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TOL and neweurasia seeking Russian Editor
Written by , Sunday, 28 Dec, 2008 – 16:53 | 4 Comments

TOL and neweurasia are seeking to hire a Editor for its “Building Blogging in Central Asia” project.  This is an exciting opportunity for someone with journalism skills and experience in the post-Soviet space.

neweurasia is a citizen journalism portal for Central Asia with more than 100,000 visitors every month.  Now setting off into the third year, we are looking to strengthen our editorial position with an Internet-savvy and professional individual with solid journalism experience.

The Editor will be part of neweurasia’s international team scattered across Central Asia, Europe and the United States and will play a pivotal part in developing the project in its third year.  We prefer the successful applicant to be based in either Kazakhstan or Kyrgyzstan. Read the full story »

Rising Voices Seeks Micro-Grant Proposals for Health-Related New Media Outreach
Written by , Wednesday, 30 Apr, 2008 – 17:57 | No Comment

Текст на русском здесь.

Application Deadline: June 1, 2008

 Rising Voices, the outreach arm of Global Voices, in collaboration with the Open Society Institute Public Health Program’s Health Media Initiative, is now accepting project proposals for the third round of microgrant funding of up to $5,000 for new media outreach projects focused especially on public health issues involving marginalized populations. Ideal applicants are dynamic NGOs or individuals who: Read the full story »

Steppe III is out – along with Blog Guide
Written by , Monday, 21 Jan, 2008 – 16:02 | 5 Comments


The third issue of Steppe Magazine, Central Asia’s first glossy magazine devoted to the arts, culture, people, history and landscape of the region, has just been published. This time, neweurasia teamed up with the editors of the magazine and contributed a Guide to Central Asian Blogs.

As a bonus to our readers, you can download the article here. Let us know what you think! Furthermore, we have started compiling an online Central Asia Blog guide at neweurasia.net/steppemagazine. If you think your blog should be included there, please let us know!


Of course, the “rest” of the current Steppe is well worth a read as well, not least for its stunning photography. Check out the magazine’s website for delivery options. Here’s a quick rundown on the main stories featured:

The two main features of Steppe 3 centre around the Aral Sea. So infamous is the story of the sea’s environmental devastation that we do not repeat it, but instead follow those who eke out a living by fishing from its shores. An extended photo essay with stunning images of ice fishing on the Aral Sea presents a stark insight into life in the surrounding fishing villages and shows that beauty can be found even amongst the harshest of realities. While a World Bank and Kazakh-sponsored dam is raising hopes for rising water levels, a local collective has helped open a fish-processing centre in Aralsk, a former Aral Sea port and major provider of fish for the entire Soviet Union, which now lies some 20 km from the sea’s shores. Steppe presents one of the very first articles that focuses on the human side of the Aral Sea disaster at a time when the sea is starting to come back to life. Read the full story »

Vote on the Most Important Event of 2007!
Written by , Friday, 18 Jan, 2008 – 17:25 | 5 Comments

Well, 2007 has come and gone, and to commemorate the new year, neweurasia recently asked its contributors and friends to survey the events of 2007 and evaluate which of them will go down in history as the most important. Now you can tell us what you think by voting below for which event or development was most crucial for the region as a whole.


Cross-Blog Survey: 2007 in Retrospect
Written by , Friday, 18 Jan, 2008 – 17:24 | 13 Comments

2007 in Retrospect

As the year 2007 comes to a close, we at neweurasia thought it would be fun to pose the question: What was the most important event of the year? When historians update the textbooks fifty years from now, what are they going to remember about 2007?

After you read the entries below, head over to the interactive poll to decide for yourself which event of 2007 was the most notable.

Guest Contributors

Martha Brill Olcott at Central Asian Voices highlights a number of important developments in 2007, with the unifying theme of merging the new with the old: Kazakhstan returned to one-party ruled and cemented Presedent Nazarbayev’s power while gaining chairmanship of the OSCE; President Berdymukhamedov of Turkmenistan proved himself a shrewed politician on the international stage while continuing the legacy of Niyazov; Tajikistan reopened historic connections to Afghanistan with the construction of a new bridge; and the Kyrgyz proved themselves adept at constitution writing and rewriting (ENG).

