Page 1




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











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



Before arriving in Brussels for the Eighth Open Eurasia Book Forum and Festival, I’d had quite the week of travel. Qatar, Malaysia and Brunei had been visited within the space of five days, so as I sat on yet another flight, this time from London to Brussels to attend the forum, I was a weary eyed and jet lagged traveller. I hadn’t made it to the forum for the last two years due to other commitments so I was determined to turn up and meet a new crowd of intrepid writers, artists and creative minds who has descended on the Belgian capital to share their experiences and works openly. 117 people had arrived full of excitement at our host location at 103 Boulevard de Waterloo generously provided by the Church of Scientology. Participants hailed from, 25 different countries and included well-established authors as well as the finalists of this year’s literary competition in which over 1200 people took part.

As in previous years the standard and level of competition was high - a whole six hour marathon was given over to allowing participants to share their stories - some live, others via video link. Sitting alongside masterclasses and book launches this once again has become the platform for successfully uncovering new talent from Eurasia and I very much look forward to next year’s event - the mention of holding it in Australia drew gasps of excitement and bewilderment in equal measure. We will see where things ultimately settle. And so to this latest edition of OCA magazine, prepared in the shadows of the book forum. We cover Uzbek politics, compare Oscar Wilde and Chingiz Aitmatov and other things. Despite the political turmoil we are seeing in the West, Central Asia, for once, seems to be enjoying a period of relative stability which is enabling a stealthy continuation of progress that is pleasing to see. As people keep reminding me, the only certainty we have in these turbulent times is uncertainty but I do hope that where others are indecisive, Central Asia will march through and take advantage. Enjoy the issue.

Yours, Nick Rowan Editor-in-Chief





Aktam Khaitov has held many roles in Uzbek politics. Currently the Leader of the Uzbekistan Liberal Democrat Party, he cut his teeth in several previous government roles as Minister of Employment and Labour Relations and General Director of the Uzbek Agency of Standardisation, Metrology and Certification (Uzstandard). Uzbekistan has changed significantly since the death of former autocrat, Islam Karimov, and OCA had the opportunity to interview Khaitov and find out more...



OCA: The label “Liberal Democrat” has been adopted by a wide range of parties across the world from the centre left minority Opposition in Britain through Japan’s ruling conservative government to Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s national grouping in Russia. Where would you place Uzbekistan’s Liberal Democrats in that spectrum? Aktam Khaitov: First, let me briefly familiarise you with the history of our party in order to answer this question in a better way. The movement of entrepreneurs and business people, the Liberal Democratic Party of Uzbekistan (hereinafter - UzLiDeP) was created in 2003 as a nationwide political organisation that voices and defends the interests of the middle class, representatives of small business, entrepreneurs and farmers - the class of owners who are business people. Having united on behalf of entrepreneurs and business people into a powerful political force, we need to strengthen the tools that make people’s power not theoretical, but real and ensure the effectiveness of parliamentary and public management. Summarising all of this, it can be said that UzLiDeP is a centrist liberal party, oriented toward liberal economic reforms. OCA: Do you consider yourself to be a social liberal or an economic liberal or both? AK: Most likely both. Our party stands for a social policy that promotes the development and self-realisation of people. The party believes that the main goal and driving force of democratic transformation is the person themself. Our targets are to halve the share of low-income groups of the population, achieve full coverage of all those in need of social protection measures, ensure that vulnerable sectors of the population have access to basic resources (land, bank lending and etc.), new technologies and financial services, including micro-financing. Our priority is further liberalisation of economic reforms.To summarise the above, and speaking briefly, there is a need for more freedom

of enterprise and less bureaucracy.” OCA: How easy is it for a multi-party democracy to establish itself and function effectively in a country, where this is a relatively new phenomenon? AK: Currently, Uzbekistan is at a new stage of its development. There are five political parties in Uzbekistan, including the Movement of Entrepreneurs and Business People (Uzbekistan Liberal Democratic Party) such as Uzbekistan National Revival Democratic Party “Milliy Tiklanish”, “People’s Democratic Party”, “Justice Social Democratic Party “Adolat” and the Ecological Party of Uzbekistan. Indeed, multi-party democracy policy began when our country obtained its Independence. But much has been done in this short historical period. Our party predicts a fierce struggle in the upcoming elections. Therefore, the openness and transparency of their conduct becomes one of the key factors in the implementation of the principle of democracy and determining the country’s authority on the world stage. OCA: How many members does the Party have, and how many Members of Parliament or local councillors? AK: To be specific, the total number of party members as of July 1, 2019 is 733 989 people, of which 383 166 people (52.2%) are under the age of 34, and 297 561 people (40.5%) are women. The number of deputy seats in the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis is 39, the members of the Senate of the Oliy Majlis have 35 seats, the deputies of the Zhokarga Kenes of the Republic of Karakalpakstan, the region and Tashkent city Kengashes have 291 seats, while the district and city Kengashes seats make up 1976. As of July 1, 2019, the number of primary party organizations is 12,616. WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM


COVER STORY OCA: In your view, what are the most important reforms that would benefit Uzbekistan at its current stage of development? AK: I see four key areas we need to reform: 1. Free currency conversion Previously, a simple financial currency exchange operation was a big problem in Uzbekistan. The President of our country Sh. Mirziyoyev allowed banks to buy currency from the population and convert money for legal persons to pay for import contracts at the market rate.This was the first and key economic reform carried out at the initiative of the President. 2. Reform of the financial system The Central Bank began to regularly publish important financial indicators and actively collaborate with leading global financial institutions, among them: theInternational Monetary Fund and the World Bank. The result of this work was an increase in the confidence of foreign investors and the issuance of the first Eurobonds, most of which were acquired by investors from the UK and the USA. 3. True statistics Several years ago, no one believed the statistics of Uzbekistan. In 2017, Mirziyoyev approved a program to improve the efficiency of statistical activities and improve the quality of statistical information. In 2018, the republic introduced a system for disseminating statistics according to the methods and standards of the International Monetary Fund. Today we know with certainty the real level of citizens’ incomes, unemployment, the level and main causes of mortality, and much more. 4. Freedom of journalism Uzbekistan has risen four positions in the freedom of speech rankings. Previously, journalists were afraid to criticise officials, who held “senior positions� and did not cover a number of socially important topics. Now media representatives, not fearing for their own lives and health, can condemn the work of any public servant or stateowned company.



OCA: Are there women and youth sections in your party and, if so, what are the issues that most concern them? AK: UzLiDeP pays close attention to issues of work with youth and women. In the structure of UzLiDeP, the Youth wing of the party operates and unites about 425,000 youth. The party is addressing the challenges of increasing the political culture and legal awareness of young people, forming their active civic position and a conscious attitude to political processes. It also provides lasting ideological immunity against various external and internal threats in the spiritual and moral sphere, and ensures the information security of children. The projects have already provided practical assistance to over 150 young entrepreneurs. The “Women’s Wing” is also successfully functioning in the party, which helps to increase the political activity of women and enhancing their role and social status.For example, last year, over 200,000 women and girls were involved in UzLiDeP’sactivities of the “Women’s Wing”. One of the main tools of the “Women’s Wing” of UzLiDeP is the implementation in practice of various kinds of party projects aimed at the comprehensive support of women who intend to do business, create new jobs by broadly attracting girls to entrepreneurship by identifying active and initiative women. In the UzLiDeP faction in the Legislative Chamber of the Oliy Majlis, 8 deputies are women. At present, UzLiDeP has a well-formed basis of which 8.103 are women or 30.9% of staff capacity from the party. OCA: How has your past professional and personal experience in many different roles affected you? AK: Of course, it is not right to praise oneself; one must prove one’s professional success by deeds. But, as can be seen from my biography, my professional activity is connected on the one hand, WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM


COVER STORY with the solution of a wide range of economic problems. But, on the other hand, in carrying out these activities, it was important to take into account the opinions and wishes of ordinary people and to feel their aspirations and hopes, the desire for well-being and high quality of life for families. For myself, I think this is the most important professional baggage, which is to focus on solving specific problems of people and the importance of work by taking into account the needs of the population, as reforms should be carried out for the people.

I see in every workplace that the Motherland, society, our voters, trust me, so my goal is to try to justify this high trust by working for the benefit of our people. Years of work taught me that it is important that in each of us such values as readiness for change, responsibility, professionalism, justice and humanism prevail. OCA: What are your perspectives on relations between the UK and Uzbekistan? AK: Uzbekistan attaches great importance to the development of mutually beneficial cooperation with European countries. At the same time, special attention is paid to promoting a higher level of bilateral relations with such a leading European power as Great Britain. In our opinion, the trade and economic interaction of our countries requires its further development. Although bilateral trade between Uzbekistan and the UK in 2018 grew by almost 40% and exceeded $235 million, we are confident that the parties have significant potential for the growth of mutual trade. UzLiDeP also considers the possible development of inter-party cooperation as a step towards expanding interstate contacts between Uzbekistan and the UK. This may require the organisation of international conferences and round tables aimed at further developing interstate relations, disclosing Uzbekistan to the general public in Great Britain as a reliable and responsible partner. UzLiDeP expresses its readiness to support the business circles of the two countries in their intentions to develop cooperation.





THE DEVELOPMENTAL JOURNEY OF THE FIVE STANS POST-SOVIET INDEPENDENCE A brief analysis of overseas development assistance to the Central Asian Republics. When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, abrupt national independence incited a sharp rise in poverty, inequality, and the disintegration of public services across Central Asia. A multitude of development challenges lay ahead for the five Stans: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. Yet, for their first decade of sovereignty the international community’s role in Central Asia’s development was largely neglectful. The focus was predominantly geopolitical than developmental due to the region’s strategic position between the natural resource giants of Russia, China and India.

A recent paper produced by Fabienne Bossuyt highlighted how although the EU was the region’s biggest donor in the first decade post-Soviet independence, providing €944 million in assistance until 2002, it was largely an invisible actor comparative to the US, UN and Asian and Muslim development agencies. Despite being absent in Central Asia in the nineties, the last fifteen years has seen China on the other hand become the leading actor in the region with high receptiveness to their assistance.

Bossuyt attributes this changing development landscape to one comprising of a mix of traditional western donors with emerging ones. The report states that Such neglect has meant the development assistance that where the west, ‘envisions the achievement of stability was delivered to the Stans remains largely unexplored. through inclusive development methods, China equates Meanwhile, the effort on behalf of western actors to development with economic growth instigated through fill the vacuum that was left through the promotion of improved infrastructure.’ Symbolic of this is the focus a shift from centralised models to more democratic on the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative and of China’s socio-political models with a liberal market economy, development cooperation. has not bode well amongst the widely disjointed sovereign states.


In terms of impact, the EU’s approach has been generally criticised as relatively ineffective, with Bossuyt going as far as to say it has failed to make any significant difference on the ground. Contrarily, China’s assistance has been extensive, with local regimes seeing the development of infrastructure as more attractive. Cooperation is also easier for the nations when there are fewer conditions attached to aid delivery, such as human rights performance. Although the EU can be criticised for its lack of priority in terms of overseas aid to Central Asian countries, the relative ineffectiveness of implementing western model ideals has been a result of unstable governance. The combination of natural resources with scarce accountability engendered pervasive corruption throughout the region. Tajikstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan all scored highest for corruption in the Eastern Europe and Central Asia region in Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index 2018 (CPI). Meanwhile, Kazakhstan has declined in terms of their CPI score. The report states:




“In many post-Soviet countries, checks and balances do not exist that would ordinarily keep powerful private individuals and groups from exerting exceptional influence over government decisions. In these settings, illicit lobbying practices take place and conflicts of interest go undisclosed.” Western donors’ hopes for the region to achieve good governance across the board is impeded by antagonism between the states, which has for a long time dictated the narrative that regional cooperation between these hybrid regimes is required for true progress. In May 2019 the EU set out a ‘fresh strategic vision’ for its partnership with Central Asia with the allocation of €1.1 billion for development cooperation between 2014 and 2020. However, for as long as the EU insists on a determination to help the region promote dialogue and cooperation at their own pace, China’s assertive economic development, non-interference in domestic affairs strategy will continue to lead the development journey of the five Stans. And yet, there is the inexorable question of whether such an economic investment heavy approach will


resolve the institutional weaknesses of the individual countries that is needed for them to achieve sustainable growth, good governance and a strong social sector. Will China’s assistance strategy exacerbate inequalities and create new problems, or will it be the emerging trend for the international community to follow suit? Only if the West starts paying more attention to the Stans, can we find out what might work best. Anastasia Kyriacou is the PR Manager for AidEx, the leading global event for the humanitarian aid and development community.





