Central Asia and Afghanistan
NewEurasia presents a new contributor: Rustam Rasulov, M.Litt in Central Asian Security Studies from the University of St Andrews in Scotland and MA in Political Science from the OSCE Academy in Kyrgyzstan. Now Rustam research on Environmental Security and its links in Central Asia at the Centre on Water Law, Policy and Science at the University of Dundee in Scotland.
On October 10, 2013 United Nations Security Council extended the mandate of International Security Assistance Force’s presence in Afghanistan throughout the end of 2014 saying “the situation in the country still constitutes a threat to international peace and security”. What happens once ISAF will leave Afghanistan is an open-ended question with unavoidable and unpredictable implications to Central Asia. Interestingly, the degree of a threat emanating from Afghanistan is treated differently by Central Asian leaders.
On 7-14 July 2013 the hospitable yurt camp of the Taijiquan Federation of Kyrgyzstan located on the picturesque southern shore of Issyk Kul, hosted the 5th anniversary event ‘Lazy Art’ which assembled a couple of dozens of Central Asian contemporary artists and curators.
Looking to celebrate Central Asian cultural film, cuisine and memorabilia in Canada’s largest city? From July 26th to 28th, 2013, Travel Culture Magazine will host the Sonchy’s Silk Road Adventure event in Toronto, Ontario (Canada).
On February 14th, women and men from all around the world joined the One Billion Rising campaign and danced to protest against gender-based violence. Bishkek was no exception. Read the full story »
Although not an official holiday of the European Union, that didn’t stop the European Parliament in Brussels from partying hard to commemorate Nawrúz this year. My friend and colleague Kawa Ahangari, a Kurdish secularist/federalist activist from Iran, has provided NewEurasia with a cache of photos from the event, which saw representatives from across the Iranian-Central Asian world, from Azerbaijan and Iraqi Kurdistan in the west to Tajikistan in the east.
Nurzhan Kadyrkulova, our new blogger from Kyrgyzstan, with report from exhibition “From the present to the past: the life of Afghan Kyrgyz” , special for NewEurasia
Read the full story »
The School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London (Department of Anthropology and Sociology) invites paper proposals for an interdisciplinary workshop: Muslims and Sports (event date: July 2013).
Editor’s Note: Turkmenistan’s strongman president has made the fight against drugs a major priority of his regime. How’s he faring? In a rare breeze of good news from the country, NewEurasia’s Annasoltan reports that his actions may actually be faring somewhat well!
Ever since Berdimuhamedov — a former health minister and dentist by training — came to power in 2007, Turkmenistan has been engaged in a very radical struggle. During the Niyazov era, wider availability of drugs combined with a grave socioeconomic situation led to a spike in addiction. It was estimated by a former foreign minister that approximately 50% of the population was involved in either the use or sale of drugs! Almost every family had a loved on doped up on narcotics.
There were even allegations that Niyazov himself had a personal stake in the drug business. These allegations arose from his very weird policies on the issue; for instance, he legalized carrying five grams of opium. It’s almost a certainty that some elements of the government, high or low, are involved in the drug business. After all, our country is located on a major transit route between Afghanistan and Europe. In fact, we lie at the intersection of several consumers, including Iran and (via Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan) Russia.
Karajan and Baychobar stop to rest, but when the rider attempts to get his horse to use a feedbag, the Kalmaks mock the animal — another grave offence in the culture of that time.
Upon reaching twenty days’ distance, the horses mounted by the Kalmaks stopped at a stage. Karajan observed this out of the corner of his eye. He reached the boundary [and listened, for the] Kalmaks were having a discussion.
As Karajan races against the Kalmaks to win the hand of Barchin for his friend Alpamysh, he undergoes a series of challenges. The first: the Kalmaks call him a betrayer of tradition for his conversion to Islam — a dreadful accusation!
The horse was covered with foamy sweat. Karajan cried out for the Saints’ help to progress for forty days.
After five days, Karajan was was running along the edge of the four hundred and ninety other horsemen. He slept for a while, then remounted Chobar.
After ten days, he made another stop: rested for a while, slept a spell, and tested his friend’s horse.
After fifteen days, he reached the fountain of Ak Bulak, where the Kalmaks were entertaining themselves. They were saying over and again, so that Karajan would hear them: