The Unlikely Sisterhood of Seattle and Tashkent

AramcoWorld magazine recently published a wonderful article about the history of Seattle-Tashkent relations and the STSCA, entitled “The Unlikely Sisterhood of Seattle and Tashkent”. The photographs for the article were taken by Seattle-based photographer Steve Shelton, who presented on his trip to Uzbekistan at our Annual Meeting in October.

The article is available online here:

Tashkent Park Update

The Seattle Parks Department is renovating Tashkent Park. They are adding new landscaping, benches, and a plaza. They anticipate completing the work in May or June of this year.

A new plaque will be located on the sculpture base. Pictured below are Shwu-jen Hwang, the lead architect for the park, and Dan Peterson, former president of the STSCA.


Long-Time STSCA President Dan Peterson Steps Down

From former STSCA President Dan Peterson:

I am moving on from being the president of the STSCA. I have been involved for 13 years and many of those years as the president. It is time to pass the torch to others. The Board voted at the November 18th meeting to elect co-presidents Samantha Paxton (from the Trade Development Alliance) and Shakhida Ismailova (from Swedish Medical Center). Professor Ilse Cirtautas and Ms. Lola Zakharova are vice presidents, with Nicholas Myers as treasurer and Charlotte Chase as secretary. They are all great people, very competent, and committed to the mission of the Sister City.

I will still be involved in activities and events and look forward to supporting STSCA for a long time. Plus, I have made so many friends through the STSCA that I will never be far away.

I hope everyone supports the new leadership of the STSCA. It is an extremely important organization and all its activities locally and with Uzbekistan are critical to maintain for the next generation as well. The legacy of the Sister City will carry on successfully, I am sure.

Renovations and Improvements to Tashkent Park in Seattle

Many know that Seattle has a park on Capitol Hill named for our sister city.
Tashkent Park was established in 1974, one year after the formation of the
Seattle-Tashkent Sister City Association.

This small neighborhood park is located on Boylston Street, between Republican and
Mercer Streets, two blocks west of Broadway.

The landscaping in the park, seating areas, and the paving stone areas need a lot of
renovation. The Seattle Parks Department is completing the renovations from
December, 2015, through February, 2016. On May 28th, the Parks Department held a
neighborhood meeting to discuss its plans and seek input. Three people represented
the STSCA (Shakhida Ismailova, Dan Peterson, and George Wright).

A new plaza will be built which will feature better the beautiful sculpture “Semurg”
(Bird of Happiness) by the Uzbek artist Jacob Shapiro. This beautiful sculpture was
a gift in 1988 from the City of Tashkent to the citizens of Seattle.

We thank the Parks Department for all their work to improve the park. For further
information, please go to this link:

We will let you know when the park renovations are complete.

Save the Date for Navruz 2016!

Save the date for the Seattle-Tashkent Sister City Association’s annual Navruz celebration on Saturday, March 26, 2016!

Location: College Gymnasium, North Seattle College, 9600 College Way North, Seattle, WA 98103

Annual Meeting with Photos of Uzbekistan, Thursday, October 29

We hold an annual meeting to focus on a topic of interest to members and to elect new members of the Board of Directors. This year, we are very excited to have as our guest Seattle-based photojournalist Steve Shelton, who will be presenting photos from his assignment to Uzbekistan for ARAMCO World magazine.

Mr. Shelton and Boston-based reporter Piney Kesting traveled to Tashkent, Samarkand, Ferghana Valley, and Bukhara for two weeks last June reporting on the vibrant and unique aspects of the culture of Uzbekistan. Their focus is on the Sister City relationship between Seattle and Tashkent. Shelton will share photos and give a sneak preview of the upcoming story to be published in the January 2016 edition of Aramco World.

When: Thursday, October 29th, 7-9 PM
Where: North Star Dining Room, North Seattle College, 9600 College Way N, Seattle, WA 98103

We hope you will attend!

