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ISSN 2053-1036 RRP: £20.00 / $25.00 WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM ESTABLISHED 2009




The Silk Road Revisited is a new book that captures the marvel of the Silk Road as we know it today. Exquisite photography captures the people, places, traditions and aspirations of the modern Silk Road. A sympathetically written text interweaves the history and legends of this remarkable, and often forgotten, part of our world history. This book celebrates and cherishes a part of the world that once held more power thorough trade than any single empire could hope and which once again, Phoenix-like, is rising from the ashes with a reborn flourish. Take a trip along this remarkable route as it runs from Venice, through the Mediterranean, across Turkey and Iran, through the Caucasus and Caspian Sea, onwards via Central Asia and finally to China. AVAILABLE ON AMAZON.CO.UK WWW.DISCOVERY-BOOKSHOP.COM RRP: ÂŁ34.99 ISBN: 978-1-913356-07-1




Cover: Yespolov Tlektes, see p.6







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

FROM THE EDITOR spent more than a year in jail following a fierce stand off between him and successor Jeenbekov – the current round of protests appear to have freed him. Only interim president Rosa Otunbayeva appears to have escaped an all too familiar fate for the leadership of the country. Kyrgyzstan has dramatically improved its voting procedures over the past decade in a move that none of the surrounding countries have followed – there is not yet much real political competition in Kyrgyzstan’s neighbours. To that extent Kyrgyzstan has been leading the way in bringing in the democratic way of life for its citizens, led by its people’s determined contributions. One must hope that the struggle of its people for the freedoms, rights and aspirations to live in such a democracy will not be in vain.

Dear Reader, It seems as though Eurasia is taking a fair share of airtime in a world that has plenty of things to talk about. Away from COVID-19, The US Election, Brexit and Chinese trade wars, there has been plenty of tension boiling over in the region. The tensions around Nagorno-Karabakh, Belarus’ protests and the unrest following the Kyrgyz elections provide quite some concern that the region is increasingly becoming unstable and quickly prepared to descend into civil or international war to resolve differences. Preserving the status quo in Eurasia remains one of Russia’s top foreign policy priorities. While some of the issues may relate to underlying anti-Russian sentiment, most of the actors retain strong ties to the Kremlin and are often dependent on Russia’s loans and support. Furthermore, the countries remain strong trading partners with Russia and there doesn’t seem to be enough anti-Russian feeling (yet) to threaten the influence that the Kremlin has on the region. That Kyrgyzstan, Central Asia’s only democratic country, remains mired in political turmoil following allegations of widespread voting violations, is a worry though. Leadership competitions are not new in country, and the nation’s first two presidents post-independence in 1991, were forced to flee the country over public protests around vote fraud and corruption. Akayev, who served from 1991 to 2005 is holed up in Moscow while Bakiyev ended up in Minsk. Atambayev

Meanwhile in Belarus, the news of rigged elections will have surprised few. The response though of violent protests did raise a few eyebrows. Demonstrators filled the streets in numbers that until recently would have been unimaginable, while President Lukashenko showed no sign of stepping down, arming himself to the teeth in a bid to show confidence but which portrayed more a lack of it. His moves remain unpredictable, with the latest ploy to put forward a puppet opposition for “negotiations” by visiting jailed members of the political opposition for discussions. This move was latched onto by Western media as the first signs of an olive branch – it isn’t. Finally, Nagorno-Karabakh. This shockingly sad flare up of relations after relative quiet adds further fuel to the fire of events in the region. Worse, it now threatens a humanitarian disaster. There are fresh attacks, impacting more than just the soldiers, but destroying homes and lives and defying hopes of ending the immediate conflict in the enclave. The hopes of a Russian-brokered ceasefire have started to materialize as I write this but the escalation has so far killed more than 700 people, including 80 civilians. It feels as though the whole region is back to being on a knife edge – one sincerely hopes that these localised flare ups do not turn into something bigger or more destructive that could set back the progress of the last three decades of progress since independence. All this at a time when economies are likely to be shattered from the fallout of the Coronavirus pandemic. Stay safe.


Nick Rowan Editor-in-Chief WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM






Yespolov Tlektes is the Vice President and Academic at the National Academy of Sciences in the Republic of Kazakhstan. He is also the Chairman of the Board-Rector of the Kazakh National Agrarian Research University. He is also an academic of the Russian Agricultural Academy, the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine. His scientific work has been recognised throughout the world with honorary professorships at no less than 14 leading agricultural universities in South Korea, China, Hungary, Russia, Lithuania, Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Armenia, and others. He is a Laureate of the State Prize of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the field of science and technology named after al-Farabi and was awarded with national awards, including the orders of “Parasat” and “Barys II degree”. OCA Magazine managed to grab a few precious moments with this highly decorated academic.

OCA: Please tell us a little bit about your background and how you came to your honorary position of rector at the University? Yespolov Tlektes: I am a mechanical engineer in agricultural production. I graduated from postgraduate study at the AN Kostyakov All-Union Scientific Research Institute of Hydraulic Engineering and Land Reclamation in Moscow. My teachers were the great scientists, D.L. Melamut and L.I. Badaev. I performed my candidate of science thesis under the guidance of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Honored Meliorator of the RSFSR B.M. Kizyaev and Honored Scientist of the Kazakh SSR, Professor L.Y. Tazhibaev. These people played a great role in the formation and development of me as a scientist and future leader. All my life I have been dealing with the problems of natural resources management, in particular, water and land resources in Kazakhstan. After graduating from graduate school, I returned to the Kazakh Agricultural Institute, where I worked as the head of the branch research and production laboratory, senior lecturer, assistant professor of the Department of Hydraulics and Agricultural Water Supply. Then I headed the Almaty Industrial Academy for several years. And in 2001, by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, I was appointed rector of the Kazakh National Agrarian University, where I still work. OCA: What is the most difficult part of your job and how do you cope with it? YT: Working as a first manager, I came to the conclusion that the most difficult thing is to make the right

management decisions. Life experience, of course, teaches, and over time it becomes easier to make decisions, but it does not give any guarantee that all decisions, without exception, will be correct and effective. I am constantly working on my own mistakes. In the work of the university, we carry out diagnostics in all areas of its activities. An effective model of corporate governance has been introduced: people - processes - technologies. Together with 15 foreign experts from GPI-groups, teachers were certified according to a new talent management methodology. OCA: How has COVID 19 affected the structure of life at the university? YT: The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world forever and posed a major challenge to education systems in all countries. Kazakh education was also forced to adapt to new realities. The crisis forced us to find quick solutions. In Kazakhstan, from March 16, all universities simultaneously switched to distance learning. In the context of distance learning, the university has completely restructured educational, scientific and socio-educational work with young people. Innovative approaches have been applied to the implementation of academic policy, online seminars for teaching staff on the use of DOT have been organized, the work of the situational centre for the exchange of best practices has been strengthened, regular webinars are held, as well as online consulting for rural entrepreneurs in Kazakhstan. Since March this year University scientists conducted more than 60 online consultations for farmers, which were used by more than thirty thousand people.



COVER STORY The University has opened an International Research Centre for Vaccination. The centre, together with the National Scientific Centre for Especially Dangerous Infections named after M. Aikimbayev of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan, with the support of foreign partners - Ohio State University (USA) and biotechnology company Vaxine Pty Ltd (Australia), has developed a safe nanovaccine against coronavirus, which is included in the list of vaccine candidates of the World Health Organization. OCA: With which international universities does your institution work closely at the moment? YT: The university cooperates with 137 leading universities and scientific centres of the world, is a member of 16 international associations and organizations for higher education and science, including the Global Consortium of Agricultural Universities of the World (GCHERA). I am the chairman of the Council of Rectors of the leading agricultural universities in the CIS. In its innovative development, the university is guided by the experience of the Wageningen Research University (WUR, Netherlands), which is the number 1 university in the QS world ranking for agricultural specialties. An agreement was signed with WUR on joint training in two KazNARU educational programs “Veterinary and food safety and technology” and “Plant science and technology”. Last year, in a pilot mode, KazNAU students were trained in the discipline “Food Chemistry” online. The students received a certificate from the Wageningen University. The same training will be conducted in four more disciplines. The introduction of such programs will raise the quality of education in KazNAU to the world level and broadcast the experience gained to the country’s universities. The university implements 11 double degree programs with leading partner universities from the USA, Europe, and the countries of the Pacific region. OCA: What is the main scientific work at the university and what made it possible to increase the level of scientific research? YT: The university has a developed scientific and educational infrastructure. There is an Agrotechnological Hub, whose mission is to search, attract and transfer



the best innovative technologies and new knowledge in the agro-industrial complex. About 100 research, implementation and international projects are carried out in Agrohub.The Agrohub includes: 7 research institutes, 8 innovation centres, 31 research laboratories, which are accredited by international agencies. An Agrotechnological Park has been created in the educational and experimental farm, where more than 100 varieties of 36 agricultural crops are studied. Scientists have developed 4 unique varieties of tomato, potato, pepper, and salad. A project to build a “smart� greenhouse is being implemented at the Kazakh-Korean Research Centre. A demonstration Smart farm is being created. With the support of ADB, a joint project is being carried out with the USDA and the University of Michigan on the assessment of pasture areas in the Akmola region. Microclonal reproduction laboratories, a reference laboratory for milk and dairy products have been created. At the end of 2019, scientists published more than 800 articles, of which 26% are included in the databases of Thomson Reuters and Scopus. The University became the Science Leader in terms of Web of Science publication activity. The annual International Agrotechnological Summit has become a permanent dialogue platform for scientists, rural entrepreneurs, state and local executive bodies. In December 2019, 250 prominent scientists and experts from 30 countries of the world took part in this event. OCA: We know that this year the Kazakh National Agrarian Research University celebrates its 90th anniversary. What developments did the university go through to achieve the best ranking among research universities? YT: KazNAU was established in 1996 by the merger of two older universities - the Almaty Zooveterinary (established in 1929) and the Kazakh Agricultural (created in 1930) institutes. In 2001, by the decree of the President of the country, the university was given a special status. This year KazNAIU celebrates its 90th anniversary.

tional standards of project management with the support of 13 experts from the best foreign research centres and universities. In 2015, KazNAU was transformed into a new organisational and legal form of a non-profit joint stock company (NAO) and transferred from the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Education and Science to the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) of the Republic of Kazakhstan. It became a part of the newly created National Agrarian Research and Education Centre, which united 3 agricultural universities, 23 research institutes (SRI), experimental stations and farms.This made it possible for the university to gain academic freedom, to move to autonomy, and to implement the principles of self-financing, using the mechanisms of public-private partnership. As a result of systematic work, the university occupies a respectable place in 9 international and national ratings. In 2018 and 2019, the university was ranked 651 in the QS World’s Best Universities Ranking. Over the past year, the university has made a big leap and moved up 60 positions, taking 591 places. The goal is to be a world-class university with a QS-400 rating by 2024. As a result of systematic work on transformation in 2020, by the decree of the Government, the university was awarded the status of a national research university. The research university is responsible for the development of science, therefore, the training of specialists through science and science-intensive production is strengthened.

