Sr. Paul Harvey as D. A. Abbott Jess Barker as John Carter Elisabeth Risdon as Mrs. Laura Carter Frank Nelson as Mr. Green Chester Conklin as Man Antony Palackan as MilkMan The Milkman on IMDb