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Tajikistan goes to the Olympics (in China!)
Written by , Friday, 1 Aug, 2008 – 3:41 | 8 Comments

Judging by the deserted stands at the Tajikistan/Turkmenistan football match in the AFC Challenge Cup opening round, all eyes are already focused on the Beijing Olympics as the ultimate sporting and political event of the year. As with many other delegations, the Tajik Olympic team left for Beijing today. Fourteen athletes qualified:

Dilshod Nazarov (hammer throwing), Galina Mityayeva (track and field athletics), judo players Rasoul Boqiyev, Sherali Bozorov and Nematullo Asronqulov, free-style wrestlers Yusuf Abdusalomov and Vitaly Koryakin, boxers Anvar Yunusov, Jahon Qurbonov and Sherali Dostiyev, swimmers Yekaterina Izmaylova and Alisher Chingizov, female archer Albina Kamolitdinova, and weightlifter Nizom Sangov.

14 Olympians is no small feat for a small country, but the talk surrounding Tajikistan’s participation isn’t purely athletic. A few months ago, Ambassador of Tajikistan to China Rashid Alimov not only wrote a best-selling “teen novel” about a Tajik youth traveling to the games, but also gave an interview to the official website of the Beijing games. With the political disection of the Olympic games reaching a fevered pitch, some quotes are particularly interesting- like this question on the internet- in revealing both China’s need to be recognized as a world power and Tajikistan’s eagerness to take advantage of the bilateral relationship:

Host: …The internet has developed in a big way in China and across the globe. It has not only changed people’s lives but has also changed the way the Olympics are being promoted. Sohu has become the Internet sponsor of the Games, which has never happened before in Olympic history. Do people in Tajikistan have easy access to the Internet? How do you and your family use the Internet to promote the Beijing Olympics.

Rashid Alimov: The internet has become a part of people’s lives. In the past, news was spread through the post offices and horses, then by trains, planes, and telegraphs. And now the Internet. Of course, this has had a huge impact on the telecommunications industry. These days it is hard to imagine life without the Internet. The internet provides fast access to quality information. The internet is developing in Tajikistan in leaps and bounds, just as it is in China.

But some problems are inevitable. Ninety-three percent of our territory is mountainous, which poses an obstacle. And internet access is still expensive. But these things will get better as the Internet develops.

Many Internet cafes and most colleges in my country provide free Internet access.

As for having an Internet sponsor for the Olympics, I think it is a sign of the times. As I said before, our website has an Olympic column, which I think is wise. It shows our respect for the Games and our intention to promote the ideals of the Olympics. In order to let people know about the preparatory work, we included our Internet address on the back of the book. This is a small contribution to the large amount of work you are doing.

Of course, Chinese censorship is left out of the discussion and the focus is instead on the commercial power of the internet. Maybe a Chinese sponsored rural computer training program though? What if all the users promise to only say good things about the Olympics?

Check back for more quotes from the full interview (read for yourself here) as the Olympics approach and hopefully some excerpts from the “teen novel” book…

Kyrgyz Sportsmen Arrived in Beijing
Written by , Thursday, 31 Jul, 2008 – 13:40 | One Comment

First Kyrgyzstan delegation arrived in Beijing (China) last night, press service of the Kyrgyz Ministry of Foreign Affairs reported.

The Kyrgyz swimming champions Yury Zakharov and Vasily Danilov are among the first delegates. The swimmers are going to try luck in the 200/400m complex style and 50m freestyle.

Members of the Beijing Olympics Organizational Committee met Kyrgyz athletes at the airport.

The Kyrgyz National Olympic Committee entitled Talant Janagulov a member of Sambo and Judo sport federations to hold a national flag of Kyrgyzstan during the opening Olympic ceremony in Beijing, China.

Janagulov is a 2007 champion of the XX International Sambo tournament (+100kg weight category). He has also won the third place at the Kazakh President’s Cup Sambo Championship, the second at the Asian sport and combat sambo in Tashkent.

AUCA SRC: Modernization of Islamic Education Institutions in Kyrgyzstan
Written by , Thursday, 24 Jul, 2008 – 17:51 | 2 Comments

AUCA’s Social Research Center (SRC) presented the results of the two-month research project entitled “Modernization of Islamic Education Institutions in Kyrgyzstan”. According to the press-release of AUCA, this research project that was initiated and financed by the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia in Bishkekfocused on exploring attitudes among Bishkek residents toward Islamic education institutions. It also sought the opinions of Islamic education institutions on the possible introduction of secular courses into their curricula.

