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Ben Paarmann

I hold an MPhil in Development Studies from the University of Cambridge and have grown fond of Central Asia over the last couple of years. Which is why founded neweurasia, a blog network about the five former Soviet countries of the region. Mostly irrelevant ramblings can be found on my personal blog.

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Latest posts by Ben Paarmann

Kyrgyzstan: A Nation Is Grieving for Chingiz Aitmatov

Ben Paarmann writes in honor of Kyrgyzstan author Chingiz Aitmatov who died on Tuesday this week, at the age of 79. "Thanks to Chingiz Aitmatov, Central Asian traditions, lifestyles, myths - but most importantly - a transcendental Central Asian "feeling" became part of Soviet culture, known and celebrated beyond the borders of the former empire." writes Paarmann.

Afghanistan: CNN Youtube debate

  4 September 2007

Afghanistanica is unhappy that out of the 1,400 questions collected for the presidential CNN-Youtube debate, only two deal with Afghanistan. He asks his readers to help him change this dismal record.

Uzbekistan: Arsenal shareholder

  4 September 2007

Craig Murray is willing to testify in front of the Premier League to block a rich Uzbek investor from buying himself into Arsenal FC. Meanwhile, Jamiyat says that the children of the businessman are among Russia's richest heirs.

Uzbekistan: Samarkand anniversary

  4 September 2007

Central Asian Borders writes about the former Silk Road capital Samarkand's 2750th anniversary. Uzbek president Karimov came on a visit, and his entourage made sure that every major street was blocked for the event, causing lots of hassle for the inhabitants.

Armenia: World Bank corruption update

  4 September 2007

Onnik Krikorian finds it scandalous that the World Bank's own watchdog “Department of Institutional Integrity” has not yet sent an investigation commission to Armenia following serious allegations of corruption in the Bank's public utility lending.

Armenia: School year starts

  4 September 2007

Observer reports of the new academic year starting in Armenia. There are less children starting school each year, but there are still traffic jams around schools because of proud parents driving their kids to school.

Kyrgyzstan: Labour migration

  30 August 2007

Scraps of Moscow links to an IWPR article about the impact of labour migration on the healthcare system in Kyrgyzstan, and finds many similarities to problems elsewhere in the developing world.

Azerbaijan: Radical islam

  30 August 2007

Christine Quirk received a reader's comment to one of her earlier posts (GV reported) about the imaginary threat of radical political Islam in Azerbaijan. The commentator is a well-known Azeri Imam, who thanks the blogger for bringing up important issues. In turn, Quirk lists those players who benefit from the...

Georgia: UFO in Abkhazia

  30 August 2007

At Steady State, rindi is amused about conflicting reports of a mysterious object falling from the sky in the breakaway province of Abkhazia. Was it a Russian or a Georgian airplane? Or a US spy drone? Or even a “cosmic object”?

Afghanistan: Hostage deal

  30 August 2007

Although 11 hostages still remain in the hands of their kidnappers, Carl Robichaud speculates why the Taliban agreed to release the Korean missionary workers who have been held hostage for over a month.

Mongolia: Kazakh eagle hunters

  29 August 2007

American filmmaker Joseph Spaid tells readers about his film Kiran over Mongolia over at neweurasia. The documentary portrays a young Mongolized Kazakh youth from the urban capital who is taken into an apprenticeship by a true Kazakh eagle master.

Afghanistan: Releasing the hostages

  29 August 2007

Although the Korean hostages are likely to come free after more than a month in custody in Afghanistan, OneFreeKorea is unhappy with the deal struck with the Taliban. In the blogger's opinion, this will “stamp “kidnap me” in fluorescent letters in every Republic of Korea passport”.

Afghanistan: Replacing a minister

  28 August 2007

From Afghanistan, Sanjar reports that he and his colleagues have launched a petition demanding the removal of the current Minister for Information and Culture. Rumours have it that a successor has already been chosen, and Sanjar voices his discontent over President Karzai's choice.

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