The word "rabat" in Arabic means "castle" or "fortress". It was used to refer to the fortified settlements and resting places found along caravan routes. One such settlement, called "Rabat Malik", stood along the "Great Silk Road", and one can still see its ruins today on the road from Samarkand to Bukhara. During the heyday of the Silk Road, travelers and traders from far-flung nations gathered within the walls of this fortress. There they found shelter, protection, and the opportunity to share their impressions, opinions and experiences.