The premier of the movie, The Mentor is set to be held in Moscow in 2020. The plot is quite simple and is based on real-life events. It’s not just another success story; it’s a story about a boy who was sent to a mentor for instruction at the age of eight. In the mid-1990s, the civil war in Tajikistan forced him to become a migrant worker in Moscow. The events of the movie will be familiar to many our contemporaries from the CIS, especially those from Central Asia. It is the story of a man who, despite many obstacles, managed to fulfil his potential, to become a successful businessman and multimillionaire and then go on to teach others. If 20 years ago I had been told there would be a film about me and what one can do with what I know today, I would never have believed it; but the simple truth is that the film really is about me. I want to challenge the widespread belief that there are no opportunities for Western companies to do business in Central Asia. I will tell you about the peculiarities of doing business here using both examples of my own experiences and those of my students, 30 of whom have become US dollar millionaires over the course of just five years. I believe that the path to progressive global change begins with the right system of education, one, for example, like the British system. I see that the UK and countries in Central Asia have recently developed strong ties. For about a decade now, the Union Jack has appeared at the entrance of numerous educational centres in almost every city across the region. This means that the values of the British system of education resonate with local people.


SAIDMUROD DAVLATOV Business mentor, owner and co-owner of 23 types of businesses, Davlatov has individually trained 292 entrepreneurs and coached 30 US dollar millionaires over the course of five years.

Young people are interested in the British system of education and would like to understand the nuances of British culture. Because of its system of education, the UK has become a part of everyday life in Central Asia. English is already widely taught using British teaching methodologies. It is quite natural that over time students will want to continue their studies in the UK. In this sphere, I see what is also lacking in many other areas, such as doing business and in production: a true partnership. Of course, there have been certain breakthroughs, but not as significantly as in the sphere of education. I would advise business professionals from the UK and from other countries not to waste the opportunities that cooperation with the nations of Central Asia offers today. It is a very promising and rich region with large reserves of numerous raw materials. Unfortunately, the region produces very few finished products and in most cases the production process stops at the stage of working with raw materials; the ratio is 10% to 90%. At the same time, though, the prime cost of raw materials is low, there is little intensity to the competition and labour is relatively inexpensive.

and principles of modern European management. Many European banks have negative interest rates on loans and pay dividends to borrowers, but local banks only issue loans at high interest rates. I think that the next 20 years will be hugely profitable for British businesses which choose to invest in Central Asia. Managers of British companies think quickly, efficiently, and on a grand scale. Thus, they have an undeniable competitive advantage. Running a business in Central Asia today is akin to going back to the 1990s, but with state-of- art technologies at hand. What I managed to achieve in the course of 20 years, today I could have done in two. I have described this in detail in my two books: How to Become a Millionaire in Tajikistan and How to Become a Millionaire in the CIS States.

In my opinion, Central Asia is the best place in the world to do business today. I say this as a person who has been teaching and advising local entrepreneurs for over 20 years. I know the difficulties and struggles they encounter well. I instruct my students on how to set up business processes. They have already made significant progress, with one of them running a business with a There are free trade niches in almost every country, turnover of 30 million US dollars. be it Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, or Tajikistan. These economic zones have been established to make I advise and help my students choose the right direcdoing business easier, providing benefits and exemption tion, and this is where I benefit from having long-standfrom some taxes. It is highly profitable, therefore, to do ing relationships with a huge number of businessmen business in these zones. Many agricultural enterprises across the region. I have scrutinised all the pros and manufacture natural products and can guarantee sup- cons of various production areas and can help business plies in large volumes. High-quality food is needed by professionals from the UK. I am extremely well-aceveryone everywhere, whilst textile production is also quainted with the local opportunities and can help to very promising. establish strong, mutually beneficial ties in any city or state in the region. If all of the advantages named above, plus low prices and the mentality and work ethic of local people are Don’t hesitate; come to Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhaugmented with Western technologies, it will be pos- stan and Uzbekistan and see for yourself. In Central Asia sible to achieve a truly revolutionary breakthrough. today, people have first-hand knowledge about corpoWith this in mind, I would recommend that all business rate management, and local businesses understand and professionals launch production facilities in Central accept the principles of transparent entrepreneurship; Asia. Here you will find benefits, raw materials, a will- principles which are beneficial to everyone. ing workforce and exceptionally favourable conditions. Later, the finished goods can be sold all over the world. I will be glad to offer my advice. Please feel free to email my agent, Karina Galoyan: The financial tools available to local companies are inkarina.galoyan@davlatov.tj efficient as they do not yet employ the technologies




TOURISM ON THE GREAT SILK ROAD: VIEWS ON KAZAKHSTAN BY RAFIS ABAZOV AND ANDREY KHAZBULATOV The recent international tourist forum “Ulytau-2019� in Nursultan City attracted participants from more than 30 countries, including the UK, USA, Italy, France and others. President Kasym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan announced that the government of the country would continue putting special attention and billions of dollars into promoting his country as a major tourist destination. Indeed, Kazakhstan has already invested billions over the past decade in developing the tourism sector and hospitality infrastructure by building the image of the country as a major destination on the Great Silk Road. In addition, the government has introduced major financial initiatives to attract the largest players in the global tourism business, from leading international hotel chains and restaurant outlets to major construction and transportation companies.


Nursultan City (formerly Astana) has become – in the words of visitors – “one of the shining pearls of Central Asia,” emerging as a techno-marvel of the 21st century in the formerly virgin land of the great steppe of Kazakhstan. THE RISE OF “NEW” GREAT SILK ROAD Kazakhstan continues to work hard on building its new Silk Road infrastructure and placing its modern and medieval cities and ancient caravan-sarays (hotels) onto global tourist maps. Kazakhstan is the 3rd largest country on the historical Great Silk Road, after China and Russia, and has been a destination attracting almost half a million tourists from the UK alone since 2008. During past decade between 2011 and 2019, the local and national governments have begun to realise that they need not only to preserve the major attractions and historical sites, but also to considerably upgrade the entire tourism infrastructure, from building new hotels to renovating all airports, highways and railways to serve between five and eight million visitors a year. The tourism boom has not only opened numerous ancient and medieval archeological excavations and well-preserved major architectural monuments for local and international tourists, but has also attracted intensive foreign direct investments (FDIs) at the rate of almost one billion USD.

southern rim from the border with China all the way to the Caspian Sea. Various estimates suggest that the country is home to the remnants of more than 100 ancient and medieval cities and towns and more than 1,000 other historical sites from ancient Buddhist temples to Nestorian Christian churches. Some of these have survived through millennia of the turbulent history of Central Asia and represent interesting examples of cultural exchanges on the Great Silk Road. Take for example the city of Turkistan with its medieval mosque and mausoleum of Khoja Ahmad Yasawi – a classic example of architecture from the time of medieval ruler Tamerlane (Timur). The ruins of a large medieval city – some scholars identify them with the medieval city of Kultube – are scattered over thousands of square meters, comparable in area to the remains of Italy’s ancient city of Pompei. Local experts ambitiously call it the “Pompei of Central Asia.”

In promoting tourism, Kazakhstan has to compete with several large and well-known regional players in mass tourism, such as neighboring Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan. To move the country to the foreground, national tourism experts and major local players have focused their efforts on developing three major areas.

Adventure tourism. Another area for niche tourism in which local companies and government-funded operators are investing tens of millions of US dollars is adventure tourism.The mountains of southern and eastern Kazakhstan offer amazing landscapes and hundreds of destinations for adventure tourists. This includes safari tours from simple short tours along the great nomadic steppe to very complex multi-week safari expeditions over various terrains and climate zones. Several rivers offer good opportunities for river rafting combined with the exploration of local fishing and hunting opportunities. The mountains around Almaty City offer numerous year-around opportunities – from hiking in summer to skiing in winter and spring. In fact, in geographic terms, these mountains present the best skiing opportunities in the whole area between New Delhi and Moscow!

Traditional tourism on the historical sites of the Great Silk Road. As part of the Great Silk Road for almost 2,000 years, Kazakhstan is rich in historical sites, which are scattered mainly along its

Eco (green) tourism. Over the past decade Kazakhstan has emerged as a new destination for eco-tourism with visits to exceptional locations from fragile and pristine Alpine mountain valleys WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM


TOURISM and river basins in the south to the unique forest and steppe zones in central and eastern Kazakhstan.The country is home to hundreds of endemic species, and nature enthusiasts not only can observe unique birds and animals (such as the gorgeous snow leopard), but also participate in the numerous campaigns directed at preserving Kazakhstan’s wild animals, birds and insects. The “One Belt, One Road” (OBOR) program promoted by the Asian International Infrastructure Bank (AIIB) of China envisions investing billions of dollars in multiple infrastructure and tourism projects in the region. THE NEW SILK ROAD PARADIGM The tourism business in Kazakhstan – which is growing at an impressive rate of 6-9 percent per annum – has a considerable potential. To fulfil this potential, it needs to attract all sorts of international experts and investors. Kazakhstan has already attracted top architects like Norman Foster from the UK and Kisho Kurokawa from Japan to help develop architectural marvels in the rapidly growing new capital – the city of Nursultan (formerly Astana). The country has also made a number of other strong moves in the right direction. First, recent regulatory changes such as waiving visas for tourists from almost 50 countries around the world has eased travels opportunities for many travelers, including business people and ordinary tourists. Second, the country successfully hosted World Expo-2017 in Astana and the 28th Winter Universiade Games in Almaty and these and many other regional and global events contribute to the fact that Kazakhstan has become one of the fastest growing tourism destinations in the region. Third, Kazakhstan has spent almost US$40 billion since 1997 in building up Nursultan City as a prime regional business, financial and banking hub, hoping to make it one of the major tourist destinations between Beijing and Moscow.


The government of Kazakhstan foresees that through collaboration with leading international partners the country might become one of the largest and most popular tourist destinations in the region.

PERSPECTIVES During the past decade Kazakhstan has become one of the growing major tourist destinations on the Great Silk Road and an attractive destination for investors and major players in the tourism sector from European countries including the UK. In fact, according to official statistics the government-initiated strategy “Tourism Industry Development Plan 2020” channeled about US$3 billion into the development of five tourism clusters and the creation of 300,000 new jobs in the tourism sector alone and climbing to the 81st place in the in the global tourism ranking (2018, World Tourism Organization (WTO). If successful the country indeed might become one of the major tourism destinations on the great Silk Road offering diverse tourism activities and absorbing billions of dollars in FDIs. The Astana International Financial Center (AIFC) can become a real financial hub not only for Kazakhstan and Central Asia but also for the wider Eurasian region if it is capable of attracting enough financial resources from large international players AUTHOR BIOS: Rafis Abazov, PhD, is a visiting professor at Al Farabi Kazakh National University and a director of Ban Ki-moon Institute for Sustainable Development. He is author of The Formation of Post-Soviet International Politics in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan (1999), The Culture and Customs of the Central Asian Republics (2007), The Stories of the Great Steppe (2013) and some others. Andrey Khazbulatov, PhD, is an associate professor and research advisor for the archeological research and excavation project “The Hillfort of Kultube” in Turkestan City, Kazakhstan. He is the author of three monographs and numerous articles on cultural development in Kazakhstan.