In 2020, by a government decree, the university received the status of a national research university. This was the result of many years of systematic work. Since 2010, KazNAU began the process of transformation into a national research university based on interna-




SARDOBINSKY DAM BREACH – A LOUD WAKE-UP CALL The catastrophic breach of the dam earlier this year provides the perfect opportunity for the Uzbek government to learn from and improve its energy policy towards a sustainable future that goes hand in hand with economic reforms in the country. Early in the morning of 1st May 2020, after a sustained period of heavy rainfall across the region, the earthfilled dam of the Sardoba Reservoir in the Eastern Uzbek region of Sirdayo was breached. This wasn’t one of the many dams across the world considered to be at risk due to age, no, this dam was completed in 2017. Questions were immediately raised as to whether the breach was due to dam failure, lowering of the level of the reservoir in isolation, unusual concentration of rainfall or worse. So, it was only to be expected that two days later on 3 May, a criminal investigation was launched citing possible negligence and violation of


construction regulations. Early assessment of the cause and effect seems to point to a sequence of disconnected actions taken after the initial breach which exacerbated the crisis, overwhelming the capacity of the network of local canals around the Southern Golodnostepky Canal to absorb the overflow thereby extending the flood area out of control with terrible consequences. So, now to be credible, the enquiry must be conducted independently, thoroughly and transparently. The outcome could have been worse but for many of those affected it was a catastrophe; homes and liveli-

hoods were washed away, acres of cotton fields were destroyed, innocent people were injured, displaced and died. More than 100,000 people had to be evacuated from their homes in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan with hundreds of people reported injured and an unconfirmed number of fatalities. The impact on wildlife and the environment is still unknown. This occurred at a time of heightened sensitivity around cross-border water and energy security issues. In Uzbekistan, as elsewhere in Central Asia, the network of old and new dams provides irrigation, power and access to water for the population. Over time, introverted policy, poor decision-making, sub-standard construction and sub-optimal planning have all placed the region’s water resources under severe stress. Unless this is fixed, more tragedies can be expected, raising regional tensions.

• • • • • • • • •

05.55 on 1 May, Sardobinsky dam breaches 100,000+ evacuated from their homes with unconfirmed number of fatalities 922 million m3 water capacity of Sardoba Reservoir >500 million m3 water lost through the breach 35,000+ hectares of land affected in Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan Sardoba Reservoir construction cost 1.3 trillion Uzbekistani Som (c. USD 400 million in 2017 money) Project commissioned in 2008 and completed in 2017 Purpose: irrigation with potential for hydro Recovery cost estimated at 1.5 trillion Uzbekistani Som

The countries which committed to the CAREC Declaration in November 2019 share a vision of cooperation in energy policy, including hydroelectric power. Similarly, there are international committees working on the management of water resources across the Region such as the Scientific Information Centre for the Interstate Commission for Water Resources (SIC ICWC) for Central Asia. Through these, there is a shared understanding of the threats to regional water security by abuse of transboundary river basins such as the Syr Darya where the Sardobinksy Dam is one of 60 large dams stressing water resources. The nexus of energy, food and water is the foundation of economic development for the region. Without radical policy reform and modernisation through stakeholder alignment, economic and social development will suffer. A significant part of the challenge is the legacy from Soviet times and the destruction of the Aral Sea Basin stands testament to this. Yet imbalanced national priorities are driving the threat of this catastrophe being repeated unless there is a significant improvement in the alignment of stakeholder interests.The Sardobinksy Dam catastrophe will be repeated unless there is radical change in the management of water across the Region. Uzbekistan occupies more than half of the irrigated areas in the Aral Sea Basin and also accounts for over half the water withdrawals from the Aral Sea Basin for irrigation purposes. So arguably, Uzbekistan should be



ECOLOGY leading calls for reform to protect the region’s precious natural resources. Cross-border trade is vital to progress in Central Asia and transboundary water and energy reflect this. Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan have abundant water supplies and Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have rich supplies of oil and gas. Whilst access to clean water is arguably a basic human right, reliable energy systems are essential to the prosperity of nations and the well-being of their people. Policy alignment is essential. Uzbekistan is the only State to border all four Central Asian countries as well as Afghanistan and history shows that the people of the region fare better working together rather than separately. The breach of the Sardobinsky Dam symbolises years of short-sighted mismanagement of water resources not just in Uzbekistan but also in neighbouring countries and the time has come for meaningful change in public policy to stimulate regional inter-dependency and cooperation. To achieve this, sound leadership is needed and the eyes of the world are focused on President Mirziyoyev to influence the changes which will allow natural resources to be harnessed responsibly for economic and social progress. Uzbekistan has a more diverse economy than its neighbours and with a population of over 33 million with almost 90% under working age, it is well-positioned to become a key political and economic player. The Sordobinsky Dam breach has been a set-back for the local economy but fixing it following an aligned set of policy changes should be good for the future and set a precedent for policy alignment in other sectors as well as with neighbouring countries. Following 27 years under the Karimov Presidency from 1989 to 2016, President Mirziyoyev is paving the way for market reforms and modernisation which have drawn the attention of world leaders and investors. Uzbekistan’s sovereign rating sits at BB- with S&P, B1 with Moody’s and BB- with Fitch. The pace of reform will help strengthen ratings and stimulate demand. It is a land of diverse opportunity provided there is a tangible and consistent effort to continue improving standards of governance across all sectors. Since 2016, reforms have been focused initially on currency, the labour market and the free movement of goods and people. However, natural resources policy


reforms must sit at the core of any modernisation strategy as people, food and power drive the economy. The Sardobinsky Dam breach has exposed the frailties of domestic policy in terms of regulatory alignment, clarity, bureaucracy and protectionism and the catastrophe should now be the catalyst for learning and urgent and transparent reform. Now is the time to learn from past mistakes and adapt that learning to demonstrate that Uzbekistan is listening to the call for more Environmental, Social and Governance measurements alongside economic ones when planning the country’s sustainable future. Investors are increasingly expecting, indeed demanding ESG ratings alongside financial ones when considering investments and Uzbekistan will benefit from reflecting this. The Sardobinsky Dam breach is a loud wake-up call and must serve as a catalyst for positive change in public policy, natural resources strategy, water security, regional cooperation, public procurement and the sound governance of State-run infrastructure projects. A proper risk mitigation, modernisation and integration strategy which matches the economic aspirations of the country will bring obvious benefits to all. By Iain Watt, IGI Solutions, regional expert in water security




VICTORY DAY 75 YEARS OF MEMORIES War. How do you feel about it?

I’m a regular person. My family members were involved in those tragic things happened in 1940s. My The Second World War is still one of the darkest pag- great-grandfather died from combat injuries several es of human history. There remain a lot of secrets, ru- years after the 9th of May, 1945 (yes, Russian celemours, mistakes and past grievances driving interna- brate the Victory Day at May 9 unlike British due to tional discussions about who won the war. It wouldn’t the time-zone differences at the time the declaration be wise to say that there were no political ambitions was signed). My great-grandmother lived much longer and economic reasons to start the war. No excuses, and she told me a lot of stories about peoples’ lives just facts. But would it be wise to say that someone from the past. Often veterans don’t like to talk about had won this war? frontline life though. And do you know what? I’ve never heard about policy and economy. We still don’t know the true count of victims. We’re still trying to recreate the whole picture of the battle My great-grandparents didn’t fight against Germany. years searching for even the smallest pieces of past. And they definitely didn’t compare with Uzbek, ArAnd we still have political ambitions and economic rea- menian, Tajik, Georgian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, Amerisons to argue about the outcome of the war at the can and others for the title of the winner. Usually they governmental level. But I’m not an expert in policy and would say, “We were fighting for…”, followed by pereconomy. So, what can I say about the annual Victory sonal reasons. For their own freedom so as not to not Day celebrations from this point of view? become prisoners or slaves in their own homeland. For


saving innocent people from concentration camps because nobody deserved such destiny. For people they loved to see them alive and happy no matter what. Regular people – soldiers, doctors, factories workers and many others – didn’t fight against states and nations. They’ve been fighting against fascism. Can you see the difference? Here is another important question. As well as for politicians the question is who became the true winner, for regular people the question is if it was the victory at all? It sounds too idealistic maybe, but let it be so. I mean, ask any family that lost one of its members if the feeling of victory can replace someone dear in their hearts. You already know the answer. And it doesn’t matter your age, gender or nationality. Today we can feel it with our own skin once again because of the current pandemic. It’s hard to celebrate the victory if you lose someone. Uzbek, Armenian, Tajik, Georgian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, American, German, Italian, Polish and many other people suffered. That’s why when talking about winners and losers it’s so important to focus not only at global policy outcome of the war, but

also the meaning of the psychologic, social and cultural changes it brought. There was no one winner for me. We did it together. Today we should be grateful to all the regular people – soldiers, doctors, factories workers and many others – from all of the countries who gave us that chance to enjoy today’s life, fighting for us. That’s what I remember from my childhood. That’s what I want my future children to know about the Second World War. Peace. How do you feel about it?

Text by Tatiana Shevchenko





AWARD-WINNING ASHGABAT The fact that numerous erected buildings in Ashgabat city have become award-winning architectural marvels at competitions held at the international level, serves as clear evidence of the huge progress achieved in the development of the Turkmen capital. From far away you can see a monument in honour of the famous “Yanardag� horse and next to it is a foal depicted on the national emblem of the country, famous for its beauty, speed and our national pride, which means the continuation of the heritage located at the intersection of Kopetdag Avenue and N.Andalyp street.



