After independence, Tajikistan suffered from a devastating civil war which lasted from 1992 to 1997. Since the end of the war, newly-established political stability and foreign aid have allowed the country's economy to grow.
The Nurek (Norak) Dam (Tajik: Нерӯгоҳи обии Норак, Nerūgohi obii Norak, Tajiki for 'Nurek Hydro-electric Station') is a large earth fill dam located at 38.3715 N, 69.3492 E on the Vakhsh River in the central Asian nation of Tajikistan. At 300 meters (984 ft), it is the tallest dam in the world as of 2005[update]. (The Rogun Dam, under construction along the Vakhsh also in Tajikistan, is expected to exceed the Nurek when completed, at a planned height of 335 meters (1,099 ft)). Construction of the dam began in 1961 and was completed in 1980, when Tajikistan was still a republic within the Soviet Union.
Tolib-khon Shakhidi began his musical career at the age of fourteen. He graduated from the Musical College in Dushanbe in 1965 from the Composition Class of Uri Ter-Osipov. In the same year, he entered the Moscow Tchaikovsky State Conservatory. During his student years in Moscow, he strove to be at the centre of musical activities. Conductors such as Mikhail Terion and Maxim Shostakovich performed his orchestral and instrumental compositions.
In 1972 Tolib Shakhidi graduated from the Moscow Conservatory from the class of Aram Khachaturian. 'Tolib, your time is precious,' wrote the famous master on Shakhidi's graduation photograph – and since then, this has become the composer's fundamental belief both in life and in his creative work.