THE RAPID RISE OF TOURISM IN UZBEKISTAN I remember the first time I entered Uzbekistan, more than a decade ago. My car, an already rather battered Isuzu Trooper, broke down in the no man’s land between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, and had to be push started to make it across the border. It wasn’t an auspicious start. With a trio of friends, I nursed the car to Tashkent and Samarkand, however, and in the course of a week fell in love with the country and its people. We paid a couple of dollars to watch the ballet at the Alisher Navoi Theatre in Tashkent, and treated ourselves to sickly sweet Champagne before the performance. We posed with the bronze statue of Amir Timur by Hotel Uzbekistan, picnicked on cherries outside the Bibi Khanym Mosque in Samarkand, and climbed to the top of the minaret on the Ulugh Beg Madrassa and sat completely unguarded on the roof. No, it wasn’t high season, but I could have counted the number of other foreign tourists we saw on one hand. Scroll forward to 2019 and Uzbekistan’s tourism industry is booming. So much so, in fact, that the country won the Gold Award for the Top Emerging Destination at the Wanderlust Readers Travel Awards. Foreign tourist arrivals doubled from 2017-18 and we will see a similar rise again this year thanks to the introduction of a visa free regime in January. A Gallup poll ranked Uzbekistan as one of the top five safest countries in the world for tourists, and international hotel brands


from Hyatt to Raddison, Hilton to Marriott are finally moving in. The rapid rise caught everyone — myself included — by surprise. It’s not that Uzbekistan doesn’t have the cultural treasures and natural beauty to justify a place at tourism’s top table, but rather that until three years ago, the country was making next to no effort to court tourists. The red tape was excessive, international flights few and far between, and marketing was non-existent. You had to be determined and persistent to get in, and prepared to put up with outdated infrastructure, poor accommodation, and surly officials once you were there. All that changed when President Mirziyoyev came to power at the end of 2016. He announced two priorities for his presidency — investment and tourism — and has since moved hell and high water to invigorate both areas.The reforms have been ambitious, and the results are already dramatic. In tourism, the introduction of an evisa — swiftly replaced with the current visa free regime for more than 60 nationalities — was long overdue. Uzbekistan Airways invested in new planes (Dreamliners and A350 Neos) to increase capacity and comfort on long haul routes, and added new destinations. The airline’s Lon-

don office took the brave first step of inviting foreign journalists to visit and write about Uzbekistan, thawing relations with the media to such an extent that just over 18 months after the first official press trip, the BBC’s accreditation was restored. Thirsty for a new, exotic destination — and in particular one as diverse and unknown as Uzbekistan — the UK’s travel media went wild. I personally hosted trips for the Financial Times,The Guardian,The Independent, Travel Weekly, and even the Daily Mail: they couldn’t get enough of the glittering madrassas and mosques of Samarkand, the brutalist architecture of Tashkent, the Silk Road romance of the desert, and the possibility of sleeping in a yurt beside Lake Aidarkul, looking up at the clearest night sky you’ll ever see. The UK media sets trends, and so we quickly saw a domino effect in other markets. UK tour operators — in particularly the likes of Wild Frontiers and Travel the Unknown — were early movers in Uzbekistan, but once Joanna Lumley’s Silk Road TV programme was broadcast in summer 2018, what’s popularly known as



ADVENTURE “the Lumley effect” took off. Saga, a company known for offering sedate itineraries for older travellers, is now running more than 30 group departures a year, and every one of their guests returns home an enthusiastic ambassador for the country. Berkshire based agent Triangle Travel sold out their first Uzbekistan tour in an hour; it won’t even run until autumn 2020. Having pulled off what is in any circumstance a remarkable feat, Uzbekistan’s next challenge is to make sure its tourism growth is sustainable. The spectre of over-tourism already hovers over the streets and squares of Samarkand and Bukhara in the summer months, and good quality hotels are in short supply. I have three objectives for tourism development and promotion, which I hope will go some way to addressing the issue.

Firstly, we have to lengthen the tourist season, so that there isn’t a sudden influx of visitors in the summer months and a shut down in the winter. November, March, and April are cool but usually sunny with bright blue skies, which makes for very pleasant sightseeing weather. Secondly, Uzbekistan needs to diversify its tourism products beyond cultural sightseeing. I want to see more adventure tourism, birding, archeological tours, agri- and ecotourism, and itineraries based on handicrafts, gastronomy, and even Uzbekistan’s Soviet heritage. When the Amirsoy ski resort opens this winter, Uzbekistan will add winter sports to its offering, and this will attract visitors in January and February as well. Lastly, we need to educate the market that there’s so much more to Uzbekistan than the four UNESCO World Heritage cities. Karakalpakstan boasts one of the world’s foremost avant garde art collections at the Savitsky Museum in Nukus. Alexander the Great built a fortress at Nurata, and a complete city, Alexandria on the Oxus, at Kampir Tepe.The Golden Ring of Khorezm includes dozens of desert castles, there are more than 10,000 petroglyphs at Saramysh (including carvings of dancers and hunters), and the home stays and hiking around Sentob offer unrivalled insight into rural life. The next few years of tourism development in Uzbekistan are critical, but as the industry has exploded from almost nothing in 36 months, the country is more than up for the challenge. Text by Sophie Ibbotson is Uzbekistan’s Ambassador for Tourism and the author of Bradt Travel Guides’ Uzbekistan.







graphical dispersion and widely varying historical and political experiences have generated a range of different expressive music forms. In addition, The ICTM Study Group on “Music of the Tur- the break-up of the Soviet Union and increasing kic-speaking world” was established in 2006 at globalisation have resulted in the emergence of the Music Department, SOAS, University of Lon- new viewpoints on classical, folk musical traditions don.This Study Group is dedicated to the practice, and Turkic versions of globalised popular culture documentation, preservation, and dissemination to fit new social needs. In line with the opening of traditional music and dance as found through- up of many Turkic regions in the post-Soviet era, out the wide area of the Turkic-speaking world, awareness of scholarship from these regions has stretching from South Siberia to the shores of the also increased. Mediterranean and increasingly in diaspora locaThe ICTM Study Group on “ Music of the Turtions elsewhere. kic-speaking world “ comprises the art and music The Turkic-speaking world is both geographically of numerous different ethnicities including Altai, huge and culturally diverse (twenty-eight coun- Bashkirs, Crimean Karaites, Karakalpaks, Kazakhs, tries, republics and districts extending from East- Kyrgyz, Tatars, Turkmens, Turks, Uyghurs, Uzbeks, ern Europe through the Caucasus and throughout and Yakuts, as well as many other ancient and Central Asia). Although the Turkic peoples of the medieval states from history. Today at a time of world can trace their linguistic and genetic an- globalisation and, for many countries losing their cestries to common sources, their extensive geo- identity, the research and documentation on muTHE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE NEW ICTM STUDY GROUP



HERITAGE sic of the Turkic–speaking world helps to identify key issues of music performance phenomenon allowing a better understanding of the vast Turkic speaking world to emerge.

UNESCO experts proved its uniqueness and the fact that the international assistance is needed to provide the safeguarding pritorities towards music genres of the Turkic- speaking world.

With the collapse of the USSR, Turkic peoples from former Soviet Union have the opportunity to be considered as unified by ethnic and cultural traditions. The first international organisation to recognise the cultural phenomenon of the Turkic-speaking world was UNESCO. On an official cultural level, it seems that UNESCO nominations for “Intangible Cultural Heritage” [1] are the best evidence for such recognition. Recently twenty-two nominations from the Turkic-speaking world area have been approved by UNESCO, clearly showing what a diversity of musical genres the Turkic-speaking world possesses. Azerbaijan won four nominations (Azerbaijani Mugham; art of Azerbaijani Ashiq; craftsmanship and performance art of the Tar - a long-necked string instrument, and Novruz [2] ), Kazakhstan gained two nominations (Kazakh traditional art of Dombra Kuy;AitysAitysh, the art of improvisation [3]), Kyrgyzstan was granted four nominations (Kyrgyz epic trilogy: Manas, Semetey, Seytek; art of Akyns, Kyrgyz epic tellers; Aitys-Aitysh: the art of improvisation; and Navruz); Turkey won five nominations (Semah, Alevi-Bektaşi ritual; Âşıklık: minstrelsy tradition; Meddahlik, the art of the storyteller; Mevlevi Sema ceremony; and Nevruz); Turkmenistan gained one nomination (epic art of Gorogly), Uzbekistan was granted five nominations (Askiya, the art of wit; Katta Ashulla, cultural space of Boysun District; Shashmaqom music ‒ together with Tajikistan; and Navrouz); Russia(Yakutia) won one nomination (Olonkho,Yakut heroic epos).


Why are these UNESCO-nominated Intangible Cultural Heritage traditions so significant? Because the newly established UNESCO schemes for Intangible Cultural Heritage assist in evaluation of traditional heritages displaying the cultural diversity of the Turkic-speaking people. The wealth of the Turkic music culture critically acclaimed by 28 OCA MAGAZINE

Talking about the history of our Study group one should mention our past Symposia started from the first one on “Music of the Turkic-Speaking World: Performance and the Master-Apprentice system of Oral Transmission”. Chaired by Dr Razia Sultanova, it took place between 3-4 February 2006 at SOAS, University of London with the keynote speaker Professor Hiromi Lorraine Sakata (USA). The event aimed to establish a new Study Group within the ICTM (International Council for Traditional Music) for regular meetings and joined projects. It was considered important to pool our efforts to undertake the new ICTM Study Group in order to discover key issues of cultural phenomena of various musical traditions of the Turkic speaking world. Further symposia followed in 2010, 2013, 2014, 2016. and 2018. The latest on was the 6th Symposium and took place at the State Conservatory of Trabzon University in Turkey, on October 15-16, 2018. The theme of the Symposium was “Dance Phenomenon: Innovation and Creativity in Studying and Performing”. The two-day Symposium comprised of two keynote presentations, eleven papers and three poster presentations.The symposium attracted participants from eleven countries.Two keynote speakers were Professor Ann R. David (University of Roehampton, UK) and Dr. Catherine Foley (University of Limerick, Ireland).Behind the Study Group activities there is a strong and flexible team working on its activities, reflecting a wide geographical areas. Its chairperson is Dr. Razia Sultanova ( University of Cambridge, UK), Vice-Chair is Dr. Galina Sychenko ( Glinka Novosibirsk State Conservatory, Russia) and Secretary is Dr. Abdullah Akat (Trabzon University State Conservatory, Turkey). There

are also Appointed Study Group members serving on the Board. OUTCOME OF THE STUDY GROUP’S RESEARCH ACTIVITY Several books with articles by Study group members have been published in the thirteen years since the Group’s establishment: “Sacred Knowledge: Schools or Revelation? Master-Apprentice System of Oral Transmission in the music of the Turkic Speaking world”, Razia Sultanova (Ed), LAP, Germany, 2009; “From Voice to an Instrument: Sound phenomenon in Traditional cultural Heritage of the Turkic-speaking world”, Saule Utegalieva (Ed), 2016, Almaty, Kazakh Kurmangazy National Conservatory, 2016; and the most recent book released by the World’s leading academic publisher Routledge: “Turkic Soundscapes: from Shamanic voices to Hip-hop”, Razia Sultanova and Megan Rancier (Eds), London, 2018.

In future the group will continue its scholarly study aiming to promote the richness and the wealth of musical culture of the Turkic speaking world. ____________________ Footnotes: [1] The intangible cultural heritage as the practices, representations, expressions, as well as the knowledge and skills (including instruments, objects, artefacts, cultural spaces), that communities, groups and, in some cases, individuals recognise as part of their cultural heritage. It is sometimes called living cultural heritage, and is manifested inter alia in the following domains: Oral traditions and expressions, including language as a vehicle of the intangible cultural heritage; Performing arts; Social practices, rituals and festive events; Knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe;Traditional craftsmanship [2] Navruz (Novruz, Nowrouz, Nooruz, Navruz, Nauroz, Nevruz) was a joint nomination for Azerbaijan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkey, Uzbekistan (India, Pakistan). [3] Aitys-Aitysh (the Art of Improvisation) was a joint nomination for Kyrgyzstan and Kazakhstan.




