Stories about Central Asia & Caucasus from July, 2012
Caucasus: Olympic Women
Ianyan introduces its readers to the female athletes representing the three countries of the South Caucasus in the Olympic games in London.
‘Small’ Georgia Takes on ‘Big’ Russia with New Media
Georgia uses blogging and new media to project soft power in Russia. Even though most Georgians blog in Georgian, there is a sizable contingent of Russian speaking Georgians on Russia's most popular blogging platform LiveJournal. Georgia's government also follows a strategy of co-opting the Russian public through the smart use of new media.
Tajikistan: Telecoms Blackout Amidst Provincial Clashes
Amidst deadly clashes in the eastern Tajik province of Gorno-Badakhshan, the authorities have cut Internet, mobile, and landline connection to the region. Online people are sharing information via social media and trying to draw international attention to the situation on the ground.
London Olympics: Ambush Marketers Be Warned!
The London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) has taken stringent measures to try to ensure no ‘ambush marketing’ tactics are used during the London 2012 Olympics. A common feature at modern major sporting events, ambush marketers try to sneak in promotions of their brands and companies in front of the crowd and, most importantly, the TV cameras. Sports law bloggers and marketers posted their opinions on ambush marketing and the London Olympics.
What's Going On in the Mountains of Tajikistan?
The recent murder of a senior national security official in the mountainous Tajik region of Badakhshan has led to deadly clashes in the area between government troops and the supporters of a local strongman whom the authorities blame for the assassination. Christian Bleuer on Ghosts of Alexander offers an insightful...
Kazakhstan: Unusual Campaign Uses Sheep to Advertise Road Safety
The authorities in Almaty have launched a campaign aimed at educating pedestrians about the importance of following rules when crossing the street. The campaign includes posters and billboards with a stinging message: "People follow rules when crossing the road. Sheep [cross the road] wherever they wish". Netizens respond to the initiative.
Syria: Refuge in Armenia
With the situation in Syria deteriorating rapidly, Cilicia comments on the plight of the country's 100,000 strong ethnic Armenian population. The blog says that many are already applying for Armenian citizenship, but more could be done to offer them refuge in Armenia.
Armenia: Human Rights Record Scrutinized at UN
Armenia's human rights record was scrutinized by the United Nations Human Rights Committee earlier this week in Geneva, 14 years after its last consideration before the committee in 1998.
Tajikistan: Learn the National Anthem to be a Doctor
Tajikistan's Deputy Health Minister has recently announced [ru] that “without knowing the national anthem, doctors will not be able to correctly diagnose their patients”. Netizens have responded to the announcement with irony. Blogger Harsavor writes [ru], for example: “[M]y donkey cannot diagnose people. Maybe it is because he does not know...
Tajikistan: Senior National Security Official Killed
Abdullo Nazarov, a one-star general in the State Commitee for National Security – successor to the Soviet-era KGB – was murdered yesterday in southeastern Tajikistan. Jasur Ashurov tweets [ru] angrily: “How? Tell me, HOW is this possible? If generals are killed so easy, can we really talk about [law] and order...
Tajikistan: Young People Learn to Blog
Matrix [ru], a Central Asian youth TV project focusing on Internet and new technologies, has produced a video [ru] about bloggers in Tajikistan. While few Tajiks presently run blogs, some local organizations teach young people how to start blogging.
Turkmenistan's Homegrown Hip-Hop
Khan on NewEurasia.net writes about Turkmenistan's homegrown hip-hop. Although the country's two most popular rappers spend more time in Turkey than at home, they have many fans in Turkmenistan.
Armenia-Georgia: Typography Without Borders?
Behance features a typographic project to write the Georgian word for hello phonetically in an Armenian script stylized in such a way that it resembles Georgian. Although some letters in the Armenian and Georgian alphabets can resemble each other depending on the fonts and case or styles used, they are...
Mongolia: Documenting Wild Snow Leopard Cubs
Snow leopards are rare and very elusive. A team of scientists from the Snow Leopard Trust has been conducting a long term study on the big cats and recently shared some of their observations.
Pre-Olympics 2012: What’s Buzzing
With the 2012 London Olympics drawing closer, activities relating to the Games are heightening every day. From countries participating in the Games to their athletes preparing to score their best, the world's online audience is coming alive and getting ready for this extravaganza.
Azerbaijan: Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center On Fire
Reports have come in that the Heydar Aliyev Cultural Center in Baku, Azerbaijan, is on fire. The building was opened in May 2012 and was designed by Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid.
Afghanistan as Seen by a Photographer
Kazakh photographer Oskar Shalmanov shares photos from his recent trip to Afghanistan. The photos come with insightful comments [in Russian] about the war-torn country and its past. The images can be seen here, here, and here.
Tajikistan: Stories of Female Migrant Workers
On Blogiston.tj, Shakhlo posts [tj] short stories about the lives of Tajik women working in Russia. Most of these stories focus on the problems that female migrant workers typically go through to help their families back in Tajikistan make ends meet.
Afghanistan: Women Continue Suffering Violence and Abuse
On The Peace Cycle, Omid Bidar writes about a 16-year-old Afghan girl who was raped and murdered by a local strongman in the country's Bamyan Province. “We have forgotten many such stories… [We] will add this [one] to the forgotten list too,” suggests the blogger bitterly. According to one estimate,...
Video: Internet Society Discusses International Freedom of Speech and Censorship
Will the technologies of anonymization win out over new digital monitoring tools? And will new wireless data technologies foster democracy–or lead to more effective tracking and surveillance? A panel discussion in Washington, DC on 25 June, 2012 with 6 activists from Syria, India, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Venezuela and Azerbaijan aimed to answer these questions.
Georgia: Elections Portal Goes Online Ahead Of Parliamentary Vote
Democracy and Freedom Watch reports on the launch of an online monitoring platform ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled for October 2012. The site, Elections Portal, is available in Georgian and English at http://www.electionsportal.ge.