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Area: 188,456 square miles
Languages: Turkmen 85%, Uzbek 5%, Russian 4%, other 6%
Location: Central Asia, bordering the Caspian Sea, between Iran and Kazakhstan
Geography: Turkmenistan has a desert climate, with the great Gara Gum (Karakum) Desert covering over 80% of the country. Most of the Gara Gum—which translates as “Black Sands”—lacks a steady supply of water, and therefore is scarcely populated. Outside of the desert, natural bodies of water include the Amu Darya and Morghab rivers, plus the Caspian Sea. Fun fact: Turkmenistan is one of the only countries in the world to have a coastline but still be considered landlocked (because the Caspian Sea does not have an outlet to the ocean).
Religions: Muslim 89%, Eastern Orthodox 9%, unknown 2%
Time zone: Turkmenistan is nine hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). When it is noon in Washington D.C., it is 9pm in Ashgabat.
Ethnic groups: Uzbek 80%, Russian 5.5%, Tajik 5%, Kazakh 3%, Karakalpak 2.5%, Tatar 1.5%, other 2.5%
Languages: Uzbek (official), Russian, Tajik, other
Religions: Muslim 88% (mostly Sunni), Eastern Orthodox 9%, other 3%
Time Zone: Uzbekistan is nine hours ahead of Eastern Time. When it is noon in Washington DC, it is 9pm in Tashkent
Area: 55,251 square miles
Languages: Tajik is the official language, although Russian is also widely used in government and business
Ethnicity: Tajik 84.3%, Uzbek 13.8%, other 2%
Location: Central Asia, west of China, south of Kyrgyzstan
Geography: Tajikistan is mostly mountains, hills, and valleys—only 7% of the country is flat. The highest peaks are in the Pamir Mountains, which run along the southeastern edge of the country and eventually join with the Himalayas. To the north are the Alay Mountains, which form a natural border with Kyrgyzstan, and the Fergana Valley, which is where most of the population lives. Tajikistan has several rivers, which swell every spring from rain and snow/glacier melt.
Religions:Sunni Muslim 85%, Shia Muslim 5%, other 10% (estimates)
Time zone: Tajikistan is nine hours ahead of Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). When it is noon in Washington D.C., it is 9pm in Dushanbe.