UNVEILING THE DARK SECRETS OF THE GULAG INTERVIEW: ROMAN ROMANOV, DIRECTOR OF THE GULAG HISTORY MUSEUM, MOSCOW The GULAG History Museum in Moscow, Russia, covers one of the darkest eras in human history. The GULAG – the acronym for the Russian translation of ‘Chief Administration of Corrective Labour Camps and Colonies’ – best embodies the repression of the Soviet system in which millions of “enemies of the state” were sent to forced labour camps between 1918-1960. It is estimated that GULAGs across the former USSR held some 20 million people, and around 2 million died as a result of disease, starvation, hyperthermia, and physical exhaustion. Some 700,000 were systematically executed on false charges between 1937 and 1938 during the period of Stalin’s Great Terror. In this interview, James Blake Wiener speaks to the GULAG History Museum’s Director, Mr. Roman Romanov, about the museum and its recent relocation, the centrality of the GULAG in our understanding of Soviet history, and the research work being undertaken by the museum in remote regions of Russia every year. James Blake Wiener: What events lead to the museum’s establishment and founding in 2001? Additionally, when did the museum move to its new location, which, I must say, resembles a prison camp? Roman Romanov: Thank you for your interest in the GULAG History Museum activities! So, the GULAG History Museum was founded in 2001 by writer and historian Anton V. Antonov-Ovseenko, who survived a 13-year sentence at forced labour camps as an “enemy of the people”. Leading the civil movement of victims


of political repression during the “Perestroika” era, Antonov-Ovseenko has sought to create a museum dedicated to this topic since the 1990s. He managed to gain the support of State Duma Deputies and the Moscow government, and finally, in 2001 the Museum was founded by the Moscow Department of Culture. Initially, we were based at a small building on Petrovka Street, but in 2015 the Museum relocated to a large separate house. It should be noted that the new location has no relation to GULAG history.As far as I know, the current building of the Museum was constructed in

1906 as a tenement for renting. However, during the reconstruction, we aimed to elaborate such a design that could reflect both the concept and the content of the Museum. As a result, we recovered the historical appearance of the facade, while the other walls of the building were covered with the copper panels. This architectural solution enabled us to make the building “alive” — the copper walls will darken with time, under the rain and snow.This turns the building into a physical metaphor of memory working through the trauma. JBW: When one first enters the GULAG History Museum, they are confronted by a multitude of different doors -- a door from a camp barrack, a door from a prison cell, and doors from the apartments or homes of individuals sent to gulags. How and why was it decided that this would be the best way to introduce visitors to the GULAG? RR: During mass repression, no one was insured against accusation; the Secret police could literally knock on the door and take a person away forever. The doors at the beginning of the exposition are a metaphor of mov-



HISTORY ing from a peaceful and prosperous world to another one, a terrible one, filled with despair, a world with interrogation, investigators, transit and distribution facilities and camps. There are numerous doors being exhibited in the Museum—a door from a camp barrack, a door from a cell in a remand prison in Magadan, a door from one of the Seven Sisters buildings in Moscow. From one of the doors the poet Mikhail Koltsov was exiled to the GULAG, cross-questioning and tortures were carried out after the other. These doors can tell us a lot, becoming a link between the past and present.

Overall, it took seven years to collect all the elements of the puzzle and to present it as a part of the exhibition. The result of the research was the following story: During the period of the Stalin’s Great Terror, in 1937, the author of the diary, Olga Ranitskaia, was accused of espionage for Poland and sentenced to five years in the Karagandinskiy Corrective-Labour Camp in Kazakhstan, where she worked at the meteorological station. While she was in the camp, her son Sasha stayed with his grandmother. It was for him that Olga created a handwritten diary entitled Meteo-Devil: Works and Days. It looks like a graphic novel and conJBW: Your museum not only highlights the history of sists of 116 pages of drawings and witty verses on how the GULAGs, but also the state-sanctioned system of the main character the Little Meteo-Devil, the author’s political repression that endured until the 1950s CE. alter ego, endures the camp. In 1942, her 16-year-old On display throughout the GULAG History Museum son, Sasha, unable to live through the bullying from his are various documents and personal effects belonging schoolmates on his mother’s imprisonment, committo victims from across the Soviet Union. How did the ted suicide. He had never seen his mother’s diary. In GULAG History Museum acquire these personal be- 2014 Zoia Eroshok donated this unique artifact to the longings and artifacts? GULAG History Museum. Impressed by this story, we published a copy of the diary in a small, handbook forRR: That was a very time-consuming and complicated mat, as well as elaborated the concept of the exhibition process to select which of the items to include in the The Evidence, consisting of only one object, which perpermanent exhibition, mostly, because we were seek- sonalizes the horrors of Stalinist repressions. The Eviing to present the GULAG history through the human dence was later turned into a series, but the very first dimension. Thanks to the former prisoners and their one was a handwritten book with drawings and verses families, we managed to get numerous letters and oth- created by the GULAG prisoner Olga Ranitskaia for er documents. The governmental documents were dis- her son Sasha. covered in state archives. For example, one of the objects from the Museum collections, a very special diary JBW: Have any artifacts, in particular, raised considercompiled in the form of a graphic novel in the 1940s, able interest amongst your visitors? I found the tools was donated to our Museum by Zoia Eroshok, a jour- made by GULAG prisoners were both fascinating and nalist of the Novaia Gazeta newspaper. A woman living haunting, myself. in Siberia, whose mother took this book out from the camp in 1946 and thus saved it, sent this artifact to the RR: As a rule, the exhibits related to children in the newspaper office. The only thing known was that this GULAG leave the strongest impressions. Numerous diary had been created by a woman called Olga, who camps included “kindergartens” for children of the had probably worked at the meteorological station of ages of 2-4. Some of them were born in camps, the othKaragandinskiy Corrective-Labour Camp (Karlag, Ka- ers were taken there along with their detained mothzakhstan). In collaboration with the GULAG History ers. The survival of these children depended on many Museum, Zoia Eroshok started her investigation to factors, such as the camp’s geographical location and identify the author of the diary and to reconstruct her climate, its distance from the family’s place of residence story. Based upon preliminary results of Zoia Eroshok’s and, consequently, the duration of transportation, and, research, the museum’s staff requested information on finally, the general attitude of the camp’s staff, educators the diary’s author at the archives of different secret po- and nurses. For instance, we exhibit children’s stockings lice agencies, courts, and other organizations in Russia, and slippers that little Svetlana Turchinova wore in prisUkraine and Kazakhstan. on, where she was spending time as part of her mother’s sentence. When they arrived to the camp, she was around one year old. Someone from the prison staff, taking pity on Svetlana, bought these stockings for her.


JBW: It surprised me that I was able to take a virtual-reality (VR) tour of the Butugychag camp in the Russian Far East while at the museum. How would you describe the museum’s layout and Interview with the GULAG Museum -- OCA Magazine Autumn 2019 2 organization, and how does the museum utilize other interactive and multimedia tools to better explain the painful history of the GULAGs?

the Great Patriotic War, and the eventual decline in the year of 1960. Touching the red spot on the map, the visitor opens a window containing geographic, historical and economic information about each camp. It is available online in English and Russian, so you can see it without visiting the museum on the website (gulagmap. ru). This year we commenced integrating the GULAG interactive map into regional museums all over Russia.

RR: From the very beginning the integration of the VR into our permanent collection was a goal for the museum’s new incarnation. In a broader sense, the VR supports the museum’s pedagogical goal: educating the public about the horrors of the Soviet penal system using the tools of “entertainment”. Based upon an expedition to a former GULAG camp, the VR experience confronts the viewer with the material reality of Russia’s past. Moreover, last year we released the Interactive map of the GULAG — a permanently updated database of the history and geography of GULAG camps. This project shows the scale of the Soviet punitive system with prison camps scattered across the entire country — from the Baltic Sea and the Crimea to Chukotka. The map shows the birth and the evolution of this phenomenon, its climax in the times of

JBW: I was intrigued to learn that your museum undertakes research trips to the remote corners of the Russian Federation on a regular basis. What projects is the GULAG museum currently overseeing, and how are these research expeditions altered our collective understanding of the GULAGs? RR: Yes, we regularly undertake expeditions to the former camps. For example, this summer we visited Nakhodka, Magadan region, the former camps in Kazakhstan. We usually return from these research trips with objects of everyday camp life, work equipment, personal belongings of prisoners and other valuable artifacts. During these trips, we take photos and videos of the camp ruins. We thoroughly scan the place with a quadricopter, making 2d and 3d scans to create a de-



HISTORY tailed mapping system of the place. With time, these objects disappear, so our most pressing concern is now to preserve these sites or, at least, to capture them, using modern technologies. In some cases, we manage to preserve the former camps assigning them heritage status as we did with the Chaunski Dalstroi camp. Heritage status is equal to a guarantee of the conservation of the camp construction, protection of the site and availability of the area to researchers.

JBW: I saw so many young people while visiting the museum. Several were crying, as they had relatives and ancestors interned in the gulags. Why should people -- especially young people -- visit the GULAG History Museum? What lessons do you hope can be learned through a visit? RR: I think the new generation of Russian people understands that the origins of our present lie in the Soviet past. I see a lot of creative and independent-minded young people in Russia, and, as I believe, they are striving to realise what actually happened to their families in order to move forward. It is not a surprise that almost every family in Russia and the former Soviet republics suffered from the repression. So I think it is a kind of post-memory with the Soviet basis. They are striving to understand the past they were excluded from. I believe this knowledge can provide a basis for a strong and truly free nation, as well as serve as a reminder that we should not let this happen again.


Roman Romanov is the head and chief curator of the GULAG History Museum (Moscow, Russia). He received his MA of Psychology at the Russian Academy of Education. In 2012 he also completed the program in Museum studies. Romanov started his career as a volonteer at Optic Theatre, where shortly after he became the deputy director. From 2005 to 2008, he worked as a chief manager of Modern Museum Technology company. In 2008, he was appointed as the deputy director at the GULAG History Museum, which he has been heading since 2012. Being the head of the Museum, Romanov initiated the expansion of administrative and exhibitional areas of the Museum, the relocation of the Museum and its collection to the new building, as well as increasing staff. Under his leadership, the Museum turned into an international museum and a research centre. In 2018, Romanov joined the Presidential Human Rights Council. In 2014, he was given a Moscow Award as a Manager of the Year in Culture. In 2018, he also got special acknowledgment from the Moscow mayor for the development of Russian culture and was awarded the Order for Service to the Motherland for contribution to the development of the Russian culture, Art and Media.




THE SOFT POWER OF EDUCATIONAL EXCHANGE BETWEEN CENTRAL ASIA AND THE WORLD Don’t underestimate the potency of soft power grounded in education and people-to-people contact. Both are the backbone of deepened relationships, and the global community needs to invest in strengthening those ties with the Central Asia region. Soft power is an axiom of international relations and multilateral ties. Within this framework, education and research is a key part of the soft-power apparatus. Their value is recognised among policy makers, educational institutions, students, and laypeople alike. The cornerstone of network-building alongside regional improvements is particularly pertinent in developing countries joining the global community, like the Central Asian countries. It has been with rapt attention that the world followed these countries’ development and exchanges with the near and far abroad after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Now, practitioners of the region should work to cultivate this interest to ensure Central Asia thrives.

The Central Asian region—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan—are old cultures but young countries. They evolved shaped by nation-building under the Soviet Union, and were limited to the periphery, a supportive role to an empire. Their physical separation, enforced by large tracts of steppe, some of the biggest landlocked masses in the world, water, and mountains, heightened the experience of isolation.The collapse of the Soviet Union created new challenges for these nascent countries. Independence was multi-faceted—it came with autonomy, but also with uncertainty. At the forefront of policy dilemmas was the paradox of creating a domestic system to maintain cohesion while striking out to craft an international personality.A secondary question was whether it was better to act in isolation or together, as a regional bloc. These questions have had a significant impact on the relationships that the Central Asian countries have forged with other nations. This legacy and development interplay is evident in academic exchange. As part of the centre-periphery relationship, Central Asian countries were accustomed to sending their students and researchers abroad to educational institutions in the Russian area of the Soviet Union. In the post-Soviet era, the space of opportunity has widened to include countries outside the post-Soviet sphere, from Osaka to Oxford or Cape Town to Calgary. Programmes from all over the globe are available to applicants from Central Asia. Likewise, the Central Asian countries opened their boarders to


host researchers abroad. Networking, people-to-peo- see the Central Asia countries prosper, their economple contacts, and soft power possibilities are numerous, ics expand, and their development in good practices. all playing a role in the region’s initiative to reach out and develop itself abroad while cultivating interest at home.

