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The Culture of Sugar: Divide et Impera
Written by , Monday, 7 Jul, 2014 – 8:56 | No Comment

Few days ago neweurasia reported about sugar deficit in Uzbekistan. Let me inform you, that this artificial deficit is not about to stop even at +40 heat for a few weeks, if not months, to come.

Instead of selling sugar for its regular price, UZS 2,500-3,000, authorities prefer having huge queues, crying babies, spontaneous fights among buyers and policemen to control the order. Why would authorities hire policemen to control the process of selling of this particular product? Is it a part of their creating-new-jobs-state-program?

neweurasia sources accross the country report that in the Fergana Valley (Fergana, Andijan, Namangan regions of Uzbekistan) sugar price for a kilo is not less than UZS 6,000, while in Surkhandarya the price is almost 7,000. One ‘advantage’ though: you won’t need to spend your time waiting — just go buy as much as you want.

In Tashkent, people start queue fights with each other to make sure they get to buy sugar. You should see a crime scene: male or female in a fight, babies’ loud cry, police’s efforts to use authority to stop this nightmare… Read the full story »

Jewish Synagogue in Bukhara
Written by , Sunday, 29 Jun, 2014 – 23:47 | No Comment

If you are in Bukhara, make sure you visit the Bukharan Jews synagogue not far from Lyab-i-Havuz. It’s one of the oldest Bukharan synagogues with the copies of the Torah as old as few centuries. There’s one that is approximately 1000 years old, according to the guard of the religious site.

There are few more synagogues in Bukhara but this one is, probably, the most interesting and has a longer history than others.

Nowadays there are approximately 25-30 Bukhara Jews families of what was approximately 40,000 back in the end of 1980s. Nonetheless, the synagogue witnesses crowds on big religious holidays.

Rabbi Aron Siyanov or Dan Siyanov, if they are there would be happy to give you a tour, as well as tell you the story of the visits of former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and Hillary Clinton back in a day when she was the First Lady.

Uzbek emerging rap star expresses attitude toward drag stage persona Conchita Wurst
Written by , Sunday, 29 Jun, 2014 – 14:12 | No Comment

It’s interesting how sometimes people from societies, where homosexuality is criminalized and LGBT communities are at high risk, after becoming ‘famous’ in their little stupid circles, claim they are expressing people’s opinion.

MC Doni, a newcommer for Black Star Inc. label, released his single dedicated to his beard. The song is focused against drag stage persona Conchita Wurst, Austrian female singer with a beard who won Eurovision Song Contest 2014.

MC Doni's version of Conchita
MC Doni’s version of Conchita

MC Doni, who’s ethnic Uzbek from Uzbekistan (just like Timati, the founder of Black Star Inc.) where male homosexuality is punished with imprisonment up to three years, suggests that if one doesn’t have a beard then he’s are a loser, but if one doesn’t have male genitals but wears a beard, then he’s not a man. Plus, women will say “Yes!” to those men who have beards. Pretty clear, right?

“If you shaved you beard, then cut your penis like Conchita”
Timati, Boroda

Read the full story »

Sugar Deficit: Back in U.S.S.R.
Written by , Saturday, 28 Jun, 2014 – 1:49 | One Comment

Uzbekistan is facing another deficit issue: sugar. If a week ago it was available for a regular price, approximately 2,500-3,000 Uzbekl sums, nowadays the price has risen to 3,200 in stores and 5,000 at bazaars.

Why to pay more? When you buy it at a store, you should wait in a queue for at least 30-40 minutes, and — surprise — you won’t get more than two (!) kilograms per person. Plus, you have to buy it outside of a market itself, on a specially-arranged territory. Moreover, a police guy controls everything to make sure people don’t fight or kill each other over sugar. Craziness? Sad but true!

But if you got to a bazaar, you can buy as many kilos as you want for a high price.

Are we back in Soviet times? Read the full story »

Sumalak festival 2014
Written by , Thursday, 26 Jun, 2014 – 14:49 | No Comment

Uzbek authorities try to make the country more attractive to foreigners. But problems potential tourists face, including the difficulty of the Uzbek visa, horrible border control service etc.

