The Foreign Service Journal, October 2022

50 OCTOBER 2022 | THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL Visiting the Fergana Valley BY JAMES TALALAY OFF-ROAD WITH THE FOREIGN SERVICE Advertising signs on the Kuraminskiy Khrebet mountain range. The Fergana Valley is about 250 kilometers southeast of the capital, Tashkent, and is the economic engine and most densely populated area of Uzbekistan. The journey to the valley is a four-hour drive through a pass in the Kuraminskiy Khrebet mountain range. Once in the desolate, mostly bare mountains, the view is unadulterated nature—except at a certain section. Though billboards are banned there, this giant “Hollywood” signage is okay. James Talalay is a photog- rapher and Foreign Service family member currently based in Tashkent. He had a chance to tag along with his wife, FSO Sarah Talalay, on an outreach trip to some of the cities of the Fergana Valley. See more of James Talalay’s work at