Discussion on the benefits of educational exchange for Central Asia is prescient. Countries comprising the region are facing a demographic shift to an overwhelmingly youthful majority: UN data estimates the population will grow from 70 million to 100 million by 2050. Aided by the boom, countries like Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan are marketing themselves as potential technology and start-up hubs for the region. China and the European Union have taken an interest in the area as a re-export hub and commerce zone. The governments in Central Asia need to be prepared, and part of that readiness is investment in education to ensure their own populations are adequately trained. It is a project that can be undertaken in isolation, but this seems neither the most strategic option nor the one the Central Asian countries favour—perhaps with the exception of Turkmenistan. Most have stepped out of the self-imposed isolation following the transition from the Soviet Union and have opened to increased cooperation; this is cooperation that the outside world is eager to accommodate. External organisations want to

This eagerness is a natural extension of the abundance of outsider fascination in Central Asia. The region registers somewhere on the spectrum between intriguing and exotic. Academics and students are mesmerised by the Central Asian countries: their history, their legacy, their culture, economics, geography, geology, and so on. There is an allure in the region’s beautiful, multi-faceted past, romanticism in its wide expanse of literal and figurative space, and enthusiasm in the potential created by that space. The Central Asian countries can be a thesis topic, a fieldwork location, or a place for undertaking a long-term degree or short-term exchange programme. There is much to be learned from Central Asia, and academic interest in Central Asia is an asset to the region. These two paths can be joined for a common trajectory. There is a role for Central Asian researchers abroad and at home, and a role for foreign researchers to do work in Central Asian countries. The seamless exchange of academics and students to the benefit of both communities is ideal. Yet, there are complications and places for improvement. Where education is concerned, there are problems not unique to the region,




like information outreach and funding. There needs to be more dialogue, more openness, and more support for those interested in exchange programmes. There are places where the legacy of the Soviet experience seeps into academia, presenting challenges to access and transparency. These legacy challenges represent bigger questions of autonomy and cooperation, dependence, independence, and interdependence. Such issues must be addressed. To find solutions, Central Asian countries need look not only to outsiders, but to their own: Central Asian students and researchers bring some of the best expertise to the discussion. Central Asians’ knowledge is vital to tackling pressing issues on the modern agenda, like water resources, hydrocarbons, IT, demographics, regional development, conflict management, and, of course, the effects of transition. Abroad, these researchers challenge norms and stereotypes and advance studies about the region with aplomb. Other problems ought to be jointly confronted by the Central Asian countries and their partners. Outsiders must recognise the importance of these academic ties to build networks domestically and in the international community. Central Asian countries and outside coun-


tries should invest in the axiom of soft power progress through academic exchange—the outcome is a winwin. Text by Cordelia Buchanan Ponczek Images courtesy of Antti Viktor Rauhala, a University of Oxford MPhil graduate who wrote his thesis on Kazakhstan. Antti travelled through Kyrgyzstan in 2015 and conducted fieldwork in Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in autumn 2018. He previously hitchhik




TAKING OSCAR WILDE TO KAZAKHSTAN The Irish playwright Oscar Wilde (1854-1900) never visited Central Asia, but given how he revelled in the American Wild West, with all its raw edges, I suspect he would similarly have loved the “new frontier” atmosphere of the steppes of Kazakhstan. However, that was not why I was invited to Almaty and Taras, to talk about Oscar Wilde, but because of parallels I had drawn between his work and that of the Kyrgyz writer, Chinghiz Aitmatov (1928-2008). That might surprise some people, but let me explain. Both Wilde and Aitmatov were “outsider-insiders” – creative men who came from the periphery (Ireland and Kyrgyzstan, respectively) but who conquered the metropolis (London and Moscow) with the power and originality of their literary voice. This was despite the fact that some of the subject matter of their writing was subversive, even transgressive, in the historical context. In Wilde’s case, he provided in his social comedies a distorting mirror which parodied the pretentions and hypocrisy of English high society, much to their delight, until he was brought down and imprisoned for over-stepping the mark in his own private life. Chinghiz Aitmatov, the son of a man crushed and obliterated by the Stalinist Soviet system, nonetheless succeeded in challenging the literary orthodoxy of the time by championing the regional (now we would say “national”) characteristics of the Kyrgyz and Kazakh people and their culture and by focussing on individuals who absolutely did


not fit into the pattern of the Stakhanovite worker or the heroic fighter in the patriotic war against the Nazis. Many of Wilde’s and Aitmatov’s characters have glaring flaws, which is why we can empathize so readily with their human frailty. They behave not as they are expected to by the sometimes oppressive norms of the societies in which they live, but rather according to the dictates of their instincts and their hearts. Moreover, in contexts where patriarchy was dominant, the two writers’ women characters – from Wilde’s Mrs Cheveley to Aitmatov’s Jamila – act with a positively revolutionary awareness of their own inner strength and determination. It was inspiring to be able to discuss such themes when I accompanied Rahima Abduvalieva, Director of the Aitmatov Academy, to Kazakhstan to give lectures and master classes at the Al Farabi University in Almaty and Taras University in Taras. It was by no means my initial encounter with Kazakhstan – which I first visited in 1994, when conditions were difficult for many people in the early years of post-Soviet independence –and each time I return I see marked improvements and vaulting ambitions. There was an energy and enthusiasm among the students (both Kazakh and Russian speaking) too – a thirst to penetrate the unknown and to reconcile the excitement of discovering aspects of world culture while treasuring their own

Britain was still obscured under a cloud of disapproval following his trials and imprisonment. Much of Wilde’s work is available in Russian translation, but I am not aware of that being the case in Kazakh or other Central Asian languages.

local literary richness. Given that until recently so much of Central Asian culture was based on the oral tradition there is an awareness of the need to preserve and protect so much of the legacy of the past. Aitmatov himself understood that very well, and to a degree many of his short stories are a sort of bridge between traditional story-telling and printed books to be read. The two experiences are, of course, different: the first collective, the second individual. But there is no reason for them to be mutually exclusive. It was notable that the Russian-speaking students had a much greater background knowledge of Oscar Wilde than their Kazakh-speaking counterparts, but this is maybe not surprising.Wilde’s first, largely unsuccessful, play, pre-dating his four famous comedies, was Vera or, The Nihilists, a melodramatic tragedy loosely based on the life of Vera Zasulich, who shot and wounded the Governor of St. Petersburg, General Fyodor Trepov, but was acquitted in a sensational trial in 1878. However, even more important than that historic link was the fact that the Russians, following the lead of the Germans, in the early 20th century resuscitated interest in the later dramatic output of Oscar Wilde at a time when his posthumous reputation in

Rahima and I returned to London from Almaty just in time to take part in an hour-long BBC Kyrgyz Service TV programme celebrating the 90th anniversary of Aitmatov’s birth. I was able to talk about the main points of my thesis about the Wilde-Aitmatov similarities and I can’t help thinking that even if Wilde would not have understood a word of what was being said in the Kyrgyz language broadcast, he would have been delighted. For as he declared, on more than one occasion, “There is only one thing worse in life than being talked about and that is not being talked about!”

Text by Jonathan Fryer The British writer and broadcaster Jonathan Fryer is a regular TV pundit on the Islamic world for half a dozen Arab satellite channels, as well as teaching a Humanities course at SOAS (London University).






The map of Russian places in Great Britain, originally developed on the basis of the free Google Maps service in 2015 for the website of the Russian Embassy in London, has now become the most complete and clear illustration of the deep historical ties between Russia and the United Kingdom.At the time of launch, it included about 160 addresses, including “Names of streets and houses”, “Burials”, “Monuments”, “Memorial plaques and benches”, “Russian organizations”, “Russian Orthodox churches” and “Places with Russian history”. While compiling this map, a big question to deal with was the criteria for adding facilities. What personalities are worth mentioning on the map - only Russians who lived in the UK? Or also the British, who joined Russian culture and made great contributions to Russian studies (for example,William Morphill, the first professor of Russian language at Oxford University). And (currently absent on the map) immigrants from the Russian Empire who did not consider themselves Russians, but left a mark on British history (philosopher Isaiah Berlin or businessman Michael Marx for example)? From the very beginning, the map does not include commercial facilities, the so-called “Russian businesses” and the names of pubs, hotels, shops and so on associated with Russia - only official toponymy and places that have valid historical reasons are included. The plaques are marked not solely by established English Heritage, but also by local authorities and individuals, including inside the premises (London Remembers website, which contains the most comprehensive database of commemorative signs in the British capital, does not take this last category into account).



HISTORY Many places have a “Russian history” - uniform criteria of significance have yet to be worked out. It is obvious that the map should indicate buildings where prominent personalities lived and where important events occurred. But what about the locations that famous people visited only occasionally? In a number of cases, we marked such spots on the map, for example, Oxford University, in order to recall the great Russians who became honorary doctors there. “Political” matters are separated. So, near Holland Park in London there is a statue of Prince Vladimir with the inscription “Prince Volodymyr, ruler of Ukraine”, constructed by the local Ukrainian community to celebrate a millennium of the Baptism of Rus. Because of this wording, the monument to the all-Russian saint, apparently, should not be placed on the “Russian” map. And what about the monuments dedicated to the Crimean War – the only real war between Britain and Russia? They are connected with Russia, but glorify the British. An even more complicated case is the Russian captured guns included in some of these monuments. At the moment, only the “main” one, the London monument, is marked on the map in order to highlight this big topic and taking into account the fact that the British Minister of War immortalized on it was Sydney Herbert - the grandson of S.R. Vorontsov, the Russian ambassador and earl. New constructions appear on the map constantly - such as new articles about the history of the Russian presence in Britain and the targeted search for “Russian toponymy” appear. Unfortunately, however, a national register of “blue plaques” does not exist: there are separate “schemes” for counties and cities, but in addition to them, the plaques can be set by individual organizations and private individuals with the consent of the municipality. These plaques have different “weights”, but every point of the Russian presence on British soil is important. There are aggregators as openplaques.org 44 OCA MAGAZINE

and blueplaqueplaces.co.uk, but they are also incomplete, and the descriptions of the plaques are insufficient (sometimes only a number is given in the description, without further details). We urge you to take a closer look at the plaques and monuments established in your city, study the websites of organizations that constructed them (and write on specialized websites and organizations that study local history and Russian memorials that they didn’t take into account!). This will not only succour to broaden our horizons, but will also contribute to commemorating the memory of our compatriots in those places, where are memorial constructions cannot be found yet.

In “Belarusian Whales” - Anastasia Kuzmicheva stuffs her readers into the back pocket of cleverly stylish poetry. In this sense, her lyrical jeans take us step by step on a kinetic journey to discover “Self” and “Other”. For us poets, whether in remission or active, each versification will create delightful visceral reactions - pulling at those invisible fascia existing between the conscious and subconscious psyche. — Solvi Fannar, poet

ISBN: 978-1-910886-45-8 RRP: £14.95 HB AVAILABLE ON AMAZON






By profession, Ludmila Dubcovetcaia is a doctor working in the Department of Immunology of the Municipal Dermatovenerological Dispensary of Chisinau. However as a part time writer she strives to reach out and touch the hearts of others. If her poem or story stirs someone’s soul, then she is fulfilling her creative mission - which is exactly what one of her recent books did when it won “The Marziya Zakiryanova Award” at OEBF literary competition in 2018. OCA Magazine finds out more... OCA: How did you come to understand that I never look for inspiration, however, since inspiwriting is your true calling? ration always finds me, and most often unexpectedly. I can be at home having a cup of tea, on pubLudmila Dubcovetcaia: I always wrote from lic transport or sometimes even at work during the heart because I could not help but do so. I’ve a break. Most often inspiration strikes when I’m been writing since my early childhood. alone with my thoughts. There can be very long


periods of inner emptiness, however, some kind of spiritual pit where nothing can be pulled out of oneself, not even a line. I used to be afraid of this silence and sometimes even forced myself to sit down in front of my notebook, but nothing happened. Now, I wait, knowing, that sooner or later a source of inspiration will come. Sometimes, it can be unpredictably, in the form of music, random meeting or smiles which give me an unstoppable urge to create. Whether it be poems or prose, I simply have to write. OCA: What book or author influenced you the most? LD: It’s difficult to answer this question because each book leaves its mark, giving one a deeper understanding of oneself, a fuller sense of self-awareness. If I were to focus on one book, though, I would probably say The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, because in a simple statement great wisdom is laid bare.