The study was conducted by AUCA faculty members Mucaram Toktogulova (Associate Professor of the Department of Cultural Anthropology), Mehrigul Ablezova and Gulzat Botoeva (Acting Associate Professors of the Department of Sociology) and managed by the SRC.

The research attempted to identify the general public attitude towards existing Islamic educational institutions in the country. In addition, the research project explored the potential of including political science, philosophy, and other secural subjects at Islamic schools.

The results of this two-month research project will be used to develop a follow-up action-oriented project by the Eurasia Foundation. In particular, it will focus on curriculum development of the Islamic educational institutions in compliance with the contemporary academic requirements.

You can read this report in Russian. Download it here.

Farewell to the Famous Kyrgyz Composer Took Place in Bishkek
Written by , Wednesday, 23 Jul, 2008 – 16:30 | No Comment

The civic funeral rites of prominent composer and band-master of Kyrgyzstan Asanhan Dzhumahmatov took place in Bishkek. It was attended by members of the government, deputies of Jogorku Kenesh (parliament), minister of culture and information Sultan Raev, minister of education and science Ishengul Boldzhurova, first deputy prime minister Iskenderbl Aidaraliev, and art workers.

Asanhan Dzhumahmatov is a father of a symphony performance in Kyrgyzstan. For several decades, renowned actor was the principal band – master at the Kyrgyz Academic Opera and Ballet Theatre named after Abdylas Maldybaev. He was the Hero of Kyrgyzstan, People’s Artist of the USSR, laureate of Toktogul State Prize, art director and band-master of the state academic symphonic orchestra named after A.Dzhumahmatov, academician of the World Music Academy (Munich), academician and member of the presidium of International Academy of Creation (Moscow), honorary citizen of Bishkek.

He died on July 21, 2008 at the age of 85.

III International Festival OIMO-2008 Will Start Soon
Written by , Tuesday, 22 Jul, 2008 – 18:15 | No Comment

III International Festival OIMO-2008 will start in Bishkek on July 26, reports Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.

The program on supporting art and culture of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation supports the festival for the third year, financing expenditures on cultural program. The festival’s goal is to promote Kyrgyzstan as regional area for development of intercultural dialog and international cultural tourism.

The festival’s program includes fair of handicrafts of Central Asia, fashion-show, concerts, demonstration of films of Central Asia, master-classes on applied art for children and adults, roundtables on issues of developing craftsmanship and traditional cultures, etc. The festival will end on August 1.

Frank Gehry’s Twin Towers in Astana
Written by , Tuesday, 22 Jul, 2008 – 14:56 | 4 Comments

I wrote about this before on blogistan.asia, but I am still interested in the topic and therefore I will write here again.

Astana is something like a city of myth for many German newspapers and therefore often described as one of those unbelievable new cities built on oil and gas like Dubai and
Abu Dhabi. Last time I read some article like that, was in the German Kazakh newspaper DAZ in Almaty. On the first page of DAZ was a little teaser, which said something like that the Star architects Norman Foster and Frank Gehry are creating giant buildings in the Kazakh Steppe. I think everybody knows that, Norman Foster is doing a lot in Astana, but Frank Gehry? Interesting to see is that, if you “google” Frank Gehry and Astana you will get some results, which are mostly in German. Starting with this article of the big German newspaper Sueddeutsche, all these articles are saying something like: “Frank Gehry is building in Astana”. Funny thing is that, you will never find information about Gehry and Astana somewhere else besides German newspapers. If you look closer at the article you will notice that there was an original article written by the German Press Agency (DPA). This article was published in Sueddeutsche newspaper and the big monthly Focus. With this article DPA sold some pictures by Stefan Voss, which are claiming that there are some

Twin Towers (see photo below) of Frank Gehry in Astana. This information is now so deep in the internet, that every time some German journalist writes something about Astana, you will find a quote like:” Star archtitects like Norman Foster and Frank Gehry…” I was even once hiking with a German geographer, who was teaching at German Kazakh University, who told me about Gehry’ Twin Towers in Astana. When I am told him that I think he is wrong, he was shocked and reported me that he had a quote in his diploma thesis about Astana, which was like:” Star archtitects like Norman Foster and Frank Gehry”.