STSCA Summer Picnic, Saturday, September 19, 2 PM

Come join the Seattle-Tashkent Sister City Association for our annual summer picnic on Saturday, September 19th at 2 PM! This year, our picnic will be held at Shelter 1 in Newcastle Beach Park, located at 4400 Lake Washington Boulevard SE, Bellevue, WA 98006.

The event is a potluck, so please bring food (side dishes, salads, melons, or desserts) to share. We will provide plov, beverages, condiments, utensils and plates. The plov will be served at 4 PM.

To cover our costs, we will be asking for donations of $10 per adult.

See this flyer for more information, including a map of the park. Please note that dogs are not allowed in the park.

We look forward to seeing you there!

US Ambassador to Uzbekistan Visits Seattle

U.S. Ambassador to Uzbekistan, Ambassador Pamela Spratlen (pictured center above), was recently in Seattle for a personal visit and also took time to meet with STSCA Board members Dan Peterson and Diana Pearce. They discussed Embassy activities and initiatives and how these align with Sister City goals and objectives.

Ambassador Spratlen is very positive, very gracious, and very supportive of our sister-city relationship. We look forward to working together with her for many years!

Navruz 2015 a Rousing Success!

emiko_and_ilseOur 2015 Navruz celebration was a jam-packed, sold-out evening of fun, food, and festivities! Katta rahmat to everyone who attended and to everyone who volunteered at this year’s event!

Over 400 people enjoyed an amazing Uzbek meal of plov, somsa, naan, bo’gir’soq, salads, and drinks prepared by STSCA Board members and volunteers. Fruit and dessert were provided by attendees.

Highlights of the evening included honoring the Year of the Elder in Uzbekistan, performances by the Mystic Rose folkdance group, and our ever-popular fashion show, featuring traditional Central Asian clothing. Attendees who stayed until the end were also treated to a “diskoteka” of popular Uzbek and Central Asian tunes, with many young children dancing up on the stage.

To read more about the event, see this article on the Sister Cities International Web site.

Below are a few pictures from the event. For more pictures, please visit our Facebook page.

dilbar_and_frienddevchonkiplov little_uzbekgirl_dancingsamsa

Tickets for Navruz 2015 Now on Sale!

Dear Members and Friends of the Seattle-Tashkent Sister City Association,

Saturday, March 21st  is our 17th annual Navruz celebration, and as in the past, it promises to be fun and entertaining! The doors open at 4:45 PM. We will serve the meal in courses, so please arrive on time to enjoy all of it.

Now, it is time to buy your tickets! (See this flyer for details.)

We are extremely happy that Navruz has grown and grown and is so well attended.  However, we have a problem with space in the cafeteria we utilize.  We cannot exceed the room capacity and must adhere to the fire regulations and college requirements.

Thus, we have only 300 tickets to sell.

Therefore, we really want everyone to buy their tickets before the event.  By buying your tickets before the event, you will be guaranteed a space.   There will be only limited tickets at the door, if any are left after the pre-event sales.

The ticket prices are:  Adults ($20 online or by mail before the event and $30 per adult at the door.  Students (13-18 years old or college) cost $15 online or by mail before the event or $25 at the door;  and Children under 12 are free.

You may buy your tickets before the event by mail or online.  To purchase tickets by mail you must mail a check to our post office box postmarked by Saturday, February 28th. Mail your check, made out to STSCA, to this address:  STSCA, P.O. Box 25364, Seattle, WA.  98165

To purchase tickets online, please go to Brown Paper Tickets at The usual service fees apply.

We will begin a countdown to the event on our Facebook page and tell you how many tickets remain each week.

To provide Navruz, we need lots of help. Last year many, many volunteered to make somsas. If you are willing to cook 30 somsas, then you can get a free ticket to Navruz, by telling us in advance of your willingness to do so.  Please write to us at

We also ask that as many as possible bring fruit or dessert to share, in the traditional spirit of Navruz.

We look forward to seeing you soon at Navruz!

All the best,
Dan Peterson
Seattle-Tashkent Sister City Association