OCA: Given the rapid development of technology, do you think books will be replaced in the future? LD: No modern special effects will ever replace the human imagination. Therefore, no matter how rapidly technology develops, books will always remain the major source of spiritual development. As for the e-book, I don’t see them being in opposition to the printed version as both fulfil the same criteria. A big plus of a printed book, though, is that you can have a special life and soul contact with it. Nothing can replace the rustle of pages, the very feeling of paper which is absent when reading an e-book. OCA: How do you usually spend your free time? LD: I try to devote all of my free time to my family, but as soon as there’s a moment for solitude, I spend it with a book. I have many friends who write and share their creativity and give recommendations. I try to read everything and then express my opinion on each work. At the moment, I have several unfinished projects and dozens of new ones which I will soon put down on paper.

Nowadays, it’s common and, dare I say, fashionable to name contemporary authors, but my favourite is Pushkin. His books express what is eternal. OCA: What would be your advice to new writThere is no topic that he didn’t touch upon, from ers? love, conscience and dignity to the fall of man. LD: To work, to write, to create, experiment, not OCA: What are the books that you think every- to be afraid to try different genres and directions, one should read and why? and never give up. And read, read, read! LD: My top six would be The Black Obelisk by Erich Maria Remarque, The Story of a Real Man by Boris Nikolayevich Polevoy, Buranny Polustanok by Chingiz Aitmatov, War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy, the Collected Works of Alexander Pushkin, and Young Guard by Alexander Fadeev. Each of these books covers the authors’ time, the interests and core values of people, and most importantly, what a person is capable of for the love of life and their homeland.

OCA: What can inspire young people to express their creativity today? LD: Nothing develops the imagination better than reading books.Therefore, I think reading is the best way to inspire creativity. One can also be driven by the examples and experiences of people who have already achieved success in their creative field. OCA: Are your characters derived from people you know or are they purely fictional? WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM


OEBF-2018 www.rus.eurasiancreativeguild.uk/), my children’s book, Poems about Boys hasbeen translated into English and will be published by the prestigious UK publishing house, Hertfordshire Press. OCA: Finally, which national dish should every tourist who comes to Moldova try? LD: The classic cuisine of Moldova: placinta, zama and mamaliga; and, of course, homemade Moldovan wine.

LD: They’re fictional characters, but they’re sometimes drawn from my friends and acquaintances in different ways. For some reason, it just so happened that the good characters are mainly fictional characters, but the evil, proud and envious ones are often prototypes of people I’ve encountered more than once in life. OCA: Would you like to make a film of one of your books? If so, which one and why? LD: Like any author I would imagine, I’d like it if my works were not only read, but also heard, and even better, seen. If I was offered the opportunity to make a film of one of my works, my choice would be the cycle of stories, Little Stories about Little People. OCA: How do you look upon the state of modern Moldavian literature today? LD: With optimism, as today literature in Moldova is in its prime. I can name many talented contemporary poets and writers who publish their books successfully. On a personal note, thanks to winning the international competition, Open Eurasia-2018 held by Eurasian Creative Guild (London) (http://


ISBN: 978-1-913356-03-3 RRP: £17.50 BOOK AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.CO.UK






principles that have made TED great with more than a billion viewers online are the inspired format, the breadth of content, as well as the commitment to seek out the most interesting people on earth and allow them to communicate their passion. TEDx events, in turn, follow the same format but are organised by communities, organisations and individuals to deliver TED-like experiences at the local level. Since the programme’s creation, more than 5000 TEDx events have spread throughout the world. The aim of TEDxLambeth, with that in mind, is to become a meaningful platform for inspiring change, and stimulating discussion. BeTo briefly contextualise,TED was born in 1984 out ing held under the theme of ‘Antinomies!’ — or of a fascinating convergence among three fields: opposites — TEDxLambeth’s stated mission is to technology, entertainment and design. Indeed, the showcase the very best, and most current ideas, TEDxLambeth officially debuted on Friday 11th October 2019 at the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) in London, UK, attracting 70 attendees from all over the globe including New York, Trondheim and Almaty. A year in the making, this gathering brought together 12 remarkable speakers and performers, not to mention 28 dedicated volunteers, and received rave reviews on social media (Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @tedxlambeth). Each talk, in TED tradition, was published on the official TEDx Youtube channel in late October.


generated in Lambeth and the UK, to a global and G. Oroschakoff, Reverend David William Parry, enlightened audience. Gerrie Skeens, Julia Munrow and Gabriele Pollina; each giving astonishing talks and performancAgainst this background, the three-hour-and-a-half es from finding one’s voice, what unites the 112 event explored three sub-themes, titled ‘Antino- gender identities, a brief history of soviet hippies, mies to surprise!’, ‘Antinomies for thought?’ and cultural astronomy, the extended mind, building ‘Antinomies in art ...’, each investigating a variety connections across economic and skills divides, of exciting and emotive topics. The occasion itself, roar of the menopause, conceptualist art, excerpts moreover, opened with Daniele-Hadi Irandoost, of a theatrical play on the suffragettes, and even Curator and Founder, setting the scene with Elec- handpan music. The show rounded off with everytric Avenue by Eddy Grant and a ribbon-cutting one, both participants and team members, clapceremony alongside James Roberts, a Paralympian ping along to the Lambeth Walk as they walked from Wales, UK. Speakers and performers, specifi- on stage. cally, included Jillian Haslam, Sölvi Fannar, Terje Toomistu, Professor Emeritus Michael York, Professor Andy Clark, Ben Brabyn, Katie Day, Haralampi WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM


BOOK REVIEW providing fascinating descriptions of their behaviours and characteristics, which are impossible to fit into 140 characters. The Earth is inhabited by some remarkable creatures, and this book will give you a glimpse of what this wonderful planet has to offer. Today, animals represent an extremely diverse group of organisms. They stride on land, soar through the skies, leap from tree to tree, burrow underground, and traverse the oceans. Evolution has found a way to fill almost every conceivable niche with some kind of animal; but tragically, the survival of many species is under threat. Everyone knows about the plight of the tiger, or the giant panda, but who knows about the endangered purple frog, or golden snub-nosed monkey? Who is aware that the saiga antelope is on the verge of extinction? This book sheds light upon the perils faced by unfamiliar and obscure creatures, so that we can protect them for future generations. There is beauty and wonder in every species, and this book will show you why.


A Book of Rather Strange Animals includes a range of photographs and illustrations, each animal presented with a page long entry with information on feeding habits, defense mechanisms, mating rituals, and most importantly for the environmentally conscious reader, information on the human impact on the species’ and what we can do to help. With proceeds of this book going towards the WWF charity, just by reading this book and educating yourself on these wonderful, lesser known animals, is supporting the conservation of our planet alone.

Within the text, you can resonate with Compton’s urgency and passion for these animals and their preserCaleb Compton has shared his expansive knowledge vation. With informative and descriptive content, howon the diversity of planet Earth and its inhabitants in his ever not too difficult to understand, makes this book perfect for all ages, whether you’re a student, budding latest book, A Book of Rather Strange Animals. naturalist or already an expert in the field of bioloA Book of Rather Strange Animals is based on the gy and conservation, there is something for everyone hugely popular twitter account: @StrangeAnimals, to take home. Caleb Compton has created a perfect which posts photos of fascinating, lesser-known spe- conversation starter with this book, opening our eyes cies. This account aims to highlight the wonders of to the marvels of our planet and why we should care evolution and the extraordinary diversity of life. It also about the effects of our actions and I can’t wait to read details the threats different species face, and the need more from this author. for their conservation.This book features one hundred Review by Alisha Billmen of the most bizarre creatures from @StrangeAnimals,


the countries of the former USSR. Tired of critical western commentary on this region, the author takes a fresh approach in her new book, My Cossack Family and Other Remarkable People in Russia and Ukraine. Part history, part memoir, part travelogue, she describes her visits to these countries since 1992. The people she speaks to – a village wisewoman, survivors of the siege of Leningrad, a Chernobyl worker, a celebrated faith healer, her husband’s family, among others – help her to understand that during the turbulent years of the twentieth century something miraculous took place. People found the spiritual means within themselves to transcend famine, terror, war and nuclear disaster. During the course of her research the author finds her own western-centric worldview changing; she argues that this part of the world has much to teach the West. This book explores the way individuals have sought the spiritual dimension and made it an intrinsic part of their lives:“Where there was theholodomor, there was my grandfather-in-law, Petro, who forgave everything. Where there was the gulag, there were people such as Julia de Beausobre who made it her personal calvary. And where there was the most terrible siege in human history, there were people who sang Ode to Joy to their Nazi besiegers.”

MY COSSACK FAMILY AND OTHER REMARKABLE PEOPLE IN RUSSIA AND UKRAINE BY CAROLINE WALTON “A wonderful combination of meticulous research and wide personal experience. Caroline Walton has met so many extraordinary people in Russia and Ukraine who have developed their cultures’ spirituality to survive the impossible.” Dr Mary Hobson, Pushkin Medal winner. What can the West learn from these countries? What is it that makes their people so remarkable? Since her teens, Caroline Walton has felt an attraction towards

My Cossack Family is recommended to both western readers who want to penetrate beneath the skin of these countries, as well as to readers from the former Soviet countries who are interested in an ‘outsider’s viewpoint. In the face of so much negative western commentary this book is a rare and positive contribution. Caroline Walton’s love for this part of the world began with her teenage reading of Tolstoy and Dostoevsky. She visited the Soviet Union twice before its collapse and in 1992 she went to live in Samara, Russia. Later she travelled to Moscow, St Petersburg, Kiev and the Crimea. She has written several books on Russia and the USSR (including The Besieged and Smashed in the USSR). She lives in London where she also works as a Russian to English literary translator and editor. Her translated and edited books include Man of the Mountains by Zaur Hasanov and The World Dissolves, like a Dream by Leyla Aliyeva for Hertfordshire Press. Caroline is married to a Ukrainian-Russian of Cossack descent.




THE RESULTS OF THE THIRD EURASIAN CULTURE WEEK IN LONDON -2019 From October 1st to 6th 2019, Great Britain, attracted artists, artisans, writers, filmmakers and art-lovers to its capital. Attendees enjoyed the creativity and culture of the Eurasian region through exhibitions, films, and creative meetings. Eurasian Culture Week was organised by the Eurasian Creative Guild (London), with the support of Premiere Cinemas Romford, The Mercury Shopping Centre, Rossotrudnichestvo London, The Center of Contemporary Art of Tajikistan, The British-Kazakh Society and Orzu Arts Theatre. On the first day the main event was a discussion dedicated to the 175th anniversary of Abai, the famous Kazakh writer and philosopher. The discussion was led by David William Parry, Daniele H. Irandoost, Jonathan Fryer, Gulsifat Shahidi, Nurym Taibek, Bakhtygul Makhanbetova and John Farndon. Members of the


Guild, Jonathan Campion, Gulzada Hamra and others also took an active part in this event. At the end of the roundtable, the official opening of the first exhibition of fine arts,‘Peaks of Asia’ took place. More than 50 works by artists from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Moldova and Russia were presented alongside replicas of the most famous works from the State Museum of Art named after I.V. Savitsky (Uzbekistan, Nukus). The second day saw an important presentation of a new book by Gulsifat Shahidi (Tajikistan) ‘True Paradise – Lost Paradise.’ A Q&A session was also held with writer, journalist and editor, Stephen M. Bland, who delivered a speech entitled ‘Dictators, Devastation and Dadaism: From Uzbekistan’s Desert of Forbidden Art to Armenia’s Forgotten People.’ Following this event, David Parry presented his newest work: ‘Mount Athos




