Uzbekistan is one of only two doubly landlocked countries in the world, meaning it is surrounded entirely by other landlocked countries.
The ancient city of Samarkand, located in Uzbekistan's fertile Ferghana Valley, was once a key center of the Silk Road and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Uzbekistan is the world's sixth-largest producer of cotton and the second-largest exporter of raw cotton.
The country is home to the Aral Sea, which was once one of the world's largest lakes but has since shrunk to a fraction of its original size due to human activity and climate change.
Uzbekistan has a rich culinary tradition, with popular dishes including plov (rice pilaf), shashlik (grilled meat), and lagman (noodle soup).
The Uzbek language is written using the Cyrillic alphabet, but a movement to switch to the Latin alphabet has been underway since the early 2000s.
Uzbekistan was the birthplace of several famous medieval scholars, including Al-Khwarizmi, who is credited with developing the concept of algebra.
The country is rich in natural resources, including gold, copper, and uranium.
The Registan, a public square in Samarkand surrounded by three madrasahs (Islamic schools), is considered one of the most beautiful examples of Islamic architecture in the world.
Uzbekistan gained independence from the Soviet Union in 1991 and is now a presidential republic, with Shavkat Mirziyoyev as the current president.