HERITAGE The height of the “Arkadag“ monument, together with a stone pedestal in the form of a rock on Bagtyyarlyk street in Ashgabat city, is 21 metres, and the height of the statue is 6.20 metres. The monument “Arkadag” symbolizes that Turkmenistan is moving at great speed, as the birthplace of peace and happiness. The monument represents hope for today and the future, through development with the speed of a fast horse and the love of the people for the hero Arkadag. This is a wonderful building, reviving the spiritual aspirations of the people in the art of sculpture and architecture. The “Bagt Koshgi”, was designed to unite loving hearts and create new families. It is located in the southwestern part of the Turkmen capital, blending into the architectural ensemble of this part of the city, where comfortable residential buildings, the Constitution Monument, the Congress Palace, and a complex of administrative buildings have risen in recent years. From the hill on which the original building was built, a beautiful panorama opens up on the renewed Turkmen capital and the picturesque foothills of Kopetdag. Architectural image of the Palace is also beautiful. The building consists of eleven floors, and three steps, a total area of 38,000 square metres, each side of which is built in the form of an octagonal star. The cube, visible from the height of its large pillar, forms the upper step, and the 32-metre globe contains the symbol of the globe, where a map of Turkmenistan is drawn. Here, it denotes the unity of trust and the strength of family relationships. The palace is surrounded by fountains and in the evenings they are lit with colorful lights. In the multidisciplinary centre there are six halls intended for the solemn registration of weddings, each of the halls has its own name. In addition, there are 3 wedding halls for 500 and 1000 people. On the ninth floor there is the largest wedding hall - the “Golden” hall. The most solemn landmark of the capital is the “Garashsyzlyk” (Independence) Monument, reaching a height of 118 metres. The monument is surrounded by sculptures of statesmen, philosophers and poets who lived their lives in the Middle Ages of Turkmenistan. Inside the building is a museum whose exhibits tell the history of Turkmenistan and the origins of independence. Near the building there is a beautiful park, decorated with exotic species of trees and fountains.


The monument of “Bitaraplyk” (Neutrality) – is a modern architectural marvel. This lighthouse, visible day and night, surprises with its unusual appearance and size. The idea of creating this amazing building is associated with a very important event for the country, held on December 12, 1995 in the city of New York. On that day, at a meeting of the UN General Assembly, representatives of 185 states unanimously voted for the adoption of a special resolution on the “Permanent Neutrality of Turkmenistan”. A monument to the Constitution, erected in honor of the 20th anniversary of the country’s fundamental law, located in the south of the Turkmen capital, is one of the main attractions of the city. Being a major historical museum, the architectural and art complex is considered not only a landmark of Ashgabat, but also a cultural and educational centre. This means the continuous connection of eras and generations, the unfading unity and solidarity of the Turkmen people, the constant pursuit of the great humane values of peace and creativity. The “Yyldyz” construction is an embodiment of development and prosperity.The hotel was built at the intersection of Oguzhan and Bagtyarlyk streets. The height

of the structure is 36 metres. Each of the five columns is decorated with Turkmen eight–pointed stars. The columns representing the crescent moon, join together into one structure. If you look at the monument from the side, you can see a crescent moon, a star above it, and in general, this design is a satellite flying into space.



HERITAGE On June 29, 2008, the grand opening of one of the beautiful buildings included in the Guinness World Records Book took place, located in the center of a major road junction at the entrance to International Airport of Ashgabat. This is a fountain complex with sculptures of “Oguzhan and his sons”. Ashgabat was added to this authoritative list as “Cities with the largest number of fountains pools in a public place”. Among other accolades, on May 25, 2013, Ashgabat was listed in the Guinness World Records Book as the city with the highest concentration of white marble buildings in the world. The International Airport also received a Guinness Record in 2016.This complex covers an area of almost 1200 hectares and includes more than 100 structures. It has the largest image of a “göl” (the Turkmen national ornament) on the surface of the main passenger terminal. The Water Sports Centre of the Olympic city of Ashgabat, hosts the image of the Ahalteke horse another Guinness World Record as the world’s largest architectural image of the horse. The sculpture of the “paradise” horse is testimony to the ancient traditions of the Turkmen people. All in all these architectural marvels, along with many others, always make for an impressive visit and discovery of a city that so few from outside the region have had the chance to visit. Text and photos by Embassy of Turkmenistan in The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Nothern Ireland






TAJIKISTAN: A VIEW FROM THE TOP INTERVIEW: JOHN MARK POMMERSHEIM After studying Russian at university during the Cold War, John Mark Pommersheim grabbed the chance to go to Moscow as an exchange student when Mikhail Gorbachev was in charge of the Soviet Union. His fascination with cultures, literature and languages in different parts of the world led him to study Russian and Chinese. As a student, he thought it important for nations to better understand each other and find ways to work through their disputes as well as the problems that the world faces which led him to a diplomatic career path. Ultimately, the chance to work on big international problems professionally attracted him to the Eurasian region where he serves as the United States Ambassador to Tajikistan. OCA Magazine finds out more. OCA: You have a wide range of experience in working with Eurasian countries. What were your first impressions of the region and its culture? JMP: During my studies in Moscow I took the opportunity to travel around the Soviet Union. I met a lot of people and found them open and interested. At the time, traveling from Moscow to Central Asia, the Caucasus and other regions, I was struck by the cultural and other differences. I then had a chance to work in Tashkent in Uzbekistan on a U.S. exhibition for several months in the late 1980s and got a chance to get better acquainted with Central Asia.

several other U.S. companies in the hospitality and consulting sectors. We continue to consult with American businesses about opportunities in Tajikistan. As the Central Asian states strengthen their interconnectedness, we expect to see the market become more and more attractive to international investors, which could lead to economic growth in Tajikistan and throughout the region. We work closely with the Tajik government on steps to improve the investment climate. U.S. and international corporations want assurances of a level playing field where their investments are protected by the rule of law.

OCA: What features did you notice in Tajikistan that differ from other countries in Central Asia? JMP: I think Tajikistan has a very unique and wonderful culture. Poets such as Rumi and Rudaki are quite famous, and the music here, from traditional to current pop, is melodical and very pleasant to listen to. Tajikistan is an agricultural country with wonderful fruits and vegetables: one dish I particularly like is Qurutob that mixes vegetables with flat bread in a tangy yoghurt sauce.

OCA: What priorities do you think Tajikistan should develop further with the United States? JMP: I believe Tajikistan takes the right approach by keeping an open door to co-operation with many countries from around the world to include the United States. Tajikistan is a country of remarkable natural beauty, and I think more Americans would like to visit as conditions for tourism continue to progress. The U.S. Embassy supports Tajikistan’s efforts to develop the tourism industry through programs that, for example, teach English to tour guides, provide training OCA: What are the main spheres of economic or on guesthouse management and marketing, and suptrade co-operation between the United States and Ta- port the installation of signage around tourist sites to jikistan? direct travelers. Another key area of bilateral cooperaJMP: Direct trade between Tajikistan and the Unit- tion is in the energy sector. Our government supports ed States is relatively limited, but there are significant increasing Tajik energy exports though the CASA-1000 business linkages, including Comsup Commodities Inc transmission project as well as the Central Asia Re– an American company involved in mining, Coca-Cola, gional Electricity Market to expand trade and ultimateand Mountain Foods, which produces organic potato ly lower electricity prices. Additionally, the U.S. compachips in Tajikistan’s far eastern province. Additionally, ny GE is working on both national and regional energy the American Chamber of Commerce is scaling up in projects, and we hope to see more openings for U.S. Tajikistan, and includes representative franchises from companies moving forward.




OCA: Are there any programs from the U.S embassy for supporting Tajikistan’s political or economic stability, or cultural and education? JMP: The U.S. government has provided $1.9 billion in assistance to Tajikistan since 1992, including over $200 million in security sector assistance and over $5 million in assistance to combat COVID-19. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) implements multi-year programs that support the economic sector ($56 million program), health ($30 million), democracy and governance ($14.4 million), and education ($20 million). We support economic development and food security through numerous projects to assist and train Tajik farmers and also support regional connectivity and stability through water management projects at the local and regional level. We also support education through free English language courses for hundreds of students and adults annually, 25 different exchange programs, and eight American Spaces across Tajikistan that offer free courses on English, humanities subjects, business, journalism, and technology to thousands of Tajik citizens. We support Tajikistan’s unique cultural


heritage through the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation, which has funded 17 projects in Tajikistan. OCA: What did the visit of Michael Pompeo to Central Asian countries signify? What was the purpose of the visit, and can we expect a visit to Tajikistan in the future? JMP: Secretary Pompeo visited Central Asia in February to reaffirm our shared commitment to peace, prosperity, and security in the region. We are encouraged to see the five Central Asian countries come together on their own to address shared challenges, and pleased that they see the C5+1 as a useful forum for common action. The U.S. goal is a stable and prosperous Central Asia that is free to pursue political, economic, and security interests on its own terms, with partners of its choosing; a Central Asia that is connected to global markets and open to international investment; a Central Asia with strong, democratic institutions, rule of law, and respect for human rights. Tajikistan hosted Secretary of State visits in 2011 and 2015, and I am sure we will have another visit at some point. We

continue to have a robust dialogue at the senior level. Secretary Pompeo on June 30, hosted a virtual C5+1 dialogue, showing that the work of diplomacy continues despite COVID-19.

Natalya and I enjoy hiking in the country’s amazing mountains. I also enjoy studying some Tajiki: Tajiki is a beautiful language that has Arabic, Russian, and Turkish influences on its Persian base. OCA: Based on recent events in the world due to the OCA: The culture in Tajikistan differs from the U.S. pandemic, how has your work changed? And what new What have you learned that might be of interest for obstacles have you faced? our readers who may be from Western countries? JMP: Our work has changed significantly since the JMP: I had heard before arriving that Tajikistan’s love global outbreak of COVID-19. Diplomacy is about for its poets knows no bounds. I have found that to building relationships, and during this age of social be true. My sons have even gotten the bug: they like distancing we often need to find alternatives to faceit when I send them quotes from the greats such as to-face engagements to build and maintain partnerAbuabdulloh Rudaki. One of Rudaki’s famous vers- ships. We have had to become more creative in the es goes, “Ҳеҷ шодӣ нест андар ин ҷаҳон, Бартар use of technology—for example, video conferencing аз дидори рӯи дӯстон. Ҳеҷ талхӣ нест бар дил and social media platforms—but the core work of our талхтар, Аз фироқи дӯстони пурҳунар,” which diplomatic mission continues. We continue to assist translates as “There is no joy in this world better than American citizens abroad, maintain our strong bilateral seeing friends. There is nothing sadder to the heart relationship, and conduct educational and cultural exthan being apart from great friends,” a quote applicable changes through virtual platforms. In recent months perhaps to those of us such as diplomats who spend we have focused as well on providing assistance to long stretches on travel for work. In Tajikistan, you see combat the effects of COVID-19. The U.S. governand hear poetry everywhere: even when you open your ment has provided more than $5 million in assistance wallet, there are the poets on the country’s banknotes. to Tajikistan since March to provide needed medical I also respect the attention that Tajiks give to family and equipment, facilitate testing, train medical staff, provide the deference to elders: this is something that some in personal protective equipment, and support vulnerathe United States might not be well aware of. ble groups such as migrant workers. The COVID-19 pandemic is a global phenomenon that no country can OCA: How do you usually spend your free time in address on its own. The United States works in close Dushanbe? partnership with Tajikistan, and throughout the region, JMP: Tajikistan has a well-deserved reputation as one to help people who are suffering from the effects of of the most beautiful countries in the world. My wife the coronavirus. Together, we will overcome this crisis.





