Tajikistan as a success story

The US ambassador to Tajikistan Richard E. Hoagland sees Tajikistan as a remarkable success story. In this article he goes on to a great detail to describe his observations and share his thoughts about the economic development of the country for the past three years. It is quite a pleasant surprise to learn that he has such a great faith in the future of the country, but again after living in the country for a while and witnessing the potential of people who live in Tajikistan this becomes a natural conclusion. I am glad he has that rare vision that…

OSCE Observers – but why?

The OSCE will be monitoring the presidential elections in Tajikistan in November, 2006. The question is why. Having OSCE observers didn’t work out so well for Kazakhstan, and it is basically predetermined that they will pronounce the elections to be significantly flawed in Tajikistan as well. Already there have been significant infractions and the election is still half a year away. The answer probably lies in the carrot the OSCE is holding out to Tajikistan: …Rakhmonov expressed satisfaction with a project regarding firearms and weapons that the population owns, and a project of clearing Tajikistany territory from mines. The president…

Event Report:

The second part of this presentation was given by Anthony Bowyer, and focused exclusively on Tajikistan. For information on opinion polling for all of Central Asia, see neweurasia home. Bowyer oversaw a public opinion poll conducted in Tajikistan by IFES prior to the February 2005 election (click here for full report). Below is a summary of some of the findings. Satisfaction has improved markedly since 1996; a majority has a positive assessment of the economy, and expects better times to come. A majority prefers a state-controlled economy, but support for a market system has increased significantly since 1996. Corruption and…

The Synagogue Stays! (?)

According to one source, the Government of Tajikistan has reversed its very unpopular decision to bulldoze the country’s only synagogue. The synagogue’s rabbi has promised to refurbish the site so that it better fits in with the planned “Palace of the Nation.” The decision (assuming the government’s new commitment to leave the synagogue alone holds true) comes a bit late, however, as some parts of the synagogue have already been destroyed. Last month, the city authorities moved in and destroyed the classroom, the kosher slaughterhouse and ritual bathhouse which formed part of the synagogue complex. Mayoral spokesman Shavkat Saidov said…

More Economic Development Progress

Tajikistan’s commitment to development seems to be paying off (setbacks in democratization notwithstanding). The International Monetary Fund has agreed to work closely with Tajikistan to strengthen macroeconomic policy, as well as provide poverty-reduction loans. Like Kazakhstan, Tajikistan seems to be focusing very closely on improving the quality of life in the country in terms of health and economic wellbeing, but ignoring or backpedaling on other types of reform such as opening up the political system. The country is certainly surpassing neighbors such as Uzbekistan, who just lost World Bank funding.

The US Bets on Economic Education in Tajikistan

According to this post, a number of Tajik educators arrived in the US for an eight-day study tour at the Center for Economic Education at Fort Hays State University. The aim of the program is to show how economic education is delivered in the US. Mahbouba Avezova, executive director of the Foundations for Economic Reforms, and Sulhiya Bahodurova, senior teacher at the Khudjansk branch of the Tajik University of Technology, will speak with select FHSU classes and Hays and Lucas-Luray K-12 students. They will also participate in several visits during their eight-day stay in Hays, including Hays Medical Center, Wal-Mart…

Tajikistan Photos

I recently came across a site about Tajikistan and decided to share a link with you. The author of the site (Peter Flindell) is a photographer so it has some breathtaking pictures of Tajikistan. The photos are followed by short stories about the events and the context in which the pictures were taken. I got in touch with the author via email and he said he has a new series of pictures on Tajikistan, which will be available on his new site , sometime in April of this year.

Disabled People

On 8 January 2006 a fire destroyed the Chorog orphanage for intellectually disabled children in Gorki Street in Dushanbe. 13 children were killed in the blaze. The children who have survived were moved to a temporary home in a rehabilitation centre in Dushanbe. Around the fire there have been a number of unverified rumors. The most striking is that the fire brigades only came one hour after the fire had started, although the staff claims they called immediately. The orphange was located in a central location in Dushanbe, close to the ministries and this might lead to the assumption held…

Shul Destruction

Neweurasia hasn’t covered it yet, but a major piece of news coming out of Tajikistan lately is the government’s decision to demolish the the country’s only synagogue to make way for a presidential palace. Pleas from the international Jewish community have still met no success in changing the government’s mind. Democracy in Central Asia and Registan (plus a discussion) have the full scoop.

Two Feet, Two Directions

Tajikistan may well establish an independent national human rights organization with the backing of the OSCE and United Nations. The deputy head of the OSCE Center in Dushanbe, Andrei Shugurov, said a Tajik national human rights institution could become an effective mechanism to remedy “weaknesses” in the justice system. Weaknesses like… systematic and politically motivated persecution of the opposition? Not to be too cynical, but it seems that Tajikistan seems to be moving in two opposite directions at once – reform and repression – but the reforms have been largely soft (creation of plans, organizations and the like), and the…

How to reform the Tajik military

The Government of Tajikistan has decided not to carry out a planned transition to a professional army, rather than a conscripted one. It has not renounced reform, just Western-prescribed remedies. Some analysts are suggesting that Tajikistan is increasingly wary of President Bush’s pro-democracy policy, and is increasingly trying to distant itself from Western nations. Alternatively, this break from the professional army plan could be a play to get more Western funding, as the stipulated reason for the change in policy is that it is financially infeasible (which is probably true). The Jamestown article referenced above makes a forceful argument that…

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