Camel from Kyzylkum is a memoir about the physical, emotional, and spiritual journey of immigrating from the Soviet Union in the late twentieth century. It touches on the themes of hope, struggle, family, and loss, while highlighting the compelling desire for people to focus on freedom and self-determination. Readers will gain a better understanding of how much work and risk people will endure reaching for a better life.
Travel from Ukraine to the Kyzylkum Desert of Uzbekistan, from the Soviet Union to Austria, then Italy, and eventually America, all while following the author’s journey to find her truth and future.
Born in Ukraine and going to school there, Lara Gelya went on for the next 20 years to the Kyzylkum Desert of the Republic of Uzbekistan, working at geological sites and expeditions of the Mining Industry. At that time Ukraine and Uzbekistan were parts of one country—the Soviet Union.
In 1989 Lara left the Soviet Union, lived in Austria and Italy before she, at last, found her way to the United States in 1990. Starting her life from ground zero again, and trying on so many hats, she was able to make a lengthy professional career that led to her eventual retirement on the shores of sunny Florida. Lara's debut book "Camel from Kyzylkum" is a poignant memoir about hope, struggles, loss, and finding the strength and inspiration to reach again and again for a better life.
In September of 2022, Lara became an award-winning author as her book, Camel from Kyzylkum, was awarded the Literary Titan Gold Book Award.
When she isn’t writing or making her videos and pictures, Lara spends most of her time reading, gardening, cooking, traveling the world, wandering through nature, or catching her favorite shows.
There were three special cities in the Kyzylkum Desert--Navoi, Zarafshan, Uchkuduk...
Camel from Kyzylkum
There were three special cities in the Kyzylkum Desert—Navoi, Zarafshan, and Uchkuduk. These three cities reported directly to Moscow and not to Tashkent, the capital. Also, they were supplied with goods and products directly from Moscow. Navoi was at the south end of the Kyzylkum Desert, Zarafshan was in the center of the desert, and Uchkuduk was north of Zarafshan. Salaries of everyone working in any of these cities were at least two times higher than average salaries in Uzbekistan or Russia at that time. Basically, we were paid more for the extreme living conditions in the Kyzylkum Desert.