The Turkic peoples of Asia are scattered across the continent, but, being 140 million people strong, hold a potentially powerful latent strength. Turkey, as the most formidable of Turkic nations, has a potentially commanding role in any pan-Turkic cooperation. Such Pan-Turkism is not a new idea; indeed, it has its origins in the final decades of the Ottoman Empire. But Pan-Turkism has risen once again in the past thirty years, and now, with Turkey increasingly isolated, Central Asia and the promise of Pan-Turkic friendship may lead to increased Turkish activity in Central Asia in the near future. Turkey’s affinity with the nations of Central Asia began well before the twentieth century. Their shared ancestors are the Turkic tribes of the Central Asian steppe, who first burst onto the world stage centuries ago. The medieval Seljuk


Empire would briefly rule both the modern Turkey and Central Asia during the eleventh century. But perhaps the most important precedent is the PanTurkism movement in the final decades of the Ottoman Empire. Ottoman sultans earlier in the nineteenth century had tried to promote Pan-Ottomanism, using the Ottoman identity as the rallying cry of unity for its diverse population. When the Ottoman Empire continued to decline, a new ruling cadre, the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), took over during a coup in 1908. The CUP was a strong proponent of Turkish nationalism and Pan-Turkism. In part this was due to the Ottoman Empire being pushed back from Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, and now looking to the final frontier for possible expansion, Central Asia, to establish a great “Turanian” empire.

Yet the Ottoman Empire was a pale shadow of its former self by 1908, and Russia was firmly in control of Central Asia. Pan-Turkism was a potentially powerful ideology, but it failed to gain any serious political success due to Russia’s control and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in the aftermath of World War I. The new president of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, realized that it was an impracticable idea, and during the long period of Soviet rule in Central Asia it was effectively abandoned. But when the Central Asian states regained their independence in 1991, Pan-Turkic cooperation and friendship became a possibility again. Undoubtedly, Russian influence in the Central Asian republics remains powerful, and Turkey has readily accepted that situation. Turkey is a significant trading partner and investor with the Central Asian republics, but its economic involvement is far outshadowed by China’s vast Belt and Road Initiative. Nonetheless, Turkey has silently become one of the most influential states in the region. In addition to its economic trade and aid, Turkey has established cultural and education institutions in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan. Turkey has promoted the Middle Corridor Initiative, a system of roads running from Kazakhstan through Azerbaijan and Georgia to Turkey, as a modern day Silk Road that China could use to transport its goods to Europe. Overall, there are growing connections between Turkey and the Central Asian republics. The Turkic Council, consisting of Turkey, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan, is emblematic of this, as its goal is to foster cooperation between the Turkic states. Central Asia has even offered political assistance to Turkey, such as when the then Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev helped resolve the Turkey-Russia jet crisis in 2015-2016. But while Turkey has been growing closer to Central Asia since 1991, now is an especially critical time for Turkey to look to the Central Asian republics, sharing many parallels with the CUP looking to Central Asia back in 1908. For most of the twentieth century, Turkey drew closer to Europe, becoming



SOCIETY a member of NATO and applying to become a member of the European Union. For almost the last decade, the Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and his ruling AK Party have pulled away from Europe and Western alliances, instead embarking on ambitious foreign ventures in former Ottoman lands. Turkey has been heavily involved in the Syrian Civil War for the past few years, having Turkish ground troops cross Syria’s borders and fight. Starting in 2019, Turkey became heavily invested in Libya, negotiating a generous (and illegal) maritime agreement with the current Libyan government in Tripoli that nominally grants Turkey broad maritime rights while ignoring Greece’s much stronger claims to the area. Most recently, Erdoğan has been warmongering with Greece. Needless to say, all of these actions, among others, have severely isolated Turkey in the West. This is why Central Asia is so important for Turkey at this critical juncture. Isolated from its historical allies (and most of the world), Turkey could turn to its Turkic relatives in Central Asia as potential political allies during this period of international isolation. Much like its Ottoman ancestors, who turned to Central Asia when lands closer to home were effectively blocked, Turkey could potentially break the stalemate and its run of damaging foreign adventures in the Eastern Mediterranean through cultural and political engagement in Central Asia. The original Pan-Turkism died in 1918, but Turkey’s attempts to gain a greater foothold in Central Asia in 2020 have a much better chance of success. The republics are independent, not ruled by Russia. Turkey has actually had close relations with these countries for the past thirty years, rather than simply striking upon the idea. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, whatever modern form Pan-Turkism has taken, it is unlikely to be one premised on actual political union, like the original. Because of its non-political unification approach, this modern Pan-Turkism is perhaps more likely to gain sympathy and support among Turkic peoples in Central Asia. The potential strength of modern Pan-Turkism has been underestimated, but it has been steadily growing for the past three decades. Now that


Turkey is hemmed in politically to the West, it is likely that in the near future Turkish influence will continue to expand in Central Asia and the region will become of increasing significance to the Turkish government. Text by Michael Goodyear Michael Goodyear has a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School and an A.B. in History and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations from the University of Chicago. He has been published in a variety of academic and general-interest publications on history and law, including Le Monde Diplomatique, The Medieval Magazine, and the Harvard Journal of Sports and Entertainment Law. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11.

12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22. 23. 24. 25. 26. 27.

Carter Vaughn Findley, The Turks in World History 21-55 (Oxford University Press, 2004). Id. at 69-70. Şükrü Hanioğlu, A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire 76 (Princeton University Press, 2010). Id. at 147. Id. at 147, 179. Id. at 179. See Jacob M. Landau, Pan-Turkism: From Irredentism to Cooperation 55-56 (Indiana University Press, 1995). Id. at 74-75. Seçkin Köstem, “The Power of the Quiet? Turkey’s Central Asia Strategy,” Italian Institute for International Political Studies (Oct. 3, 2019), https://www.ispionline.it/en/ pubblicazione/power-quiet-turkeys-central-asia-strategy-24069. Alexander Kruglov, “Ankara to Central Asia: ‘We’re All Turks,’” Asia Times (Nov. 21, 2019), https://asiatimes.com/2019/11/central-asia-ankara-seeks-turkic-primacy. Andrew Chatzky & James McBride, “China’s Massive Belt and Road Initiative,” Council on Foreign Relations (Jan. 28, 2020), https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/chinas-massive-belt-and-road-initiative. Hanioğlu, A Brief History of the Late Ottoman Empire 76 (Princeton University Press, 2010). Id. at 147. Id. at 147, 179. Id. at 179. See Jacob M. Landau, Pan-Turkism: From Irredentism to Cooperation 55-56 (Indiana University Press, 1995). Id. at 74-75. Seçkin Köstem, “The See generally Seçkin Köstem, “When Can Idea Entreprenuers Influence Foreign Policy? Explaining the Rise of the ‘Turkic World’ in Turkish Foreign Policy,” 13(3) Foreign Policy Analysis 722-740 (2017). Bayram Balci & Thomas Liles, “Turkey’s Comeback to Central Asia,” Insight Turkey 11-26, 18 (Fall 2018). “Turkey’s Multilateral Transportation Policy,” Republic of Turkey: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, http://www.mfa.gov.tr/turkey_s-multilateral-transportation-policy.en.mfa (last visited June 28, 2020). “About Turkic Council,” Turkic Council, https://www.turkkon.org/en/turk-konseyi-hakkinda#:~:text=Its%20four%20founding%20member%20states,Kyrgyz%20 Republic%20in%20September%202018 (last visited June 28, 2020). Murat Yetkin, “Story of Secret Diplomacy That Ended Russia-Turkey Jet Crisis,” Hürriyet Daily News (Aug. 9, 2016), https://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/opinion/murat-yetkin/story-of-secret-diplomacy-that-ended-russia-turkey-jet-crisis-102629. See Selim Kuneralp, “Turkey-EU Relations: Past, Present – and Future?,” Heinrich Böll Stiftung (May 2, 2017), https://eu.boell.org/en/2017/05/02/turkey-eu-relationspast-present-and-future. Marc Pierini, “Can Turkey’s Prickly Relationship with the EU Be Repaired?,” Carnegie Europe (Nov. 7, 2019), https://carnegieeurope.eu/2019/11/07/can-turkey-sprickly-relationship-with-eu-be-repaired-pub-80296. Zia Weise, “Turkey’s Invasion of Syria Explained,” Politico (Oct. 15, 2019 6:42 PM), https://www.politico.eu/article/8-questions-about-turkeys-incursion-into-syria-answered. “Turkey Wades into Libya’s Troubled Waters,” International Crisis Group (Apr. 30, 2020), https://www.crisisgroup.org/europe-central-asia/western-europemediterranean/turkey/257-turkey-wades-libyas-troubled-waters. “Turkish-Greek Relations Tense Amid Fears of Military Showdown,” Arab News (June 13, 2020), https://www.arabnews.com/node/1689421/middle-east.






Although Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, H.E. Erlan Idrissov, came from a creative and academic background (his father was a renowned Kazakh journalist, writer, and academic), he chose a very different career path. His father instilled in him the belief in the power of words, spoken, written or expressed otherwise. And words, or rather the art of mastering them, are an essential element of diplomacy. This belief guided Idrissov to where he is today. Educated at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, which at the time was the cradle of Soviet diplomacy, so started his path of diplomacy. OCA Magazine finds out more about how this particular ambassador is forging ahead despite the global headwinds. OCA Magazine: Based on your experience, what have been the most successful projects that have strengthened the relationship between the UK and Kazakhstan? Erlan Idrissov: The two states have been developing their partnership ever since Kazakhstan gained its independence in 1991. The UK was among the first states to recognise Kazakhstan as an independent country and has been our partner ever since. The UK has always been a keen supporter of Kazakhstan’s democratic development. And our next step towards a greater democratic progress will be the upcoming elections to Kazakhstan’s Parliament which will take place on 10 January 2021. The Government is determined to ensure transparent and fair elections in line with national legislation and best international practice. I am confident that Kazakhstan’s ongoing political progress will further enhance our partnership with the UK. Throughout the years, our main focus has been on commercial and investment co-operation. Today, the UK is one of Kazakhstan’s ten largest trading partners and one of the six largest foreign investors. Over the past 14 years, the inflow of direct investment from the UK to Kazakhstan has exceeded £10 billion. The Joint Statement on the Strategic Partnership, adopted by the leaders of the two states in 2013, has helped solidify the Kazakh-British relationship even further, including our current work on a new strategic partnership agreement.The state of our partnership is being reviewed annually on a senior political level through the sessions of the Kazakhstan-UK Strategic Dialogue.

