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BUILDING THE LANDBRIDGE WITH EURASIA

[ EURASIA ]

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: ALMAZBEK ATAMBAYEV

CHAGALL: THE LIFE AND ART OF A MASTER LOST ENLIGHTENMENT: THE GOLDEN AGE OF CENTRAL ASIA FROM SAINT-LIGUORI TO NUR-SULTAN VIKING EXTRAORDINAIRE: SOLVI FANNAR

ISSN 2053-1036 RRP: £10.00 / $15.00 WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM ESTABLISHED 2009

OCA MAGAZINE


NOVEMBER 14-17 2019

BRUSSELS, BELGIUM

OPEN EURASIA AND CENTRAL ASIA BOOK FORUM & LITERATURE FESTIVAL

OPEN EURASIAN BOOK FORUM & LITERATURE FESTIVAL

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF NICK ROWAN

GUEST EDITOR STEPHEN M. BLAND

PUBLISHER MARAT AKHMEDJANOV EDITOR ASSISTANT SANIYA SEILKHANOVA DESIGN ALEXANDRA REY

OPEN CENTRAL ASIA MAGAZINE #32 SUMMER 2019 FRONT COVER:

Almazbek Atambayev (see p.6) MAGAZINE PUBLISHED FOR EURASIAN CREATIVE GUILD

CONTACT INFORMATION EMAIL: PUBLISHER@OCAMAGAZINE.COM WWW.EURASIANCREATIVEGUILD.UK WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM EDITORIAL OFFICE SILK ROAD MEDIA SUITE 125 43 BEDFORD STREET COVENT GARDEN LONDON WC2E 9HA, UK CONTACT NUMBER (+44) 07411978 955 WHATSAPP & VIBER

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EDITORIAL TEAM ANGELINA KRASNOGIR ESBOL ABENOV MARIA BATZ CONTRIBUTORS NAJIBA LAIMA KASRAEE ROBERT MEAD VICTORIA BUKHAROVA ARINA CHUNAEVA NATHAN SAMSON BOZHENA KRASNOGIR MURAT UALI DANA ZHETEYEVA AKHMEDOV BEGIZHAN SANIYA SEILKHANOVA NATALIE BAYS LADA KRASIKOVA

ECG BOARD LAURA HAMILTON - CHAIRMAN MARAT AKHMEDJANOV - VICE CHAIRMAN ANNA LARI - OEBF DIRECTOR

ADVISORY BOARD DAVID PARRY OKSANA JUKOVA DAVID PEARCE YELENA BEZRUKOVA YELENA ASLANYAN ALEXANDRA REY AZIM AKMATOV JOHN FARNDON GULSIFAT SHAKHIDI ISAJON SULTON ANASTASIYA KUZMICHEVA LEV ALTMARK LARISSA PRODAN VICTOR RAILEAN

Disclaimer : The information contained in this publication is for general information purposes only. The information is provided by OCA Magazine and while we endeavour to ensure the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability or suitability of the information, products, services, or related graphics represented for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk. All authors provide their own material and any opinions contained within are solely those of the authors and do not neccessarily represent the views or opinions of OCA Magazine.We publish these views as part of our provision of a forum for discussion and readers should be aware that the views may contrast each other in the pursuit of this aim. In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of material contained within this publication.

Special gratitude for cooperation and support to Embassy of Azerbaijan to the UK. Embassy of Kazakhstan to the UK. Embassy of Tajikistan to the UK. Embassy of Kyrgyzstan to the UK. Embassy of Belarus to the UK. Embassy of Turkmenistan to the UK

WELCOME WORD

FROM THE EDITOR

Events in Kyrgyzstan over the last few days have really shaped this edition of OCA Magazine, not least since our publisher, Marat Akhmedjanov, was caught up right in the middle of the action by Kyrgyz special forces who arrested former president, Almazbek Atambayev at his residence near the capital, Bishkek. In this issue, thanks to to Akhmedjanov’s interview, we have the last freely spoken words from the former-president, just hours prior to his arrest.They are frank and candid but also balanced and reflective - quite an insight into the mind of the former president and his deep-rooted regret at how events have turned out in Kyrgyzstan. The initially botched raid, left one police officer dead and 80 people injured, after Atambayev’s supporters barricaded themselves into his residence, some 1000 people strong. It took a second attempt, the next day, to finally detain Atambayev on corruption charges, requiring stronger force, the internet to be cut off to reduce communications and the token offering of the head of the national security service to resign for the previous day’s errors. The arrest comes after a very public spat between Atambayev and his one-time protege, Sooronbay Jeenbekov, the current President of Kyrgyzstan as they disagreed on policy and the process of political reform in the country. What is all the more remarkable is that Atambayev promoted Jeenbekov’s rise to the top position back in 2017’s national elections. That process was declared a genuine democratic victory by external observers and marked the first time an elected Kyrgyz leader had left his position without being overthrown, after 6 years in power (the maximum permitted by the constitution).

However, as relations between the two men soured, as they followed different political courses, with Atambayev’s former government allies being fired from their posts in the government, a course of conflict was gradually being set in motion.The government had earlier in the year stripped the immunity of former presidents in a move alleged to be a warning and precursor to the events. But the warning was not heeded by Atambayev, who continued to dabble in politics and speak his mind in the only way he knew how, something that unreformed post-Soviet justice and political systems have not been able to reconcile, either purposefully or through haphazardness. There is, therefore, one significant political question that remains unanswered after the events in Kyrgyzstan. If anything it has shown why post-Soviet leaders are so reluctant to part with power peacefully as it is hard for any of them to really get a credible guarantee that they will be allowed to retire in peace. Kazakhstan’s Nursultan Nazarbayev, is the latest leader to try his hand at such a handover, although he is essentially still in power. Others will be studying closely what other options might exist.The transfer of a president’s power, while still being able to comment and provide guidance to successors, is not a process that is familiar yet in Central Asia and is something that will take much more practice and honing to get right - unfortunately that will likely come at further cost to human lives and freedoms in the years to come. Enjoy the issue.

Yours, Nick Rowan Editor-in-Chief

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COVER STORY

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: ALMAZBEK ATAMBAYEV Just hours before former President of Kyrgyzstan, Almazbek Atambayev, was arrested at his home in Bishkek on charges of corruption, Open Central Asia magazine completed an exclusive interview with the man once heralded as bringing a new dawn to the history of the country. In this frank and open interview, we get an insight into the deterioration of the political arena in Kyrgyzstan over the last decade and the events that led up to Atambayev’s public reversal of support for current President, Sooronbay Jeenbekov. These may very well be the last freely spoken words of a man whose love and ambition for Kyrgyzstan is now in ruins.

OCA: In 2011 you succeeded Rosa Otunbayeva World Nomad Games in Kyrgyzstan. It was a granas President of Kyrgyzstan. How did you feel at diose sight for my compatriots who were not used this dawn of a new era and what key aims of your to such events. presidency did you try and eschew? You can’t imagine how happy people were. Kyrgyz Almazbek Atambayev: We had no time for eu- people, whom the media and politicians of neighphoria. In October 2011, I was elected as Presi- bouring countries condescendingly called “Busodent, just one and half years after the overthrow ters” (brawlers), did not take part in rallies, but of the second family-clan regime and only one year gradually turned to peaceful creative work. Peoafter the tragic events in the south of the country. ple rejoiced at the success of domestic athletes. During my premiership (since December 2010), We received guests from all over the world. Our we removed some of the acute problems in the youth increased their interest in the history and country. However many people considered Kyr- culture of their own nation. Accordingly, the econgyzstan to be a failed state. It was a difficult path to omy started to grow. And all this was preceded by real stability, that took three years of my presiden- significant but painstaking work in each of these cy. Only after this could we embark on the path of areas. It is well-known that nothing happens easily sustainable development of the country. in this world. In 2014, we saw the first results of our work. It was the first spring without rallies and mass protests. According to the results of international financial institutions in 2013, Kyrgyzstan was removed from the humiliating list of “poor” countries. And, in the fall of 2014, we organised and held the first 6

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OCA: What would you say specifically changed for the better during your presidency? AA: At the national level, we adopted a 5-year development strategy. There were many goals and objectives. But, perhaps, it should be noted sepWWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM

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COVER STORY arately the five key strategic directions. The first of them devoted to Kyrgyzstan’s achievement of energy security. All my predecessors talked about creating their own energy ring since even our own power plants in the capital of Kyrgyzstan used the power lines of Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan. The solution seemed very simple - develop your own power line! But there were always obstacles. Despite serious obstacles, we managed to move from words to deeds. Over the years of my presidency, we not only built this energy ring, we also supplied two powerful power substations, increased capacity and thereby provided a reserve of the most important energy resource for the growth of the Kyrgyz economy. Contemporaneously, we embarked on the reconstruction our country’s largest hydroelectric station, Toktogul. We concluded a profitable agreement with Gazprom and with this, we not only ensured an uninterrupted supply of natural gas, but also built good prospects for the development of the gas economy. The second block of problems was related to transport independence. For 6 years, we built hundreds of kilometres of new roads, overhauled most of the existing roads of the national importance and came closer to improvement of local roads. Before I left the presidency, we had almost completed the construction of our own transport ring. The new North-South highway will make the transport links between all regions of Kyrgyzstan easier and less vulnerable. It creates the basis for eliminating regional differences and contradictions. Significantly it enhances the tourism potential of Kyrgyzstan. The previously deadlocked Dzhumgalsky, Ak-Talinsky and Toguz-Toruzsky districts have

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therefore become more involved in economic activity. For the third key achievement look at trade. I know that the West does not particularly trust the Eurasian Economic Union (the former Customs Union), but for Kyrgyzstan, joining the EAEU was the only chance to integrate into the global and regional economies. Moreover, we managed to create a Russian-Kyrgyz development fund with $500 million from Russia. This is the first large-scale development institution in the history of Kyrgyzstan. We are slowly starting to revive the country’s industrial enterprises, that we lost in the 90s. And most importantly, we change the development model from mediation in trade to the production of goods. Our next strategic achievement, was the creation of a military security system. Unlike in previous years, Kyrgyzstan today has a combat-ready army. Kyrgyzstan is a peaceful country and our army is small, but today, the Kyrgyz army is sufficiently trained, armed and financially secured. Finally, we improved the electoral system. International observers for the parliamentary (2015) and presidential (2017) elections described Kyrgyzstan as the undisputed leader in Central Asia in terms of ensuring transparency and democratic election processes. OCA: Did you have any regrets from your time as President? AA: First of all, we didn’t really complete work on the transition from our previous government to a classic parliamentary form of government that could work within our national characteristics.We stopped halfway. Secondly, I didn’t approach critically enough the study of the man who became my successor as President, Sooronbay Jeenbekov. It’s a pity…. As a result of this mistake, the country slowed down in its development.

There were other mistakes that I worry about. There are people whom I have offended voluntarily or involuntarily. It was not an easy time. That said, during 2011-2017, the team and I did a lot of work. We built a lot. The incomes of the population have increased. The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) almost doubled, the republican budget almost tripled in national currency and 1.6 times in US dollars. Pessimism was replaced by optimism among the people. The people supported me. International partners also gave us support: Russia, China, Turkey, the European Union, the UN, and international financial institutions. Over the years, Kyrgyzstan received $ 1.8 billion in loans, but debts of $ 0.55 billion were also written off. We secured $ 3.5 billion of incoming grants and other free aid to Kyrgyzstan. Without the help of friends and partners it would be difficult to achieve what we did. OCA: You are known for your approach to calling out and trying to deal with parliamentary and electoral fraud. How bad was the problem in Kyrgyzstan and how well do you think this has been addressed as things stand today? AA: We sought “fundamentally” to solve the problem of free and transparent elections. Both national revolutions in Kyrgyzstan happened due to falsification of elections by the authorities. And we managed to completely reform the electoral system. Voters are now allowed to vote only with a biometric passport and fingerprints are identified with an electronic database that is reliably protected from hackers. By this, we excluded the practice of one person voting for several voters. We introduced automatic ballot boxes, which excluded another type of violation - the massive stuffing of ballots. Many countries of the world still do not have such innovations, even within Europe. Despite the return to authoritarianism seen globally, we are the only country in almost all of Eurasia

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COVER STORY according to the V-Dem Liberal Democracy Index, which has improved its position in the ranking of liberal democracy from 2012 to 2017. However, the electoral system must continue to improve. Today main problem is the bribing of votes. There is a danger that in 2020 the parliament, unfortunately, may already be completely in the grip of the oligarchs. OCA: You mentioned that you made a mistake in selecting your successor, however you actively lobbied for his election campaign. How do you reflect on that? AA:The right to choose was ultimately up to the voters. The election system in Kyrgyzstan does not allow falsification of voting results. However, it should be recognised that in 2017 I really wanted Jeenbekov to be elected president. The fact is that since 2015, many people suggested I find a way to be re-elected for a second presidential term. But I had to set the example of a voluntary rejection of the idea of automatically extending the term of my rule in the country. Therefore, it was important to promise people that my course would be continued by new leaders of the country. Sooronbay Jeenbekov, in all his campaign speeches, promised to continue my political course and transition to a parliamentary form of government, where the real leader of the country is not the president, but the prime minister. The two revolutions of 2005 and 2010 showed that the Kyrgyz people cannot tolerate sole power. That is why a Prime Minister reporting to the parliament is a more acceptable option for Kyrgyzstan than an unaccountable president. Unfortunately, almost immediately after the election, my successor went the other way. With the help of populism and slogans of fighting against corruption, he managed to generate hope among the people. They believed him at first. But after a 10 OCA MAGAZINE

year and a half has passed, people have seen that reforms have been curtailed. Rule by one family clan has been reborn. Everything that is connected with me and my name is being blackened. And the political persecution of my supporters has made my opposition. OCA: Do you intend to resist the regime of your successor? AA: It is not easy for me and my supporters now. But this is my country! My children and I live here, work here. But I no longer intend to hold governmental positions.We are preparing leaders of a new generation.Today, the situation has fundamentally changed, there is belief again. Although the current president is doing everything to prevent my supporters from participating in the parliamentary elections in 2020, we are full of confidence in our victory. People see and judge everything, as you know, not by words, but by deeds. OCA: Recently, many publications have written about the “Chinese threat” for Central Asia. Do you think China has plans to colonise the countries around it in Central Asia? AA: Similarly, they write about the “sinister plans” of Russia in our region. But Kyrgyzstan must develop and we will certainly look for ways to cooperate with neighbouring countries. Moreover, with such huge international partners as Russia and China, cooperation with them brings many advantages to our country. The main thing is that the national interests of Kyrgyzstan should always be at the forefront. As for the risk of colonization by China or the Chinese, today, just look at Canada. In Vancouver, for example, according to media reports, already 40% of the population are ethnic Chinese, and they constitute the backbone of the city’s economic power. Emigration from China, as far as I know, today goes primarily to the most developed

countries in the world. In Kyrgyzstan, ethnic Chinese do not stay long, at least that is what the statistics show. However, every country, including Kyrgyzstan, must monitor the situation in the economy and the demographic sphere, take appropriate measures, and also develop and implement development strategies. OCA: The main message is that China is bringing countries to their knees through infrastructure projects. How do you respond to accusations made against you about the debt bondage of Kyrgyzstan to China? AA: I want to remind you that in the 90s, when the World Bank was the country’s lender, we suddenly lost our industry in the country, having paid for the PESAK program and their “shock therapy”. I think that the real “economic killers” must be sought in the West - not in China. For example, without projects supported by China, there was no need to talk about any energy independence in Kyrgyzstan. China has helped us to solve our main strategic task. China’s loans to Kyrgyzstan were not classified. They are open and accessible. As for the debt bondage into which Kyrgyzstan allegedly fell, - this is a lie. Judge yourself: Kyrgyzstan’s gross domestic product (GDP) grew from 2010 to 2017 by $ 3.4 billion. At the same time, the external debt of Kyrgyzstan increased by $ 1.3 billion. The total debt of our country to China is $ 1.7 billion. If in 2010 the country’s external debt amounted to 58% of GDP, then in 2017 we were able to reduce this figure to 55% of GDP.The global average ratio of this indicator is even close to 80-90%. Over the years, we have significantly increased GDP and, in addition, have achieved the write-off of a significant part of external debt - $ 0.55 billion.

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COVER STORY OCA: What are your feelings about the situation that evolved to ultimately remove your ex-presidential immunity? AA: Firstly, the parliamentary decision to remove an ex-president’s status of immunity from me does not have legal force - the law establishing or aggravating responsibility has no retroactive effect. Secondly, the parliament removes from me only the status of ex-president, but the procedure for depriving political integrity is not spelled out in it. That is, from the legal side, all of this is not valid and unconstitutional. Today I was summoned to come as a witness in the case of criminal authority by Batukaev. I have nothing to hide in this case, I have already told everything to the media and now I am preparing written evidence. But, I remember how they treated Sapar Isakov and Kuban Kulmatov, my supporters, who also went to the GKNB allegedly for a simple interrogation, and afterwards they were arrested. The Constitutional Court is now considering our interrogation complaint. It is the court, who will put an end to this and to how much further events will develop. OCA: Since you stepped down as President, where do you see Kyrgyzstan’s path for the future leading? AA: An image of the future of Kyrgyzstan is in the national strategy for sustainable development of Kyrgyzstan until 2040, the basis of which we managed to adopt before I left the presidency. As before, I would like to see Kyrgyzstan as an economically developed democratic country with a parliamentary form of government in the future. We have all the opportunities to become an integration platform for the Central Asian region.

