Article Archive for Year 2007
Just a quick update in the fate of those Russian alpinists. Fortunately the rescue group has managed to get through to the blocked sportsmen, one of whom was injured. According to 24.kg the group was spotted at 2100 meter altitude and after the rescuing operation all of them got transported to Bishkek.
This is a translation of Vitaly’s post on state youth policy, published on Russian-language Kazakhstan neweurasia.
The law on State Youth Policy was adopted back in 2004, but up untill now it has not been fully realised.
A co-chair of the country-wide youth organisation “The Youth Choice” (informally, the organisation was a youth wing of “Asar” party, and attracted young people into the party) Alina Hamatdinova appeals to the government to conduct the Parliamentary hearings on current issues of state youth policy. She claims that the law is “raw” and has to undergo changes. But the main concern is to bring the law into practice.
“The law, adopted by the people’s representatives and signed by the President is not being realised. I see this situation as a lack of respect to the President and to people’s will…”, expresses her dissatisfaction with the work of the local executive bodies Alina.
The Deputy of Mazhilis Dariga Nazarbayeva, agrees with Alina Khamatdinova that many provisions of the law stay on paper. Thus, Dariga Nazarbayeva offers the youth organisations to work on creation of new concept of youth policy, together with the state. Read the full story »
If you fancy relaxing in Kyrgyz mountains consider the danger that is always out there during winter. It has just been announced that a group of students-alpinists from Russia (Novosibirsk) got blocked on the glacier near the canyon Ala Archa.
According to the Russian television NTV, 5 sportsmen-amateurs started mountaineering on December 29th. One of them has broken a leg, but because of bad weather conditions no rescuers were able to help the to get back.
Mountain -climbing in Kyrgyzstan is widely advertised throughout the world. Surfing internet you can find dozens of agencies offering pricy eco- tourism in “celestial” mountains of Tian Shan. Though, any risk assessment information is missing on those web sites.This lack of information, probably, makes people think, that mountain adventures in Kyrgyzstan are as safe and relaxing as similar tours somewhere in Davos. Pics on those web sites are always appealing and will certainly make you feel that there is little difference between Switzerland and Kyrgyzstan. Though, there are still differences, one of which is the fact, that tourism infrastructure only exists in embryo in Kyrgyzstan. This statement is fair not only for characterizing the quality of service ( or its absence, in many cases)- if you are a real thrill- seeker you can bear with no shower and no normal food. The real problem is that in the country, that promotes eco-tourism, there is no sufficient infrastructure for rescuing people, if something goes wrong.
Picking up on the incident with Russian students, it should be emphasized that the whole rescuing operation turned to be a challenging endeavor for local emergency services. The operation was cancelled on Saturday because the group of rescuers has not managed to find missing alpinists before dark. There was a plan to get to the trapped group on Sunday. No news has been released on that so far.
What is the difference between Kazakh modern kitsch and Kazakh modern art? The former sells while the latter doesn’t.
Under the Soviet Union social realism art was officially endorsed by the state. Following independence modern artists have begun to freely reflect on social and political issues in a fast changing independent country, making use of various media of modern art. Now the state supports art that seeks to find and reinforce Kazakh national identity, which for instance has led to the commissioning of a 40 million dollar Hollywood style film. It also supports projects by foreign artists, like the Khan tent in Astana by Norman Foster. Independent artists seek other ways to express their attitudes to popular culture and material values that have found their way into oil-rich Kazakhstan.
Like anywhere else, artists in Kazakhstan are sensitive to social and political changes that their country is going through, which is clear from the exhibits that are found in Almaty. “The Government’s experiments should be an object for art experiment” was the slogan for “We are the nation of Kazakhstan” (poster). Read the full story »
In the past two weeks the Tajik blogosphere was very calm and little have been discussed. However, here are some good posts on Tajikistan by different bloggers:
Tawildman reports on how he and his friend Raphael and Brett spent the Chistmas holiday and the New Year in Dushanbe. First he starts talking about Buzkashi, as he explains – it is essentially polo but played with a dead, headless goat. Then slightly moves to a story about Christmas party for 25 people and New Year with a lot of firecrackers and roman candles shot off directly into crowds of people all night.
