Peace Corps getting booted out of Kazakhstan?

Our friends over at the Registan are running a guest post from an American Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) regarding the sudden departure of the Peace Corps from Kazakhstan. I must say, this is really news to me, not least of which because, as I understood the situation, Kazakhstan is one of the Peace Corps’ biggest countries of deployment. Apparently rising violence and ongoing suspicions of PCVs as intelligence assets are key factors in the decision from the American and Kazakh sides, respectively: [M]any of us have been attacked and assaulted — according to our Country Director, Kazakhstan has earned the…

Scholarship programs for the 2012-2013 academic year US-Central Asia Education Foundation

ACCELS is pleased to announce 2012-13 academic scholarship program of the US-Central Asia Education Foundation (CAEF). The CAEF provides financial need-based scholarships to academically qualified students of Central Asia for undergraduate level studies in business administration at the Kazakhstan Institute of Management, Economics, and Strategic Research (KIMEP) and at the American University of Central Asia.

neweurasia and Global Voices Online are teaming up!

In Kyrgyzstan, this weekend has hopefully initiated the start of a positive new era for the country (although, of course,time will tell). It’s also signalling another new beginning: neweurasia and Global Voices Online (GVO) are teaming up! In fact, we’ve already had long-standing informal ties with GVO. For instance, our former Kazakhstan country coordinator Adil Nurmakov heads up their Central Asia wing, and many of us in the core team are friendly with GVO’s co-founder, the ever-likable Ethan Zuckerman. The new partnership shall begin modestly, with logo-exchanging on our respective Russian sites and content cross-fertilization. In the future, however, we’re…

What are these Americans doing in my village?

About two weeks ago neweurasia‘s Annasoltan wrote her first-ever post for our old friends and partners, Global Voices Online (GVO): “Turkmenistan: Global Village or Village Behind the Globe?” I’m writing about it now to make sure that it doesn’t just fade into the background. Annasoltan has become well-known for using digital culture and digital tools to explore Turkmen (and to some extent Turkish) social, cultural and political issues. True to form, her GVO post was prompted by an interesting discussion on social forum Ertir.com about American travelers and Peace Corps volunteers in Turkmen villages. She offers up a bevy of…

Bishkek bustles during independence celebration

I must say, the weather’s been lovely and the city’s been teeming all day with people in costumes, on roller blades, and just in general having a good time. I’m glad that I’m here to see Bishkek in such a good mood, especially after so much unhappiness as of late. Dina Tokbaeva from IWPR and I spent the morning at Ala-Too Square watching the parade, which included everything from T-72s to Korean drummers. The photos below were taken by us (for credits, check out the file names). Then we did the most “natural” thing: sat down at Cafe Academia over…

Chingiz Aitmatov is rather dapper in bronze

The new statue of Chingiz Aitmatov is up in Bishkek’s center. I must say, he’s rather dapper in bronze, although with all due respect to Mr. Aitmatov, he appears unrealistically flat-tummied and muscular. No surprise, I suppose, as Soviet aesthetic principles remain very much in place in Kyrgyzstan…

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