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Whose Face Should Appear on Tajikistan's Banknotes?

Photoshopped image of Tajik president Emomali Rakhmon on a banknote. Shaird by Said Safarov on Facebook.

Photoshopped image of Tajik president Emomali Rakhmon on a banknote. Shared by Said Safarov on Facebook.

Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon's blooming cult of personality is not news to anyone following the impoverished Central Asian country, nor is the republic's dependence on migrant remittances transferred by blue collar labourers toiling in Russia.

Recently a Tajik Facebook user irked by a pro-government figure's suggestion in a state-run newspaper that the country should issue banknotes worth 1000 somoni bearing Rakhmon's image decided to put the two side by side.

Said Safarov wrote:

Photoshop of a Tajik migrant on a Tajik banknote. Shared by Facebook user Said Safarov.

Photoshop of a Tajik migrant on a Tajik banknote, above and Rakhmon below. Shared by Facebook user Said Safarov.

Директор филиала ГУП «Таджиксугурта» в Шахринаве, Шариф Каримов в своей статье, опубликованной в газете «Таджикистан», предлагает выпустить банкноты достоинством 1000 сомони с изображением президента Таджикистана Эмомали Рахмона.
Мой ответ:
Сегодня именно трудовой мигрант достоин как никто другой изображения на купюрах. Именно трудовой мигрант кормит всю страну, в отличии от людей, растаскивающих ее по кускам на свои офшорные счета. Именно трудовой мигрант, сегодня погибает на фронтах трудовой миграции ради куска хлеба для Таджикистана. Именно трудовой мигрант спасает жалкое подобие экономики страны от полного дефолта. Именно трудовой мигрант, как заботливый отец тащит последнюю копейку домой. Именно трудовой мигрант достоин быть изображен на деньгах, ему должны быть поставлены памятники и их именами должны быть названы улицы и села. Вот кто действительно достоин таких почестей!

The Branch Director of the state-owned enterprise “Tadzhiksugurta” in Shahrinav, Sharif Karimov, wrote in an article published in the newspaper Tajikistan, that banknotes worth 1000 somoni ($127 according to official rates) should bear the image of Tajik President Emomali Rakhmon.

My answer: Today, no person is more worthy [of this honour] than the migrant worker. It is the migrant worker who feeds the entire country, as opposed to the people who take her away in pieces to their offshore accounts. It is the migrant worker today who dies in a foreign land for the sake of a piece of bread for Tajikistan. It is the migrant worker who spares the country's economy from total default. It is the migrant worker, like a caring father who sends his last penny home. That migrant worker deserves to be depicted on the money, monuments should be made to him and streets and villages should take their names [of migrants]. That's who is truly worthy of such honours!

In 2014 Tajik migrant workers sent back money equivalent to nearly 50% of the country's Gross Domestic Product while around half of all working-age males from the country earned a living abroad.

These proportions have since shrunk, however, due to the effects of the economic crisis in Russia. Remittances in the first half of this year were down by more than a fifth compared to the same period last year while the number of migrants leaving for Russia in this period has fallen 8% according to authorities.

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