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ECONOMICS

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SOCIETY

MAKING AFGHAN CHILDREN SMILE By Najiba Laima Kasraee

Warakai is the daughter of Kharakai, the talking rabbit on the BBC radio who, during the brutal war of the 1990s, stole the hearts of Afghans. If I can say so, I knew her very well. And in case you haven’t heard, Warakai and I will co-present the new BBC Pashto children’s bedtime stories TV programme, Lallo Lallo (Lullaby).

telling her about the ant beating the drum, and she would be give me a wide smile and do a drumming gesture. If my narrative confused or disappointed her, her face would immediately show it, she would frown and ask, “Why?” or “Is that it?” That’s when I would know that there was a need for a rewrite.

In the early 1990s, when civil war was raging in Afghanistan, I wrote and presented a children’s radio programme which the BBC broadcast from London. Knowing how little content was available for Afghan children, I was trying to give them some moments of sparkle and happiness so they could forget, even if temporarily, the bombs, the hunger, the fear, and perhaps lose themselves in a place where good prevailed over evil, where darkness always gave way to sunshine. This place was the children’s story slot on Wednesdays on BBC Pashto radio, transmitted on medium and short waves in Afghanistan as well as in the “Pashtun belt” in Pakistan’s northwest.

Watching my daughter’s response, I also could see how children’s imagination works as they picture characters in their heads. One evening I was telling her the story of a village where love had disappeared and people were angry with each other. No one was giving treats to the fairies in the trees, no one was visiting them, so the fairies decided to pack up and leave the loveless village. My daughter’s immediate reaction was: “Do the fairies have suitcases? What are their dresses made of?” As they tuned in to hear that tale, the audience were informed that the fairies’ dresses were made out of rose petals, their sandals - of green shiny leaves, and that they packed their garments in walnut shells.

Most of the time, my daughter was my first listener. She would give me the most direct and honest feedback you can wish for as a writer. If she liked the story, I would see it in her eyes. I would be

To help me tell those tales, I soon summoned Kharakai, my grey rabbit co-presenter. Like me, Kharakai was safe from destruction yet tightly held onto the love for her mountainous native

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SOCIETY land. Kharakai was fun. She helped me explain some particularly tough and tricky parts of the story, asking questions exactly as a child would do. She often took over the narrative with her own interpretation. Afghans fell in love with my co-presenter. The amount of letters, gifts, and toys we were receiving for her was unprecedented. And they were not all from children. During a duty trip to Afghanistan, at the end of a serious interview, an important interlocutor of my colleague, Kamal Behzadi, suddenly started to smile and asked who was behind the voice of the rabbit on the BBC radio show (to this day, the answer to this question hasn’t been revealed). When, in 2017, I started writing and presenting the BBC News Pashto TV children’s bedtime programme, Lallo Lallo, I missed my old radio co-presenter’s questions, her funny interruptions. That’s how Kharakai’s daughter – Warakai, the Little One – joined us for the new series of Lallo Lallo.

that lost her leg and yet is walking on crutches to look after the garden. The last one is about a little fox that lost her mother. She was extremely sad, but seeing her mother in her dream changes her mood, helping her to feel better.” The camerawoman’s eyes teared up. She cleared her throat and said quietly: “I am sorry, Afghan children have seen a lot in their young life… I’m really proud to be part of these stories.” In the last 18 months, we have produced 78 bedtime stories – touching on health, safety, education and morality. I know Warakai will add a few fun moments of magic and colours, something every child deserves. Let’s see if her TV fan group can match that of her radio celebrity mother. Najiba Laima Kasraee @najibalaima is the writer and presenter of the BBC News Pashto children’s weekly TV programme, Lallo Lallo, available via the service’s digital platforms as well as Shamshad TV in Afghanistan.

Children can now watch our stories rather than just listen to them. But the Afghan child is still surrounded by war. Just like in the 1990s, many are familiar with the sound of attacking guns; they have seen, first hand, explosions in a market place or a school. For many, childhood ends at the age of four when they start to work. No matter how widely Afghanistan is reported around the world, it’s often hard to realise the extent of pain and suffering children there are facing. I remember how the camerawoman at the BBC studio read aloud the titles of the stories we were about to record: “Landmine, the amputee, losing mother…” – she raised her eyebrows and asked: “Najiba, are you sure you brought the right script for bedtime stories?” Sadly, those were the stories for that day: “The landmine story is about the mice looking for a new playground – but the big field is full of mines,” I explained. “Will the mice see the signs? The second one is about a little fairy 18 OCA MAGAZINE

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ECG EVENT

CHINGIZ AITMATOV EXHIBITION IN NUR-SULTAN On May 15th 2019, the House of Friendship in Nur-Sultan hosted an exhibition dedicated to Chingiz Aitmatov entitled Tales of the Mountains and Steppes. The event was initiated by the Kyrgyzstan-Astana Ethnocultural Association and supported by The Eurasian Creative Guild (London). The main guest of the evening was Rosetta Aitmatova, the younger sister of Chingiz Aitmatov, who is a public figure and writer in her own right. The event began with the announcement of the winners of the Chingiz Aitmatov international essay contest entitled “The Epoch Personality. Humanism” and the Manas Aalama Young Manaschi competition. Young writers were awarded certificates and books by the authors Kazat Akmatov and Shahsanem Murray, which were published as part of the ECG book series. Chairman of Kyrgyzstan-Astana and the Assembly of the People of Kazakhstan, Shavkat Ismailov personally thanked all the talented participants and presented awards together with members of the Eurasian Creative Guild. Saniya Seilkhanova - a representative of the 20 OCA MAGAZINE

Eurasian Creative Guild (London) - also thanked all of the participants and talked about the competitions and projects of ECG, such as the Open Eurasian Book and Literary Festival, a contest for publicists and the First Eurasian Film Festival held in London. Children then performed, reading poems and dedicating songs to Chingiz Aitmatov. The programme continued with the inauguration of the Museum of Chingiz Aitmatov at school №79, Rosetta Aitmatova giving a speech to the students and teachers, telling anecdotes and interesting stories from Aitmatov’s life. The event then continued at the State Academic Kazakh Music and Drama Theatre with a performance of The Girl with the Red Scarf, based on the story by Aitmatov, which was extremely well-received by the audience. The official opening ceremony of an art exhibition saw works by 37 artists from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Ukraine, Armenia, Great Britain and France presented. Artists from the Eurasian Creative Guild took an active part in the exhibition.

The traditional red ribbon was cut by Vice-President of the Assembly of Peoples of Kazakhstan - the head of the ANC Secretariat, Z. Tuimebayev and Rosetta Aitmatova. Books by the great Kyrgyz writer Chingiz Aitmatov continue to touch our hearts. His literature has inspired not only Kazakh and Kyrgyz writers, but artists from around the world. Paintings featured in the exhibition were based on his works by Aitmatov, such as The Day Lasts More Than a Hundred Years, The White Ship, Jamila, and The Girl with the Red Scarf. The event continued with a roundtable which brought together public figures, ANC members, writers, scholars, representatives of embassies, ECG members, ethnocultural and youth associations. During the roundtable the honoured poet and writer, Bayangali Alimzhanov read from the cult epic Manas, and participants discussed the potential for further development of Kazakh-Kyrgyz cultural relations, emphasising the significant role of Aitmatov in Kazakh culture. WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM

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During the roundtable, Tuimebayev stated that ‘the idol of the legendary Aitmatov was the Kazakh writer, Mukhtar Auezov, and the contemporary writers Kaltay Mukhamedzhanov, Mukhtar Shakhanov, Olzhas Suleymenov, Zeynoll Kabdolov and Sherkhan Murtaza all had warm relations with Aitmatov. In Kazakhstan, Aitmatov’s works are highly appreciated, and thus he was awarded the

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title of ‘National Writer of Kazakhstan.’ In the capital of Kazakhstan, there is a street named after Aitmatov, and today’s event dedicated to Aitmatov is the best confirmation of our appreciation of his talents.’ Rosetta Aitmatova thanked the participants and organisers. All of the participants in the art exhibition were awarded honorary certificates.

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ART

DECONSTRUCTING TRADITION: THE ART OF FAIG AHMED Text by Robert Mead

Faig Ahmed dismantles and reforms Azerbaijani traditions of carpet making, creating remarkable new works of contemporary art. Through his art practice he reconsiders these ancient crafts and their history by deconstructing both their physical form and their traditions, and questions the conventions associated with their craft by repositioning them in the contemporary art environment. From these ancient objects he creates new visual forms which challenge the role of iconic cultural objects in representing nations, traditions and history. The cultural significance of carpet weaving in Azerbaijan is reaffirmed by Ahmed’s practice who sees cultural history as a monolithic subject by which we establish our perspectives and visual vocabulary today but also something which is important to question and challenge.

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Photos by Natalie Bays

Azerbaijani carpets are often extraordinary and intricate creations with examples dating back as far back as the 2nd millennium BC. They are made up of range of “schools” defined by their geographic origins and type of pattern. Their construction demands an exceptional level of skill. Ahmed has both manipulated original carpets - un-weaving them and using digital technology to redesign and reconstruct them - and also employed those equipped with the ancient skills to weave completely new carpets. Finding traditional weavers to craft his designs has proved difficult due to the sacred nature of the craft but eventually he found those who would be willing to work for him, although notably done in secret.

Through these methods Ahmed questions the role of truth in these carpets and whether in a deconstructed form they can they still carry the same significance and power as they did when objects of antiquity. His work shows how artworks can be contemporary but still retain a sense of an ancient aura. They are a unique collision of traditional crafts, steeped in history and digitally distorted and pixelated images. In his work ‘Oiling’ (2012) his hand-woven carpet gives the sensation that the coloured strands of the rug are melting, like the reflective pattern of oil in water. This sensation resonates with Ahmed’s home city, Azerbaijan’s capital Baku, and its own history of early oil drilling and the geopolitics around oil that would follow.

The elevation of these carpets into complex objects of art, hanging in a gallery environment, highlights their journey from their original function as a domestic feature - to be walked over - and how, through the role of antiquity and now as contemporary art objects, they have changed into cultural objects that are exhibited and capable of holding multiple meanings. This transformation from functional to iconic is highlighted by their manipulation into abstracted and digitally fluent forms with echoes of contemporary internet art.These digital manipulations express a three- dimensionality that re-activates and invigorates them. They draw the viewer in; as at first glance the skilful weaving of coloured strands appear as pixels seen at close range or a digital glitch.

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ART There is a strange moral tension in this process of using an object, firstly of function, yet which has become renowned as a historic artefact and transforming it into a contemporary art object for exhibition. Ahmed seeks out carpets aged around 100 years old or more, using his own supplier to acquire theses cultural icons. He has reflected on the morality of this process – attempting to remain detached from their historic weight and tradition simply seeing it as another part of history – and another material or medium for an artist to manipulate. However, he has struggled to always maintain this distance; on one occasion he was using a carpet from the Karabakh school, developed in lowland and mountainous parts of the Karabakh region. Ahmed reflected on the issues of tradition and its intersection with nationality and sovereignty with this particular carpet.The Karabakh region is occupied by Armenia and the carpet came from a woman who cannot return there. This relationship between the icon and the displacement of its owner caused Ahmed to be unable to cut and appropriate the carpet, describing himself as ‘a hostage to tradition’. Unable to unravel the carpet himself he used an art production company to do so.This gave Ahmed the realisation that despite his best efforts it was not always possible to remain impersonal to tradition and its presence can be felt directly and personally. In turn this has given him a sense of responsibility and morality in how he makes his work. The reuse and negotiation of tradition through careful and considered manipulation can contribute a new truth to the works and retain or reaffirm the power present in the carpet. In some of his most recent work Ahmed has begun to question the potential of the carpet as not just part of a singular culture but a wider transcendental visual experience. Travelling deep into the Amazon rainforest he has visited the Shipibo- Conibo people to study their carpet making.While carpets from cultures around the world may share some

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similar patterns, the Shipibo’s carpets are highly unusual as their designs are devised from shamanic visions produced by consuming the hallucinogenic herb ayahuasca. For Ahmed, this approach to carpet making offers a natural continuation of the abstracted reimagining of the Azerbaijani schools moving towards a more cosmic or universal language of pattern. The influence of this research can be seen in recent work such as In Liberation I (2018), which includes three psychedelic designs inspired by the Shipibo-Conibo where pieces disintegrate into a plume of red strands. In this work we have the sense that Ahmed carpets are becoming more alive than ever, almost organically growing these new forms out of the old carpets material. A constant rebirth from the old artefact.

Conjuring images of nomadic horsemen, spectacular monuments, breathtaking scenery and crippling poverty, Central Asia remains an enigma. Home to the descendants of Jenghiz Khan’s Great Horde, in the nineteenth century the once powerful Silk Road states became a pawn in the ‘Great Game’ of expansion and espionage between Britain and Russia, disappearing behind what would become known as the ‘Iron Curtain’. With the collapse of the USSR, the nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan were born. Since independence, Central Asia has seen one civil war, two revolutions and seven dictators. An insightful mix of travel, history and reportage, in Does it Yurt? journalist Stephen M. Bland takes the reader on a voyage of discovery. Travelling to a desert sea, a collapsed Russian gas rig daubed the ‘Gate to Hell’ and along the ‘Heroin highway’ atop the roof of the world, the author sets out to explore these lands, unearthing the stories of the people and places behind this fascinating region.

ISBN: 978-1-910886-29-8 AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM

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SOCIAL

ANIMATION IS KEY

TO DEVELOPING EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE As many parents believe that watching cartoons is either harmful or not of much use, nowadays, it has become fashionable not to show them to children. This opinion, however, does not hold true; good animation can contribute to the formation of a child’s personality, because high-quality cartoons, as with books and movies, help to develop emotional intelligence.

The process of learning through animation is often faster than through books, because the child can immediately see and hear what the hero feels and experiences. With the mood transmitted through music, sounds and images, the child can quickly empathise with the hero when watching quality animation. They can see the consequences of negative actions and reflect on what constitutes fitting behaviour. The child learns what is socially seen as What do we mean by this phrase? Emotional in- good and bad from the examples before them. telligence is a person’s ability to perceive their own emotions and manage their feelings for ef- A great example of how an animated series can fective problem-solving. A high level of emotional help develop emotional intelligence is the British intelligence is one of the indicators of leaders and series, Peppa Pig, which is ideally suited to youngsuccessful people. Emotional intelligence helps in er viewers.The main characters laugh, cry, become many areas of life: from studying and building a ca- angry, offended and upset. When they’re happy, they jump in puddles gleefully, and when they’re reer to friendship and good familial relations.

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SOCIAL sad, they cry. The voiceover and other characters give voice to the feelings and emotional state of the hero. For example, in the episode “George catches a cold,” George is afraid of the doctor and the viewer can see how scared he is as he hides under a blanket. The voiceover further emphasises the emotion of the character, and the doctor finds a way to cheer up George and reduce his fear. Watching this cartoon, a young viewer can easily become acquainted with basic feelings and emotions. If we compare American and Russian animation, the biggest difference at the moment is that animation in America is a huge, profitable industry with well-established processes. Cartoons for both children and adults are shown in prime-time. In Russia, state regulation has led to a position where it is not profitable for channels to broadcast animated films. In Russia, there are almost no cartoons made for adult audiences, whilst in America, there are numerous examples, such as The Simpsons and Family Guy.

swer any questions the child may raise, such as why the hero cried, what upset them, and what should be done in this or that case. It is important to focus on the feelings and experiences of the hero, as well as on the motives of their actions.

In other ways, Russian and American cartoons have become very similar in the last five years, with Russian animators adopting styles used by their American colleagues. This has made the characters in Russian animation more understandable and recognisable for viewers around the world. The differences between modern American and Russian animation are not so great. Both aim to tell expressive stories using both digital and traditional methods. Both use exaggeration, various tricks and modern music, whilst adhering to the basic principles of the art form. Most importantly, both Russian and American cartoons can serve as an excellent methodological tool for the development of emotional intelligence in children. In the episode, ‘The Frying Pan” from the Russian animated series The Fixies – its script written by children’s author and member of the Eurasian Creative Guild, Arina Chunaeva - the main characters, Nolik and Simka argue as to who is better at skating. They decide to arrange a contest in which their friend Tom Thomas will act as the judge. He turns out to be a dishonest judge, however. Watching this cartoon, a younger viewer learns that you should never deceive your friends for the sake of victory, even if you really want to win. Thanks to this cartoon, the viewer begins to better recognise the causes of lies and boasting and the negative consequences of such actions.