Inside Me: Essays on Religion, Swedenborg and Arts.’ The closing of the second day of the Eurasian Creative Week was marked by a lecture by Jonathan Fryer in which the journalist and author compared the works of Kyrgyz writer Chingiz Aitmatov to those by the English writer, Oscar Wilde. October 3rd saw the premiere of the film ‘Oasis.’ Made by students from the American University of Central Asia (Kyrgyzstan), the London screening was presented by the University’s Professor, Lauren McConnell. The film revealed the history of Elm Grove, the largest park in Bishkek, which was founded in 1881 by the first Russian settlers. A poetic performance was also given by John Farndon - winner of the EBRD 2019 literary prize for his translation of a book by the Uzbek author, Hamid Ismailov, entitled ‘The Devil’s Dance.’ On October 4th, official participants of the Eurasian Culture Week were given the opportunity to become acquainted with the architecture, culture and history of Great Britain, visiting historical sites in and around London. Participants visited the British Library and the


house-cum-museum of the famous writer L. Ron Hubbarad on Fitzroy Street in London. In the evening, a panel discussion took place in Rossotrudnichestvo in Central London about the upcoming release of the book, ‘A Poetic Treasury from Belarus,’ dedicated to the English poetess and cultural historian, Vera Rich. David Parry, Daniele H. Irandoost, Alison Cameron and Kapil Gupta participated in the roundtable. The presentation of the ECG 2019 Book Series and works published by Hertfordshire Press was hosted by Angelina Krasnogir, wherein the audience were introduced to books such as ‘True Paradise - Lost Paradise’ by Gulsifat Shahidi,‘The Guardsmen og Hippocrates’ by Vladimir Tulinov, ‘The Kaganate’ by Kanybek Imanaliev, ‘Sof’iny Nebesa, Ili Volshebniy Dar Gnomov’ by Oksana Gordiyko and ‘I day mne Bog’ by Alfred Engalychev. The culmination of the fourth day was a gala concert and performance,‘Voices of Eurasia,’ which featured the musicians and writers, Zhanna Kemp, Daria Robertson,

Nadejda Nalivkina, John Farndon, Stephen Bland, Nuryn Taibek and Aiya Maxutova. On October 5th, the unique exhibition, ‘Peaks of Asia’ - which was visited by a record number of spectators and art lovers - continued in Romford. The works of art presented introduced visitors and residents to different styles of painting by talented artists of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Russia, revealing the picturesque beauty of Eurasia. The final day of the Eurasian Culture Week (6th October) began with the presentation of Caroline Walton’s book, ‘My Cossack Family.’ Following this, a presentation was given by Nurym Taibek (Eurasian Creative Guild member) of his book, ‘Love for all, hatred of no one.’ In the early evening, participants and guests were able to enjoy a theatrical performance by Orzu Arts Theatre. Finally, a traditional gala dinner and a certificate awards ceremony was held for all of the official participants in the Culture Week. The Eurasian Cultural Week was a highlight of creative life in London and the first event of this magnitude and type to be held in Romford. It is one of the few such events in the UK to bring together creative people from around the world – artists, artisans, writers and filmmakers among them. During the week, a total of fifteen events were held at various venues which won the hearts of Londoners. The events were attended by dozens of representatives from the creative industries of Great Britain, journalists and representatives of the embassies of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan and Belarus in London.






From 13th to 17th November, the eighth Open Eurasian Literary Festival and Book Forum (OEBF 2019) was held in Brussels (Belgium). Open Eurasia is an international initiative that for the eighth year brings together creative people from all over the world - writers, poets, translators, artists and other talented people. This year, festival guests represented more than 25 countries.

for writers and artists by experts in the fields of literature, publishing and communication.

On 13th of November, an exhibition of ECG London artists was held at the Brussels Expo and the R. Hubbard Museum. The works of the following artists were successfully presented at the exhibition: Olesya Shibaeva (Moldova), Gulzada Hamra (Kyrgyzstan), Emil GuOrganised by the Eurasian Creative Guild (London) zairov (Russia), Ravil Abdulov(Kazakhstan) Akhmetzhan and the British publishing house Hertfordshire Press, Akhatbakiev (Kazakhstan) and “Peaks of Asia” (Almathe Festival teamed up with AidEx - to create an exhi- gul Yesimova, AbayChunchalinov, Elena Fursa, Bakytnur bition on a mutual platform to bring attention to hu- Burdesbekov, Asia Bekisheva, Adilgali Bayandin, Smakovmanitarian issues currently affecting most post-soviet aBibigul from Kazakhstan and Laura Pak from Kyrgyzcountries. stan). The Open Eurasian Literature Festival & Book Forum (OEBF) is the only annual literary festival in the world to promote Eurasian literature internationally. As a cultural bridge between East and West, this unique event provides an opportunity for authors and artists to talk about their work, share experiences and find like-minded people from different countries with whom to implement joint projects.

This year, the opening ceremony of the festival was dedicated to the 175th anniversary of Abay and was held on November 14th at the Brussels Expocenter, where the following speakers made a welcoming speech and shared their thoughts on the contribution of Abay Kunanbayev’s work to world literature: Johnathan Fryer (British historian, researcher), Marat Akhmedjanov (vice-president of ECG London) and Begizhan Akhmedov (writer from Kyrgyzstan), who solemnly presentThe program for the OEBF Festival 2019 in Brussels ed Marat Akhmedjanov with the Order of Honor and was intensive, and consisted of many different events, Courage Fund (Russia) and presented his book “The including book presentations, exhibitions and seminars Wanderer”.


Honorary guests spoke at the opening ceremony: Ambassador of Tajikistan Erkinkhon Rahmatullozoda, Ambassador of Kyrgyzstan Mukhtar Dzhumaliev and Counselor-Envoy of the Embassy of Kazakhstan - Erbolat Sembaev. On behalf of the organizer of the exhibition AIDEX, Peter Lindsay gave a speech and he also conducted a sightseeing tour of AIDEX. On the same day, there was a panel discussion dedicated to the work of the great writer Chingiz Aitmatov and the influence of Abay’s heritage on world literature. The report “Oscar Wilde in Central Asia - drawing a parallel between the work of Wilde and Kyrgyz writer Chingiz Aitmatov (1928-2008)” was made by the British researcher Jonathan Fryer.The panel discussion participants included: a literary agent - Bakhtygul Makhanbetova, a scientist - Dandai Yskakuly, and a translator - Nurym Taibek from Kazakhstan. On November 15th, the presentation of the third “ECG-2019 Book Series” was held by Angelina Krasnogir, manager of the Hertfordshire Press publishing house. The following books published in London were presented at the presentation: Vladimir Tulinov, “Guardsmen of Hippocrates” (Belarus), Kanybek Imanaliev, “Kaganat” (Kyrgyzstan), Alfred Engalychev, “And God Give Me ...” (Kyrgyzstan) and the collection “Thread” -3 ”, which was presented by one of the authors of the collection – Aya Maksutova (Kazakhstan).



ECG One of the most striking events of the festival was the presentation of books by the winners of the Open Eurasia 2018 competition published through grants awarded to the winners: “Lost Paradise - Real Paradise”, Gulsifat Shahidi (Tajikistan) with Stephen Bland (Great Britain) - BEST TRANSLATION 2018 “Sofya’s heaven or the magic gift of the dwarves” Oksana Gordiyko (Poland-Ukraine) - NEMAT KELIMBETOV PRIZE 2018 “Leia the Little Mouse” Arina Chunaeva (Russia) with Stephen Bland and Mariola Fedarchuk (Great Britain) - MARIA SHEVEL PRIZE 2018 “Rhymes about boys” Ludmila Dubcovetcaia (Moldova) with John Farndon and Stephen Bland (Great Britain) - MARZIA ZAKIRYANOVA PRIZE 2018 Presentations of the following speakers took place on the same day: Alan Flowers (Great Britain), who presented a book dedicated to Belarusian classics - “Celebration of Vera Rich’s life and work”. The presentation was attended by a representative of the Embassy of the Republic of Belarus - Julia Lyashuk. Poetess Josephine (Berkinaliev Sagynbubu) from Kyrgyzstan, presenting her book “Girl dancing in the sky” Jonathan Farndon (UK) Nurym Taybek (Great Britain) editor of “Russian Service”, “The Muslim community of Ahmadis around the world” with lectures on the topic: The Rational Religion Initiative to unite humanity into one family in order to save it from war and self-destruction


On November 16th, the official part of the festival took place! A literary marathon “Voices of Eurasia” lasted more than 6 hours, during which 50 finalists of the competition and guests of “Open Eurasia-2019” presented their entries. On the same day, the annual meeting of the Council of the Eurasian Creative Guild (London) took place. As a result of the vote, a new chairman of the Guild, John Farndon (Great Britain), was elected. The new composition of the Advisory Board and the composition of the new Council of the Guild Guardians were approved. (lists in the appendix) The literary part of the festival was completed by the following book presentations and workshops: “Keanu Reeves: unfinished portrait. Part 1”. Author: Evgenia Sihimbaeva (Kazakhstan) Stephen M. Bland. Prize laureate, author and journalist Stephen M. Bland delivered a speech entitled “Dictators, Desolation and Dadaism: From the Uzbek Desert of Forbidden Art to the Forgotten Peoples of Armenia” “The Silk Road Revisited”, a new photography and history book was presented by Nick Rowan, editor-in-chief of OCA magazine (London). Visual master class by Emil Guzairov - writer, architect, designer from Russia. The workshop “Unusual books, beech art and book architecture” taught attendees how to interest the public in an unusual presentation of the book. Master class from Elena Bezrukova (Kazakhstan) on the topic: “Communication training for creative people.” The purpose of the workshop was to identify resources for the presentation of their creative abilities to the world.

In the evening, the main event of the festival was a gala dinner and an award ceremony for the winners of the Open Eurasia 2019 contest. The ceremony began with the presentation of a painting by Kazakh artist Bibigul Smakova as a gift to the R. Hubbard Museum in Brussels.

The total prize pool in 2019 was $ 31,000. The main prizes of the competition are grants that will be used to publish the book of winners in London or to pay for trips to the OEBF 2020 festival. In 2019, more than 1200 applications from over 30 countries of the world were submitted to the competition.

PROSE CATEGORY: 1st place: Ion Zhani (Russia) - $ 5000 grant from Hertfordshire Press 2nd place: Aydin Shem (Russia) 3rd place: Alexander Chigolsky (Belarus) and Temirbek Dzholdobaev (Kyrgyzstan) At the award ceremony, it was announced that the medal of Henryk Sienkiewicz was awarded to the winner of the Open Eurasia 2017 contest - Sultan Raev (Kyrgyzstan). CATEGORY SMALL PROSE: 1st place: Torgyn Zholdasbekgizy (Kazakhstan) grant $ 1000 from Hertfordshire Press 2nd place: Klara Kabylgazina (Kazakhstan) 3rd place: Kenja Navoi (Uzbekistan) and Marina Markina(Russia) CATEGORY OF POETRY: 1st place: Ekaterina Khlebnikova (Russia) award “Song of the Moth” from the studio of Ermek Amanshaev ($ 2000) 1st place: Josephine (Berkinalieva Sagynbubu) - Kyrgyzstan, prize / medal “Lira” ($ 1000) 2nd place: Banu Esengeldi (Germany / Kazakhstan) 3rd place: Valery Terkin (Russia) and Svetlana Razmyslovich(Russia) CATEGORY PUBLICITY: 1st place: Cordelia Buchanan Poncek (Poland) Lev Gumilyov Prize from OCA Magazine ($ 3000) 2nd place: Katerina Gladkaya (Ukraine) 3rd place: Sofia Timurovna (Slovakia) and Akylbek Dzhumanaliev (Kyrgyzstan) A special prize for best literary criticism was awarded to Gulsifat Shahidi (Tajikistan).




