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.
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
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.
Safrang is in Herat and writes down four reasons why he loves this Western Afghan city.
Uzbekistan: Arsenal shareholder
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: Not much has changed
Jamiyat finds that after sixteen years of independence, things in Uzbekistan are very similar to the final days of the USSR.
Mirsulzhan takes his readers on a tour of Kyrgyz-language music videos (KYR).
Uzbekistan: Samarkand anniversary
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.
Kazakhstan: Political soap opera
KZBlog has the latest developments in Kazakhstan's political soap opera, including new rumours why president Nazarbayev rushed to change key personnel and the fate of his son-in-law.
Armenia: World Bank corruption update
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
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.
Azerbaijan: Building collapse
Having lived and worked in Azerbaijan, Carpetblogger is not surprised by the news that a newly-built highrise collapsed in the capital Baku due to poor building standards.
Kyrgyzstan: Labour migration
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
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...
Plenty of trade-related news from Tajikistan – and Bonnie Boyd has them all.
Georgia: UFO in Abkhazia
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
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.
Afghanistan: Uruzgan update
Péter Marton, writing on his My State Failure Blog, has the latest updates from the unruly Afghan province Uruzgan.
Uzbekistan: Karimov forever
At Registan.net, Nathan Hamm thinks that Uzbekistan's president Islam Karimov will stay in power beyond his constitutional term.
Mongolia: Kazakh eagle hunters
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
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
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.