Stories about Central Asia & Caucasus from March, 2014
Afghanistan: ‘My Best Weapon to Fight the Taliban is My Voter Card’
Afghanistan's voters are in a defiant mood as they ready themselves for the polls, ignoring an intensification of civillian-focused attacks by "desperate" Taliban insurgents.
Tajikistan Celebrates the Beginning of Spring
On March 20-21, people in Tajikistan celebrate Navruz (Nowruz), an ancient festival that marks the beginning of spring and is often referred to as the “Persian New Year”. Icekandar congratulates [ru] the readers of his blog: Here comes Navruz, the best and most cheerful holiday! This holiday is not like...
Tajik MP Comes Out Against Cousin Marriage
Saodat Amirshoeva, a female MP in Tajikistan, has a passion for trying to regulate marriage. She is now urging the parliament to ban cousin marriage.
Kazakh Artist Remembers Zhanaozen Oil Riot
Photo blogger Serikzhan Kovlanbaev presents [ru] a photo report from a recent exhibition of works by Saule Suleimenova, perhaps the best known contemporary artist in the country. Suleimenova has been described by another blogger as “one of Kazakhstan’s deepest, most interesting and prolific artists”. The theme of the exhibition is Zhanaozen,...
“I Am Scared to Live in This Country”: Crowd Attacks Women's Rights Activists in Kyrgyzstan
In Kyrgyzstan's capital, an angry crowd attacked women's rights activists whom they mistook for Christian missionaries.
Letters From Tajikistan: We Are Different, But We Have Much In Common
A unique book has been published in Tajikistan. Loki explains [ru] how the book, Letters from Tajikistan, differs from everything else that has been produced in the country: The book is a collection of letters written by people who either live in Tajikistan or have visited the country. The authors...
Speaking Through Graffiti in Kazakhstan
Over the last ten years, a street art group based in Almaty, Kazakhstan, has been using graffiti to express ideas and statements. The group, Repas Workshop, presents [ru] the most recent examples of their impressive graffiti artworks in a blog.
Voices Against Women's Day Remain Rare in Tajikistan
As Tajikistan celebrates the International Women's Day (re-branded as Mother's Day in the country in 2009), social media help amplify the rare voices that speak against the holiday. Writing on his personal website, prominent religious leader and politician Hoji Akbar Turajonzoda urges [tj] Tajiks not to celebrate on March 8: Celebrating Mother's Day or...
Young Activists Battle Bad Parking Habits in Kazakhstan
A group of young activists in Pavlodar, a city in northeastern Kazakhstan, have founded a movement aimed at teaching manners to drivers. The young people confront motorists who park on sidewalks or in other improper places and ask them to move the vehicles to designated parking spots. The movement coordinates its...
Attack Leaves Three Turkmen Border Guards Killed. But Who Killed Them?
A recent attack on a border patrol along the Afghan frontier left three Turkmen border guards dead. Netizens in the country argue about who attacked the border guards and why.
Tajik Human Rights Activist Named a Woman of Courage
Oinikhol Bobonazarova of Tajikistan wins the International Women of Courage Award.
Kazakhstan: Devaluation, Demonstrations, and Lacy Underwear
"I came out in my last pair of lacy panties, which will be banned in our country as of July 2014."
“Hands Off Russian-Language Press” in Tajikistan
Is Russian-language print media in Tajikistan a "threat" or is it "under threat"?
Winter in Tajik Capital, the “Worst City in Asia”
An expat blogger writes about how she spent winter in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan. I spent most of the coldest times huddled next to the space heater (pechka), cup of tea in hand. Some mornings everything in the kitchen froze. I once tried to pour hot water into a...
Expensive Plants for a Poor Country: Tajikistan Spends Millions on Belgian Trees
Tajikistan where more than a third of the population is poor has spent 4,5 million US dollars on chestnut trees for the capital city.
Ukraine's Capital After Yanukovich, Through a Kyrgyz Blogger's Eyes
A Kyrgyz blogger writes about his three-day trip to Kyiv observing everyday life in the city after the ousting of President Viktor Yanukovich.