Stories about Central Asia & Caucasus from September, 2012
Since the beginning of the year, Tajik singer Tolibjon Kurbonkhonov has recorded three songs that extol the virtues of Russian president Vladimir Putin. The songs have become hits on YouTube and made the singer famous in Russia. Back in Tajikistan, however, the songs anger Kurbonkhonov's compatriots who accuse him of "sycophancy" and "disgracing the country".
[The second political party] has formally brought to end Turkmenistan’s twenty-year-old system of single party rule. The question is whether it [has] brought it to an end really, and that remains to be seen. Annasoltan on NewEurasia.net suggests there is little substance behind the recent establishment of the second political party in Turkmenistan.
It has been announced that the Peace Corps - a U.S. government-run volunteer program - will close its programs in Turkmenistan and leave the country by the end of 2012. Many Turkmen internet users believe that the departure of the volunteers will further deepen the country's isolation and limit education opportunities for its young people.
Much like physical marks the conflict left on the city, the damage left in individual lives and on the city as a community is healing in many places—and where it doesn’t heal, it seems at least to fade into the background of other scars, other challenges. Noah Tucker on Registan.net...
[O]ur society – to be more exact, that part of our society which has internet access and actively uses social networks – is increasingly witnessing the expansion and strengthening of unhealthy nationalist beliefs. Blogger Harsavor ponders [ru] the rise of xenophobia in Tajikistan, particularly among the country's Facebook users.
Now students pay bribes to be admitted to universities, study only to get their [diplomas], but happily wear neckties to classes… Temur Mengliev summarizes [ru] the changes that have taken place within Tajikistan's colleges and universities over the recent years.
Tunisian Arafet Ben Marzou, 31, fulfilled a childhood dream when he gave up his university job and cycled from Tunisia to China, to draw attention to the conservation of wetlands along the way. Afef Abrougui checks out the highlights of the trip he shared on Facebook.
Peruvian blogger Xaviera Medina de Albrand is the brains and energy behind the blog Mujeres Mundi, a space where she publishes her interviews with women from around the world. Xaviera talks to us about her life and her blog in this first part of a two-part interview.
The blog, An Armenian Journalist Notes, posts about a letter from a collective group of Armenian students addressing their frustration and disappointment about recent events involving the extradition of Ramil Safarov, an Azerbaijani military officer serving a life sentence for killing Armenian military officer Gurgen Margaryan in 2004 while both...
Scary Azeri comments on the extradition to Azerbaijan of Ramil Safarov, an Azerbaijani soldier who murdered an Armenian counterpart on a NATO training course in Budapest, Hungary, with an axe. The blogger criticizes the presidential pardon and honoring of the killer in her native Azerbaijan while also abhorring the celebration...
Martine Wright, a survivor of the London bombings, Rim Ju Song, the first North Korean participant who, a few months ago, could not swim; and Hassiem Achmat, who survived a shark attack. Just some of the remarkable Paralympic athletes.
The extradition of Ramil Safarov to Azerbaijan was based on the belief that he would continue to serve his life sentence there. After Azerbaijan gave amnesty to the convicted murderer, however, Armenia suspended its diplomatic relations with Hungary.