The Kazakh-British Intergovernmental Economic Commission is yet another important mechanism that helped institutionalise our bilateral economic dialogue and cooperation. Six meetings of the Commission have been held so far, with the next one scheduled for the end of this year. There is also the bilateral Business Council co-chaired by Akhmetzhan Yessimov, Chairman of the Board of Samruk-Kazyna National Welfare Fund, and Baroness Emma Nicholson, UK Prime Minister’s Trade Envoy for Kazakhstan. It is an additional effective tool of forging trade and economic cooperation between our two countries. A great example of our joint success is the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) – an unprecedented hub of English common law and best international business practices built in the heart of Eurasia with the help of our friends from the City of London. It has become an important platform for attracting investment, with a full range of relevant world-class financial instruments and services. Investors operate in favourable conditions and with the support of effective institutions, including an independent regulatory mechanism, the AIFC Court and the International Arbitration Centre – all chaired by esteemed British lawyers. Our cultural cooperation has also been bearing ripe fruit throughout these years. The most recent project was the translation and printing of the two anthologies of contemporary Kazakh literature (poetry and prose).The pro-




ject was implemented by Kazakhstan’s National Bureau of Translations and Cambridge University Press, which is both the oldest printing and publishing house and the oldest university press in the world. OCA: What are the main areas of co-operation and relationships that you see between the United Kingdom and Kazakhstan? EI: As I mentioned earlier, economic and investment cooperation has always been our core focus, but our exchange is not limited to that. We intend to enhance our long-term strategic partnership, spanning the whole spectrum of our relations, including but not limited to trade, investment, digitalisation, education, science and art. In light of the UK’s vision of a new Global Britain, the goal of developing stronger economic ties with new promising destinations outside Europe is an important priority. Kazakhstan has the potential to become that kind of a partner, with its stable economic and political system, strategic positioning between Europe and Asia, and eagerness to embrace British investment and expertise. We do look


forward to seeing our relationship grow from strength to strength in the post-Brexit era. OCA: How do you think the world will change after the COVID-19 pandemic? What will that mean for your role as an ambassador? EI: The pandemic has already changed our lives dramatically. Hundreds of thousands of people have sadly died, millions have lost their jobs, homes, or businesses, economies are aching, reserves are drained, and social inequalities have become striking. We have gotten used to the new normal of social distancing, face coverings and working remotely. It is a completely different world we are living in compared to what it was just seven months ago. COVID-19 has forced decision makers around the globe to re-evaluate everything. In the face of this unprecedented threat, the natural instinct of any government would be to focus on protecting its own economy, healthcare system, supply chains etc. However, the global challenge calls, first and foremost, for a global response. Today, international

co-operation and co-ordination, mutual understanding and support are more important than ever. In this new world, diplomats globally need to think of innovative ways to build new bridges and enforce the existing ones, and that is what we are all currently doing. OCA: The most famous figures in Kazakh culture – Abai Kunanbaiuly and Abu Nasr al-Farabi – celebrate their anniversary this year. What has been planned in terms of events and recognition for them in the UK? EI: We have already hosted several exciting events to mark the 175th anniversary of Abai Kunanbaiuly and the 1,150th anniversary of Abu Nasr al-Farabi, the great philosopher and scholar of the East. For example, in July the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies was kind enough to co-host with us an international online symposium on al-Farabi and his legacy. The event gathered scholars from the UK, the US, Germany and Kazakhstan who presented their research on the legacy of al-Farabi. In a similar vein, Cambridge University Press (CUP) and the Kazakh Embassy have recently co-hosted an online conference, where poets, writers and experts from the UK, Kazakhstan and the US joined a fascinating discussion on Abai’s wisdom. CUP is also working with Kazakhstan’s National Bureau of Translations to translate and publish Abai’s poems and Words of Edification. The project is unique in that for the first time in history, Abai’s writings are being translated directly from Kazakh into English and adapted by Sean O’Brien and John Burnside, both celebrated British poets, to create a very authentic translation.The project is now in full swing, and we are expecting the publication and the official launch later this year. Abai’s legacy also includes several dozens of songs, which sound dear to every Kazakh heart. So, we decided to introduce the music of the Great Steppe to the English-speaking audience by publishing a separate book of Abai’s songs in English. The verses will be adapted to the music and accompanied by musical scores and QR codes linked to recordings of Kazakh-language performances. Finally, to commemorate Abai’s anniversary, we also launched The Power of Abai’s Poetry World Challenge, featuring prominent British figures reciting Abai’s poetry, while an online concert later this year will include performances of Abai’s songs by Kazakh and British singers.




GEORGIA: LOOKING TOWARDS THE WEST Georgia is a land of contradictions, of plenty and of poverty, looking to propel itself into the future by delving into the past. Lingering spectres of the Soviet-era continue to clash against the pressures of modernity as this unique place attempts to shape its identity in the 21st century. As the birthplace of Stalin, an abiding cult of personality centred on the nation’s erstwhile son endures. When officials attempted to remove a statue of Uncle Joe from outside the Stalin Museum in his hometown of Gori in 2010, they met with stiff resistance. When I first travelled to this hospitable, mountainous country in 2014, it was meant to be a one off trip. This flying visit turned into an obsession, though, and over the next six years I’d return nine more times. The Georgian creation myth encapsulates the nation’s great obsessions: when God was divvying up the world between different peoples, the Georgians were sleeping off a particularly nasty hangover. When they finally awoke, everything was allotted except for a piece of Earth called ‘Paradise,’ which God had set aside for himself. The Georgians beseeched God for a home,


saying they were only unconscious because they’d held a supra – the feast literally translated as ‘tablecloth’ - in his honour. Thus, they were given a slice of paradise which others have coveted ever since, forcing them into factional alliances with would be conquerors in order to survive. Georgia became the second Christian kingdom on Earth after being converted by St. Nino. Born in the year 280AD, according to most accounts, Nino hailed from Cappadocia and was a relative of St. George, the patron saint of Georgia. Legend tells how the Virgin Mary appeared to her, handing her a cross made from a grapevine and telling her to go to what the Ancient Greeks called Iberia and spread the good word. Travelling through Armenia, Nino was the sole survivor of a party of 35 virgins beheaded at the hands of King Tiridates III before he converted to Christianity, and the unfortunate nuns were canonised en masse.

Nino crossed into Georgia in around the year 320, purportedly curing Queen Nana of a severe illness and gaining disciples. The queen converted and was baptised by Nino, which so infuriated her husband he threatened to divorce her if she did not renounce her faith. Shortly thereafter, the king was struck blind whilst on a hunting trip, and lost and alone in desperation he beseeched his wife’s God for help. As soon as he mouthed his prayer, a light appeared which guided him back to the palace. Georgia was duly declared a Christian kingdom in the year 327. Nino remains by far the most popular name for Georgian women.

knee-length black socks perform the sign of the cross with fervour. In 2002, Orthodox Christianity was granted special status above all other religions and the church took on a consultative role in government. With 83.4% of Georgians identifying as Eastern Orthodox, in many ways religion has replaced communism as schools increasingly become places of indoctrination. Certainly, inter-religious violence is on the increase. In 2018, the Public Defender’s Office reported receiving nineteen cases of violence based on religious intolerance; this was compared to five the previous year.

Today, looking over the moss green Mtkvari River in Tbilisi, the new three-thousand square metre Tsminda Sameba (Holy Trinity) Cathedral sits perched upon Elia Hill. A symbol of religious revival, young and old alike engage in kissing the walls and murmuring their approval.With Christianity once more a central facet in the make-up of the national psyche, worshippers flock to sermons throughout the city. At the sixth century Sioni Cathedral, babushkas in long black dresses and

Georgia is also the land of wine, the likely birthplace of the holy beverage historically buried to ferment in the clay-rich soil. The nation with the largest diversity of wine in the world, the tradition of the tamada – the toastmaster at feasts – dates back to time immemorial. With evidence of wine consumption dating back to 6,000BC, medieval monasteries were veritable temples to viticulture. A key part of the heritage of Sakartvelo as the natives call the country - Georgians never took




to vodka as the other republics of the former Soviet Union did, preferring their own traditional brew which comes in a multitude of varieties. From the Gori Region, there is Kartli, from Central Georgia, Tavkeveri rosé fermented with the skin, a sweet and mellow experience. From Kakheti, there is the amber Rkatsiteli, and from Khevsureti, Khevsery wines. According to the proprietor of the Okro Winery in Sighnaghi, there are 537 varieties of grape in Georgia, and for many, it has become their dream. As Manana Zanderashvili, the friendly and accommodating silver-haired doyenne behind her family’s guest house in Sighnaghi told me: ‘Now, we have five vines, but I want to make a great garden, to make a vineyard. I want to see my wine in bottles.’ Since independence, Georgia has seen troubled times: an economic meltdown, revolution and wars both with Russia and separatist enclaves backed by their former overlord, in part caused by rampant nationalism. Despite this, Georgia remains by far the most ethnically diverse nation in the Caucasus. Sometimes referred to as the ‘Mountain of Languages,’ there are a vast multitude of tongues extant in the country, one of which has


eight genders, another seventy-six consonants. As Noe Zhordania, the leader of independent Georgia from 1918 to 1921 before it disappeared behind the ‘iron curtain’ asked: ‘What do we have to offer to the cultural treasure of the European nations? A 2,000 year-old national culture, democratic system and natural wealth. Soviet Russia offered us a military alliance, which we rejected. We have taken different paths; they are heading for the East, and we for the West.’ At the time, his entreaties fell on deaf ears, but now, with tourist numbers racking up 31% of the GDP, interest from the West in this fascinating nation is finally on the increase. by Stephen M. Bland

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RAPID EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY REQUIRED TO FUEL AZERBAIJAN’S TRANSITION AWAY FROM OIL & GAS According to The Statistical Committee of the Republic of Azerbaijan, the non-oil sector in Azerbaijan accounted for 36.84 % of GDP in 2019. The traditional reliance on oil and gas has triggered the government to invest heavily in non-oil sectors, including transportation & logistics, tourism and agriculture. In the meantime, priorities and tasks were set out by the government in the Strategic Road Map developed by the Center for Analysis of Economic Reforms and Communication of Azerbaijan Republic with the support of McKinsey & Company in 2016.