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By following this simple advice, cartoons can be elevated from a pleasurable pastime into great learning material. Sharing a good cartoon is not only an effective way to develop emotional intelligence, but a great opportunity to immerse oneself in the wonderful world of the child. This aids not only in understanding children, but in remembering how you looked at the world when you were In an episode entitled “Recipe for Disaster” from young. the world-famous Russian cartoon, Masha and The Bear – an episode which entered the Guinness Book of world records as the most-viewed aniText by Victoria Bukharova mated video on social networks - the main characand Arina Chunaeva ter, Masha cooks all the oatmeal in the kitchen, and all the animals in the forest are forced to eat this porridge. The viewer can empathise with Masha, whose prank has gone too far, as well as with the forest dwellers and the Bear, who, as always, only wanted to rest.The situation is portrayed with humour and without any moralising overtones. The child can easily understand from the reactions and facial expressions of the characters what is good and what is not. In the movie made by the Walt Disney Animation Studio, Moana, the main character teaches the viewer how to inspire others and understand their needs and the motivation behind their behaviour. The eponymous main character helps the demigod Maui to believe in himself again, and in the process teaches viewers how to cope with their fears and doubts and achieve their goals. In order to facilitate the most rapid and effective development of emotional intelligence, parents should watch cartoons with their children, especially with those under the age of seven. Parents can then comment on events that occur and an-

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ADVENTURE But I did it. At the age of 17 years old, I travelled alone, across Kazakhstan. I arrived at the Nursultan Nazerbaev Airport of Nur-Sultan City at 4:55 AM on May 13th 2019. When I was finally able to exit the airport and find my friend, I already felt that this trip was going to be extraordinary. My first day in Kazakhstan was great: I had spent the last year thinking about this trip, about the country, the language, the culture and about the time when I would meet my friends again. I thought about the different projects I could do during my trip: I was interested in making a documentary at first but finally opted for a book about my journey, so I started writing very quickly after my arrival.

FROM SAINT-LIGUORI TO NUR-SULTAN Text by Nathan Samson After meeting eight young Kazakhs at the International Olympiads of Linguistics, I decided to fly from Canada to see my friends again and at the same time, discover the land of the Kazakhs‌ My name is Nathan Samson, I am now 18 years old and I study Linguistics at the University of Ottawa. Last year, I competed in the International Olympiads of Linguistics (IOL). During the contest, which took place in Czech Republic, I became acquainted with the various Kazakh teams and quickly became friends with the members of the teams. At that time, I only had a little knowledge of Russian and absolutely no knowledge of the Kazakh language. I had a vague idea about Kazakh culture and history coming from my interest towards Turkish and Persian history, but I was far from having much of an idea of how Kazakhstan was today and what it meant to be Kazakh. 32 OCA MAGAZINE

During my trip in the Czech Republic, I had been so interested and fascinated by the stories I heard about Kazakhstan that I had no choice but to visit this mysterious country and, with this end in view, I started preparing. I spent the last year studying Russian and Kazakh (though more Russian to be honest), I managed to earn enough money to afford my flight ticket and I stayed in touch with my friends. It was not an easy road that I followed until the day I sat on the plane, waiting to arrive at Nur-Sultan airport. A few times, I had thought it would never be possible to visit. Most of my friends and family probably never believed that I would really travel to Kazakhstan.

The title of this article refers to the town where I come from: Saint-Liguori, a very small town in the francophone province of QuĂŠbec, Canada. Big cities were always a bit scary for me, since I grew up surrounded by fields, so it was one of the things that scared me the most about my trip, to stay in a city like Nur-Sultan. That is the reason why I was happy to discover the Right Bank of Nur-Sultan, especially the Baiqonour district, where the way of living was closer to our provincial way of living, but at the same time, very Kazakh. Before my trip, most of the people I had told about my plans were afraid for me. They thought it was a dangerous idea to travel alone across Kazakhstan being a minor and without a travel agency or any external organisation, but during my journey, I constantly proved to them that Kazakhstan is a place where, with good research and some knowledge of the culture and language, anyone can travel. One of the things that interested me during my preparation for the trip were the trains in Kazakhstan. I had read so many extraordinary stories about these long trips by train across the country, but I never expected what would happen in these trains... WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM

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ADVENTURE

faith by also holding the fast. They never asked me to do it, they told me several times that they wouldn’t be offended if I didn’t hold the fast, being a non-muslim traveller, but I felt that it would be disrespectful, after all what they were doing for me, to do such a thing. My goal was also to try to understand the Kazakh people and their reality. I couldn’t make another choice than doing as they were doing. Living as a muslim for a month helped me understand more about many things. First, a lot of my friends in Canada are muslim and I never had a chance to see their religion from that point of view. Also, I have been surprised to see how welcoming, helpful and respectful Kazakhs were during my entire trip. We would do well to remember that even if countries like Kazakhstan are not as touristically developed as France or Greece, for instance, it doesn’t mean that they are closed to foreigners. I would even say that the fact that it Another big part of my journey that should be is not such a touristic place may make it a better mentioned is my introduction into the muslim tra- place to explore if you are a bit of an adventurer. dition. Travelling in Kazakhstan during the month For those reasons I have plans to return next year. of ramadan, I had no choice but to respect the people who welcomed me and to honour their I lived so many incredible adventures during my stay in Kazakhstan, but some of the most interesting moments happened in the trains that I took. I used to a carry a guitar with me when I would go to another city and I often ended up playing music during the night for the other passengers. It was something I really didn’t expect, because no one would think of playing guitar and singing in a train in Canada, but there, often other passengers would ask me to play. There was even one time, when we travelled from Nur-Sultan to Borovoe, when the whole wagon (we bought seats for that trip) listened to my music and sang with me the Russian songs I could play (some classics like Katiousha and some Viktor Tsoy music). They appreciated it so much that when I left the train, they all stood up to applaud me as I was leaving, shaking my hand and congratulating me in various languages.

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This is a major new history of an increasingly important country in Central Asia.The book opens with an outline of the history of Almaty, from its nineteenth-century origins as a remote outpost of the Russian empire, up to its present status as the thriving second city of modern-day Kazakhstan. The story then goes back to the Neolithic and early Bronze Ages, and the sensational discovery of the famous Golden Man of the Scythian empire. A succession of armies and empires, tribes and khanates, appeared and disappeared, before the siege and destruction in 1219 of the ancient Silk Road city of Otrar under the Mongol leader Genghis Khan. The emergence of the first identifiable Kazakh state in the sixteenth century was followed by early contacts with Russia, the country which came to be the dominant influence in Kazakhstan and Central Asia for three hundred years. The book shows how Kazakhstan has been inextricably caught up in the vast historical processes - of revolution, civil war, and the rise and fall of communism - which have extended out from Russia over the last century. In the process the country has changed dramatically, from a simple nomadic society of khans and clans, to a modern and outward-looking nation.The transition has been difficult and tumultuous for millions of people, but Vanished Khans and Empty Steppes illustrates how Kazakhstan has emerged as one of the world’s most successful post- communist countries.

ISBN: 978-0993044403 AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM

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HERITAGE

THE LIFE AND ART OF MARC CHAGALL Born in Belarus, Marc Chagall is a talented painter, a bright art practitioner of the avant-garde of the twentieth century who took over the world with his unique style and special outlook on life. Chagall is one of the few artists who formed a whole era in art. It is hard to name a person who has not heard of this great man with an incredible imagination and a unique vision of his creativity in painting.

pictures and drawings painted in Paris. After his success, the name Marc Chagall became widely known.

Chagall decided to continue his education in Paris: he attended classes at the academies of arts, examined various exhibitions and galleries, mastered new artistic movement - cubism, futurism, orphism and at the same time he was creating his own, exceptional style.

Marc Chagall’s decision to move to the United States was promoted by the tense situation in Europe, when Germany declared war on the USSR. He lived in America with his family and during this time he created two picturesque panels for the Metropolitan Opera in the USA and many other famous works. In 1942, German Sevastyanov, manager of the New York Ballet Theater, persuades the artist to create the scenery and costumes for the

With the beginning of World War I, Marc Chagall returned to his homeland where he created famous paintings such as: “Over the Town”, “The Promenade”. Besides, in Vitebsk he got married to Bella Rosenfeld - a woman who became his greatAt age 19 he entered the school of the famous est love and inspiration for the rest of his life. In Vitebsk painter Yudel Pen, who saw a bright talent 1934 Chagall’s paintings, which were kept in the and offered the young man to study for free. A few museums in Berlin, were publicly burned on the months later, the future artist went to study in St. orders of Hitler. Soon after that, Marc Chagall left Petersburg. France and went to the USA with his family.

In June 1914 the first exhibition of Marc Chagall took place in Berlin, where were almost all his 36 OCA MAGAZINE

ballet “Aleko”. For the four acts of “Aleko”, Chagall completed a series of sketches, costumes, scenery and four large panels. Before leaving the USA, Chagall receives an order for illustrations for four tales from “A thousand and one nights”. As a result, Chagall creates the first series of color lithographs (thirteen illustrations), which were published in New York after the artist left the United States. In the US many new works were created, reflecting the American atmosphere as well as the anxiety of the war years. During his stay in the United States, Chagall continued to work in the field of book illustration. In particular, he created wonderful illustrations for the book of Itzik Fefer’s poems. In the USA, the stained-glass masterpiece can be seen in the composition “Peace” for the UN building in New York dedicated to the memory of Dag Hammarskjold (UN General Secretary) and another 15 people who died in a plane crash. Chagall’s most significant stained-glass work in the United States is the ensemble for the “Union Church” located in the town of Pocantico hills, not far from New York. The mosaic composition established in 1974 in front of the Bank in Chicago is the last work of Chagall, created in the USA.

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HERITAGE In 1944 he was going to return to Paris liberated from the Germans, but these days his wife Bella suddenly passed away. Chagall grieved for his loss. He did not paint nine months, but when he returned to it, he created two works dedicated to Bella “The Wedding Candles” and “Around Her”. Bella was not the last woman in the artist’s life but till his dying day she remained his love and eternal muse. After the war Chagall returned to Europe, his artwork illustrated bible theme. Plenty of etchings for the French Bible edition: paintings, engravings, stained-glass windows expressed the message of the artist to the world. That is why in 1973 he decided to open a museum in Nice. The French government has announced this collection as the official national museum. In honor of the 90th anniversary of the painter in the Louvre was held the largest lifetime exhibition of his works. Contrary to all the rules, pictures of the living artist were exhibited in the museum. Marc Chagall passed away at Saint-Paul-de-Vence. Marc became the incarnation of a literary artist who expresses poetic lines in fantastic images. He is buried in the local cemetery in Provence. The art of Marc Chagall is striking in its diversity and defies strict classification. The artist’s style combines expression and unconventional style which was formed under the influence of cubism, fauvism, orphism. In the canvases he illustrated his special outlook and religious views. Stick to his style, Marc Chagall continued to experiment in various techniques and genres all his life long. His creative heritage consist of book illustrations, graphics, scenic painting, mosaics, stainedglass windows, sculpture and ceramics. One of the most fruitful movement for Chagall was a book illustration. For famous writers such as Andre Breton, Andre Malraux and many others

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Original works by Marc Chagall adorn the largest theaters in the world. At the request of Andre Malraux, Minister of Culture of France, the artist painted the plafond for the auditorium of the Paris Opera Garnier, created two murals for the New York Metropolitan Opera and decorated the building of the National Bank with mosaics in Chicago. Chagall was one of the first who started to use easel painting in the design of theatrical scenery. In the early 60s the noted throughout the world painter became interested in monumental art and interior design. In Jerusalem he created mosaics for the parliament building, stained glass windows for the synagogue of the Medical Center and later

he decorated many Catholic and Lutheran temples, synagogues throughout Europe, America and Israel.

clouds. His paintings seem strange and at the same time they are extraordinary. That is the way the artist sees the reality surrounding him.

The talented painter also made a contribution into literature: poetry, essays and memoirs in Yiddish were published during his lifetime and translated into Hebrew, Russian, Belarusian, English and French.The autobiographical book of Marc Chagall “My Life” gained world-wide prominence.

Today the work of Marc Chagall can be seen in galleries in France, USA, Germany, Russia, Belarus, Switzerland and Israel. The memory of the great artist is honored in his homeland: the house in Vitebsk where the graphic artist lived for a long time was turned into the house-museum of Chagall. Fans of the painter up to now can personally visit the place where the avant-garde artist created his masterpieces.

It is extremely difficult for a person barren of imagination to visually perceive the canvases of the artist because they do not fit into the concept of standard painting and are very different from classical works, where the accuracy of lines is extremely important. The artist has created his own reality, which is rich in colors and full of feelings, the one where people can fly and walk in the

Text by Bozhena Krasnogir

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HISTORY

KAZAKH ALASKA The territory of Ile in Xinjiang was occupied by Russian troops in 1871. After ten years, in the year 1881-82, the Ile area was returned to China. For the second time (after Alaska) the Russian Empire refused the almost-conquered territory that was lying at its feet like a ripe melon …

Ile area Numerous rivers, the most significant of which are the Tekes and Kunges, run down the Tien Shan ranges and, merging into one, make the Ile River. The main flow of the river crosses the territory of Kazakhstan, but its headwaters arise in the area then called Ile, which formed and still forms the Chinese region of Xinjiang today. China gets the majority of the river water for its needs. The Ile River becomes shallow and Lake Balkhash becomes shallow too. But back in the 19th century it could have been that the entire Ile valley became part of Kazakhstan. Why didn’t that happen? In the 1760’s, after the seizure of Dzungaria by China coupled with the driving out of the Dzungarians to the deserted upper valley of Ile, Chinese Hans resettled there alongside Dungans from Gansu, Taranchi from Kashgaria, Sibo and Soloni from Manchuria and Mongol-Chahars from Mongolia. The Kalmyks also migrated there from Kalmykia in 1771. Separate nomadic tribes of Kazakhs and Kyrgyz travelled through the mountain gorges. Thus, the population of the Ile area comprised an explosive mixture of various ethnic groups, different economic patterns and various confessions. At this time, the western border of the area was the border between Qing China and Tsarist Russia. Dissolution of Xinjiang In the 1860s China, weakened by the “Opium Wars”, was seized by the fires of national riots and rebellions. This started with the peasant war

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of Tai-pings in the eastern part of the Empire.Then the rebel’ fervor spread to the west. In 1862 the Dungans’ rebellion blazed throughout Shanxi province. Then the fire of riot leaped over to Gansu. In summer of 1864 the riots came to Urumqi. The city was partially destroyed and burned away. The huge warehouses of tea that was designated to be exported to Russia were burned down. In March 1866 Muslim rebels, mostly Dungans, occupied the capital of Xinjiang – Ghulja. The Dungans were supported by their fellow believers, the Taranchi (Uighurs), and also by Kazakhs and Kyrgyz. The riot obviously took on the religious tint of a Muslim fight with infidels. The representatives of Chinese-Manchuria administration, Mongols and Kalmyks that fell into the rebels’ hands were viciously slaughtered. The infidel survivors of the massacre

from the eastern parts of the province escaped to armed groups plundered from civilians, trespassed China, and those from the western precincts fled over the border with Russia and established connections with Kokand, Khiva and Bukhara while to the borders of Russian Altay. fighting with each other. However the tough and After the final victory of the rebels in 1867 there aggressive Yetyshaar ruler, Yakubbek, acted more appeared three independent Muslim states on the decisively. He proclaimed himself to be the deterritory abandoned by the Chinese Xinjiang: The scendant of Tamerlane and suggested that every Taranchi sultanate on the Ile lands, headed by sul- Middle Asian nation should unite for jihad against tan Alakhan Abilogly; the Dungan Khanate in place Russia. But besides the propagandist discourse of the Tarbagatay precinct, headed by Lotay Khan he created a strong state, enabled taxation, sumand the Yetyshaar state in Kashgaria, headed by moned a regular army with various service arms, and with the help of the British and the Turkish re-equipped them with firearms. In 1870 his army occupied Urumqi, annexing the Dungan Khanate, and Yakubbek was ready to unite the entire former Xinjiang under his reign. The Russian generals determined that a risk had developed of creating a huge and hostile neighbouring Muslim state in Chinese Turkestan under the custody of Great Britain and demanded decisive actions. Finally, after long hesitation, the Russian Government came to an agreement with the Generals to occupy the Ile area whilst it was not yet occupied by Yakubbek. That was when the occasion recurred. In May 1871 particularly violent clashes of Muslim troops with the Russian army occurred on the Russia-Taranchi border. This bethe field commander from neighboring Kokand – came the pretext for an invasion. Yakubbek. Neither China nor Russia recognized the newly created countries. However, Great Brit- In June 1871, Russian troops under the command ain and Turkey recognized Yetyshaar. The so-called of General Kolpakovski crossed the river Boro“Great Game” between Great Britain and Russia hudzir, which marked the border, and invaded the was at its peak and the politicians were guided by territory of the Taranchi sultanate. During several the “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” prin- battles the disorganized and poorly armed troops ciple. of the Dungans and Taranchi suffered a defeat. The war ended with a victorious blitzkrieg. In eight days the Russian army occupied Ghulja and the sultanate was destroyed. The Ile area became the Ghulja region as part of Russian Turkestan. But Russia made a gesture to the international community, promising to China that as soon as the In the Taranchi sultanate the power of Alakhan sul- Chinese government found itself able to support tan was weak and he could not maintain order. its power in the region, the Ghulja region would During the feuds between Dungans and Taranchi, be returned and the troops would be withdrawn. Russian Turkestan vs Chinese Turkestan Also in 1867, as a counter to the Muslim countries, Russia created the Turkestan Governor-Generalship headed by General Kostantin von Kaufman.

