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The new mosque in Tashkent (file photo) (RFE/RL) January 4, 2007 (RFE/RL) -- An international Islamic cultural body has chosen Tashkent as one of its four "capitals of Islamic culture" for 2007.


Mustapha Zebakh, an official with the Morocco-based Islamic Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, told RFE/RL's Uzbek service that the Uzbek capital was chosen to represent the Asian continent.


"This year there [are] four capitals, two from the Arab world: Fez from Morocco, Tripoli from Libya, and we have chosen Dakar, capital of Senegal, for the African region, and Tashkent for the Asian continent," he said. "We choose cities that have a long Islamic heritage [and] monuments."


Tashkent is home to several museums, mosques, and an Islamic university.


Last year the historical city of Isfahan in Iran was among the cities chosen.


(RFE/RL's Uzbek Service, www.isesco.org)

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