HISTORY uals and entities which is much more complicated and painful. This cycle of change needs a methodological approach in every dimension of governance and is associated with effectiveness, sustainability, productivity and competitiveness. In this stage, it is observed that organizations start to limit foreign labour to minimum numbers and start to develop national leaders – this was taking place in 2013. Especially the O&G sector approved nationalization strategies and developed leaders who now work both in local and international labour markets. However, it failed to show the same results in other sectors, which is a “red flag” for sustainable labour market development. Transformation of the governmental leadership The devaluation of the national currency against US dollar caused by the recent oil price collapse and more recently the COVID-19 pandemic period has once again showed that Azerbaijan is only in the preliminary stage of diversification of its economy. This has forced Azerbaijan to experience a “rejuvenation” in the government sector, which has resulted in more sustainability, diversity, transparency, adequacy, and participation in the decision-making process. On 4th June 2019, the Cabinet of Ministers of Azerbaijan approved a proceFirst change – Oil boom dure for evaluating the effectiveness of the activities The first structural change in the labour market was of legal entities where the controlling stock belongs to observed after the ratification of the “Contract of the the state.The Yukselish competition (“Career growth”) Century” in 1994. In the shadow of entering into a was established by the order of President Ilham Aliyev, market economy, the world’s major oil companies in- and signed on 26 July 2019, with the aim of identifying vested in Azerbaijan in a relatively short time. Oil & Gas and supporting promising highly intellectual executives (O&G) companies’ high working standards resulted in with managerial qualities and ensuring the creation of top down improvement in service quality of contrac- a reserve pool of personnel resources in the countors, joint-ventures and other entities considering that try. Very recently, on 20 August 2020, the President of O&G sector was the core player of Azerbaijan’s econ- Azerbaijan Republic appointed the Head of Board of omy at the time. A high standard business culture in the recently founded Azerbaijan Investment Holding to upstream contributed to local businesses’ culture posi- manage the state-owned companies more effectively tively, and accordingly affected leadership development under one umbrella – this is another indicator for adein every sector. This first cycle of change that Azerbai- quate mindset and leadership competencies needed in jan experienced is largely explained by external factors. the country. Second change - External factors with internal motivation Azerbaijan’s economy “scored” the maximum points that can be reached with “easy money” based on natural resources. The post-oil era economic conditions made Azerbaijan start the change process once more through external factors, however, this time combined them with internal motivation. This time change occurred bottom up – now change is wanted by individ-


How the executive market in the private sector was affected It is crucial for all type of organizations to assemble the right combination of talent, especially to strategic and leadership positions, since vision comes from top down. On the contrary, a significantly important portion of Azerbaijan’s businesses consists of family businesses or businesses constructed on politically exposed persons that resulted in poor leadership compe-

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tencies. These businesses struggle with empowerment of managers on key strategic roles usually without any relevant competencies. According to the Harvard Business Review, 90% of family businesses fail by the third generation. To escape from this, businesses need to raise productivity, which means accordingly having the right set of competencies in leadership positions. As an executive search company operating in Azerbaijan we see many educational examples over time. A recent client requested a chief executive from Turkey to win over competitors.This allowed them to bring the accumulated industry knowledge, localize it rapidly and implement it in the market with ready strategies without “trial and error”. In 2017, a local digital company also could not find a General Director in Azerbaijan with 20+ years’ experience, leadership skills and industry knowledge in the digital sector, therefore they changed their mind to search non-local executives. The same trend is being observed in many production areas. The most recent client needed an interim manager from a European country because of the 200 years’ tradition of the target country whereas Azerbaijan doesn’t have enough experienced leaders. All the mentioned examples indicate to the lack of either experience, industry knowledge in scale or leadership skills.

Conclusion This article is not constructed on the opinion that, Azerbaijan does not have world-class executives. The author also would not deny that, Azerbaijani executives especially in telecommunication sector, O&G industry, or financial professionals who worked in international audit companies, are very competent in both local and international markets. The idea of this article is to point out that Azerbaijan is experiencing change, however, the executive labour market is not developing according to the speed of this change to meet the demand. The government of Azerbaijan is aware of this gap coming from Azerbaijan’s rapid transformation to real competition, but the main agenda of the government is to diversify the economy. This gap must be closed by using local headhunting services or bringing executives from abroad from the private sector and their nature to react with agility. The main point of this article is to stress the fact that, government of Azerbaijan should take serious actions to focus on local leadership development strategies, which will take the country to the “next level”. text by Dayanat AHMADOV, Boyden Azerbaijan, Partner PhD Candidate




© Yuliya Baturina | Dreamstime.com


ABAI AND UNKNOWN SPIRITUAL AND CULTURAL VALUES OF KAZAKHSTAN Kazakh literature has been presented to British audiences for almost two centuries, but only recently is it really starting to get noticed. Great literature, old and new is coming to the surface of the literary world and with it bringing renewed interest and engagement. One such famous writer is Abai, and many researchers have dedicated their life’s work to his broader recognition. British people started to learn about the existence of the Kazakh state thanks to the efforts of the first Kazakh scientist, historian, ethnographer, folklore, geographer, and artist, Chokan Valikhanov in 1865. As one of the authors who presented such information, Valikhanov opened the door to the wider world and his works can today be found in the British library. The valuable contribution into the introduction of the Kazakh Culture to the British people was the house of Abai that opened in 1995 in London, thanks to the efforts of talented Kazakh writer, Rollan Seisenbayev. This year is the 131st studying period (1889-2020) of Abai and the Kazakhs are naturally very proud of Abai Kunanbaiuly. I consider, Abai to be unique with his specific peculiarities as a coach and tutor of all humans and the ideas of the group of “Abaeologists” help us accept him more confidently as he deserves to be distinguished among world celebrities. While surveying the long discovery thoughts on Abai’s works, I have found revolutionary attempts to portrait him as a phenomenon, but five such researchers stand out. First, Mukhtar Auezov, a well-known writer, whose novel “The Path of Abai” has been translated into 114 languages. Although he had discovered the philosophy of Abai’s “Holistic man”, he was not able to share his ideas properly because of the politics during those years. As we know from history, the earlier efforts of




© Beka Tasmagabmet I Unsplash

Mukhtar Auezov, who did try to open our eyes to the nature of Abai’s world, the poet’s East was richer than his West. The Eurasian Creative Guild (the UK) have made a significant contribution into the development and popularization of Mukhtar Auezov’s works to the European platform, especially during the cultural week of the ECG dedicated to the 120th anniversary of this great Kazakh writer in October 2017 in London. The ECG literature festival event in Brussels in 2019 was also full of content with cultural programs dedicated to the 175th anniversary of Abai Kunanbayev. Second, one of the strongest researchers, Professor Mekemtas Myrzakhmet is disappointed with the fact that researchers misunderstood Abai’s ideas for a long time during soviet period. The absence of a system work between Abai research institutions in the country today makes him sad. He has contributed a lot to the opening up of Abai. Professor Myrzakhmet points to the rude mistakes in the old Kazakh history books under the influence of the colonizers and he believes more in the written history of the Turkic people. He


explains the meanings of Abai’s poems, as the main goal of Abai to have an “intellectual nation”. While reading Abai, we should pay attention to the deep meaning of every line in his poems and sayings. This is in contract to the large number of “parrots” who just recite Abai without efforts to understand. According to his consideration, the ministries of education and science, culture and sport should collaborate to prepare textbooks on Abai’s “holistic man” and introduce Shakerim’s ideas to encourage students to value them as our national heritage and accept them as spiritual food. Professor Myrzakhmet says that obsession and addiction to power and wealth make the people spoilt, forgetting their cultural upbringing and traditions. Third, another serious researcher, philosopher, Professor Garifolla Esim insists on analyzing Abai’s ideas through Islamic Philosophy.There clearly pointed directions of Sufism by Yassaui presented in Abai’s “Book of words” are an essential legacy of a nation and it should be valued as an eternal will.

Author’s Note I have tried to mention some important ideas from the Kazakh literary world to give a general picture. Popular British poet, translator, and composer John Farndon, is currently working on translating the opera “Abai” into English and we hope to enjoy a performance in London in 2021. John Farndon has collaborated with Central Asian authors fruitfully for a long time and his creative tandem with Rollan Seisenbayev presented beautiful results in 2019. I would like to thank other British authors, very talented people such as David William Parry, Caroline Walton, Steven Bland, Nick Rowan, Laura Hamilton, and many others. Big respect and many thanks to the vice–president of the ECG, Marat Akhmedjanov, who has made significant efforts to build the bridge between East and West. I would like to recommend you Herold Belger’s book “Goethe and Abai” edited by David William Parry, to get the full information of the relations of Titans’ spiritual connection through the time like Goethe (1780), Lermontov (1840), and Abai (1892) based on the poem, “ Wanderer’s Night Song”.

Fourth, a hardworking researcher, Asan Omarov defines Abai as a reformer of Sufism and he presents Abai’s literary period with the correct order. This year, a new edition of Abai’s works by Asan Omarov is seeking a publisher. He proved the correctness of the efforts of the historic Alkei Margulan, connected with 34 poems of “New law” and the collection of Abai added with 20 more newly discovered poems from Omsk archives. Fifth, the years of independence in Kazakhstan have allowed anyone to obtain sources from Abai and create their own understanding in his philosophy. Well-known economist, Professor Orazaly Sabden, has presented an exclusive program with the right instruments on how to use the “Holistic man” in his book, “The mechanisms of Abai’s edifications realization in the XXI century”. Professor Sabden suggests that the East Kazakhstan oblast should be given the name of a poet, none other than Abai Kunanbayev. Text by Bakhtygul Makhanbetova




THE SURPRISING BREADTH OF ARMENIAN DIASPORA THROUGHOUT THE WORLD As I entered the hotel room in Windsor and turned on the TV, I was pleasantly surprised to see our handsome compatriot, Arthur Abraham, on the TV screen. Arthur Abraham (Avetik Abrahamyan) is an Armenian-German professional boxer, born in 1980 in Yerevan. The next day I visited Tate Modern, and when I saw “Garden in Sochi” by Arshile Gorky on the wall, I felt as if I was just greeted in Armenian. Gorky (Vostanik Adoian) moved to the US in 1920 and became one of the 20th century’s most outstanding American painters, and a seminal figure in Abstract Expressionism.

home to the largest and richest Armenian community in the world. There are Armenian neighborhoods around the city, an Armenian TV channel, newspapers and magazines, dozens of Armenian churches, and a couple of MPs officially representing their interests in the government.

There aren’t that many Armenians in Britain. Still... a person like Calouste Sarkis Gulbenkian can reveal more about his nation than millions of other talented people. Gulbenkian (1869-1955) was a renowned Armenian businessman and philanthropist of British nationality. He played a major role in enabling access for Western companies to the petroleum reserves of the Middle East and is credited as the first person to exploit Iraqi oil.

As for Europe, there’s been an Armenian presence almost since the beginning of European civilization. The tragic opera «Poliuto» (based on Pierre Corneille’s play «Polyeucte») by Donizetti was performed in the world’s best opera houses for several centuries, and is dedicated to the life of an early Christian martyr, Armenian prince Saint Polyeuctus in circa 259 A.D.

