How a Small Ismaili Village of 20 Houses on the Roof of the World is Affected by Climate Crisis

Introduced by MALIK MERCHANT
Publisher/Editor SimergSimergphotos and Barakah

High up in the small town of Bulunkul, one of the most remote areas inhabited by Ismailis (read Pilgrim Journey — the sacred wonders of Pamirs and also How to self-drive the Pamir Highway), the clear view of the Milky Way is unparalleled, and wolves prey on the livestock tended to by semi-nomadic herders like Bulbulov Doniyor. But melting glaciers and increasingly extreme weather patterns are rewriting the rules of play for this village in Tajikistan’s Gorno-Badakhshan where, in winter, the weather temperature can drop down to -60°C. 

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Partial map of Tajikistan to illustrate the location of Bulunkul. Distance from Khorog to Bulunkul, 123 km. Map Credit: Indyguide article How to self-drive the Pamir Highway

Last winter, wolves descended from the mountains and went straight for Doniyor, instead of the sheep. In a three part series supported by the Pulitzer Center, Klas Lundström, a staff writer for the Swedish newspaper Tidningen Global, tells the stories of the people living through the climate crisis. Begin reading the series on the website Inverse by clicking on Part 1: In Tajikistan, a deadly new type of climate crisis has already arrived.

Read the remaining two parts of the three part series by clicking on Part 2: 76 degrees below zero: Living through Tajikistan’s climate apocalypse AND Part 3: At the Roof of the World, solar power is a necessary evil — “We are waiting for another way of life”.

Bulbulov Doniyor. In 2020, Covid-19 struck and the herders’ usual trading routes closed. Photo: Fredrik Lerneryd/Inverse. Please click on photo for Part 1 of article.

Date posted: January 30, 2022.


Before leaving this website please take a moment to visit Simerg’s Table of Contents for links to hundreds of thought provoking pieces on a vast array of subjects including faith and culture, history and philosophy, and arts and letters to name a few. Also, visit Simerg’s sister websites Barakah, dedicated to His Highness the Aga Khan, and Simergphotos.

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