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HISTORY Sultan Alakhan Abilogly was honourably exiled to Verniy city (Almaty), where he spent the rest of his life, receiving his annual pension of five thousand rubles from the Russian government. “Doves” vs “Hawks” And what to do with the Ghulja region next? There were constant disputes about its future between the Turkestan regional administration and the Russian Central Government – between the Hawk-generals and Dove-diplomats. The Turkestan “hawks” – Kaufman and Kolpakovski and the majority of the Russian military were firmly set against the return of the region to China. The generals, having considered the strategic goal of defence, proposed that Russia replace the old, completely open, border that crossed the steppe with a new, almost impassable, natural border at the Tian Shan mountain ridge, retaining the rich and fertile valley of the Upper Ile. In this case, the frontier patrol duties would be reduced to control the strategically important passes of Talki (to Dzungaria) and Muzart (to Kashgaria). At this time the Semipalatinsk governor – General Vladimir Poltoratski - suggested solving the problem even more drastically, by taking advantage of the situation to occupy Urumqi and Kashgaria, thus expanding the Russian state to its “natural limits”. However, people in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) thought otherwise. The MFA’s head, Duke Gorchakov, who was counting money, well remembered his promises and regarded England’s opinion and Europe’s reaction with caution. In order to calm the combative generals, the diplomats assured them that ‘the refusal to return it would have been in complete contradiction to those undertakings that the Russian government repeatedly made to the Chinese government’. In this case, ‘the loss of the advantageous strategic position would be compensated by the recovery of mutually advantageous trade with The Heavenly Empire’. That was the main reason. It was not a secret that Russia was receiving huge profits from the export of their own produce to Ile region and from the import of Chinese tea with its further 42 OCA MAGAZINE

transit to Europe. As a result of the rebellion the trade routes via Chuguchak and Ghulja were cut off, trade was suffering losses and the treasury was not receiving taxes.Therefore, Russia was interested in the recovery of its former trade routes, the profit from which the Government considered was more important than expensive territorial purchases. Thus, the ‘doves’ won at the Russian court. Whereas, there were disputes about the Ile region’s destiny at the Chinese court; they also considered costs and here also ‘hawks’ were disputing with ‘doves’.The head ‘hawk’ – General Zuo Zongtang, who had defeated the centres of the Dungan rebellions in Shanxi, set his heart on becoming the liberator of China.The General was keen to advertise the perceived ‘Russian threat’, persuading all that if China did not regain Xinjiang, the Russians would own it, and would move on to Mongolia and further on to Manchuria. His gang of ‘hawks’ appealed to the Empress Dowager Cixi’s patriotism, trying to persuade her that after the defeat in the ‘Opium wars’ China should demonstrate to the Europeans its power in suppressing the anti-Qin riots and that Xinjiang was to be returned at any cost.The ‘doves’ faction, headed by the Beijing governor Li Hongzhang, considered not only the Ile region, but the entire Xinjiang as a self-supporting area that did not belong to any other country. Li Hongzhang as a practical person argued that owning Xinjiang was detrimental, and suggested that they should forget about that ‘wild land’ and recollect that there was a ‘Japanese threat’ from the sea. ‘The hawks’ won at the Chinese court. In 1875 General Zuo Zongtang headed ‘The Western campaign’ of the Chinese army to Xinjiang. At first he drowned the riot centres in Gansu and Urumqi in Dungan blood and then moved on to Yetishaar. The Muslim troops were heavily defeated. Yakubbek died in unclear circumstances: whether from poison, or from a heart attack. The state was destroyed and the Chinese General flooded Kashgaria with Uighur blood. Then the slaughterman of

the Uighur and Dungan people claimed his right to the Ile region. And thus, in September 1879 the Livadian Agreement was signed in Crimea, based on which Russian troops were withdrawn from the Ile region and then the latter was returned to China. However, according to the claim of the ‘hawks’ from the Military Ministry the agreement stipulated that more than 40% of the region’s territory with the valley of Tekes and the Muzart and Talki passes went to Russia. ‘There, where the Russian flag was once hoisted it must never be hoisted down’ – claimed Tsar Nicolay I. And so it was, though not always. But for the unprecedented cases with Alaska and the Ile region, the Russian tanks would have been standing by the threshold of North America, and the full-flowing Ile and maybe Irtysh would have been flowing fully within the territory of Kazakhstan. America was blessed with Alaska, while Kazakhstan failed with the Ile region three times: the ‘doves’ from the MFA won in Russia, Zuo Zongtang’s ‘hawks’ won in hard-line decisiveness, he moved his headquarters China and the Livadian agreement was not fulfilled. from Central China to Xinjiang, taking a luxurious coffin with him, thereby implying that he would The Ile crisis return home ‘with a shield or in a coffin’. The Chinese government considered the Livadian agreement as extortionate and did not rati- The Russian government also started preparing fy it. The Chinese ambassador Chung Hou, who for war, repositioning troops to the borders of had signed the agreement, was accused of acqui- Turkestan. Tsar Alexander sent Admiral Lesovsky’s escence and lack of determination, and was “de- fleet to the Far East to land troops in Manchuria. nounced as a Russian spy”. The Empress Dowager The Russian Attaché in London, General Gorlov Cixi sentenced him to death, precipitating the so- received a proposal from Irish terrorists to crecalled ‘The Ile crisis”. ate a volunteer brigade to fight with the British in Central Asia. The ‘hawks”-generals headed by The ‘hawks’ suddenly became more active in Chi- Kaufman were rubbing their hands in anticipation na. After Yakubbek’s death, Great Britain placed of easy manoeuvres and were planning a ‘crusade its bets on Zuo Zongtang. The Chinese delegates to Beijing’. were purchasing fire arms, cannons and cruisers in Europe with the help of English loans. The aggres- In 1880 the Ile crisis reached its final phase. Qing sive General, while re-equipping his army, threat- China and Tsarist Russia, rattling the sabre were ened to capture not only the Ile region, but all of standing “wall-to-wall” against each other. The enCentral Asia; and playing along with the English, he tire world was watching the confrontation of Rusblustered to reach St. Petersburg. Demonstrating sia and China with sinking hearts. Would the ChiWWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM

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HISTORY nese put the ambassador to death or not? Would war break out or not? Behind China one could perceive the shadow of the third empire – Great Britain. And there Queen Victoria made her move towards peace, sending a letter to her colleague the Chinese Empress pleading with her to grant a pardon to Chung Hou. While Zuo Zongtang was ‘warmongering’ in Xinjiang, the pragmatism of Cixi and Li Hongzhang was predominating in Beijing. They clearly understood that it was one thing to defeat the isolated and poorly armed rebel forces, but quite another to fight the regular army of the great northern Empire. Therefore, taking into consideration Europe’s opinion, Chung Hou was granted a pardon and Li’s supporter, Duke Zeng Jize then was sent to St. Petersburg to conduct negotiations. In Russia they also considered that a bad peace was better than a good quarrel. The MFA’s position – to regulate the relations with China and to restore trade overweighed the geopolitical concerns of the Military Ministry. The Generals’ demands on the territory were reduced twice and the funding request in relation to occupational costs was increased. Russian-Chinese agreement The resolution of the “Ile crisis” became the new Russian-Chinese St. Petersburg agreement signed on February 12, 1881. Russia withdrew its claim for the Tekes valley and the strategic passes. Of the territory of the Ile region, with a total area of 50 thousand square kilometres, Russia (and later on Kazakhstan) achieved only a consolation prize of 10 thousand square kilometres. The old border along Borohudzir and Charyn was moved east to the river Horgos and these lands were settled by the Muslim-refugees from the Ile region, who assumed Russian citizenship. Today this territory is a part of the Almaty region. Besides this, the Chinese authorities were to pay Russia 9 million rubles to cover the expense of bringing order to the Ile region and to allow amnesty to the local population (remember that Alaska was sold for 11 million rubles). 44 OCA MAGAZINE

In China the St. Petersburg agreement was received with delight as a significant success in Qing diplomacy. General Zuo Zongtang became the national hero who returned Xinjiang. Subsequently, an administrative reform was conducted in the province.The Ile region became the Ile-Kazakh Autonomous district and Urumqi became the capital of Xinjiang instead of the frontier Ghulja. Text by Murat Uali Translated from Russian by Dana Zheteyeva

Central Asia may not boast the Michelin starred cuisine of Tokyo, London or Paris, but don’t be deceived by those who say it has nothing to offer by way of gastronomic experiences. There are plenty of delights and new foods to try in a cuisine based largely on the region’s nomadic heritage that has fused together millennia of itinerant international cuisine. Traditionally this meant horse or sheep’s meat, with vegetables hard to come by, but today’s Central Asian cuisine has adapted to the modern table, retaining a lingering twist of Soviet and Asian influence that will delight the adventurous and surprise the skeptical. There are many reasons that we have chosen to include recipes in this book, but we have done so primarily based on five crude criteria: deliciousness, cultural significance, historical commentary, uniqueness and “for the experience”. You will notice however, that there are many variations on certain themes; dumplings or noodle dishes for instance. This is because the six countries that demarcate Central Asia in this book share some of their history in that they are all, in some part, a result of the collision between the Turkic world and the former Soviet Union. You will see that some of the tastes are not accompanied by a recipe. This is because they depend utterly upon their location, chal (fermented camel milk) being one such example. Also, some recipes do not reflect exactly what you might eat in restaurants or Central Asian homes. This is for two reasons: firstly, because there is so much variation within recipes in Central Asia, and secondly, because some of the ingredients are difficult to obtain in a western context.

ISBN: 978-1-910886-09-0 AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.COM WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM

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BOOK REVIEW

LOST ENLIGHTENMENT: THE GOLDEN AGE OF CENTRAL ASIA The problem of distorting general history, a departure from the principle of objectivity in compiling history textbooks, and the lack of holistic basic research on the history of culture and science of Central Asia has long been troubling many historians, scholars, scientists and other representatives of the intellectuals. Scientists and historians of the Central Asian countries, after the acquisition independence, conduct research and publish books that often have a fragmentary or one-sided character. In this regard, there was a need for a new, broad and panoramic view of the general history of science and culture of Central Asia, which during different periods of its long history was part of different empires and large state entities. We needed our own Needham to reveal the history of science and culture of Central Asia to the world.

International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, Frederick Starr, titled “Lost Enlightenment: The Golden Age of Central Asia from Arab Conquest till Tamerlane’s Times” has become an event of recent years. This book makes not only Europeans, but also eastern people take a fresh look at our region.

It is remarkable, that the founder and Chairman of the Central Asia-Caucasus Institute was an expert on Russian and Eurasian affairs under the three presidents of the United States. Unfortunately, Central Asia in the eyes of a certain part of western inhabitants to this day is represented as a region of several little-known, poor States at the edge of the world, whose culture is absolutely unremarkable for them. But Stephen Frederick Starr thinks this is notion is wrong, and skilfully dispels It is known that the outstanding Cambridge-histo- the myth of backwardness and marginality of Cenrian, Joseph Needham (1900-1995), is the author tral Asia. On the basis of extensive research, he of the stunning seven-volume monograph “Science colourfully and lovingly describes the Renaissance and Civilisation in China”. The founder of studying - the Age of Enlightenment in Central Asia. of Chinese science in Europe, Needham proceeded from a thesis about universality of science and This surprisingly rich book tells the story about its continuous progress. The American Professor, the rise and crisis of the brightest intellectual and Stephen Frederick Starr, came to a similar conclu- cultural traditions in the Islamic world. Starr proves sion about the level and importance of Central that the “Muslim Renaissance” - the flowering of Asian science for the world science in the age of philosophy, exact sciences and poetry in the IX-XII Enlightenment. centuries, was connected with thousands threads with the territories, which are now called Central Oddly enough, this long-awaited book was written Asia: from eastern Iran to western China. But Starr not by a historian from the east, but by a U.S. does not simply reveal a broad panorama of politoverseas scholar, the President of the Central Asia ical, economic, and cultural processes: he shows - Caucasus Research Institute, Stephen Frederick how the story is created by personalities like Ibn Starr. The monograph by famous orientalist, re- Siné, Al-Biruni, Al-Ghazali, and many others. searcher, and lecturer at the School of Advanced 46 OCA MAGAZINE

The reader learns from the book, for example, that the scholar and polymath, al-Biruni, discovered America three centuries before Columbus; that Abu Ali ibn Sina’s “Canon of Medicine”, written at the turn of the IX and X centuries, for 600 years was the main textbook on medicine in all educational institutions of the world, including the most famous universities in Europe; that the famous lancet arches entered the European Gothic from Central Asian architecture.

ence, literature and art testifies to the high level of the Epoch of Prosperity - the Era of Enlightenment. The well-known great scientist Ibn Sina wrote over 400 works, 240 of them came to us in different forms. Ibn Sina’s “Canon of Medical Science” contains compelling arguments about the environmental impact on health, as well as the need for what we today call preventive medicine. He researched methods of treatment of hundreds of diseases, including psychosomatic ones.

When one 11th-century Arab scholar made a list of all the “praiseworthy people of the epoch” who spoke Arabic, one third of the total number listed – 415 – appeared to be natives of Central Asia.The superiority of Central Asia is most noticeable in the field of natural sciences, philosophy and mathematics - scientists from this region accounted for up to 90% of the total.

The brilliant scholar, Al-Biruni, wrote 180 works. Biruni was one of several Central Asian scholars who spoke out for borrowing the concept of zero and negative numbers from India and paving new avenues for their use.

Several Central Asian scholars fought for primacy in the development of trigonometry and its adoption as an independent field of knowledge. It was Even a cursory glance at the wonderful work of rediscovered in Italy only in the 17th century. Steve Frederick Starr on the main persons of sciWWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM

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BOOK REVIEW In astronomy, the light of science Wasal-Khwarizmi. He and several other astronomers of Central Asia were engaged in measuring the length of the Earth’s degree of Meridian and the development of tables for the construction of horizontal solar clocks, which were precisely adjusted by geographical latitude. He also designed a tool that uses the sine quadrants to obtain numerical solutions to the problems of spherical astronomy. Biruni’s astronomical research has led him to conclude that planetary orbits can be elliptical rather than circular, and the apogee of the Sun changes predictably. Recently, among the planets orbiting other stars in our galaxy, planets with elliptical orbits were discovered, which drastically reduced the number of supposedly inhabited extrasolar planets.

which defined the name of this field of knowledge, and the term “algorithm” – a distorted form of the name of the scientist. Al-Khorezmi significantly deepened the field of spherical astronomy and did more than anyone else to popularise the decimal system invented in India.