CATEGORY BEST CHILDREN’S WORKS: 1st place: Hope Silver (USA) Maria Shevel Prize ($ 5000) 2nd place: Mikhail Kunitsky (Belarus) 3rd place: Dina Oraz (Kazakhstan) and Zaure Turekhanova(Kazakhstan) CATEGORY BEST WOMEN’S AUTHOR: 1st place: Zhanna Golubitskaya (Russia) Marzia Zakiriyanova Prize ($ 5000) 2nd place: Aldona Groupas (Great Britain / Lithuania) 3rd place: Dilorom Nishanova (Uzbekistan / USA) CATEGORY VIDEO: 1st place: not awarded (Nemat Kelimbetov Prize) 2nd place: Platinum (Russia) 3rd place: Helen Rush (Great Britain / Latvia) and Andrey Yesaulov (Russia) TRANSFER CATEGORY: 1st place: Simon Hollinshire (Great Britain) Irina Bustard Prize ($ 1000) 1st place: Maria Kevaeva (Russia), “BelRos” prize from Oleg Nesterkov ($ 1000) 2nd place: Luche (Israel) 3rd place: Olga Marusina (Belgium) and Alena Filippova(Russia) CATEGORY ILLUSTRATION: 1st place: Abishev Nurlan (Kazakhstan) Live Line Prize from Adam Kapanov ($ 2000) 2nd place: Igor Barbov (Russia) and Alexander Batykov(Uzbekistan) 3rd place: Aliya Temuriyzoda (Uzbekistan)




THE PRIZE OF GENERALS from the International Association of Peace Generals for Peace, the highest award of the Association - the dove of peace medal for the best work on topics of strengthening, peace, friendship and mutual understanding between peoples was received by: Lenar Shaekhov (Tatarstan / Russia)

1. Sultan Raev (Kyrgyzstan) * 2. Elena Bezrukova (Kazakhstan) - speaker 3. Ermek Amanshaev (Kazakhstan) * 4. Gulsifat Shahidi (Tajikistan) - speaker 5. Kairat Zakiryanov (Kazakhstan) * 6. Anastasia Kuzmicheva (Belarus) 7. Sergey Molokhovsky (Belarus) 8. Mark (Marat) Ahmedjanov (Great Britain - Uzbekistan) – organizer 9. Adam Kapanov (Kazakhstan) * 10. Narkabilov, Narkuchkar (Uzbekistan) * 11. Zhukova Oksana (Crimea) 12. Lenar Shaeh (Russia) - official participant 13. Stephen M. Bland (UK) - Speaker 14. Marina Markina (Russia) - viewer 15. Zhanna Shvydkaya (Russia) - viewer 16. Elena Aslanyan (Armenia) - viewer 17. Gayane Aslanyan (Armenia) - viewer 18. Olga Marusina (Belgium) - viewer 19. Arina Chunaeva (Russia) - speaker 20. Mikhail Chunaev (Russia) - viewer 21. Bakhtygul Makhanbetova (Kazakhstan) - viewer 22. Andrey Zapsha (Moldova) - official member 23. Tatyana Rasskazova (Russia) - viewer 24. Dubkovetskaya Ludmila (Moldova) - speaker 25. Kurochkin Alexander (Moldova) - official participant 26. Kabylgazina Klara (Kazakhstan) - official participant 27. Iskakuly Dandai (Kazakhstan) - official member 28. Karimov Gumer (Russia) - official participant 29.Yurchova Timea (Slovakia) - official participant 30. Guzairov Emil (Russia) - exhibition 31. Abdulov Ravil (Kazakhstan) - exhibition 32. Abdulatova Bibinura (Kazakhstan) - guest 33. Akhatbakiev Akhmetzhan (Kazakhstan) - exhibition 34. Mambetsadykova Gulnar (Kyrgyzstan) - viewer 35. Gordijko Oksana (Poland) - speaker 36.Taybek Nurym (Kazakhstan-Great Britain) - speaker 37. Lana Timofeeva (Belarus) - official participant 38. Aldona Grupas (Lithuania-UK) - official participant 39. Anna Schneider (Russia) - official participant 40. Mikhail Kunitsky (Belarus) - official participant 41. Ekaterina Khlebnikova (Russia) - official participant 42. Nishanova Dilorom (USA -Uzbekistan) - Official Member 43. Razmyslovich Svetlana (Russia) - official member 44. Helen Koro (Russia) - official participant 45. Maksutova Aya (Kazakhstan) - official participant

CERTIFICATES “GENERALS OF THE WORLD FOR PEACE” were issued to the following laureates: Ksenia Kirillova (USA) Alexandra Taan (Russia) Dandai Yskakuli (Kazakhstan) Bayangali Alimzhanov (Kazakhstan) Elena Aslanyan (Armenia) Lyudmila Blokhina (Russia) Mikhail Ananov (Georgia) Dana Zheteeva (Kazakhstan) Ahmet Ahat (Kazakhstan) Yufim Sanya (Russia) CERTIFICATES OF APPRECIATION were awarded to the following participants: Ivan Arjona Pelado (Spain / Belgium) Ayia Maksutova (Kazakhstan) Oksana Zhukova (Crimea) Elena Bezrukova (Kazakhstan) Nick Rowan (UK) John Farndon (UK) Stephen M. Bland (UK)



ECG 46. Dana Zheteeva (Kazakhstan) - official participant 47. Oganjanyan Gagik (Russia) - official participant 48. Murat Uali (Kazakhstan) - official member 49. Zhanat Akhmetova (Kazakhstan) - press 50. Zhomart Akhmetov (Kazakhstan) - press 51. Banu Toleukhanova (Kazakhstan) - official participant 52. Mahabat Alishova (Kyrgyzstan) - viewer 53. Begizhan Akhmedov (Kyrgyzstan) - viewer 54. Temirbek Dzholdobaev (Kyrgyzstan) - viewer 55. Ekaterina Pivnik (Russia) - official participant 56. Evgeny Pivnik (Russia) - viewer 57. Lyudmila Kulikova (Moldova) - viewer 58. Elena Leschu (Moldova) - viewer 59. Bektenova Bubuira (Kyrgyzstan) - viewer 60. Nargisa Karasartova (Kyrgyzstan) - viewer 61. Dulaeva Olga (Russia) - viewer 62. Oleg Kunitsky (Belarus) - viewer 63. Elena Smirnova (Russia) - viewer 64. Natalya Rusak (Belarus) - viewer 65. Oleg Nesterkov (Belarus) * 66. Hollingsworth Simon (UK) - Official Member 67. Almagul Yesimova (Kazakhstan) * -exhibition 68. Abay Chunchalinov (Kazakhstan) * exhibition 69. Elena Fursa (Kazakhstan) * - exhibition 70. Bakytnur Burdesbekov (Kazakhstan) * - exhibition 71. Asia Bekisheva (Kazakhstan) * - exhibition 72. Laura Pak (Kyrgyzstan) * - exhibition 73. Adilgali Bayandin (Kazakhstan) * - exhibition 74. Smakova Bibigul (Kazakhstan) * - exhibition 75.Victoria Malyushitskaya (Belarus) - organizer 76. Evgenia Sikhimbaeva (Kazakhstan) - speaker 77. Josephine (Berkinalieva Sagynbubu, Kyrgyzstan) speaker 78. Kanybek Imanaliev (Kyrgyzstan) * 79. Alan Flowers (UK) - Speaker 80. Angelina Krasnogir (Belarus) - organizer 81. Blokhina Lyudmila (Russia) * participant 82. Kenjaeva Zulkhumar (Uzbekistan) * participant 83. Golubitskaya Jamilya (Russia) * participant 84. Kaminska Natalya (Ukraine) - official participant 85. Alina Moseykina (Russia) * participant 86. Ksenia Kirillova (Russia) * participant 87. Grinkevich Nadzeya (Belarus) * participant 88. Nina Yagolnitser (Israel) * participant 89. Terkin Valery (Russia) * participant 90. Irina Egorova (Russia) * participant 91. Parfenov Yuri (Russia) * participant 92. Sakalu Alexander (Belarus) - official participant


93. Olga Sianyuk (Belarus) - viewer 94.Yulia Olshevskaya (Russia) * participant 95. Poncek Cordelia (Poland-USA) - viewer 96. Laura Berdkkhozhaeva (Kazakhstan) - viewer 97. Ilham Rakhimov (Azerbaijan) - official participant 98. Antonina Karimova (Russia) - viewer 99. Maria Mantorova - viewer 100. Alexander Pavlenko - viewer 101. Elena Rashevskaya (Latvia) - viewer 102. Alexandra Taan (Russia) - official participant 103. Timea Jurchova (Slovakia) - official participant 104.Yuri Porfinov (Russia) * - participant 105. Tatyana Truneva (Canada) * - participant 106. Torgyn Kalelova (Kazakhstan) * - participant 107.Yulia Bondarenko (Ukraine) * - participant 108. Mikhail Ananov (Georgia) * - participant 109. Olga Bagriy * (Ukraine) 110. Alexandra Balzhak * (Belarus) 111.Vladislav Ermachenko * (Russia) 112. Natalya Korshun * (Russia) 113.Victoria Levina * (Israel) 114. Kuchkar Narkabil * (Uzbekistan) 115. Joanna Reeves * (Belarus) 116. Luca Sibir * (Russia) 117. Ahmad Hoji Horazmiy * (Great Britain) 118. Natalya Kaminska (Ukraine) - official participant 119. Nick Rowan (U.K) - speaker




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.




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

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

CRANES IN SPRING by Tolibshohi Davlat (2015)


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


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


ISBN: 978-1-910886-22-9

STOCKHOLM SYNDROME S.S. NAZAROVA (2017) 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





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


ISBN: 978-1-910886-11-3

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





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) ‘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





“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


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

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

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

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

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.

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.”


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

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


hbourhood Sisters proendeavours to adjust to in the 1990s.

My Neighbourhood Sisters


and trans-







01/01/2017 23:25:28

‘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.




ISBN: 978-1-910886-77-9

RRP: £5.93


TRAGEDY OF BASTARD by Saule Doszhan, 2018 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. COMING SOON

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

RECYCLED by Anna Komar 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





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

shahsanem murray

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

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

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

kairat zakyryanov

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


Burkitbayeva - Nukenova



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

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

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


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

e local myths and ay, this is both an of the world that of years but is on e.

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. PAPERBACK RRP: £12.50

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

RRP: £14.50


A Silk roAd Journey

Friendly SteppeS:

in 2006 during his eloped an insatiable An Oxford University stry in London, Nick ing Central Asia and travelled to all the is Editor-in-Chief of vides expert opinion t at home with his w lives, his favourite ains of Central Asia laughing and joking ghman accompanied



ordinary adventure d’s most incredible ll recovering from misunderstood Iran; et domination; and tertwined with the recounts not only e route has had on



Friendly SteppeS: A Silk roAd Journey 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) 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





LIFE OVER PAIN AND DESPERATION by Marziya Zakiryanova (2014) 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. HARD BACK ISBN: 978-0-99278733-2 RRP: £14.95 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. 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

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!



RUSSIAN ISBN: 9781910886397



AYSU AND THE MAGIC BAG by Maide Akan (2016)

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

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


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) 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





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

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

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


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

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


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


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



CAMBRIDGE INTERNATIONAL PRESS 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 THE MODERNIZATION OF FOREIGN LANGUAGE EDUCATION: THE LINGUOCULTURAL - COMMUNICATIVE APPROACH by SalimaKunanbayeva (2013) 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. PAPERBACK

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

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






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


ISBN: ISBN: 978 – 0993044434

AZERBAIJAN:BRIDGE BETWEEN EAST AND WEST by Yury Sigov, 2015 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. HARD BACK ISBN: 978-0-9930444-9-6 RRP: £24.50 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.



ISBN: 978-1910886663

RRP: £19.95

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




GOETHE AND ABAI by Herold Belger (2016) 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


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) 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: 978-1910886076 RRP: £24.95

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. HARDBACK


ISBN: 978-1910886878


PEACEMAKER THE SYRIAN CONUNDRUM by Nurlan Onzhanov (2017) 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. LANGUAGES ENG HARDBACK ISBN: 978-1-910886-52-6 RRP: £24.95






LAND OF FORTY TRIBES by Farideh Heyat, 2015 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

BIRDS OF UZBEKSITAN by Nedosekov (2012) 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

ncil of Kazakh Ablai World Languages





nt of Turan University


RRP: £19.95

Kunanbayeva S.S.



Kunanbayeva S.S.

s of modern higher tan. On the basis of dels of innovatively ucation, a system of eign language higher ologically grounded rnization of higher nts ofconceptuallyuage education: the rofessional training innovative versions ng technologies for ormation.


HARDBACK ISBN: 978-0-955754913


RRP: £25.00

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

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





































3 ISSUES PER YEAR Please send form with cheque payable to: Silk Road Media, Suite 125, 43 Bedford street, London WC2E 9HA. UK To pay by PayPal write to: manager@discovery-bookshop.com or visit www.ocamagazine.com

Name Surname Company Address

Number of Copies Cost of Subscription

Country Phone E-mail

Total Signature Date

£45 (worldwide delivery) £30 (delivery in UK mainland) £35 (delivery in EU countries)

Silk Road media and partners have offers and information that we may send you by email or post. We don’t want you to miss out, but if you would prefer not to hear from us please tick there





24-30 MAY, 2020 LONDON

OPEN FOR ENTRIES For detailed information, please contact the following email: angelina@ocamagazine.com


Millions discover their favorite reads on issuu every month.

Give your content the digital home it deserves. Get it to any device in seconds.