Josh at the Registan argues that 2007 will be remembered as the year the Taliban became a permanent fixture in Afghanistan. The resurgent Islamic movement can not occupy villages and hold them against the combined might of NATO for extended periods of time (ENG).

Over at Beyond the River, Ian explains the domino effect of rising grain prices in Tajikistan. As China’s middle class grows, its demand for meat increases. Land that would otherwise have been used for grain is used to feed cows, thus pushing grain prices up. The consequences of this chain of events hit poverty-stricken Tajikistan the hardest and exacerbates social tensions there (ENG).


Turkmenistan – Abdul Gamid writes that the most important development for Turkmenistan was the construction of a gas pipeline connecting the country with China. Already Russia has agreed to higher gas prices when only a few years ago it was dictating them. Moreover, the economic relationship will lead to political cooperation, and an option beside taking sides in the competition between Russia and the West (RUS).

Kazakhstan – Adam Kesher outlines a host of issues that will be remembered for years to come. Although most outsiders saw Kazakhstan’s chairmanship of the OSCE as the most notable development, citizens of the country grew weary of the government’s constant promotion. Other issues are perhaps more worthy of focus, notably: the manipulation of the constitution, the development of a one-party parliament, the “Nurbank” affair and disgrace of Rakhat Aliyev, and the mortgage crisis and corresponding increase in prices (ENG).

Kazakhstan – For Ben, 2007 was the “Year of Black Gold.” With oil prices soaring, 2007 will be remembered as the year when Kazakhstan truly began throwing around its economic might. However, the increase in natural resource revenue brings with it heightened tension over how to equitably distribute that boon, a controversy that will only increase in the coming years (ENG).

Uzbekistan – Libertad discusses the inevitable reelection of Islam Karimov, and the consequences this tinkering of the constitution will have for the country’s future. Although there are other candidates for president, all of them openly support the current president, so the election is little more than a political show. Even if predictable, this chapter in Uzbekistan’s history represents a path not taken that will be remembered in the coming years (ENG).

Tajikistan – Vadim thinks that 2007 will be remembered as the year of cultural reforms. Lavish weddings and big funeral ceremonies were prohibited; newly born babies can no longer have names with Russian endings; and the state media is emphasizing cultural achievements like the increased frequency of marriage (ENG).

Turkmenistan – According to Maciula
, the most notable aspect of Turkmenistan’s 2007 experience was the distinct lack of reform. Former President Niyazov (Turkmenbashi) died at the very end of 2006, and the world waited to see what sort of changes the reign of his successor, Berdymukhammedov, would bring. The answer: not a whole lot, aside from some notable foreign policy successes. Instead, Turkmenistan seems to be saddled with Turkmenbashi the Second.

Kazakhstan – Asqat takes an objective approach, and judges the most important events of 2007 by which posts on the Kazakh language blog got the most comments. For instance, the National Internet Award was something of an upset because the judge was a Russian could not speak kazakh. In another example from his picks, the lack of a unified alphabet for the Kazakh language seemed to be a pressing issue of the past year (ENG, KAZ).

Best Central Asia Blog 2007
Written by , Sunday, 9 Dec, 2007 – 17:12 | 5 Comments

Best Blog

Over the next month, TOL and neweurasia are accepting submissions for the Best Central Asia Blog Awards. There are several prizes to be won, and the overall winner will get to go to the next Global Voices conference in 2008.

The announcement and submission page (in Russian) is now live at www.neweurasia.net/bestblog.

Over the following weeks, we will try to spread the word about this competition in the Central Asian blogosphere, soliciting as many submissions as possible. The winners will be announced by the jury in mid-January.

The translation of the announcement into English can be read after the jump. If you want to submit a blog, please use the form on the award page. Read the full story »

BarCamp – Riga, 2008
Written by , Thursday, 15 Nov, 2007 – 7:19 | 3 Comments

Post translated by Arseny

In February next yar a new BarCamp event for the bloggers from EU and former Soviet Union will be held in Riga, the capital city of Latvia. Activists, enthusiasts and professionals of the new media will bring themselves together in order to tell each other about their projects, problems and news – and, certainly, to get to know each other. This is a unique opportunity for everyone, who is interested in citizen journalism, blogging, podcating, social networking and in the concepts of new media and Web 2.0, to learn more, to present themselves and to establish connections with the colleagues and interesting people from various countries.