In the sphere of optics a notable contribution was made by Ibn Sahl. He wrote an important treatise on the use of curved mirrors to focus light. Previously, scientists could not solve this problem. In the process, he discovered the law of refraction. Besides Ibn Sina, several other Central Asian scientists created volume works on applied and theoretical medicine. One of them, who studied in Central Asia, Abu Bakr Muhammad ar-Razi, was the most courageous diagnostician and surgeon of Biruni’s tutor and close friend - Abu Nasr Mansur, the Middle Ages. He was the first to use catgut is known as the “second after Ptolemy”. Al-Khu- sutures during operations. zhandi built a large sextant and made some very accurate measurements of the tilt of the ecliptic. Geography prospered too. Mahmud al-Kashgari Al-Ferghani wrote a treatise on the main medie- created the first map on which Japan was marked. val astronomical instrument – the astrolabe, which Many astronomers and experts in trigonometry was later widely studied among European read- used their skills to determine the latitude and ers. He also wrote a study on astronomy, which longitude of hundreds of places - from India to became the most famous Arab work in Europe the Mediterranean. Without doubt, the greatest in this field. Among his many readers was Chris- geographical achievement of the era was Biruni’s topher Columbus, who lived 600 years after Fer- work, where he used astronomical data to prove the existence of an inhabited array of land someghani. where between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Some Central Asian scientists have compiled astronomical tables of stunning accuracy. Ulugbek, Rashid ad-Din wrote the world’s first universal the ruler of Samarkand, who passionately engaged history. It would not be an exaggeration to say in astronomy throughout his life, determined the that Biruni turned out to be the greatest sociololength of the star year better than Copernicus, gist in the period between Thucydides and present and measured the inclination of the Earth’s axis so time. For comparison: Hugo Grotius (1583–1645), Thomas Gobbs (1588–1679), Samuel von Pufenprecisely that his calculations are used today. dorf (1632–1694) and John Locke (1632–1704) Al-Khorezmi was the first person who devel- preferred to theorise about society rather than oped the theory of linear and quadratic equations study it.Mahmud Kashgari was a turkologist and in mathematics. It allowed him to find a key to ethnographer who created comparative linguistics various arithmetic and geometrical problems. As as a field of knowledge. a result, a book called “Algebra” was published,

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The pride of Central Asian intellectual life is philosophy. Natives of the region plunged into this area with such passion and eagerness that they considerably bypassed all other scientists of this era.Their writings had a decisive influence both on Muslims all over the world and on the Christian West.The great German scientist, Adam Metz, said that the humanism of the European Renaissance would not have been possible without the early flowering of philosophical research in Central Asia. The age of Enlightenment is rich with unsurpassed achievements in art and literature. Sufism, a mystical and ecstatic form of Islam that seeks to dispel all worldly problems so that the believer can enter into direct contact with God, was one of the striking examples of popular values that were the driving force of intellectual transformation. The Sufi poets Jalaladdin Rumi and Omar Hayyama have many admirers all over the world today. The early poets Rudaki and Asjadi are at the origin of the great Persian literary tradition. The colossal panorama of Iranian civilisation, the poem “Shahnameh”, set the world standard for other national epics. The author, Ferdowsi, was born in Khorasan, and a large part of his epic describes Central Asia, not the land, which is currently located on the territory of Iran. Almost all scholars, including Ibn Sina, wrote at least part of their works in verse. Even a superficial and incomplete list of names and accomplishments confirm that the medieval scholars of Central Asia were not mere “transmitters” of ancient Greek achievements, they themselves were pioneers in various fields. Before the Islamic era, Central Asians invented the bow. Due to this invention, which quickly spread throughout China, India and the West, Central Asia can be considered the true birthplace of the violin.

the Arab Conquest to the Time of Tamerlane”, even briefly, takes a long time. The monograph of Professor Frederick Starr reveals to readers an amazing Age of Enlightenment, which gave a powerful impetus to the development of world science and culture. And such work with colossal texture could be written only by the person, who was sincerely in love with Central Asia and fascinated by its history.

text by Akhmedov Begizhan Makhmudovich Akhmedov Begizhan Makhmudovich is a writer, historian, member of the National Writers Union of Kyrgyzstan and Prize Laureate of International Funds (Kyrgyzstan) and Babur (Uzbekistan) named after Kurmanjan Datka.

A simple annotation of the contents “The Lost Enlightenment: the Golden Age of Central Asia from

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INTERVIEW “Viking Extraordinaire”, Sölvi Fannar, doesn’t believe in following just one career path, in fact he has actively pursued several. He has acted in films, played music professionally, modelled, been a sports athlete, dabbled in poetry, and even spent time as a health professional. Recently, he is better known for his work in films, especially working as the agent for actor and strongman Thor / Hafþór Júlíus Björnson (The Mountain, from Game of Thrones). Fannar’s talents stem from his upbringing in Iceland, where his parents, themselves talented, nurtured a multi-faceted childhood. Singing in a prestigious Icelandic children’s choir at the age of 12, he got his first taste of acting in a feature film. After that there was no turning back, later studying at the Icelandic Film School. A big supporter of ECG events, his presence always visible, OCA decided to catch up with the big man himself. OCA: You’ve been described as the “poet, trapped in a caveman’s body”. How did that come about? Sölvi Fannar: I’ve been called many things actually. “Renaissance Man”, “Iceland’s Bruce Lee” and more, but “the poet, trapped in a caveman’s body” is actually a poetry book that I’m writing. It contains very personal poems that in essence map a big part of my life, mirroring what I was going through and experiencing at the time and putting into words the state of mind I was in then - as well reflecting with hindsight. But in the way that we so often persuade ourselves to believe that we are alone in what we are going through, the opposite is actually closer to the truth as we collectively share experiences, even though each one of us does so in their own way as becomes evident when we discover how others express themselves, be it through art, photography, writing or otherwise.

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OCA: Talking about bodies of cavemen, you’ve done sports for a long time and have even competed in World Championships. That is quite an unusual activity for poet, surely? SF: I’ve been training since I was nine years old, beginning in karate and judo but then also competing successfully in breakdance, Tae Kwon Do, bodybuilding, strongman, gymnastics, discus and shot put. Internationally I also competed in the Scottish Highland Games and MAS wrestling.There

have been many memorable moments. To name a few, I became a champion bodybuilder after only three months of training and achieved second in the stone throw by less than an inch behind the world champion in the Scottish Highland Games. Of course competing in breakdance is great fun although what they are doing in breakdance now is simply unbelievable. As a board member of the Eurasian Creative Guild, I’ve not only gotten to travel to places I would never have otherwise seen, where I’ve held seminars on topics such as filmmaking while managing to intertwine that with competing in an ancient sport called MAS wrestling, first at the World Championship in Yakutia, and later in Kyrgyzstan. As it happens the Vikings also did a very similar sport a thousand or more years ago and called it ‘Keflisglíma’, so it was an incredible opportunity for me despite little time for preparations. I ended up doing a lot of other things in Yakutia, for example a photo sessions for the ‘First Yakutian’.There is a beautiful legend that the first Yakut was a child born to a Viking warrior, who sailed up the Lena river, and a local woman of Turkic origin. I was also invited to be a judge in Miss Yakutia. And of course the MAS wrestling World Championships in Kyrgyzstan during the World Nomad Games was a once in a lifetime experience. Being a

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INTERVIEW competitor as well as a guest of honour allowed for fantastic networking opportunities and seeing the region. OCA: You have been working as a professional actor as well as a producer in the Eurasian area for some time but we have heard you’re starting to work in the US as well. What should we expect to see you involved with in that space? SF: It’s actually very exciting. I’m involved in the development of an American project called The Dimension that intertwines the ancient world of Vikings & Norse mythology with futuristic SciFi action. Both being an associate producer and having a great part is invigorating. I’ll be working alongside Hafthor Julius Bjornson (The Mountain in Game of Thrones), producer Skip Williamson (The Underworld Franchise, Crank 1 & 2, and Gamer) and the fantastic team at DreamState Entertainment to create a multi-media franchise, which will include future films, podcasts, and a graphic novel series. OCA: On top of your passion for acting, you also do many other things, including being a health professional, how is that compatible with what must be an already very busy schedule? SF: Even though I got involved with acting and performing early on and had parts in several films throughout my life, my main focus was on sports and fitness and health counselling. It started out with me helping my dad get into great shape in 1988 and soon after that a lot of people asked me to counsel them for health. Later I studied to become a trainer as well as a functional medicine practitioner. I started my own firm, wrote books on health related matters, did lectures and seminars, had my own spot on national TV and wrote a column in a major newspaper. It was actually not until a few years ago that my youngest daughter pushed me to audition for a place that became available studying to be an actor at the Icelandic Film School.

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I applied and got in. It was during these studies that I was invited to work on Game of Thrones. It was a great opportunity to get to work on one of the most amazing TV shows ever created and of course I learned a lot as well. You cannot but learn when you get to work with such a dedicated group of seasoned professionals. Since then I’ve done several feature films where I’ve had good parts. One of the more memorable one is called Operation Ragnarök, where I am also an executive producer, and the distributor is in Iceland as well as China. My character is Egill Sturlaugsson who is the Team Leader of the Icelandic Viking Squad along with five other characters of the Squad who also happen to be in my novel called Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes (Who Guards the Guardians) that will, if everything works out, come out at the same time as the film which is coming out in the next few months. Another one is Three Dots and a Dash where I play a ‘brutal’ Russian mafia boss which was great fun since it’s a comedy and the director wanted

me to go all out, that one should be coming out later this year but judging from what I’ve seen from it, it’s going to be hilarious. There are several films I’ll be working in later this year and in 2020 and in two of them both as an actor as well as an executive producer. I also compose and produce music and am currently working on a soundtrack for my upcoming sitcom, Knightime. In the Viking spirit, I’m always looking for new challenges. OCA: Recently you were interviewed by the BBC attending the Eurasian Creative Guild Film Festival in London. What were your impressions? SF: Indeed, the interview was regarding the Eurasian Creative Guild Film Festival in London which was held very successfully right alongside the

Romford Film Festival. In the interview I discussed the great efforts of a film called Kaddish that won the Grand Prix. I was lucky enough to get to hand the award to the producer, writer and director, Costa Fam (Konstantin Fam), since I had the honour of being a member of the jury.

Sölvi Fannar can be found on his Youtube channel: youtube.com/solvifannar; and on his website: solvifannar.com.

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ECG

FILM FES IAN TI AS

L VA

EU R

FIRST ECG FILM FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS NEW TALENT ROMFORD FILM FESTIVAL

From 6th to 10th June 2019, Premiere Cinemas in Romford, London became the centre of attention for directors, producers, actors and designers from Eurasian countries. As part of the third ‘Romford Film Festival’, for the first time, the ‘ECG Eurasian Film Festival’ (London) featured alongside it as a contributing partner. Founded in 2017 by British film makers and enthusiasts, The Romford Film Festival this year teamed up with the Eurasian Creative Guild (London) under the leadership of Laura Hamilton and Marat Akhmedjanov, to bring a unique platform for communication between British filmmakers and their post-Soviet counterparts. Aligned with the Eurasian Creative Guild (ECG) ambitions to promote all creative people, including filmmakers of the Eurasian region in Great Britain and the whole world, the festival was a culmination of over a year’s hard work to find, promote and develop film making talent. Despite its infancy, The ECG Eurasian Film Festival gathered over 60 films from 24 different countries. The film program of the festival kicked off with the British premiere of the film “My Name is Kozha” by an outstanding classic of Kazakhstan cinema, Abdulla Karsakbayev. During the five days of the film festival more than 1,500 people visited and were shown films from diverse locations includ54 OCA MAGAZINE

ing Kazakhstan, Russia, Italy, Finland, USA, Belarus, Sweden, Germany, Iran, Georgia, Armenia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Canada and the UK. Guests of the festival also had a unique opportunity to learn about the Eurasian region, not only through cinema, but also through exhibitions of paintings, handicrafts and books created by members of the Eurasian Creative Guild. Two Silk Road Fashion shows, networking round table events and creative meetings were also held within the framework of the ECG Eurasian Film Festival. On the final day of the festival, and on the largest cinema screen, the award ceremony was orchestrated to recognise the most talented filmmakers for their efforts. This was stylishly conducted in the presence of the Mayor of Havering, Cllr Michael Deon Burton, among representatives of various embassies, a wide array of press and esteemed international guests. The overall winner of the Grand Prix was to the Russian-Belarus entry film, “Kaddish”, while Best Director went to Mahmoud Shoolizadeh for the film, “Susan”, a UK entry. There were 15 awards handed out, as well as a number of diplomas. The event marks what is hopefully the inauguration of a new branch of exciting ECG projects and events.

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ECG

FULL AWARD LIST: 1. Grand Prix: film ”KADDISH’ (Russia-Belarus) 2. Best Screenplay: the film “MIDNIGHT OF THE SHAH” (Azerbaijan) 3. Best Director: Mahmoud Shoolizadeh, the film “Susan” (United Kingdom) 4. Best Male Role: Wojtek Urbanski, the film “KHARMS” (Russia) 5. Best female role: Dinara Sharipova, “SEA AND THE GIRL” (Kazakhstan) 6. Best non-Eurasian director Hernan Findling, film “IMPOSSIBLE CRIMES” (Argentina) 7. Best trailer for the book Three Distichus - Elena Aslanyan (Armenia) 8. Best Documentary: “DONETSK” (UK) 9. Best director of documentary “ORGANIC SAGE OF INDIA” (India) 10. Best film based on real events “IT’S NOT FOREVER” (Russia) 11. Best Short Film “HEAVEN OF CHILDREN” (Iran) 12. Best script of the short film “MALIBU ALTERNATIVE” (Ukraine) 13. Best male role of a short film; Zura Pirveli, film “BEHIND THE DOORS” (Georgia-France) 14. Best female role of the short film: Irina Egorova, the film “BLOOD” (Russia) 15. Best Short Film Director: Boris Hayrapetyan “YES! TODAY” (Armenia) ECG Eurasian Film Festival 2019 was made possible Ainura Berdikul, Bolot Shamsiev, Dale Lessoway, thanks to the active participation of the large in- Nadi Fadina, Natalie Bays, Maira Karsakbayeva, ternationally located Guild-member team, includ- Solvi Fannar, to name but a few. ing: Alexandra Rey, Anna Lari, Angelina Krasnogir, 56 OCA MAGAZINE

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2017-2018-2019

EURASIAN CREATIVE GUILD BOOK SERIES САУЛЕ ДОСЖАН САҒЫНЫШ... сборник рассказов на казахском языке / kazakh language ISBN: 978-1-910886-46-5 RRP: £9.50

ГУЛЬЗАДА НИЕТКАЛИЕВА ЖҮРЕКТЕГІ ИМАН ГҮЛІ поэзия на казахском языке /kazakh language ISBN: 978-1-910886-51-9 RRP: £9.50

ALDONA GRUPAS NURSE, GIVE ME A PILL FOR DEATH true stories ISBN: 978-1910886922 RRP: £9.95 PB / £14.95 HB

MARSEL SALIMOV

РАИМ ФАРХАДИ ОСТРОВ СТИХОВ стихи ISBN: 978-1-910886-56-4 RRP: £14.50

ДИЛЬДОРА ТУЛЯГАНОВА ПОДРАЖАЯ СУФИЯМ ISBN: 978-1910886830 RRP: £7.95

KANYBEK IMANALIEV THE KAGANATE Academy Series ISBN: 978-1910886960 HB,RRP:£19.95

ЮРИЙ БАШМАНОВ ГОНКИ ПО ВЕРТИКАЛИ рассказы ISBN: 978-1-910886-82-3 RRP: £9.95

VLADIMIR TULINOV THE GUARDSMEN OF HIPPOCRATES ISBN: 978-1910886946 HB, RRP: £19.95

ШАХСАНЕМ МЮРРЕЙ ХОЛОДНЫЕ ТЕНИ повесть ISBN: 978-1-910886-74-8 RRP: £9.95

GULSIFAT SHAKHIDI TRUE PARADISE - LOST PARADISE Selected Articles, Reviews and Interviews COMING SOON

THE BOOK WHICH HAS NEVER BEEN WRITTEN BEFORE

ISBN: 978-1-910886-61-8 RRP: £12.50

CATALOGUE

МУРАТ УАЛИ ИЗ СИБИРИ К СВОБОДЕ роман russian language ISBN: 978-1-910886-44-1 RRP: £12.50

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КУАНЫШ ЖИЕНБАЙ ТАҒДЫР рассказы на казахском языке / kazakh language ISBN: 978-1-910886-50-2 RRP: £9.50

DENIS KUVAEV THE DOOR TO A FAIRY TALE Fairy tale Illustrated (english /russian) ISBN: 978-1-910886-63-2 RRP: £22.50

ТЕМIРХАН МЕДЕТБЕК КӨК ТҮРІК - КӨК БӨРІ поэзия на казахском языке / kazakh language ISBN: 978-1-910886-48-9 RRP: £9.50

МАРИНА МИХАЙЛОВСКАЯ СОРОК ХРАМОВ поэзия russian language ISBN: 978-1-910886-41-0 RRP: £14.50

ПИТЕР БЕРМАН БОИ БЕЗ ПРАВИЛ авантюрный роман russian language ISBN: 978-1-910886-42-7 RRP: £12.50

ДИЛЯРА ЛИНДСЕЙ МУЗЫКА МЕЖДУ СТРОК поэзия russian language ISBN: 978-1-910886-57-1 RRP:£ 9.50

НАЗИКЕН АЛПАМЫСКЫЗЫ ҚИЯЖОЛ ҒҰМЫР поэзия на казахском языке/kazakh language ISBN: 978-1-910886-49-6 RRP: £9.50

Nadezhda Kolyshkina is an editor of historical literature and the author of over 10 books puЫished in Russia and Ukraine. Нег main work is the six-part mythological series Quarrels of the Gods, which comprises: А Feast in Р/асе of War, The G/oomy Abyss, Heroes and Geniuses, Mirages Made Rea/, The lnnocence of Simplicity and The lnverted Universe. She is currently working on the seventh book, А Сир of Woe. The play А Feast in Р/асе af War was based on the book of the same name and draws together mythological subject matter with the very real issues and challenges our own civilisation faces. Колышкина Надежда - редактор исторической литературы, автор более 10 книг, изданных как в России, так и на Украине. Основной труд - мифологическая серия «Споры богов», которая насчитывает 6 книг: «Пир вместо войны», «Тьма над бездною», «Игры в героев и ге­ ниев», «Реальность миражей», «Невинность простоты» и «Опрокинутая Вселенная>> . В настоящее время идет работа над 7-й книгой «Чаша горя». Пьеса «Пир вместо войны» написана по мотивам одноименной книги. В ней мифологические сюжеты перекликаются с проблемами и вызовами нашей цивилизации. The play is set оп the sacred Mount Meru, where the mythological figures we know as the pantheon of Greco-Roman gods have assemЫed. lt is the eve of war between the gods and Titans, and they have gathered for an emergency council. However, Zeus unexpectedly replaces this solemn affair with an evening of feasting and entertainment. And yet the gods cannot escape the concerns of complex earthly life even at such а supposedly light-hearted event... Действие пьесы происходит на Священной горе Меру, где собрались мифологические персонажи, известные как боги греко-римского пантеона. Собрание богов происходит в преддверии войны богов и титанов. Однако Зевс неожиданно заменяет военный совет дружеской вечеринкой. Но и на веселом балу богов не оставляют тревоги непростой земной жизни ...

