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Khamza Museum

Opened in 1989 on the 100th anniversary of his birth, this museum regales the life story of Khakim Khakimzade Niyazi, Kokand's foremost Soviet hero, the first national poet of Uzbekistan and the founder of Uzbek Soviet literature. Born to a doctor's family, he attended an Uzbek school and madrassah before a mixed Russian school broadened his horizons.

Early verses in the Uzbek classical style dealt with the social themes of a Turkestan slowly waking to progressive ideas. He opened schools in a lifelong push for public enlightenment and soon became an active Bolshevik propagandist. Throwing himself into theatre, he organized a drama company in Ferghana in 1918, performing plays like The Bey [landlord] and the Farmhand, in which, against a backdrop of social injustice meeting bold revolution, the Uzbek character Gafur welcomes his Russian comrades with good proletarian internationalism. For the next decade Khamza worked throughout the young republic, teaching and composing, "an ardent fighter for a new life and unappeasable enemy of obscurantism". Another play, The Mysteries of the Paranja, tackled female emancipation, just one of the sensitive topics behind Khamza's assassination and martyrdom in 1929.

The three-storey museum is at 2 Akbar Islam St, north of Khamza's statue in Furkat Park, and the striking Khamza Musical Comedy and Drama Theatre. One of Khamza's Kokand residences is also a museum, near the Juma Mosque, at 28 Matbyat St.