Maybe I am wrong and there are Twin Towers by Frank O. Gehry in Astana, but then he is trying to hide the fact. If anybody has some information about this, please write a comment.

astana15 (c) photo by Philipp C. Jahn

Bakiev Wants to Help the Kyrgyz Olympians
Written by , Tuesday, 22 Jul, 2008 – 7:41 | No Comment

On Monday president of Kyrgyzstan Kurmanbek Bakiev held a traditional work meeting with the heads of administration’s departments of his administration led by its chief Medet Sadyrkylov, reports news agency “Kabar”.

Bakiev said that he was going to meet with sportsmen, who would represent Kyrgyzstan at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games. Lately, much attention has been paid to the development of sport in Kyrgyzstan, particularly attracting youth to sports and physical training.

“We should render every kinds of assistance to our Olympians. Except those material rewards, which established by the government, there are other stimuli. For example, last year, I had signed a law on establishing life monthly scholarship to champions of Olympic Games”, – said Kurmanbek Bakiev.

Kyrgyz Pupils Took Part in Festival of National Cultures in Moscow
Written by , Saturday, 19 Jul, 2008 – 10:29 | One Comment

The Kyrgyz Embassy in Russia took part in the festival of national cultures with the participation of pupils-winners of school olympiads from CIS countries. Representatives of Bulgaria, Hungary, Germany, Egypt, India, Italia, Mongolia, Poland, Serbia, USA, Syria, Turkey, Finland, France, Czechia and Sweden also took part in the festival.

After the end of the solemn event heads of pupils-delegations met with representatives of the Moscow Government, including deputy head of Education Department of Moscow Y. Goryachev, who expressed gratitude to guests and participants of the solemn event for fruitful cooperation.

In their turn, heads of delegations expressed gratitude to the Moscow Government for organization of this event, which assists development of the Russian language and strengthens friendly relations between pupils of CIS countries.

Eto’o moves to Kuruvchi?
Written by , Thursday, 17 Jul, 2008 – 14:13 | 4 Comments

Recently, all Uzbek internet forums were full of rumors about FC Barcelona’s striker Samuel Eto’o coming to Uzbekistan to sign a contract with Kuruvchi, a leading football team in Uzbek premier league. Today, at least the half of the rumor is turned out to be truth – Samuel Eto’o escorted with other three representative of FC Barcelona has arrived to Tashkent at 6:30 am on local time.

According to FC Kuruvchi’s official website, Eto’o will visit Uzbekistan Football Federation office and meet with management of UFF. The FC Barcelona delegation will also visit sights of Tashkent, especially historical complex ‘Khazrati-Imam’. During the second half of the day, Eto’o will give a press-conference for mass media representatives in the hotel InterContinental-Tashkent, where he is staying during his visit.

Rumors have spread that Kuruvchi paid 40 million USD to Barcelona for transfer. For Uzbek sport, it is an unbelievably high price (with average salary in the country being $80-100). However, with sponsors like Zeromax, Uzneftegaz, UzGazOil, FC Kuruvchi can afford such transfers.

UK’s Telegraph quotes Kuruvchi’s sporting director Bahtiyor Babayev saying that Samuel Eto’o will sign a contract with Kuruvchi at least up until the end of 2008.

The term of the contract will depend on our performance in the AFC Champions League. We will play Saipa in the quarter-finals and Eto’o is our main purchase before the knockout stage of the tournament… The defining moment of the transfer was not money, but the friendly mutual relations between the management of our club and Barcelona. The personal friendship between presidents of the clubs has noticeably lowered the transfer fee.

However, they also quote a spokesperson from the Spanish club, who proved that everything was nothing more than rumors.

Nobody at the club knows anything about this and I really don’t think it is very likely.

***

Just noticed that Telegraph misspelled Uzbekistan :)

o-telegraf-mistake.JPG

Young Talents Devote Their Works to Chingiz Aitmatov
Written by , Monday, 14 Jul, 2008 – 17:58 | No Comment

An exhibition of young talents devoted to writer Chingiz Aitmatov’s creative works will be opened in Bishkek at Kyrgyz national museum of fine arts named after Gapar Ayitiev.
Organizer of the exhibition is the department for youth affairs. Participants from all over regions of Kyrgyzstan have sent their works to the exhibition.
Within the framework of the exhibition, works of young painter Mirlan Sabyrov, would be presented. The most of his creation makes Chingiz Aitmatov’s works.