Tawildman also reports on his journey to Khujand. He went to Khujand from Dushanbe by a plane that he thinks should probably be in a museum. Then he decided to go to Isfara with his colleague by the Soviet car, which dies half on a way back to Khojand and they returned by a bus. He also talks about a Russian cook, Valentina, who was once a nuclear chemist and cooked unbelievable amount of food and force fed him. He also visited one of the biggest bazaars in Central Asia.
Adrienne makes a wonderfull photo-round-up of all her trips to different parts of the world. Tajikistan is also mentioned in this round-up since Adrienne visited this country in summer with her friends/collegues from Habitat. She gives some photos of their work on construction of a house for a doctor, his wife and a 16 years old daughter.
Shams Alibhai is telling a story about her work-trip to Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan and how she spent seven years setting up two private-sector schools in those countries. She was the Chief Executive Officer for Aga Khan Education Services in Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan.
Recently there was invited to Tajikistan the Iranian cartoonist and the editor of cartoons and humor magazine, Javad Alizade. This invitation was based on the initiative of the UN to conduct cartoon workshops.
Zhibek Kashkeeva of Radio “Azattyq” interviewed several public figures in Kazakhstan – members of Parliament, political scientists and journalists – about their views on the outcomes of the year 2006. It was published in Russian, and I thought the English-speaking readers of this blog would be interested to read their opinions.
Member of Parliament Romin Madinov, a former leader of Agrarian party, now part of Nur-Otan, thought the year was sucessful:
- The year has been very successful as it started with the inauguration of the president. My deep conviction is that there is only one politician in our country – Nursultan Nazarbaev. We are just helping him where we can.
2006 was the year of anniversary dates for Kazakhstan. The country celebrated 15 years of independence. In December 1991 Kazakhstan, the last of all countries, announced its sovereignty. This move finalised the formation of post-soviet territory.
Historian and political scientist Kamal Burkhanov, member of the governing body of former Otan party said that this date – the anniversary of independence – showed that the country is moving in the right direction:
- The majority of scientists and experts concluded that all 15 years our country was moving, developing, making mistakes. Something was right, something was wrong, but the strategy itself was correct and the results are obvious. Read the full story »
Not that I was very surprised by the announcement that on the day before the end of 2006 yet another constitution was adopted by the Kyrgyz parliament. Common sense was something that Kyrgyz MP’s have not been employing for months. May be, for a change, they decided to do it and voted for the draft of the constitution suggested by the president. The document was crafter to bring legislative chaos to an end.
After all pseudo- patriotic declarations and actions of civil disobedience, that were supposedly aimed at restricting the power of president in the country, oppositional members of parliament went back on their own words as soon as the prospects of dissolving the parliament amidst the political crisis in Kyrgyzstan became real.
There was a feeling during the last several months, that anti -Bakiev deputies were not able to sense the boundaries of pushing their own luck. Once confronted with the reality, oppositional MPs proved to be rather flexible and capable of compromising. The price of this compromise – the seats in the parliament that no one apparently wanted to vacate.
It was very interesting to witness, how different attitudes and political platforms have been changing in the process of wrangling for the new constitution. In November, when all odds were in favor of turbulent and unpredictable opposition, Melis Eshimkanov, Azimbek Beknazarov and other cheerleaders were ,obviously, enjoying the role of the Freedom, guiding the people a-la Delacroix. Though, after the Fortune turned its back upon them, revolutionary zeal has evaporated rather quickly. Melis Eshimkanov, for instance, announced that he was going to leave for Tibet for his holidays to reconsider the meaning of his life.
Bolot Sherniyazov, unfortunately for Kyrgyzstan, chose to stay in the country and, recovering from the aftershock, came up with an idea to rename Kyrgyz republic into Kyrgyz khanate.
Other oppositional MPs decided against being too extravagant and chose to bend every effort to save their parliament seats. The new presidential draft of the constitution, where president Bakiev managed to secure his power, was passed without any questions. It turned out ,that ,choosing between the fight for own principles and the opportunity to retain a status of high- ranking state employee, the members of Kyrgyz parliament didn’t hesitate a second to choose the latter. It is not really important for them now who sets the rules of the game. The main concern is that the game for them is not over.