Muslim visitors from Arab countries received an exceptionally warm welcome from the Muslim community in Chechnya.
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Even during the World Cup, which brought hordes of foreigners to Russia, the capital of Chechnya remained well off the beaten path for most travelers.Muslims visiting from the Arab world will get a warm welcome. Grozny residents seem eager to demonstrate their connections to Islam, perhaps in part because of their isolation as Muslims in Russia.For me, in town to cover Egypt's national team, which had made Grozny its base for the World Cup, a taxi driver refused to accept money because I was a "guest". One young stranger was kind enough to decipher a Russian menu for me, then offered me a free lift to the stadium. Grozny has a deeply conservative Islamic character. My neat and friendly two-story hotel passed for Grozny's version of a boutique hotel. But even in the hotel, language barriers sometimes created embarrassing moments.Despite my fascination with Grozny, other Russian cities impressed me too.
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