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НАЗЫМ САПАРОВА ПРАВДИВЫЕ ИСТОРИИ рассказы russian language ISBN: 978-1-910886-55-7 RRP: £12.50

LENAR SHAYEKH ONE OF YOU poetry ISBN: 978-1-910886-47-2 RRP: £9.50

ANTONINA SHUSTER THE LINES OF LIFE english ISBN: 978-1-910886-64-9 RRP: £9.50

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ANASTASIA KUZMICHEVA BELARUSIAN WHALES poetry english-russian language ISBN: 978-1-910886-45-8 RRP: £14.50

НУРЫМ ТАЙБЕК ЛЮБОВЬ КО ВСЕМ, НЕНАВИСТЬ НИ К КОМУ! — СМЫСЛ ЖИЗНИ МУСУЛЬМАН-АХМАДИ послание ISBN: 978-1-910886-73-1 RRP: £14.95

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BAKHYT RUSTEMOV THE EARTH IS OUR COM MON HOME Academy Series ISBN: 978-1910886878 RRP: £14.95 HB

NADEZHDA KOLYSHKINA A FEAST IN PLACE OF WAR play RUS /ENG ISBN: 978-1-910886-71-7 RRP: £9.95 PB

5.00 х 8.00

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ЛАРА ПРОДАН ПОЧЕМУ МЫ ТАК ПОХОЖИ? рассказы ISBN: 978-1-910886-79-3 RRP: £14.95

ШӘМШИЯ ЖҰБАТОВА ӨҢ МЕН ТҮС поэзия ISBN: 978-1-910886-69-4 RRP: £9.95

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HERTFORDSHIRE PRESS - AWARD WINNING CRANES IN SPRING by Tolibshohi Davlat (2015) BLUE RIVER by Zinaida Longortova (2016) Through her childhood reminiscences, Zinaida Longortova brings to life a remote region in far-northern Russia. Extrapolating the folklore and mythology of the Khanty people from her experiences - set around the simple story of a wounded elk calf - the author explores the bonds between humans and nature. Yet whilst this is a novella about a little known indigenous group, the narrative succeeds in harnessing powerful emotions which speak to us all. A timeless story, at once both joyful and melancholy, Blue River is a beguiling tale for all age groups. LANGUAGES ENG / KHANTY HARDBACK ISBN:978-1-910886-34-2 RRP: £17.50 WIND: SHORT STORIES 2017 In this collection of Open Eurasian Book Forum & Literature Festival 2017 prize winning stories, The Fried Chicken by Jacqueline de Ge weaves a magical narrative within which the urban reality of dispossessed children conflicts with the sorcerous assignations of a mysterious, cloaked, figure, while My Heart is Burning by Lenar Shaeh allows the overwhelming human need for an organic community to engage Western audiences with the lament of a paradise now lost. What is more, The Fish by Sultan Isahon uses the innate mysticism of our natural surroundings to act as a backdrop against which hidden motives (whether they be naïve, brutalised, or toxic), are permitted to speak with an almost existential argot, before this masterful literary assemblage finishes with the flourish of A Drug Addicts Confession by Mukhamed-Ali Sulaymanov; a modern “morality anecdote” detailing the innocent sentiments of abandoned youth teetering on the brink of self-destruction, whilst framing its shabby social sketches through images of urban squalor. All in all, an intriguing synod of stories boding extremely well for the future careers of these wordsmiths, as much as being a tantalising taste of future delights for our European readerships.

CATALOGUE

HARDBACK

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ENG ISBN: 978-1910886915

RRP: £17.50

MAN OF THE MOUNTAINS by Abudlla Isa (2014) ( OCABF 2013 Winner) Man of the Mountains” is a book about a young Muslim Chechen boy, Zaur who becomes a central figure representing the fight of local indigenous people against both the Russians invading the country and Islamic radicals trying to take a leverage of the situation, using it to push their narrow political agenda on the eve of collapse of the USSR. After 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq and Afghanistan by coalition forces, the subject of the Islamic jihadi movement has become an important subject for the Western readers. But few know about the resistance movement from the local intellectuals and moderates against radical Islamists taking strong hold in the area.

PAPERBACK ISBN: 978-0-9930444-5-8 RRP: £14.95

HERTFORDSHIRE PRESS

This novel highlights a complex issue that millions of Tajiks face when becoming working migrants in Russia due to lack of opportunities at home. Fresh out of school, Saidakbar decides to go to Russia as he hopes to earn money to pay for his university tuition. His parents reluctantly let him go providing he is accompanied by his uncle, Mustakim, an experienced migrant. And so begins this tale of adventure and heartache that reflects the reality of life faced by many Central Asian migrants. Mistreatment, harassment and backstabbing join the Tajik migrants as they try to pull through in a foreign country. How will Mustakim and Saidakbar’s journey end? Intrigued by the story starting from the first page, one cannot put the book down until it’s finished. LANGUAGES ENG / RUS RRP: £14.50

HARDBACK

ISBN: 978-1-910886-06-9

THE BEST DAY OF THE YEAR THE DAY THAT DAD RETURNED Maral Hydyrova (2017) “One day of the big year or when the father returned” is a new novel that was written by Hydyrova Maral. According to the author herself, she is an amateur in the art of literature. Nonetheless, in the category “best literary work” in the “Open Eurasia 2016” competition, this book has won the first place.

LANGUAGES ENG PAPERBACK ISBN: 978-1-910886-65-6 RRP: £12.50 FOREMOTHER ASIA by Natalia Kharlampieva (2016) In this first ever collection of Sakha poems in our English language, the highly talented poet Natalia Kharlampieva weaves openly neo-Impressionistic threads of common heritage, communal faith and shared ethnicity, into an overall tapestry of cultural optimism. Indeed, to Kharlampieva’s mind, the unique significance played by independent women (willing to endure every hardship) in these restorative endeavours clearly signals the spiritual strength of Central Asia Unanimously applauded as an impassioned book revealing the delights of a recovered national identity, Kharlampieva also captures Natures savage beauty, as well as the harsh existential truths of life in the far North. LANGUAGES ENG / SAKHA RRP: £17.50

HARDBACK

ISBN: 978-1-910886-22-9

STOCKHOLM SYNDROME S.S. NAZAROVA (2017) MY HOMELAND, OH MY CRIMEA by Lenifer Mambetova (2015) Mambetova’s delightful poems, exploring the hopes and fates of Crimean Tartars, are a timely and evocative reminder of how deep a people’s roots can be, but also how adaptable and embracing foreigners can be of their adopted country, its people and its traditions. LANGUAGES ENG / RUS HARDBACK ISBN: 978-1-910886-04-5

Called ‘taboo-breaking… revolutionary” by RFE/RL, Stockholm Syndrome is one of the most controversial books to emerge from Tajik society in recent years. The story of a young woman’s struggle to choose between her career and motherhood, the novella shocked this traditional and conservative society. A remembrance of childhood and rumination upon challenges present and future, Nazarova’s work explores themes of immigration, identity and mental imbalance. Acclaimed as ‘ahead of its time’ by Persian reviewers, Stockholm Syndrome is an emotional tour de force.

LANGUAGES ENG HARD BACK RRP:17.50 ISBN: 978-1-910886-60-1

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HERTFORDSHIRE PRESS

PRIME HERTFORDSHIRE PRESS

KASHMIR SONG by Sharaf Rashidov (translation by Alexey Ulko, OCABF 2014 Winner). 2017 This beautiful illustrated novella offers a sensitive reworking of an ancient and enchanting folk story which although rooted in Kashmir is, by nature of its theme, universal in its appeal. Alternative interpretations of this tale are explored by Alexey Ulko in his introduction, with references to both politics and contemporary literature, and the author’s epilogue further reiterates its philosophical dimension. The Kashmir Song is a timeless tale, which true to the tradition of classical folklore, can be enjoyed on a number of levels by readers of all ages. RRP: £24.95

ISBN: 978-0-9930444-2-7

THE PLIGHT OF A POSTMODERN HUNTER Chlngiz Aitmatov Mukhtar Shakhanov (2015) “Delusion of civilization” by M. Shakhanov is an epochal poem, rich in prudence and nobility – as is his foremother steppe. It is the voice of the Earth, which raised itself in defense of the human soul. This is a new genre of spiritual ecology. As such, this book is written from the heart of a former tractor driver, who knows all the “scars and wrinkles” of the soil - its thirst for human intimacy. This book is also authored from the perspective of an outstanding intellectual whose love for national traditions has grown as universal as our common great motherland. LANGUAGE: ENG RRP: £24.95

HARDBACK

ISBN: 978-1-910886-11-3

HEIRS TO THE GREAT SINNER SHEIKH SAN’ON by Erkin A’zam (2016) I think that anyone who wants to write in Uzbek will address again and again the books of Erkin A’zam even in 100-150 years ahead because he is unique. He is the only one. Nabijon Boqiy An Uzbek writer PAPERBACK ENG

ISBN: 978-1-910886-32-8

RRP: £14.50

KAРА Автор Султан Раев (2015) Кара - главный на сегодняшний день роман автора - писатель работал над ним на протяжении двадцати лет. Это философское размышление о пути человеческом и о роли человека в мире. Книга, удостоенная премии Лучший роман 2014 года. Как сказал Э. Арнольд - Жизнь человека... результат его предшествующих жизней; Горе и беды проистекают от содеянного в прошлом зла, тогда как праведность родит блаженство.... Семь пациентов психиатрической лечебницы решают совершить побег, чтобы достичь Земли Обетованной. Как они оказались в сумасшедшем доме, истории жизни, злоключения в пустыне... Язык издания РУССКИЙ / RUSSIAN ISBN: 978-1910886137 RRP: £24.50

REPENTANCE Yermek Amanshaev (2016) SERAGLIO’55 by Georgy Pryakhin (2016) “This is a wonderful publication, full of Georgy Pryakhin’s personal recollections of a lifetime spent not only as one of the most revered Russian writers but as a political supremo in the inner circle of the Gorbachev government during the last years of the USSR. It will enchant readers with a thirst to learn more of the inner workings of those who lived through the USSR, Glasnost and Perestroika. Pryakhin’s vivid recollections of real events, idealistic dreams and his way of seeing life, tell stories that go much deeper than the words printed on the page. PAPERBACK ENG ISBN: 978-1910886281

RRP:£ 12.50

WHEN EDELWEISS FLOWERS FLOURISH by Begenas Saratov (2012) A spectacular insight into life in the Soviet Union in the late 1960’s made all the more intriguing by its setting within the Sovet Republic of Kyrgyzstan. The story explores Soviet life, traditional Kyrgyz life and life on planet Earth through a Science Fiction story based around an alien nations plundering of the planet for life giving herbs. The author reveals far sighted thoughts and concerns for conservation, management of natural resources and dialogue to achieve peace yet at the same time shows extraordinary foresight with ideas for future technologies and the progress of science. The whole style of the writing gives a fascinating insight into the many facets of life in a highly civilised yet rarely known part of the world. ISBN: 978-0955754951

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PAPERBACK

RRP: £12.50 ( ALSO AVAILBLE IN KYRGYZ )

‘Repentance’ is a poignant collection of three short stories- ‘Song of Laments’, ‘Futility’ and ‘Repentance’ – which explore the psychological complexity of relationships between fathers and sons. The issues addressed are ageless and universal. Set across the centuries, from biblical times to the present, often merging mythology with illusion and reality, the stories focus on challenges faced by fathers and sons as each struggles to assert his own identity and individual place in the world. LANGUAGE ENG PAPERBACK / HARDBACK ISBN: 978-1-910886-33-5 RRP: £14.95 / £19.95 THE GRAMMAR OF WITCHCRAFT David Parry (2016) In this collection of Mini-Sagas and poems, Parry narrates the final journey taken by his alter ego Caliban from the surreal delights of a lesbian wedding in Liverpool, all the way back to a non-existent city of London. In himself, the author is aiming to resolve lyrical contradictions existing between different levels of consciousness: betwixt reality and the dreaming state. And as such, unnervingly illogical scenarios emerge out of a stream of consciousness wherein bewildering theatrical landscapes actively compete with notions of Anglo-Saxon witchcraft, Radical Traditionalism, and a lack of British authenticity. Each analysis pointing towards those Jungian Spirits haunting an endlessly benevolent Archetypal world. LANGUAGE ENG PAPERBACK ISBN: 978-1-910886-25-0 RRP: £9.95

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HERTFORDSHIRE PRESS

PRIME HERTFORDSHIRE PRESS

“SHORT STORIES FROM AZERBAIJAN” 2018 Short Stories from Azerbaijan in one volume. From the Translation Centre under the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan. English translation by Nazakat Agayeva, edited by Anne Thompson-Ahmadova. Located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Azerbaijan’s rich literary heritage reflects the influence of the two continents. The authors in this collection are the successors to the 12th century poet Nizami Ganjavi, the great poets and bards of the 14th to 16th centuries and the Russian-influenced writers of the 19th century. The first writer in this anthology was born in 1870; the last in 1968. Spanning a century, their stories offer glimpses into the marvels and uniqueness of Azerbaijan as it went from being part of the Russian Tsarist empire, to an independent republic in 1918, to being absorbed by the Soviet Union and finally gaining independence in 1991. The stories include an account of the events of Black January 1990 when hundreds of people were massacred by Gorbachev’s forces. There is also a wonderful novella of literary and spiritual musings triggered by Pope John Paul’s visit to Baku in 2002, and stories set in remote villages that shine spotlights on the human condition. ISBN: 978-1-910886-72-4

autiful book filled with n and her actual family, rselves and people from n that close camaraderie hich in our current age,

RRP: £19.95

My Neighbourhood Sisters

A Collection of Short Stories

and trans-

HARDBACK 978-1-910886-76-2 RRP: £14.95

And so it came to be: I graduated in journalism from Tajik University, worked for the republican youth newspaper, undertook scientific research, and completed my thesis on “Twentieth Century Tajik-Russian literary connections in the 1920s-‘30s.”

I later worked in the Tajik branch ISTRC “Mir”, as chief editor of Radio and Television and had my work published in Tajikistan and Russia. This collection of stories was first published in Russian but it is my hope that the English edition is just the start of it being translated into other languages. Gulsifat Shahidi

GULSIFAT SHAKHIDI

НА Е И ЗЫК Я

И РС ВЕ ОМ + СК С РУ

LANGUAGES ENG / RUS RRP: £19.95

HARDBACK

Tales From Bush House is a collection of short narratives about working lives, mostly real and comic, sometimes poignant or apocryphal, gifted to the editors by former and current BBC World Service employees. They are tales from inside Bush House - the home of the World Service since 1941 - escaping through its marble-clad walls at a time when its staff begin their departure to new premises in Portland Place. In July 2012, the grand doors of this imposing building will close on a vibrant chapter in the history of Britain’s most cosmopolitan organisation. So this is a timely book. PAPERBACK

ISBN: 9780955754975

RRP: £12.95

THE LAND DRENCHED IN TEARS by Söyüngül Chanisheff

I was born in Leningrad in 1955, where my parents lived and studied. According to my mother, children of the postwar generation rarely came into the world healthy. My extraordinary birth- weight of 5 kilograms surprised everyone and the doctors declared me the most perfectly healthy baby. My birth weight was even posted by a Leningrad newspaper, causing my mother to often joke that my profession as a journalist was set from the very start of my life.

MY NEIGHBOURHOOD SISTERS by Gulsifat Shakhidi (2016) Set in Dushanbe, Tajikstan’s capital city, My Neighbourhood Sisters provides a snapshot of a close-knit community as it endeavours to adjust to changes induced by the country’s senseless civil war in the 1990s. Turning the pages of Gulsifat Shakhidi’s novel is like looking through a photo album, in which the narrator, Zulfiya has lovingly pasted images of both her own family and those of her neighbours. And behind each picture lies a poignant story. Shakhidi’s key protagonists are her close female friends; a group of proud, hardworking Tajik women who are challenged by both political and domestic unrest as they wrestle to maintain traditional family values.