At the end of April, Uzbekstourism and their partners organized an annual Sumalak Festival. The main target group of this event is diplomatic corps and foreigners who work in Uzbekistan.

It was quite an event with beautiful dances, delicious food, fashion show and exciting athmosphere. By visiting this event I became more sure that Uzbekistan could do much better than just 1 million tourists per year.

Let’s hope Uzbektourism (i.e. central government) will realize the importance to develop the tourism sector sooner than later and ease the entrance for foreigners. At the end of the day, it’s for country’s economy. For their personal income as well.

Viva Uzbekistan and its tourism sector! Read the full story »

Moynaq: The Graveyard of Ships and Hopes
Written by , Tuesday, 24 Jun, 2014 – 14:52 | One Comment

neweurasia reports from the place which was called “the worst place on earth” by The Sunday Times Magazine in 2010.

We are in Moynaq, once an important sea port, which witnessed one of the planet’s most severe environmental disasters, the Aral Sea shrinkage.

According to data collected, one of the world’s four largest lakes till mid 1960s, the Aral Sea has shrunk to just 10 % of its original size.

Here are some pictures of what Moynaq ‘seashore’ looks like today. Read the full story »

Floods in Uzbekistan: Impotent Government, Speechless Citizens
Written by , Friday, 20 Jun, 2014 – 13:23 | No Comment

After the Tashkent flood, which became sort of a catastrophy for both locals and Uzbek capital’s authorities, almost the same situation happened in the cities of the Fergana Valley of the country, Andijan, Fergana and Namangan on June 17.

Read the full story »

Turkmenbashi Show
Written by , Friday, 13 Jun, 2014 – 15:56 | No Comment

We are bringing to your attention an interesting video that was found on the great spaces of YouTube. “Central Asian Hell Show” is a new humorous program about news from Central Asia. Read the full story »

Censorship in arts: Banned Uzbek singer can’t travel outside of the country
Written by , Tuesday, 10 Jun, 2014 – 14:43 | One Comment

Feruza Jumaniyozova, distinguished Uzbek performer, who was deprived of her licence in 2010 for performing in the neighboring Tajikistan without the Uzbek authorities’ permission, was not allowed to leave the country. And again, the reason was her plans to perform for her fans in northern Tajikistan.

Djumaniyozova, who is originally from Khoresm region of Uzbekistan, is quite popular among Farsi speakers for her songs in Persian.

According to TojNews, on June 7 Djimaniyozova was going to perform in Khujand along with Daler Kuttuzov, popular Tajik singer. However, she had to apologize to her fans and cancel the performance due to the ban of Uzbek authorities to travel to Tajikistan. The reason was that the Uzbek authorities took away all her travel documents to make the trip impossible. In Uzbekistan, it’s super easy. Read the full story »

The Mausoleum of The Great Founder of the Naqshbandi Order
Written by , Wednesday, 4 Jun, 2014 – 15:03 | No Comment

Here’s a photo report on neweurasia visiting the mausoleum of Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari, the founder of one of the largest and most influential Sufi Muslim orders, the Naqshbandi.

Baha-ud-Din Naqshband Bukhari (1318–1389) was born in the village of Qasr-i-Hinduvan (later renamed Qasr-i Arifan) 12 kilometers away from Bukhara. That’s where his mausoleum stands nowadays. The Memorial complex is became a place of pilgrimage for thousands of locals and foreigners.

Wahyudi, from of the group of Indonesians visiting the mausoleum that day, told me that he’d been preparing for this trip almost his whole life. “it’s a dream come true.”

The mausoleum consists of the tomb (photo No. 1), a little mosque open at all times (photo No. 5), Baha-ud-din Naqshbandi museum (unfortunately, not too impressive of what could be one of the most interesting and educating parts of the whole complex), conference center (the place where scholars come once in a while to give presentations on various topics, not necessarily the Naqshbandi or Baha-ud-din himself), and the Abdulazizkhon Khonaqoh (photos No. 6-7). Read the full story »