A building boom in Tajikistan’s capital Dushanbe -- one that has given rise to Central Asia’s largest library, tallest flagpole and the soon-to-be most spacious teahouse – is prompting some residents to joke that the city is becoming a showcase for a new-ish architectural style, “dictator chic.”
While a few may laugh, the government’s apparent preoccupation with building has plenty of other Dushanbe residents grumbling. At a time when the majority of Tajiks are fighting a desperate battle against poverty, critics contend that vast state layouts for showpiece construction projects cannot be justified.
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Konstantin Parshin is a freelance writer based in Tajikistan.