Rarely Visited Country Opens $2.3B Airport

[World News ★★★]


(P1) The capital of Turkmenistan, a country largely closed to outsiders, has opened a $2.3 billion new international airport terminal in the shape of a flying falcon. The terminal, whose roof in profile resembles a bird with spread wings, adds to Ashgabat’s vast array of unique buildings, the AP reports. The terminal, which officially opened on Saturday, is designed to process at least 2,000 passengers every hour and speed up the “full integration of Turkmenistan into the world economic system, according to Central Asia’s Trend news agency.

(P2) Strict visa regulations in Turkmenistan mean relatively small numbers of tourists and businessmen ever visit the isolated, energy-rich Central Asian nation. In 2013, the Guinness World Records recognized Ashgabat as having the greatest density of marble-clad buildings, estimated at more than 540. Many official buildings are noteworthy for literal or eccentric designs, including the state publishing house, which is in the shape of a book.

WORDS: 151

SOURCE: http://www.newser.com/story/231243/rarely-visited-country-opens-gleaming-23b-airport.html

VOCABULARY: outsiders, falcon, integration, isolated, density, noteworthy, eccentric


If you found the passage difficult to read or had problems understanding specific words or idiomatic expressions, please discuss them with your tutor. The following discussion questions should be answered in your own words and with your own arguments.

  1. Briefly, summarize the content of the article in your own words.
  2. Would you like to visit Turkmenistan? Why or why not?
  3. Why do you think an international airport was built if people rarely visit there?
  4. Are there unique buildings in your country? If so, describe some.


  1. What’s the capital of Turkmenistan?
  2. What does the airport look like?
  3. Turkmenistan has a vast supply of energy. (T or F)
  4. Ashgabat made the Guinness Book of World Records for having the most stone covered buildings. (T or F)
  5. What does the state publishing house resemble?


What do the following expressions or phrases mean?

  • in the shape (P1)
  • a vast array of unique buildings (P1)
  • at least 2,000 passengers (P1)
  • energy-rich
  • marble-clad buildings (P2)

Cambly Practice Button

Image source: by “unknown” http://www.newser.com/story/231243/rarely-visited-country-opens-gleaming-23b-airport.html

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