Stories about Central Asia & Caucasus from September, 2010
Hungary: AGRI Pipeline Project
The Hungarian Spectrum writes – here and here – about the Azerbaijan-Georgia-Romania Interconnector (AGRI) natural gas pipeline project and Hungary's possible involvement in it.
Azerbaijan: Obama calls for bloggers’ release
Dönməzlik blog [AZ] says that it was surprised to discover that US President Barack Obama raised the issue of Adnan Hajizade and Emin Milli, two video blogging youth activists imprisoned on charges of hooliganism by a court in Baku, with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, at the UN General Assembly....
Music: CD Brings together banned and censored musicians
Listen to the Banned is a music CD bringing together musicians who have been banned, censored or imprisoned due to their music. It features artists from Afghanistan, Cote D’Ivoire, Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Pakistan, Palestine, Sudan, Turkey, Uighurstan and Zimbabwe.
Armenia: LGBT round table
Pink Armenia reports on a round table on the LGBT community held in Yerevan, the Armenian capital, last week. The blog says that although government ministries accepted invitations to attend, none did.
Azerbaijan: Journalists to visit Sweden ahead of November vote
Gulara Azimzadeh's blog reports that seven journalists from Azerbaijan will visit Stockholm to see how the media covered the 2010 elections in Sweden. The journalists were selected after a competition held by the Azerbaijan Media Center as the country prepares for its own parliamentary vote this November and recounts the...
Armenia: Army forced to act after hazing video circulates online
A video depicting what appears to be evidence of bullying in the military stationed in Nagorno Karabakh, a disputed territory situated within Azerbaijan mainly populated by ethnic Armenians, continues to circulate online, from YouTube to the Daily Motion website.
Armenia: Officer faces abuse charges
Despite an initial official denial, Unzipped posts an update to an earlier post on the circulation of an amateur video originally uploaded to YouTube highlighting abuse in the army. The blog says that the authenticity of the video has now been confirmed and an officer in command of a military...
Azerbaijan: Bloqosfer 2010
Bloqosfer 2010, an event bloggers in Azerbaijan had been looking forward to for about two months, was held on 10-12 September in the resort town of Nabran. Over 100 established bloggers took their place beside emerging ones, new media specialists and Internet experts, business stakeholders, and representatives from civil society as well as the authorities.
Afghanistan: Reviewing the Alternatives
Joel Hafvenstein writes that since the fall of the Taliban, USAID has spent close to $1 billion on alternative livelihoods projects, trying to help farmers grow legal crops instead of opium poppy. The British and German governments have also put lashings of money into the sector. “The results have been,...
Afghanistan: Guide to Afghan shortwave radio
Nick Fielding informs his readers on a useful guide to shortwave radio broadcasts to Afghanistan, released recently by the British DX Club.
Kazakhstan: Switzerland beaten in Davis Cup playoff
KZBlog visited the Davis Cup World Group playoffs last weekend in Astana, Kazakhstan, where Kazakh team has beaten Switzerland 5-0, dropping only 2 sets in 5 matches. He also shows some videos from the tournament.
Afghanistan: Election 2010 Started
Despite all the security threats and anxiety, hundreds of Afghans lined up in every polling station all over the country to cast their ballots in Afghanistan's Wolesi Jirga Election 2010, which started September 18.
Armenia: Business as usual
Unzipped comments on Friday's rally by the extra-parliamentary opposition led by the former president, Levon Ter-Petrossian. The blog concludes that nothing new was said and that the opposition in the country lacks inspiration and offers no real alternative to the current authorities. It also questions the involvement of Gagik Jhangiryan,...
Armenia: The British Ambassador blogs
Charles Lonsdale, the British Ambassador to Armenia, has started up an official blog on the web site of the United Kingdom's Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In his second post, the diplomatic blogger compares British and Armenian art against the background of the seventh Biennale in the country's second largest city...
Azerbaijan: Bloggers to require registration?
As the use of new and social media starts to surface in the run-up to the 7 November parliamentary election in Azerbaijan, In Mutatione Fortitudo reports that there are now calls for bloggers to be considered similar to journalists. While on the surface such a suggestion sounds positive, the accompanying...
Azerbaijan: As elections approach, social networking steps in
On 7 November, Azerbaijan will once again head to the polls to cast their ballots in the upcoming parliamentary elections. The pre-election campaign won't officially start until 23 days before election day itself, but there already some signs of activity appearing on Facebook.
Azerbaijan: Back Home
AZ Cookbook has returned from its native Azerbaijan and posted photographs of the visit. Naturally, given the nature of the blog, it also takes readers on a culinary as well as cultural pictorial tour of the country.
Azerbaijan: Freedom of expression a pressing concern
Ahead of the 7 November parliamentary elections in Azerbaijan, Flying Carpets and Broken Pipelines comments on a new report by Article 19 on freedom of expression in the oil-rich former Soviet republic. With journalists and bloggers in jail much to the concern of the international community, the blog agrees that...
Afghanistan: Kabul Bank on the brink of collapse
Financial crisis is not a luxury reserved for rich countries. Kabul Bank in Afghanistan, which is part-owned by the brother of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, is on the edge of a $1 billion collapse.
Caucasus: Expedition 206
Having already visited Georgia, Expedition 206 arrived in Armenia. The initiative, sponsored by Coca-Cola, will see three bloggers visit 206 countries in 365 days. iReport [AM] posts photographs as well as an account of the travelers meeting with 20 local bloggers and says that they will travel to Azerbaijan tomorrow....
Armenia-Azerbaijan: Backseat musical musings… and ethnic conflict
With the broadcast media heavily controlled in both Armenia and Azerbaijan there are few avenues left for independent journalists. Bloggers in both countries, however, react to a video posted online.