GULSIFAT SHAKHIDI

usewives, grandmothers ow they value being able mes of trouble. They also fiya’s adopted uncle and

HERTFORDSHIRE PRESS

looking through a phoy pasted images of both behind each picture lies her close female friends; are challenged by both intain traditional famihe communal courtyard - may belong to Central fidelity, addiction, abuse, ed by Shakhidi that will

My Neighbourhood Sisters

COMING SOON

TALES FROM BUSH HOUSE (BBC Wolrd Service) by Hamid Ismailov (2012)

“The World Dissolves like a Dream” book by young Azerbaijani poetess Leyla Aliyeva. Composed of 130 poems, the book was translated into English by famous British poets lators Caroline Walton and Anna Maria Jackson.

hbourhood Sisters proendeavours to adjust to in the 1990s.

Saule Doszhan’s short story, The Tragedy of a Bastard, treads recognisable territory for us Europeans, even though the plot is placed in present-day Kazakhstan; a land faraway from our conceptual, not to mention socio-historical, spheres. Admittedly, some of Doszhan’s moral assumptions read a little strangely, although the intrigues and pressures of extended familial obligation amid a family at clear war with free emotive choice, speaks volumes across our globe.

RRP: £19.95 ENG HARDBACK

“THE WORLD DISSOLVES LIKE A DREAM” by Leyla Aliyeva, 2018

LANGUAGE: ENG

TRAGEDY OF BASTARD by Saule Doszhan, 2018

ISBN:978-1-910886-35-9

The Land Drenched in Tears is a moving history of the tumultuous years of modern China under Mao’s rule, witnessed, experienced, and told through the personal lens of an ethnic minority woman, who endured nearly 20 years imprisonment and surveillance regime as a result of her political activism in Xinjiang, or East Turkistan, located in the far west of China. Chanisheff ’s autobiography is a rare, detailed, and authentic account of one of the most poignant and most fascinating periods of modern China. It is a microcosmic reflection of the communist regime’s tragic realities presented through the suffering and hope of a young woman who tied her fate to that of her beloved homeland. PAPERBACK

ISBN: 978-1910886380 RRP:£24.50

01/01/2017 23:25:28

RECYCLED by Anna Komar

‘A BUTTERFLY’S SONG’ by Yermek Amanshaev, 2018 It is a collection of essays, short stories and plays in which the author explores issues of identity and aspiration, illusion and delusion, within the contexts of heritage, culture and the societies in which its characters live and work. It opens with a short metaphorical passage which a butterfly literally plays with fire; irrepressively drawn to its bright flames despite the inherent dangers.

EBOOK

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ENGLISH

ISBN: 978-1-910886-77-9

RRP: £5.93

This book is a bilingual collection by a Belarusian award-winning poet Anna Komar. The poems in the book are strongly personal, yet they are reflections of the reality that is so familiar to many of us. Love, friendship, self-exploration, childhood memories, fears – Anna finds new ways to speak about the things we have heard so much about, and her voice is frank. The thread connecting the poems in this collection is being a woman in the strongly patriarchal society which Belarus still is. These poems are a rebellion, they touch, provoke, embarrass, get under your skin, but leave hope that the wounds will be healed, the home will be found, and love will live in it. HARDBACK

ISBN: 978-1910886816

RRP:£17.50

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SERIES

HERTFORDSHIRE PRESS SILK, SPICE, VEILS AND VODKA by Felicity Timcke (2014) Felicity Timcke’s missive publication, “Silk, Spices, Veils and Vodka” brings both a refreshing and new approach to life on the expat trail. South African by origin, Timcke has lived in some very exotic places, mostly along the more challenging countries of the Silk Road. Although the book’s content, which is entirely composed of letters to the author’s friends and family, is directed primarily at this group, it provides “20 years of musings” that will enthral and delight those who have either experienced a similar expatriate existence or who are nervously about to depart for one.

HOWL novel by Kazat Akmatov (2014) PAPERBACK ENGLISH –RUSSIAN ISBN: 978-0993044410 RRP: £12.50

SHAHIDKA/ MUNABIA by KazatAkmatov (2013) PAPERBACK ISBN: 978-0957480759 RRP: £12.95

Raushan

THE WORMWOOD WIND Raushan Burkitbayeva - Nukenova (2015) LANGUAGE ENG HARD BACK RRP:14.95 ISBN: 978-1-910886-09-0

ISBN: 978-0992787318

ALPHABET GAME by Paul Wilson (2014) Travelling around the world may appear as easy as ABC, but looks can be deceptive: there is no ‘X’ for a start. Not since Xidakistan was struck from the map. Yet post 9/11, with the War on Terror going global, could ‘The Valley’ be about to regain its place on the political stage? Xidakistan’s fate is inextricably linked with that of Graham Ruff, founder of Ruff Guides. Setting sail where Around the World in Eighty Days and Lost Horizon weighed anchor, our not-quite-a-hero suffers all in pursuit of his golden triangle: The Game, The Guidebook, The Girl. With the future of printed Guidebooks increasingly in question, As Evelyn Waugh’s Scoop did for Foreign Correspondents the world over, so this novel lifts the lid on Travel Writers for good. PAPREBACK ENG ISBN: 978-0-992787325

THE TURKIK SAGA Kairat Zariyanov (2016) LANGUAGE ENG HARD BACK RRP:14.95 ISBN: 978-0-9927873-7-0

UNDER THE WOLFS NEST Kairat Zariyanov (2012 LANGUAGE ENG /KAZAKH HARD BACK RRP:14.95 ISBN: 978-0-9927873-7-0

Friendly Steppes: A Silk Road Journey chronicles an extraordinary adventure that led intrepid traveller Nick Rowan to some of the world’s most incredible and hidden places: from Venice through Eastern Europe, still recovering from brutal warfare; on to Turkey, the gateway to Asia, and much-misunderstood Iran; across the exotic steppes of Central Asia, emerging from Soviet domination; and finally into a rapidly developing yet still mysterious China. Intertwined with the majesty of 2000 years of Silk Road history, Friendly Steppes recounts not only the author’s travels but the remarkable impact that this trade route has had on modern culture. Containing colourful stories and characters, wrapped in the local myths and legends told by the people who live along the route today, this is both an entertaining travelogue and inspiring introduction to a part of the world that has largely remained hidden from Western eyes for hundreds of years but is on the verge of retaking its central role on the international stage.

Since his first foray into Central Asia in 2006 during his Silk Road journey, Nick Rowan has developed an insatiable appetite for all things Central Asian. An Oxford University graduate, now working in the Oil industry in London, Nick spends much of his spare time exploring Central Asia and the Silk Road countries, having now travelled to all the countries on numerous occasions. He is Editor-in-Chief of Open Central Asia magazine and provides expert opinion and analysis on the region. When not at home with his wife in Buckinghamshire, where he now lives, his favourite evenings are those spent on the plains of Central Asia sitting in the warmth of a homely yurt, laughing and joking with its owners over a good bowl of laghman accompanied by freshly baked lepioshka bread.

FRIENDLY STEPPES. A SILK ROAD JOURNEY by Nick Rowan (2012)

Friendly SteppeS: A Silk roAd Journey

RRP: £24.95

RRP: £14.50

Nick

A Silk roAd Journey

SHADOWS OF THE RAIN Raushan Burkitbayeva - Nukenova (2016)LANGUAGE ENG HARD BACK RRP:19.95 ISBN: 978-1-910886-31-1

PAPERBACK RRP: £12.50

THE NOVEL “ARHAT” by Kazat Akmatov (2015) LANGUAGE ENG PAPERBACK ISBN: 978-1910886106 RRP: £17.50

kairat zakyryanov

13 STEPS OF ERIKA KLAUS by Kazat Akmatov (2013) PAPERBACK ISBN: 978-0957480766 RRP: £12.95

Friendly SteppeS:

shahsanem murray

TRAVELOGUES

Rowan

Burkitbayeva - Nukenova

KAZAT AKHMATOV

HERTFORDSHIRE PRESS

Nick Rowan

This is the chronicle of an extraordinary adventure that led Nick Rowan to some of the world’s most incredible and hidden places. Intertwined with the magic of 2,000 years of Silk Road history, he recounts his experiences coupled with a remarkable realisation of just what an impact this trade route has had on our society as we know it today. Containing colourful stories, beautiful photography and vivid characters, and wrapped in the local myths and legends told by the people Nick met and who live along the route, this is both a travelogue and an education of a part of the world that has remained hidden for hundreds of years. HARD BACK ISBN: 978-0-9927873-4-9

PAPERBACK ISBN: 978-0-9557549-4-4

DOES IT YURT? by Stephen M. Bland (2016)

COLD SHADOWS Shahsanem Murray (2016) LANGUAGE ENG PAPERBACK ISBN: 978-1-910886-27-4 RRP: £12.50

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FINDING THE HOLY PATH by Shahsanem Murray (2014) RUS ISBN: 978-0-9930444-8-9 ENGL ISBN: 978-0992787394 PAPERBACK RRP: £12.50

Conjuring images of nomadic horsemen, spectacular monuments, breathtaking scenery and crippling poverty, Central Asia remains an enigma. Home to the descendants of Jenghiz Khan’s Great Horde, in the nineteenth century the once powerful Silk Road states became a pawn in the ‘Great Game’ of expansion and espionage between Britain and Russia, disappearing behind what would become known as the ‘Iron Curtain’. With the collapse of the USSR, the nations of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan were born. Since independence, Central Asia has seen one civil war, two revolutions and seven dictators. LANGUAGE ENG PAPER BACK RRP:14.95 ISBN: 978-1-910886-29-8

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HERTFORDSHIRE PRESS

SELF HELP

JUNIOR HERTFORDSHIRE PRESS

LIFE OVER PAIN AND DESPERATION by Marziya Zakiryanova (2014)

AYSU AND THE MAGIC BAG by Maide Akan (2016)

This book was written by someone on the fringe of death. Her life had been split in two: before and after the first day of August 1991 when she, a mother of two small children and full of hopes and plans for the future, became disabled in a single twist of fate. Narrating her tale of self-conquest, the author speaks about how she managed to hold her family together, win the respect and recognition of people around her and above all, protect the fragile concept of ‘love’ from fortune’s cruel turns. By the time the book was submitted to print, Marziya Zakiryanova had passed away. She died after making the last correction to her script. We bid farewell to this remarkable and powerfully creative woman.

In anticipation of Expo 2017 in Astana, publishing house Hertfordshire Press presents first book by Maide Akan. Entitled Aysu and the Magic Bag, the book tells the amazing story of a girl whose life is no different from ordinary children, until one day she meets a magical bird. Thus begin the extraordinary adventures of Aysu and her quest to save the environment. Written with a charm and sophistication which belie her tender years, Maide Akan’s narrative is a seamless blend of fantasy and more modern concerns. Beautifully illustrated, her work is sad and poignant, yet full of youthful hope for the future.

HARD BACK ISBN: 978-0-99278733-2 RRP: £14.95

CARDBOARD ISBN: 978-1-910886-24-3 RRP: £10.00

MADINA DEMIRBASH THE ART OF MATURE LOVE (2017) Madina Demirbash is an international relationship expert. She has lived and worked in seven different countries in the pursuit of the answer to one question: what does it take to be happy with somebody? It took her long years of personal and professional search to find but a simple answer: it takes one’s decision to grow up. As soon as she started a process of conscious maturity, her life thrived. She had better friendships with different kinds of people, started her own international business, and most importantly – regained her inner strength. She later met her husband, with whom she continues to enjoy growing every day, overcoming relationship challenges. She believes every person deserves and capable of building truly happy relationship.

ELISH AND THE WICKER TALES by Kamran Salayev Elish is a small boy who lives in a small village, a boy who prefers not to socialise, a boy who’s a little scared and clumsy, one that sits alone in a shed… wickering? For him, that is his only true talent and passion, the only thing that really matters. It all changes when Elish meets the Rider, a strong warrior from a distant land. After the Rider learns of Elish’s talents, he sets off with a new wickered bridle to discuss important matters with the King. The Rider learns of a great threat lurking in the far north… PAPERBACK SQUARE ENG ISBN: 978-1-910886-88-5

ISBN: 978-1-910886-42-7 ENG RRP: £12.50 СВЕТЛАНА ЮДИНА КАК ПОЛЮБИТЬ СЕБЯ? (2017) автобиография «Как полюбить Себя» - это первый литературный проект Юдиной Светланы, своего рода – исповедь. Честный, открытый и прямой рассказ о том, как она: родилась, взрослела, развивалась и расцвела. Это история о том, как полюбить Себя, Родных и свое Дело. Если вы хотите вырваться из ловушки постоянных проблем и ищите собственный Путь в жизни, но не знаете с чего начать? Эта книга станет для вас открытием и настольным инструментом, применяя который, вы включите механизм трансформации себя и своей Жизни. Достоинством издания является простата изложения сложных идей и рекомендаций, а также нацеленность на практическое применение в Жизни. Для широкого круга читателей. ISBN: 978-1-910886-53-3 RUS RRP: £9.95 RUSSIAN

RRP:£12.50

POOL OF STARS by Olesya Petrova (2007) It is the first publication of a young writer Olesya Petrova, a talented and creative person. Fairy-tale characters dwell on this book’s pages. Lovely illustrations make this book even more interesting to kids, thanks to a remarkable artist Askar Urmanov. We hope that our young readers will be very happy with such a gift. It’s a book that everyone will appreciate. For the young, innocent ones - it’s a good source of lessons they’ll need in life. For the not-so-young but young at heart, it’s a great book to remind us that life is so much more than work. PAPERBACK ENG / RUS ISBN: 978-0955754906

RRP: £4.95

MENIK THE MAMMOUTH by OGDO (2017) ЭТО ЗАВИСИТ ОТ МЕНЯ 7 СПОСОБОВ ИЗМЕНИТЬ ЖИНЬ К ЛУЧШЕМУ Автор Меган Вернер (2017) Знакомтесь - замечательная книга Мэган Вернер «это зависит от меня». Великолепный стиль изложения, живая, наглядная подача материала, все четко и объемно. Читается на одном дыхании, оставляет самые светлые эмоции, заставляет задуматься – помогает лучше понять себя, понять, надо ли что-либо менять в своей жизни, поставить цели и пошагово их решать, позитивно мыслить, а главное, программировать свое счастливое будущее!

PAPERBACK

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RUSSIAN ISBN: 9781910886397

RRP:£9.95

The charm of this children’s book lies in its original storyline which successfully encompasses folklore, science, natural history and geography. As the baby mammoth develops, the author raises issues concerning parenting and what a child needs to make its way through life, through the male and female perspectives of its young creators, Boris and Veronica. Menik, by default, finds himself facing the world alone and we learn how he copes with danger and struggles, as a displaced being, against ingrained prejudice and people’s fear of the unfamiliar. But there are also glimpses of human kindness and generosity of spirit which eventually, win the day. Beautifully illustrated, this little book is likely to become a favourite bedtime story and one to which children will return again and again. PAPERBACK ENG ISBN: 978-1-910886-62-5

RRP: £12.50

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DISCOVERY GUIDES & TRAVEL COMPANIONS

HERTFORDSHIRE PRESS THE GREAT MELODY by Tabyldy Aktan ( dedicated to Toktogul Satylganov) E-BOOK ISBN: 978-1-910886-02-1 RRP:£3.24

100 EXPERIENCES OF KYRGYZSTAN by Ian Claytor ENG ISBN: 978-0957480742 RRP: £19.50

100 EXPERIENCES OF KAZAKHSTAN by Vitaly Shuptar, Nick Rowan and Dagmar Schreiber ENG ISBN: 978-0-992787356 RRP: £19.50

BUYUK THEMURKHRON by Christopher Marlowe PAPERBACK UZ ISBN: 9780955754982 RRP: £10.00

TERROR: EVENTS, FACTS, EVIDENCE. by Eldar Samadov, 2015 PAPERBACK ISBN: 978-1-910886-00-7 RRP: £9.99

CHANTS OF THE DARK FIRE by ZhulduzBaizakova PAPERBACK RUS ISBN: 978-0957480711 RRP:£10.00

THE CITY WHERE DREAMS COME TRUE by GULSIFAT SHAHIDI 2015 HARDBACK ISBN: 978-1910886205 RRP:29.99

KAMILA by Rahim Karimov (OCABF 2012 Finalist) PAPERBACK KG / UZ ISBN: 978-0957480773 RRP:£10.00 ISLAM, RELIGION OF PEACE AND CREATION by Sheikh Abdsattar Haji Derbisali * Joint edition with Stacey International HARDBACK ENG ISBN: 9781906768683 RRP:£24.95 DANCE OF DEVILS, JINLAR BAZMI by Abdulhamid Ismoil and Hamid Ismailov E-BOOK UZ ASIN: B009ZBPV2M RRP:£2.00 VICTORS by Sharaf Rashidov E-BOOK COMING SOON KURMAJAN-DATKA by Bubaisha Arstynbekova COMING SOON

100 EXPERIENCES OF MODERN KAZAKHSTAN by Vitaly Shuptar, Nick Rowan and Dagmar Schreiber ENG ISBN: 978-1-910886-15-1 RRP: £19.50