Barcamp Website

The event’s format – Camp, or unConference – presumes not only self-organization of the participants and everybody’s possible contribution to the general organizing process, but also an informal approach to the conduct of the event. It is expected that the Riga unConference will bring together up to 300 bloggers from the Baltic states and CIS countries, while the BarCamp itself is expected to become an annual event. In 2007 there were two Camps held in Amsterdam (September) and Kyiv (October). If you want to learn more about new media projects, blogs and other opportunities brought by Web 2.0, if you have something to say, or if you can somehow help BarCamp to take place, get registered on BarCamp’s page and help spread the message in your blogs!

neweurasia news: Survey winners and podcast
Written by , Monday, 20 Aug, 2007 – 13:57 | 2 Comments

First off, thanks to all those of our readers who took the time to fill in our survey. The three lucky winners have been notified and the gifts are on their way. The feedback we received from you guys was great and it helped us to define more clearly what we are about and where are heading towards in the future.

The second bit of news: Even if you’re not a Kazakh speaker, check out neweurasia’s first-ever podcast on our Kazakh language blog. Askhat, the blog’s editor, interviewed Özgecan, one of our volunteer contributors on the English Kazakhstan blog.

Опрос для читателей neweurasia
Written by , Wednesday, 4 Jul, 2007 – 17:26 | No Comment

Опрос для читателей neweurasia

Мы на neweurasia рады быть вашим мостом в блогосферу Центральной Азии и предоставлять вам репортажи из первых рук и аналитические материалы из региона.

Мы хотим постоянно улучшать наш блог – поэтому мы будем благодары, если вы выделите пять минут своего времени на заполнение этого опроса.

Результаты опроса помогут нам получить данные о наших читателях, и узнать, как мы можем улучшить нашу деятельность, чтобы обогатить ваш опыт прочтения нашего блога.

Если вы укажите адрес своей электронной почты, вы сможете принять участие в розыгрыше призов.

Первый приз – годовая подписка на ТОЛ, второй – книга Кристофера Роббинса “In Search of Kazakhstan: The Land that Disappeared”, и третий – оригинальный саундтрек Далера Назарова к фильму Luna Papa.

Ваши личные данные являются конфиденциальными и не разглашаются третьим лицам.

Пожалуйста, примите участие в нашем опросе!

Tajikistan: Shrinking glaciers, Corruption and Iranian investments
Written by , Wednesday, 13 Jun, 2007 – 6:34 | 5 Comments

Tajikistan is in the limelight of ecologists. Scientists are raising concerns about the climate change in Tajikistan which results in melting of glaciers and in accordance with their statements in fifty years the whole Central Asian region will be left with no water. One of the biggest glaciers is shrinking at fast pace.

Significant loss of glaciers in Central Asia began around the 1930s, and become more dramatic in the second half of the 20th century and continue into the 21st century. Glacier area was reduced by 25–30 per cent in the Tien Shan, by 30–35 per cent in the Pamirs, including its largest Fedchenko Glacier, and by more than 50 per cent in northern Afghanistan. The debris-covered glacier tongue retreated by more than 1 km since 1933 and lowered by about 50 m since 1980.

Tajikistan is an impoverished country and its main wealth is water which is used for generation of electricity. The government of Tajikistan considers hydropower as the main export articles in the future. These days the government avidly tries to attract foreign investments to this sector.

While the government is in search of new investments, ordinary people in rural areas are trying to deal with energy crisis. Enviro posted article of Anora Sarkorova and her colleague Takhmina Ubaidulloeva, probably from IWPR, who talk about the energy crisis in Tajikistan and how people are coping with the problem in rural mountainous areas. They report that some people in the villages constructed their own micro-hydropower station from old automobile parts.

Ustokadam Saodatkadamov built one out of used car parts and it now provides electricity to 30 homes in the Shugnan region’s Barchid village in Gorno-Badakhshan.

Read the full story »