Stories about Central Asia & Caucasus from September, 2009
Georgia: An Azeri Wedding
Writing on my Frontline Club blog, I also post a video interview and photo report with regional blogger Arzu Geybullayeva on our recent visit to an ethnic Azeri village in the regions of the Republic of Georgia.
Afghanistan: Terror suspect arrested
Afghan PenLog rounds up most of the reporting on the arrest of Najibullah Zazi, indicted in New York on terrorism charges. Zazi supposedly trained in explosives in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Afghanistan: Is Withdrawal a Surrender?
Joshua Foust reflects on the fact that the withdrawal of the U.S. military from vast tracts of indefensible bases in Afghanistan is being put into motion.
Kyrgyzstan: Celebrations of Eid al Fitr
Aravanski tells his readers how Muslim holiday Eid al Fitr was celebrated in Kyrgyzstan (with photos).
Kazakhstan: Playing the Borat card
Vicky reports that that the government of Kazkahstan is now thawing and reversing its position on Borat, a comic character, as tourism rose by 13% last year.
Turkmenistan: Reforms back on the shelf?
Annasoltan analyzes the political impact of the visit of Turkmenistan president Gurbanguly Berdimuhammedov to the United States, and says that it will be difficult for him to present himself as a reformer who would take Turkmenistan out of present isolationist course.
Kazakhstan: Interview with the author of a comic book about Kazakhstan
Jenia Saikina interviews Nicolas Journoud, the French artist living in Kazakhstan, who prepares to release a comic book about this Central Asian country.
Afghanistan: Threat to Germany
Nick Fielding writes about several videos in German language, threatening an al-Qaeda attack on the country unless it withdraws its 4,000 soldiers from Afghanistan.
U.S., Europe: “R.I.P. Missile Defense”
A roundup of blog coverage of the Obama Administration's decision to abandon plans to build the missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic: A Fistful of Euros; Edward Lucas; Poemless; Ukrainiana; FP's Passport; Leopolis – here and here; and Robert Amsterdam's Blog.
Turkey: Next Country to Recognize Abkhazia?
Window on Eurasia reports that “there appears to be a chance that Turkey, despite denials by its officials, might break the embargo against recognition [of Abkhazia] because of Ankara’s desire to play a greater role in the Caucasus region, its own long-standing experience as the only country to recognize the...
Afghanistan: Captain Semrau Goes to Trial
Joshua Foust reports that Captain Robert Semrau, a Canadian military man facing murder charges for the alleged shooting death of an injured, unarmed insurgent outside Lashkar Gah, is now facing a general court martial.
Uzbekistan: Freedom of faith questioned
Musa tells about the persecution of minor grouping of Bahá’í religion in Uzbekistan.
Turkmenistan: Ashgabat hosts ICT events
Musafirbek reports that Turkmenistan hosted international telecommunications and information technology exhibition and the “Turkmenistan and Global Telecommunications System” international scientific conference.
Afghanistan: Mullah Omar's New Statement
Nick Fielding analyzes the political statement of Mullah Mohammad Omar, leader of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, for the Afghans, particularly those who are loyal towards the Karzai regime.
Mongolia: Central Asian blues
Bilguun shares a new blues music project called “Khusugtun” in Mongolia.
Armenia-Azerbaijan: International Peace Day
Marking International Day of Peace, letzi83 notes that Armenia also celebrates its independence from the former Soviet Union on the same day and says her mind automatically makes a connection between the two events. unzippedblog also weighs in and says that despite sounding naive, maybe there's room for hope and...
Kazakhstan: Propaganda Allergies
As megakhuimyak described it, last week in Kazakhstan “the senility grew ever stronger.” The country is astir over the president’s former son-in-law, Rakhat Aliev, now émigré enemy of the state # 1. People’s fear of the once-omnipotent oligarch and secret service official has turned into fear of being associated with...
Georgia: Radisson SAS Iveria Hotel
LJ user cyxymu writes about (RUS) and posts photos of Tbilisi's Iveria Hotel, which was built in the mid-1960s, housed refugees in the 1990s (and was “the symbol of Georgia's shame” then) and has recently re-opened as Radisson SAS Iveria Hotel.
Kazakhstan: Right activist to continue his work in jail
Slavasay writes that Yevgenii Zhovtis, the famous Kazakhstani human rights activist, who is currently waiting to serve a four year prison sentence for a traffic violation that caused a man’s death, is undeterred, and will continue to defend himself and others.
Turkmenistan: Cries from the Bedroom
Anasoltan reports that a domestic violence hotline has been launched in Turkmenistan with the support of the OSCE center in Ashgabat.
Tajikistan: Free cheese and a mousetrap
Salimdjon reflects on the recent deterioration of political relationships between Tajikistan and Russia, saying that “formerly strategic partners are now haggling over the same piece of cheese”.