Introduction / History In the 700s and 800s, Arabs were fanning out over a large part of North Africa and Central Asia to conquer and to spread the Islamic religion. Through the next couple hundred years, more Arabs settled in what is now Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Sometimes they came as nomads, other times they came as soldiers. Arabs were the dominant people group in Central Asia, so Arabic was the language of science and culture. As time went on, Uzbeki Arabs became isolated from the Arab World. Up until the early 20th century when the USSR took over the region, Uzbeki Arab speakers raised crops and livestock, while remaining true to Islam through religious education.
Where are they located? Jogari is the name of a key village in Uzbekistan where Uzbeki Arabs live. Others live in Burkhara, Qashqadarya, and Surkhandarya.
What are their lives like? In order to remain a separate people, Uzbeki Arabs do not intermarry with the local population. They may remain separate, but they are few in numbers, both in Uzbekistan and Tajikistan.
Today most of these descendants of the Arabs speak the local language rather than Arabic. There are some who speak a language we call Uzbeki Arabic which is an Arabic dialect which has structural elements from Tajik, a Central Asian language. They usually live at peace with the Central Asian peoples around them. These people look much like Central Asians in their dress and physical characteristics.
What are their beliefs? Like their ancestors, Uzbeki Arabs are Sunni Muslims. Every Friday the men go to the mosque to pray. Then then have a meal prepared in the mosque. Women must pray at home.
What are their needs? Uzbeki Arab speakers need to put their identity in the person of Jesus Christ rather than in their ethnic or linguistic identity.
Prayer Points * Pray that despite their linguistic isolation that these people will have the chance to respond to the person of Jesus Christ.
* Pray for spiritual openness that will lead them to the One who paid for the sins of all mankind.
* Pray for the Lord to send His servants to take the gospel to Uzbeki Arabic speaker. * Pray for translation of the Bible to begin in this people group's primary language. * Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people.