Stories about Central Asia & Caucasus from April, 2013
Cartoon: Girls Prevented from Leaving Kyrgyzstan
A father had a bad dream which now troubles him. So, he decides that his daughter will not travel anywhere. He takes away her passport and air tickets while she is sleeping, but the daughter takes the documents back. Finally, the father decides to lock his daughter at home to prevent her from leaving.
Kazakhstan's First Ever Lesbian Wedding
This was a real wedding. With limousines. With friends and guests. With champagne. With congratulatory speeches. You might ask, "but what about the law?" You see, love does not recognize the law. This is why the wedding took place. However, it was not [registered by the state]. Same-sex marriage are not allowed [in Kazakhstan].
‘Awe-Inspiring Fortresses’ in Eastern Tajikistan
Caravanistan presents a collection of images of the “awe-inspiriting fortresses” in the eastern Tajik region of Badakhshan (or GBAO). The ruins of these fortresses, some of which are still used by Tajik border guards, suggest that “life was once very different here”.
Was Kyrgyzstan Ready for ‘The Vagina Monologues'?
Amid vocal protests from the Kyrgyz Ministry of Culture, a local activist group performed the play 'The Vagina Monologues' in the capital of Kyrgyzstan in March and April. The play by an American playwright and feminist about female sexuality and experiences earned mixed reactions from the Bishkek audience.
Afghan Leader's ‘Brothers’ Carry Out a Deadly Attack
In early April, Taliban insurgents stormed an Afghan court, killing and wounding dozens of people. While the Taliban admitted its responsibility for the deadly attack, President Hamid Karzai blames the incident on "foreign" Taliban and holds that local insurgents had nothing to do with it. Many ordinary people in the war-torn country are unhappy about Karzai's "soft" stance on the Taliban, whom the Afghan leader often calls his "brothers".
‘Poor’ Coverage of Boston Marathon Bombing in Media
...[M]uch information has been misunderstood due to lack of knowledge about the Caucasus or Russia and a desire to present the suspects in a framework easily understandable to the American public.
‘Farmers Know Better’ in Turkmenistan
When will [the Turkmen leader] finally understand that the planned economy is not working? In order for the cotton sector to develop, cotton should be grown by private farms. Wouldn't farmers be able to decide better how much cotton they should sow? Does the [president] sitting on a golden toilet in [the Turkmen capital] Ashgabat really know better how much cotton can be grown in the country than a person working on a field?
‘Addictive’ Social Network is Back in Uzbekistan
After going offline for about a week, the top Russian-language social network service Odnoklassniki has become available again to tens of thousands of users in Uzbekistan. Blogger Doch’ Bukhari (Bukhara's Daughter) explains [ru] why Internet users in the Central Asian country choose this social network over other ones and why the network...
Kyrgyzstan: Where Every Joke is on the Capital's Mayor
KVN - the Russian abbreviation for Club of the Funny and Inventive - remains a national comedy institution in many states of the former Soviet Union. Kyrgyzstan, whose capital has recently hosted the Central Asian league of KVN, is no exception. But while most people in the country enjoy the humor, the Kyrgyz capital's mayor is looking on red-faced, emerging as the butt of every other joke.
Tajik Blogger Urges to Stop ‘Topless Jihad’
[D]o something useful. Stop sticking your breasts there where they may offend people. And don't stand in the way of real feminists doing their noble job.
Tajikistan: ‘High Heels for Higher Learning’
Emma Sabzalieva writes about the controversy surrounding a dress code introduced recently at a university in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan. The dress code requires that female students wear high heeled shoes and single-block color clothes to classes. The blogger asks: Could it really be that the rector believes that ordering such...
Girls Are Told Not to Leave Kyrgyzstan
The Kyrgyz parliament might soon ban girls under 23 years of age from leaving the country without parental consent. The bill which is aimed at preventing female migrants from becoming 'sexual slaves' has come under fierce criticism from human rights groups and some internet users.