THE TASTE OF CENTRAL ASIA COOK BOOK by Danny Gordon ENG ISBN:978-1-910886-09-0 RRP: £19.50

HERTFORDSHIRE PRESS

SILK ROAD by Nick Rowan COFEE TABLE BOOK HARDBACK ENG COMING SOON

KYRGYZSTAN - 20 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE: BETWEEN SCANDALS AND CORRUPT ELITE by Giorgio Fiacconi * Partner Edition By Times of Central Asia HARDBACK ENG ISBN: 9789967265578 RRP:£29.95 THE HOLLYWOOD CONUNDRUM OR GUARDIAN OF TREASURE by Maksim Korsakov PARERBACK ENG ISBN: 978-1910886144 RRP: £24.95 LITERARY ALMANAC - TVORCHESKOE SODRUJESTVO - 1 RUS HARDBACK ISBN: 978-1910886014 RRP: £15.25 LITERARY ALMANAC - TVORCHESKOE SODRUJESTVO - 2 RUS PAPERBACK ISBN: 978-1910886212 RRP: £15.25 GODS OF THE MIDDLE WORLD by Galina Dolgaya (2013) ISBN: 978-0957480797 PAPERBACK RRP: £14.95 CHANTS OF DARK FIRE (Russian Language Edition) by Zhulduz Baizakova ISBN: 978-0957480711 PAPERBACK RRP: £9.50 CRANE by Abu-Sufyan (2015) PAPERBACK ISBN: 978-1-910886-23-6 £12.50

DISCOVERY KYRGYZSTAN travel guide by Ian Claytor ENG, DE, FR, RUS, JAP ISBN: 9780955754920 RRP: £5.95

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DISCOVERY UZBEKISTAN travel guide by Andrea Leuenberger ENG, DE, FR, RUS, JAP ISBN: 9780957480704 RRP: £5.95

DISCOVERY KAZAKHSTAN travel guide by Vitaly Shuptar and Dagmar Schreiber ENG, DE ISBN: 9780955754937 RRP: £5.95

DISCOVERY KARAKALPAKISTAN travel guide by Anja Weidner ENG ISBN: 978-0-9930444-7-2 RRP: £5.95

RRP:

DISCOVERY TAJIKISTAN Travel Guide by Vitaly Shuptar ENG ISBN: 978-09557549-6-8 RRP: £5.95

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2016

THE CONCEPTUAL STRATEGY FOR HUMANKIND’S SURVIVAL IN THE XXI CENTURY AND FOOD SECURITY By Orazaly Sabden (Author), A Ashirov (2016) As the third millennium dawns, this world storms and changes unpredictably. Hence, it has become difficult to calculate what to expect on the morrow. Indeed, questions of recovery from innumerable crises (along with any possible rescue plan for humankind from adverse global conditions), are now paramount. After all, dangers such as rapid climate change, water scarcity, not to mention preventable food shortages, obviously shake social stability and economic sustainability on a planetary scale. At the same time, of course, as potential resource-based political conflicts appear on the horizon, various natural cataclysms, pure accidents, and negative environmental processes are increasing. All presenting humanity with unprecedented socio-environmental issues. PAPER BACK ISBN: 978-1910886267 RRP: £17.50

PROJECTIVE GRAPHICS by Yelena Bezrukova, Valentina Tikhomirova (2015) This album contains images of an aspiring new art movement known in Kazakhstan as “Projective Graphics”. The images presented in the publication, called “graphelvas” are accompanied by conceptual and explanatory texts, as well as an appendix of works associated with the small, but up and coming movement. This album is intended for a broad audience. HARDBACK

THE MODERNIZATION OF FOREIGN LANGUAGE EDUCATION: THE LINGUOCULTURAL - COMMUNICATIVE APPROACH by SalimaKunanbayeva (2013)

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ISBN: ISBN: 978 – 0993044434

AZERBAIJAN:BRIDGE BETWEEN EAST AND WEST by Yury Sigov, 2015

Professor S. S. Kunanbayeva - Rector of Ablai Khan Kazakh University of International Relations and World Languages This textbook is the first of its kind in Kazakhstan to be devoted to the theory and practice of foreign language education. It has been written primarily for future teachers of foreign languages and in a wider sense for all those who to be interested in the question (in the problems?) of the study and use of foreign languages. This book outlines an integrated theory of modern foreign language learning (FLL) which has been drawn up and approved under the auspices of the school of science and methodology of Kazakhstan’s Ablai Khan University of International Relations and World Languages.

Azerbaijan: Bridge between East and West, Yury Sigov narrates a comprehensive and compelling story about Azerbaijan. He balances the country’s rich cultural heritage, wonderful people and vibrant environment with its modern political and economic strategies. Readers will get the chance to thoroughly explore Azerbaijan from many different perspectives and discover a plethora of innovations and idea, including the recipe for Azerbaijan’s success as a nation and its strategies for the future. The book also explores the history of relationships between United Kingdom and Azerbaijan.

PAPERBACK

HARD BACK ISBN: 978-0-9930444-9-6 RRP: £24.50

ISBN: 978-0957480780

RRP: £19.95

LOOKING WEST: A KAZAKH’S VIEW OF GREAT BRITAIN by Kanat Auyesbay (2016) This new book by the Kazakh broadcaster and journalist Kanat Auyesbay is a fascinating and charming view of Britain. Kanat studied here for a year, living in Norwich with his wife and young son. Here he recounts his impressions of British life and compares aspects of it with life in Kazakhstan. He deals with subjects as diverse as school, charity, public transport, swimming, language and eating horse meat! There are also transcripts of interviews and additional chapters such as ‘35 years in front of the White House,’ in which he talks about Conception Picciotto about her anti- nuclear vigil. The reader will also learn about Kazakhstan and some of it’s customs and monuments. I am sure that British readers will enjoy Kanat’s impressions of our country, and I hope that they be inspired to visit Kazakhstan. I also hope that Kazakh readers will, perhaps, understand our small island a little better. PAPERBACK

ISBN:978-1910886373 RRP: £14.50

I AM LOOKING TOWARDS THE EAST by Gulsifat Shakhidi, 2017 Bringing together two works by the Tajik author, Gulsifat Shahidi, I am Looking Towards the East and Sentimental Journey or All in Good Time, this title takes an in-depth look at the historical relationship between Tajik and Russian literature and literary figures. Volume one draws an endearing portrait of the nineteenth-century translator-poet, Vasily Zhukovsky, whilst volume two concentrates on Russian-Tajik literary connections during the early years of the Soviet Union. Through her painstaking analysis of texts, archival documents and personal interviews, Shahidi masterfully bringing the characters and events of both periods to life. Her works are both academic thesis and a lovingly drawn living history.

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ENGLISH

ISBN: 978-1910886663

RRP: £19.95

VANISHED KHANS AND EMPTY STEPPES by Robert Wight (2014) The book opens with an outline of the history of Almaty, from its nineteenth-century origins as a remote outpost of the Russian empire, up to its present status as the thriving second city of modern-day Kazakhstan. The story then goes back to the Neolithic and early Bronze Ages, and the sensational discovery of the famous Golden Man of the Scythian empire. The transition has been difficult and tumultuous for millions of people, but Vanished Khans and Empty Steppes illustrates how Kazakhstan has emerged as one of the world’s most successful post-communist countries. HARD BACK

ISBN: 978-0-9930444-0-3

RRP: £24.95

PAPERBACK ISBSN: 978-1-910886-05-2 RRP: £14.50

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IGOR SAVITSKY: ARTIST, COLLECTOR, MUSEUM FOUNDER by Marinika Babanazarova (2011) LANGUAGE: ENG, RUS, FR ISBN: 978-0955754999 RRP: £10.00 SAVITSKY COLLECTION SELECTED MASTERPIECES. Poster set of 8 posters (2014) ISBN: 9780992787387 RRP: £25.00

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GOETHE AND ABAI by Herold Belger (2016)

LAND OF FORTY TRIBES by Farideh Heyat, 2015

Present publication of Herold Berler’s personal and scholarly essay on these two giants of world literature. Berger’s unique stance is to follow the dictates of his imagination, inspired by a close life-long study of Goethe and Abai, and, alongside many detailed scholarly investigations, e.g. his comparative study of Goethe and Abai’s innovations in poetic metre, form and consonance, or of the sources and background of Goethe’s Eastern inspired masterpiece West-East Divan, Berler muses openly about the personal impact that Goethe and Abai have had on him. HARDBACK ENG RRP: £17.50

Sima Omid, a British-Iranian anthropologist in search of her Turkic roots, takes on a university teaching post in Kyrgyzstan. It is the year following 9/11, when the US is asserting its influence in the region. Disillusioned with her long-standing relationship, Sima is looking for a new man in her life. But the foreign men she meets are mostly involved in relationships with local women half their age, and the Central Asian men she finds highly male chauvinist and aggressive towards women. PAPERBACK ISBN: 978-0-9930444-4-1 RRP: £14.95

ISBN:978-1-910886-16-8

BIRDS OF UZBEKSITAN by Nedosekov (2012)

COLD WAR II: CRIES IN THE DESERT OR HOW TO COUNTERBALANCE NATO’S PROPAGANDA FROM UKRAINE TO CENTRAL ASIA by Charles Van Der Leeuw (2015)

FIRST AND ONLY PHOTOALBUM OF UZBEKISTAN BIRDS! This book, which provides an introduction to the birdlife of Uzbekistan, is a welcome addition to the tools available to those working to conserve the natural heritage of the country. In addition to being the first photographic guide to the birds of Uzbekistan, the book is unique in only using photographs taken within the country. The compilers are to be congratulated on preparing an attractive and accessible work which hopefully will encourage more people to discover the rich birdlife of the country and want to protect it for future generations

Cold War II” is the result of almost two years of intensive monitoring and collecting information and comments from various angles concerning US-led campaigns to surround the Russian Federation with enemies. The book offers a rich anthology of samples how media play into the hands of the US-led “war party” as well as those who try to expose such manipulations. Special attention is given to the civil war in Ukraine and the way it is exploited by the west for its own geopolitical goals, and to Kyrgyzstan which remains at risk of attempts to topple Central Asia’s sole parliamentary democracy and replace it by a US “client regime”.

HARDBACK ISBN: 978-0-955754913

The monograph is focused on the actual problems of modern higher professional education in the Republic of Kazakhstan. On the basis of critical reflection and analysis of the existing models of innovatively modernizing the higher professional system of education, a system of guidelines for perspective development of the foreign language higher professional education is proposed. The methodologically grounded platform of the approach suggested for modernization of higher education is based on the following components ofconceptuallymethodological framework of higher foreign language education: the stage-successive model of competence-based professional training and its universalization; contemporary–demanded innovative versions of basic specialties, content-functionally modeling technologies for communicative and intercultural competences’ formation.

THE EARTH IS OUR COMMON HOME by Bakhyt Rustemov

This book from the famous Kazakh international publicist reflects the international reality in which the Kazakh people lived and live for the last twenty-seven years after gaining their independence. The reader is given the opportunity to understand how difficult the transition was from socialism to capitalism. The new life caught by surprise the majority of people of the country, that is the simple person. For all these years the author was in the midst of the people and has survived with them all the hardships and privations that usually fall on the shoulders of ordinary citizens. For many years he studied the relationship of people in society, the relationship of peoples and States.

The book is recommended by the Academic Council of Kazakh Ablai Khan University of International Relations and World Languages (Protocol №3 dated 27 October 2015)

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RRP: £19.95

STRATEGIC GUIDELINES FOR HIGHER FOREIGN LANGUAGE EDUCATION

ISBN: 978-1910886076 RRP: £24.95 Kunanbayeva S.S.

STRATEGIC GUIDELINES

FOR HIGHER FOREIGN LANGUAGE EDUCATION

Kunanbayeva S.S.

HARDBACK

CAMBRIDGE INTERNATIONAL PRESS

HARDBACK

ENG

ISBN: 978-1910886878

The Republic of Kazakhstan’s balanced foreign policy is one of our country’s main priorities and is recognised and understood by many. The aim of Kazakhstan, located in the centre of the Eurasian continent, is to maintain friendly relations with its neighbours and partners, and to develop and strengthen these ties, in line with the policy determined by the Republic of Kazakhstan’s president, our nation’s leader: Nursultan Abishuliy Nazarbayev. This book has been written from the perspective of an author who has personally witnessed the Head of State’s multifaceted work in the international arena. Following the earlier publication of ‘Peacemaker’ it encompasses events connected with the Syrian crisis from 2011 to June 2017.

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STRATEGIC GUIDLINES FOR HIGHER FOREIGN LANGUAGE EDUCATION by Salima Kunanbayeva The monograph is focused on the actual problems of modern higher professional education in the Republic of Kazakhstan. On the basis of critical reflection and analysis of the existing models of innovatively modernizing the higher professional system of education, a system of guidelines for perspective development of the foreign language higher professional education is proposed. The methodologically grounded platform of the approach suggested for modernization of higher education is based on the following components ofconceptually-methodological framework of higher foreign language education: the stage-successive model of competence-based professional training and its universalization; contemporary–demanded innovative versions of basic specialties, contentfunctionally modeling technologies for communicative and intercultural competences’ formation.

PAPERBACK ISBN: 978-1-910886-67-0 RRP: £19.50 ENG

RRP:£14.95

PEACEMAKER THE SYRIAN CONUNDRUM by Nurlan Onzhanov (2017)

LANGUAGES ENG HARDBACK ISBN: 978-1-910886-52-6 RRP: £24.95

RRP: £25.00

PHONETICS AND PHONOLOGY PROBLEMS by Fakhraddin Veysalli (2016) In this manual, the phonetic structure of the Azerbaijani language and its phonological systems have been (systematically) explained by focusing on comparative materials from a number of different languages. Thus, the author defends his theoretical position, as well as persues common principles, through the topics raised. Additionally, he demonstrates his thoughts and considerations, while basing his own investigations upon existing perceptions in literature. As such, this book is primarily intended for philologists. However, these materials can be used by teachers of language or literature, along with postgraduates, dissertants, and students of philological faculties: including everyone interested in linguistics. PAPERBACK ISBN: 978-1910886182 RRP: £19.95 ENG

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CONTENTS

6

EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: ALMAZBEK ATAMBAYEV

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KAZAKH ALASKA

14

EURASIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY

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LOST ENLIGHTENMENT: THE GOLDEN AGE OF CENTRAL ASIA

16

MAKING AFGHAN CHILDREN SMILE

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“VIKING EXTRAORDINAIRE” - SÖLVI FANNAR

20

CHINGIZ AITMATOV EXHIBITION IN NUR-SULTAN

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FIRST ECG FILM FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS NEW TALENT

24

DECONSTRUCTING TRADITION: THE ART OF FAIG AHMED

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ECG BROCHURE

28

ANIMATION IS KEY TO DEVELOPING EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

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ECG SERIES - HERTFORDSHIRE PRESS CATALOGUE

32

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The Land Drenched in Tears: Story of a Tatar Woman in Mao’s China The Land Drenched in Tears is a moving history of the tumultuous years of modern China under Mao’s rule, witnessed, experienced, and told through the personal lens of an ethnic minority woman, who endured nearly 20 years imprisonment and surveillance regime as a result of her political activism in Xinjiang, or East Turkistan, located in the far west of China. Writing her autobiography as an extraordinary melange of diary and memoir, which oscillates between first-hand narrative and flashback, the author, Söyüngül Chanisheff, traces her unfortunate youth from her university years, when she founded the East Turkistan People’s Party as a result of her anger and frustration with communist China’s devastating mishandling of the socio-economic life of the people of her native land, through her subsequent imprisonment in China’s notorious labour camps as well as under the surveillance regime, to her emigration to Australia. Chanisheff’s autobiography is a rare, detailed, and authentic account of one of the most poignant and most fascinating periods of modern China. It is a microcosmic reflection of the communist regime’s tragic realities presented through the suffering and hope of a young woman who tied her fate to that of her beloved homeland. By boldly exploring hidden territories of modern Chinese history, it not only invites the reader to contemplate the universal topics, such as the relationship between citizen and state as well as between ethnic minority and majority, but also encourages similar stories to be told from our troubled contemporary world. This book is highly recommended for anyone who seeks to gain a deeper understanding of the many issues contemporary China faces. *The Land Drenched in Tears was translated from Uyghur by London-based Uyghur translator and singer Rahima Mahmut. Having received English PEN Translates grant in May 2017

ISBN: 978-1-910886-38-0 RRP:£24.50 AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.CO.UK


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EURASIAN CULTURE WEEK 1-6 OCTOBER, 2019 LONDON

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Profile for Hertfordshire press

OCA MAGAZINE #32  

Events in Kyrgyzstan over the last few days have really shaped this edition of OCA Magazine, not least since our publisher, Marat Akhmedjano...

OCA MAGAZINE #32  

Events in Kyrgyzstan over the last few days have really shaped this edition of OCA Magazine, not least since our publisher, Marat Akhmedjano...

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