Aibek house museum
(26 Tazetdinov; 248 0900; 10.00-17.00 Mon-Sat)
Situated inside Aibek's former family home in an old district of Tashkent, this museum reveals much of everyday life for Uzbekistan's literary elite in the 1940s. The six rooms, which are in a building designed by the author's wife Z N Said-Nasirova, are stuffed with photos, magazines, press cuttings and of course, Aibek's hooks. Canvases by Aibek's artistic contemporaries line the walls, and the extensive archives are actively used by modern academics.
Aibek' was the pen name of Musa Tashmukhamedov (1905-68), a polymath born into a family of weavers in Tashkent. He took full advantage of the Soviet higher education system, graduating in turn from the Tashkent Teacher I raining Course, Leningrad Economics Institute and then the Central Asian State University in Tashkent.
Aibek's literary career began in 1926 when he published Emotions, a collection of poetry about life in Soviet Uzbekistan. His subsequent poetic works included Torch (1932) and Vendetta (also 1932), both of which discuss the abandonment of the vestiges of traditional life.
In the late 1930s, having completed his education, Aibek really began to establish himself as a writer. He published the remarkable Sacred Blood in 1943. It is recognised as one of the most outstanding works of social realism in Uzbek literature, and it describes the contribution of Uzbeks in WWI and their role in the 1916 uprisings. Also of note are Aibek's novels Navoi (1945) and Khamsa (1948) in which he gives fictionalised accounts of the inner feelings of the poets Aiisher Navoi and Khamza Khakimzada Niyazi.
Not only was Aibek a central figure in 20th-century Uzbek literature, but he was also a scientist, a translator and a publicist. He became a member of the Uzbek SSR's Academy of Scientists, and his translations of important Russian literary works, including writings by Pushkin, Gorky and Lermontov, are still widely read in Uzbekistan.