The Uzbek are an ethnic group of Central Asia, of complex origins. Their traditional lands were first settled by Persian-speaking nomads, then becoming an important part of Arab culture under the Abbasid Dynasty. By the ninth century, however, they were increasingly under a Turkic influence, and their modern language is of the Turkic group. They also were influenced by the Mongols. Their religion is predominantly Sunni Muslim.
Uzbekistan is a secular, predominantly Muslim state, a former republic of the Soviet Union. There are significant Uzbek minorities in Afghanistan and China; they are a people of the traditional Silk Road.