Another example of a British person of Armenian descent is Andrew Clement Serkis, born in 1964, who is a prominent English actor and film director. His father, Clement Serkis (originally “Sarkisian”), was an Iraqi-born Armenian. Serkis has received many awards, including the BAFTA Award for Outstanding British Contribution to Cinema in 2020. Sarkisian is a lucky surname for a film career! It was proved by Cherilyn Sarkisian, a Hollywood star and an American-Armenian singer, actress and television personality. She visited Yerevan in the 90s, when the country was in a dire economic situation, and her visit was cheering for us. Another superstar, Kim Kardashian, followed in her footsteps and, together with her husband and sister, visited Armenia in 2015 to commemorate the victims of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. The USA has a vast Armenian Diaspora. William Saroyan, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and other prestigious awards, is a vivid example of an American-Armenian, born in 1908 in Fresno to immigrant parents. Saroyan wrote extensively about Armenian immigrant life in California. American-Armenians reside mainly in California, although there are large Armenian communities all over the country. Los Angeles is


Another outstanding American-Armenian is the legend of the world of business, «The Richest Man in California» Kirk Krikorian (1917-2015), who founded the Lincy Foundation in 1989 in response to the devastating Spitak earthquake.

There was a myriad of Armenian emperors and generals in Byzantium. One of the better known is Basil the Great (867– 886), an emperor of Armenian origin, who established the Macedonian dynasty. As for Greece, Armenians have been “insiders” there since prehistoric times. One of the major centers of Armenian culture in the world is Saint Lazarus Island, a small island in the Venetian Lagoon, which was founded by Armenian Catholic monk Mkhitar in 1717. The island was a favorite destination for Lord Byron, who frequently visited the island since 1816, and became acquainted with Armenian culture, studying the Armenian language there. France became home for numerous refugees from Western Armenia after the 1915 Armenian Genocide. Those events are reflected in a thrilling film , “Mayrig”, directed by the talented Henri Verneui (Achod Malakian). The Armenian community in France is very active and well-organized, maintaining a genuine connection with Armenia. They include the prominent musician Charles Aznavour, talented artist Jean Carzou (Garnik Zulumyan), and Michel Legran (his mother was of Armenian descend): those people have become legends of world culture. Recently, we learned about new

“Achievements of Armenians”: Anouch Toranian (Socialist Party) was elected the head of the 15th arrondissement of Paris, and Jeanne Barseghian (Green Party) was elected mayor of Strasbourg: both are ambitious and talented women with an impeccable reputation. As for the Middle East, Armenians are considered almost indigenous there and traditionally enjoy great respect in Arab society. What about the Armenians in Turkey? The Armenian community in Turkey has survived, and they consider themselves as an indigenous people of the country, remaining devoted to their roots. A brilliant representative of the community is Garo Paylan, a Turkish politician of Armenian descent. He is a Member of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey for the Peoples’ Democratic Party representing Diyarbakir. He became one of the first Armenian members of Turkey’s parliament in decades. Armenians in Russia form part of a unique epoch in the history of Armenian nation.The incorporation of Eastern Armenia into the Russian Empire in 1828, after a long Persian rule, gave a powerful impetus to the development of the nation, and underpinned the formation of an independent Republic of Armenia. By the decree of Catherine the Second, Armenians from the Crimea were resettled to the Don steppes in the southern borders of the Russian Empire, still undeveloped at that time. Since then, Armenians of Rostov and Krasnodar Krais and the North Caucasus have been considered an indigenous ethnic group.They’ve preserved their language, traditions, and links with their historical homeland Armenia. Ivan Aivazovsky - the legend of Russian Fine Arts, Agrippina Vaganova - the legend of Russian ballet, and Alexander Mantashyan - the legend of Russian oil business among other Armenian oil tycoons. Time will not permit a mention of all famous and renowned Armenians of the Soviet Union. But a few are worthy of recognition:

Anastas Mikoyan was the second person in the USSR government with his indisputable contribution to the resolution of the Caribbean crisis in 1962. Gevork Vartanian was a Soviet intelligence officer. He and his wife Goar Vartanian were among those in charge of thwarting the notorious Long Jump Operation, concocted by Adolf Hitler and led by Otto Skorzeny, which attempted to assassinate Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt at the Tehran conference in 1943. Ivan Bagramyan was a prominent military figure, a Marshal of the Soviet Union. Armenian academician Abram Alikhanov (1904 -1970) was one of the creators of the first Soviet atomic bomb, and his brother Artem Alikhanian, also nuclear physicist, academician (1908-1978), was the founder of Yerevan Physics Institute. Aram Khachaturyan was a renowned Armenian composer and Viktor Ambartsumian was one of the 20th century’s top astronomers. Apart from the stars listed above, there is an actual star in the sky with an Armenian name. Itis Asteroid 3027 that was named «Shavarsh» after Shavarsh Karapetyan - a multiple medallist of diving championships and a genuine Prometheus of the late 20th century, who saved dozens of lives from certain death three times in his lifetime. Today he resides in Moscow.

by Yelena Aslanyan translated by Astghik Melik-Karamyan This was a very brief description of us, Armenians - the guardians of ancient genes and active creators of the future. Photos: From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository Arshille Gorky «Garden in Sochi» opera «Poliuto»





THE DIVINITY OF COGNAC In Moldova the term Divin (distilled wine) is used to denote a local cognac made by the classical French production process (a method of double distillation of wine in Charentais pot-stills) with obligatory ageing in oak barrels. Since the term cognac is copyrighted by the French, no other nation has a legal right to call its product by this name, so the word divin has become a Moldovan synonym for cognac. The word divin has double meaning: in Romanian and French languages it means divine.Yes, the pun is intended, but how did this product end up so far from its ancestral home? Wine Origin Moldova sits in the South-East of Europe, its shape on the map ironically resembles a bunch of grapes, and, suitably, it has over 100 thousand hectares of vineyards with more than 50 grape varieties growing there. The viticulture and the winemaking on the lush banks of the Dniester exist from immemorial times. It is not possible to know who was the first to bring the vine onto this fertile soil, but the historical mentions of grapes being frown in this region can be found in many sources. Legendary Odysseus, setting off on his journey, had taken good wines with him. In the same poem by Homer an eleven-year-old vine is mentioned. But where had Odysseus headed? In one of his voyages he reached the banks of the river Tiras (which the ancient Greeks called the Dniester). It was probably then when the vine and the wine first made it onto the territory of present -day Moldova, approximately in the 8th to 6th centuries B.C. At that time, the left-bank of Transdniestria was partly under Greek colonization, and was coupled with an intense settling of handicraftsmen. However, the Greeks had not come into an empty place. Before the settlement in the Black Sea coast area they had already known the local territory - in the second millennium B.C. they mentioned them in their myths.




By the time Odysseus arrived at the Black Sea coast area, the Scythians had already established their empire. Ancient Greeks used to dilute wine with 2/3 parts of water, but having become acquainted with the Scythians, they were surprised that the latter drank undiluted wine. After that some Greeks began to adopt the Scythian custom at home. After the formation of the Moldavian Principality in 1359, new European varieties of grapes were introduced, autochthonous varieties, and high quality wines were created in landlord and monastery estates. Wine became part of the Holy Communion and a religious symbol. At the beginning of the 19th century, Russian aristocrats made a fashion out of cultivating vineyards, where they grew the best foreign and indigenous varieties of grapes with the help of experienced specialists from France and Germany. Several wine microzones with remarkable potential were developed: Camenca, Purcari, Lapusna, Bulboaca, and Romanesti. Moldovan wine turned out to be prestigious at the Tsar’s residence, as well as in Europe, which at that time was short of wine because of the aftermaths of the phylloxera epidemic.


One of the best known winemakers of the left bank of the river Dniester was the Russian Field-Marshal-General of the second half of the 18th – early 19th centuries, Prince Peter Wittgenstein, Count Zey von Berleburg. Having settled in Camenca (Transdniestria), he created an industrial vineyard there – the best European vines were brought from France and from the banks of the Rhine and planted on the terraces on the slopes of the surrounding hills. The success of Prince Wittgenstein, who was the first in the region to successfully develop viticulture and winemaking on a scientific basis, found followers among the large farmers and landowners of Moldova. Wine Spirit At the end of the 19th century several industrial enterprises specializing in the production of wine-distilled spirits were established. These were six major distilleries in Calarasi, Lapusna, Chisinau and Tiraspol, and a few small houses. During the WWI and the Civil War only three distilleries remained. Factories were plundered, deserted and burned to the ground. The restoration of the main plants of the industry took decades.

In 1937 in the magazine “Red Basarabia” there was an article, “Winemaking in Moldavia in the third five-yearplan”, which read: “In 1934 in Moldavia an independent wine trust is founded… A large part of Moldvintrest products are taken out far beyond Moldavia... A large conveyor is put into operation at the Tiraspol winery & distillery…”

What attracts amateurs and connoisseurs of noble drinks the most? Divins feature a golden to amber color, a complex and refined flavor with floral and fruity vibes, and a velvety and rounded palate. What makes these beverages so special is that each blend contains spirits made both from French varieties of grapes and local Moldovan grapes. Divins are inimitable masterpieces with a subtle national trait so valued by conBut the updated and reconstructed factories were not sumers in the countries of the CIS, EU, Africa, America, given the opportunity to put their plans into practice. and Asia. WWII erupted and after the War Moldovan manufacturers focused their efforts on increasing production text by Oleg M. Baev, D.Sc., professor, is the Director Generof varietal wine-distilled spirits in order to improve the al of the Tiraspol Winery & Distillery KVINT. He started his quality of their young and fine divins. career at this factory in 1967 as an ordinary worker in the wine-blending cellar. Oleg Baev is the author of divins “TiBy 1970s four distilleries in Tiraspol, Chisinau, Balti, and ras”, “Victoria”, “Tiraspol”, “Suvorov”, “Prince Wittgenstein” Calarasi were producing approximately 10 million liters and more than a dozen other strong alcoholic beverages. of divins in total, thus giving Moldova the status of one He wrote several books on oenology and viticulture. of the leaders in industry among the Soviet republics. Since 1996 Moldovan brandy has officially been named divin – it is not just a product name, but also a national brand, a Protected Geographical Indication. Nowadays there are over a dozen manufacturers of divins, made by a classical production process from wine-distilled spirits aged from 3 to 60 years.




A PUBLISHER AND AN AUTHOR TALK: CORDIAL, BUT TO THE POINT Sometimes an interview is best had a just a conversation. We reprint below Publisher, Marat Akhmejanov’s, conversation with Marcel Salimov about literature and creativity. It is in full, unedited and fascinating. Marat Akhmedjanov: Dear Marcel, your literature writing comrades have written about you that you are “a satirist by nature”, “a God-given humourist”, “society’s mirror, in which our true face and our flaws are reflected”, “a respectable man of high culture” and “an incorrigible optimist”. But who are you really? Marcel Salimov: Yes, dear Marat, many critics, even very respected ones, view me mainly as a satirist. A rather serious satirist. It’s hard to disagree with their opinion. I can only continue living up to the title of “a serious satirist”.

