The ‘Stans’ Turn 30

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A horde of whooping warriors hurtled through a craggy mountain pass and galloped down onto an enemy encampment on the plain below. With a thunder of hooves and a shower of arrows, the horsemen burst through the fortifications and, swinging their swords, hurled themselves into combat with their foes. Perched on an escarpment, a shaggy white camel cast a baleful eye over the battlefield as a female fighter dressed in furs and a headdress, a quiver of arrows strapped to her back, texted rapidly on her mobile phone. First impressions notwithstanding, this was no medieval battlefield, but a filmset in a far-flung corner of Central Asia where a dramatic recreation of a glorious past was in full swing.

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