Article Archive for Year 2011
Editor’s note: In a move that has met with strong opposition from students, the American University in Central Asia recently decided to increase tuition fees to nearly double the current amount. While negotiations continue, neweurasia’s Abulfazal offers some advice on how to obtain alternative funding.
The cost of studying at AUCA is a common topic of discussion, especially now, in light of the imminent fees hike. I would like to inform our readers of an opportunity to receive financial aid from foreign organizations whose aim it is to support talented young people from the region. Read the full story »
Editor’s note: Look out Turkmenistan, Victorian corsets and vampiric cosmetics are invading! neweurasia’s Annasoltan talks with Maxim, one of Ashgabat’s very first Goths, in this exclusive interview. “Our mood is serious, sad, romantic, melancholic,” he says. “Seen from the outside, we appear to be cool, but inside of us we are very emotional and vulnerable. We are dreamy and ethereal.”
In my homeland Turkmenistan, cultural pluralism and society diversity are foreign concepts. There are several ethnic, religious, and cultural groups that the government would like to see “Turkmenized”, that is, brought into line with a rigid, controllable, and manufactured homogeneity. So, it’s remarkable whenever anyone among my countrymen chooses to actively live a different life. Take for example 23-year-old Maxim, a young member of Ashgabat’s dwindling ethnic Russian community and one of our country’s very few Goths.
“Rumors that they are getting rid of private taxis in Tashkent are complete nonsense,” one longtime driver told me, surprised I had even brought up the matter.
Indeed, go ask any taxi driver (my sample was about 15) and you get the same response: first fear and surprise, then relief at the realization that they are still in business.
According to UzNews, the ban, which became effective on January 7, is the result of amendments to laws concerning several types of business operations individuals can perform without obtaining a license. Read the full story »
While Uzbek fans await tonight match of their national team in Dona, Qatar against Australian Socceroos, they are proud of their player Ulugbek Bakayev who became World Player of the [last] Week by Goal.com, and hope that by midnight he might become a hero again by striking into Australian goalkeeper’s gates.
Player: Ulugbek Bakayev
Club: FC Bunyodkor (Tashkent)
Achievement: Scored twice against Jordan in the Asian Cup quarter-finals
To remind, on Friday, Uzbekistan reached the semi-finals of the Asian Cup for the first time in their history when they got the better of Jordan in the last eight, and the backbone of this triumph was striker Ulugbek Bakayev’s quickfire second half brace, Goal.com reports. Read the full story »
Students at the American University of Central Asia are protesting the recent hike in tuition fees. On Friday, Director of Special Projects Sven Stafford informed students that “tuition will not rise by more than 25%, and the average student will see his tuition rise by 17.5%.” The university administration says the move is motivated by the need to increase AUCA’s prestige and attract international students, as well as to stop relying on donations.
Last Tuesday, President Andrew Wachtel called a meeting with students to announce that, starting next year, official fees will rise to $4900, more than double the current number (103 300 soms, ~$2150). Read the full story »
Editor’s note: Uzbekistan’s President Islam Karimov is meeting with European Union officials today in Brussels on a visit that human rights and civil society activists are describing as a secretive affair. 197 organizations and individuals from around the world have signed a letter of protest to the EU, and neweurasia’s Mirsulzhan has a message for Brussels: “Europe, this is the monstrous individual whom you’ve welcomed into Brussels today. In the name of justice, the world beseeches you to confront him!”
The letter and signatories are included at the bottom of this post. Also, make sure to check out this post urging the EU to help a jailed Uzbek journalist, as well as neweurasia’s coverage of the controversial decision to lift the Andijan sanctions.
Today, Uzbekistan’s President, Islam Karimov, will visit Brussels, where he plans to meet with the leadership of the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), as well as with King of Belgium, Albert II. And yet human rights activists and friends of civl society in Uzbekistan learned about this visit not from the EU or Belgium, but via private channels. This speaks to not only the secrecy that surronds Uzbekistan’s dictatorship, but also the embarassment of Europe, a free society interacting with one of the world’s harshest regimes.
Then, only a few days ago, the website of the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, posted the announcement, “Meeting with the President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov, with a link to official Uzbek governmental biography of Karimov that includes the unapologetically propagandistic statement, “For his outstanding contribution to education in Uzbekistan, creation of a state based on democratic laws, guarantee of civil peace and national accord, and for courage, [Islam] Karimov was awarded the title Hero of Uzbekistan and the awards Mustakillik [Independence] and Amir Temur.” After we made this embarrassing link public, the Public Affairs Unit of the European Commission deleted it from the Commissioner’s web site.
Amidst all this, several disturbing consequences of European actions, real and potential, stand out: first, the EU’s relations with the Karimov regime violate its own principles of openness; second, Karimov’s secret visit risks setting a precedent for other dictators who wish to have less-than-candid relations with the EU; and finally, that Karimov’s meetings with EU ministers are unlikely to be substantively confrontational about his regime’s human rights and press track record.
Hey everyone, the Alpamysh epic is only on a temporary pause as we prepare more of the content for publication. Stay tuned!
“Do you believe you’ll become rich?” was the title of survey I posted on the social network Senkazak. Over the course of five days, 137 people took part, answering 11 questions, two of which required them to elaborate on their responses.
I wanted to find out how frequently the Kazakh diaspora in China used the Internet, and whether the local intelligentsia (or people close to them) believed that in the near future they would have the opportunity to earn a significant amount of money. Read the full story »
Colleagues of jailed Karakalpak journalist Salijon Abdurahmanov have sent a letter to the leaders of NATO and the European Commission to request them to seek his release during Uzbek President Islam Karimov’s visit to Brussels on 24 January.
The Uzbekistan Press Freedom Group, the Uznews.net website founder registered in Germany, sent the letters to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and NATO Secretary General Anders Rasmussen.
The letter sent on 18 January urged both politicians to seek the immediate release of 60-years-old Salijon Abdurahmanov, an Uznews.net journalist in Karakalpakstan, from President Islam Karimov, who is expected to visit Brussels on 24 January. Read the full story »
I have already written in my personal blog about how the situation with oralmans (Kazakh returnees) is affecting Kazakhs living abroad. Now I want to share with you the thoughts of Zhanarbek Akybiuly on this subject. Zhanarbek lives in Mongolia.
It is very difficult for Kazakhs living beyond the borders of Kazakhstan to preserve their language, customs, traditions and views, but nonetheless, they make an effort. This is why it makes us so upset to hear that Kazakhs who return to their historical homeland encounter all sorts of problems. Read the full story »