MA: What role does creative work take in your life? MS: Satirical writing became my way of life a long time ago. There were different circumstances in life, but I always stayed true to myself: I have never written anything specially for those in high positions and with a fat wallet. And now I am still opposed to anything that is bad. In support of the best traditions of Russian satirists, I aspire to protect those weak and honest, and to fight those powerful, but unjust. It is not the easiest thing to do, but it’s absolutely necessary for development of the humanity.

MA: And satirically saying, how did you sink into it? MS: I was 8 years old, when I wrote my first satirical text. It was a poem about a quite popular problem here in Russia – about drunkenness. At the age of 14 I published my first feuilleton in a Bashkir satire magazine called “Khenek” (pitchfork). When I was 24 years old, after graduating from Bashkir State University philology faculty, and after serving in the army, I began working in an editorial office of this magazine and I continued on this journey for almost 40 years. First, I worked as a literary assistant, then as an editor and for the last 30 years (until retirement!) as an editor in chief.

MA: Your book, “The Book Which Has Never Been Written Before” was published in London under the ECG book series and was well-received in Britain. There was a presentation given at OEBF-2017 (Open Eurasia) Literature Festival in Stockholm and you were awarded a special prize as “Breakthrough of the Year” by the publishing house Hertfordshire Press. Yet I do have a burning question. One of your two your novels is titled “Love, Soviet Way”. Can love really be defined by some country or some time period or epoch? MS: Of course, it can! Because the events described there developed during the times, when there were no computers, no mobile phones, and, oh my, no Internet. And in such conditions in the centre of Eurasia somewhere on the spurs of the Ural Mountains lived the soviet people - our quite close ancestors. They were rather interesting, these soviets: they were honest, worked hard and fell in love without using Internet. And their love was of a special kind, it was soviet. Bashkortostan is the land of my ancestors, a wonderful land, counting its history from ancient times. It is renowned for its unusual nature, and cultural and historical monuments. The unique rock paintings of the Shulgan-Tash caves are more than 14,000 years old, and the ancient town of Arkaim is over 4,000 years. In the days of Herodotus, the Ural Mountains were known as Hyperborean Mountains. Some scientists say that the wheel was invented by Bashkir ancestors in the South

MA: Were you not bored of working in the same place all of your life? MS: Working in the same editorial office is like living all of your life just with one wife. There are pros on cons to it. Each person is different. But in my opinion, a work you love is like a woman you love, there is never too much of it. MA: Tell me, what is the meaning of your pen name? MS: In old Turkic mar means “pummel” and salim means “strong”. As one Russian satire magazine “Noviy Krokodil” once wrote, I am a “strong pummel from Bashkiria”!


of the Ural Mountains. I don’t know if that is true, but I know for sure that Bashkortostan has been a source of inspiration for creative people for centuries.

Guild. How do you feel when you come home after a long journey? MS: I am full of positive emotions! After each one of your events I come back creatively inspired, with new strengths and powers to write.

MA: Very interesting. So, what is the meaning of “eurasianism” for you? MS: First of all, peace and friendship between nations. MA: In what future projects do you plan to take part? And, of course, love and respect! I titled one of my Maybe, you can share with us plans about some perpoems “Eurasia is in my heart”. sonal project of yours? MS: No! I don’t like boasting in advance. MA: How has the Eurasian Creative Guild influenced your writing then? MA: Then I’ll put it this way: what are you working on MS: In my view, the Eurasian Creative Guild is a union currently? of talented people. Unforgettable creative meetings, MS: I’ve been working all of my life on one novel. It’s close association, bright speeches - all of these are about myself and about my fellow satirists. Some parts beneficial to creative people. Thus, I was able to get of it get to be published as feuilletons, short stories and to know famous British writers - David Parry, Laura poems… Still this novel turned out to be a life-long Hamilton and John Farndon for example. Great people! work… At the meeting in Stockholm David hugged me as a brother. And in my speech at the festival I said: “One fa- MA: What qualities should a national author possess in mous Englishman stated that humans come from mon- order to break through into world literature? keys. Maybe some of them do. But when I look at David MS: That one should be not only a break-through, but smiling, I think to myself: he is definitely not from mon- also a talent! keys. Maybe, dear David, you come from cheerful and friendly Great-grand-Bashkirs, who lived in the centre MA: But in your opinion, what is the most important of Eurasia.” And then David smiled sheerly and gave me point for a modern writer in his work? a big hug, saying: “Yes, I do come from them!” They say, MS: Being brave and objective! A writer should be inthere is a bit of truth in every joke. I don’t know how terested in problems that are affecting the majority or big it is in my joke, but real scientists argue that Bashkir even all of the people on our planet. and British ancestors belong to the same haplogroup R1b.And it is a well-known fact that English and Bashkir MA: I think so too.We need books like this! Thank you, languages share similar sounds and that we like drink- dear Marcel, for our cordial conversation. ing tea with milk just as the English do. So, David as well MS: See you next time! could be my distant relative. Who knows! Interview by Marat (Mark) Akhmedjanov MA: Yes, that is amusing… Marcel, you are actively participating in events organized by Eurasian Creative





ZOOM MEETINGS It’s always been important to be connected with creative people around the world. But it’s difficult in these pandemic times when so many of us our trapped by quarantine or lockdown. That’s why the Eurasian Creative Guild came up with the idea of organising online Zoom meetings so we can all stay in touch from the safety of our homes. Every Saturday at 2 pm (Moscow time), Eurasain Creative Guild has been hosting fantastic online discussions about art, literature, business communication, translation, travelling and other creative topics. Already, the creative team of the Guild has conducted 21 of these panel discussions. Every time it’s remarkable to see how many people around the world of all ages are involved, sharing their work, their opinions and their own unique experiences.

It’s fascinating how the Zoom platform unites students, professors from leading universities, experts in the field of economic, tourism and art from all over the world. These online discussions provide an incredible opportunity to find out more about how people in different places are responding to the situation. Individual opinions and solutions are always invited on any issue in focus. OCA Magazine is incredibly happy to see new participants at Zoom meetings, we are always open to your suggestions! The next Zoom meeting will be on 20th October, 11am (UK time), dedicated to “The future of the Caspian Sea- economy and ecology”. Further details can be found on our website, Facebook pages and Instagram accounts.

There are members of the Eurasian Creative Guild from 159 countries, so we hold meetings in Russian and English language so as many people as possible can join in. All detailed information is always available on our website, Facebook pages and Instagram accounts. OCA Magazine also arranges online discussions dedicated to global topics. Every month there is an international meeting with experts and professors. So far meetings have been held about “Central Asia tourism recovery and future outlook (postCOVID 19)” and “Educational challenges and opportunities of the Coronavirus”.







TRIUMPH OF EURASIAN CINEMA IN LONDON ANOTHER YEAR OF SUCCESS DESPITE THE CHALLENGES THE FILM AND CINEMA INDUSTRY FACES IN 2020 Despite the odds, from 13th to 19th August 2020, Romford hosted the second ECG Eurasian Film Festival - one of the few film festivals in the world that promotes Eurasian cinema in the English-speaking world. The ECG Film Festival is held annually in conjunction with the established Romford Film Festival.

Kyrgyzstan, Canada and Finland submitted their works to the “ECG film festival”

On 19th August, 2020, the winners of the festival were announced at the awards ceremony at Premiere Cinemas London. The jury included established directors, and film professionals, Gulfiya Sharipova (Russia), Maria This year, both Festivals made the decision not to go Musorlieva (Bulgaria), Alla Damsker (Russia), Spencer online but instead, go ahead in a traditional live format, Hawken (UK) and Monty Cox (USA). showing films on the big screen to a cinema audience. making them the first ‘physical’ UK film festivals since The award winners were as follows: Grand Prix (Best Feature Film): the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Materia” - director Natalya Naftalieva (Russia) The two festivals screened over 200 films in categories such as documentaries, feature films, short films, ani- Best Short Feature Film: mated films, new trend book trailer, music video and Józefa’s Letters - Extraction from Oblivion - directed by Michael Daniel Sagatis (UK) screenplay. Film Directors from Belarus, Kazakhstan, Italy, Russia, Best Documentary Film: Great Britain, Israel, USA, Qatar, Sweden, Germany, “Bovsuny Grannies” - director Suchkova - Ladik TatyaIran, Georgia, Ukraine, Armenia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, na (Ukraine)




EVENTS Best Screenplay: “House of Silkworms” - Zaure Turekhanova (Kazakhstan) Best Music Video: the Nevrida band “Tugan Yak” (Belarus). Acknowledgment Certificate for an Animated Film: “Time Acceleration Method” - directed by Emil Guzairov (Kyrgyzstan - Russia) Acknowledgment Certificates for a Book Trailer:

• •

“The Daughter of a Kurd” - director Elena Aslanyan (Armenia) Projective Graphics (by Elena Bezrukova) - directed by Pavel Pogadaev (Kazakhstan)

All guests of the festival were given rating cards, which enabled guests to vote for their favourite movies. As a result, the following films received people’s choice diplomas: People’s Choice Award: • Documentary - “Round Horizon” - directed by Irina Egorova (Russia) • Short Film - “The Box” - directed by Zhezilda Lima (Russia-Brazil) • Music Video - “Ufa” directed by Marat Fayzullin (Russia). There were also discussions on current trends in modern cinema and a daily online diary of the festival in social media created by Timur Akhmedjanov. A great moment for the audience was the showing of an ‘out-of-competition’ film that has received recognition at many international festivals - ‘One War’ by director Vera Glagoleva (Russia). In addition to the film programme there was a presentation of a special issue of ‘OCA People’ magazine and an art exhibition by ECG artists: Olesya Shibaeva (Moldova), Larisa Pak (Kyrgyzstan), Marua Baitursynova, Lidia Drozdova, Ravil Abdulov, Rauan Suleimenov, Elena Bezrukova-Musienko, Marlan Nysanbaev, Alexander Dolinsky, Kuralai Amanzholova (Kazakhstan), Igor Gushchin (Russia) and a series of reproductions from the Savitsky Museum in Nukus (Uzbekistan).


We are excited to announce that applications for participation in the third ECG Eurasian Film Festival have already been announced. You can submit work on the platform: filmfreeway. Information: Eurasian Creative Guild (London) is a non-profit organization that has been promoting and uniting creative people from all spheres and forms of art since 2015. The guild has brought together thousands of cultural figures from all over the world and was created as a community of writers, musicians, dancers, illustrators, designers, sculptors, poets, as well as anyone who considers themselves as a Creative. The Romford Film Festival has run annually for four years. It shows a selection of independent, international films over a minimum of four days. Its founders are British filmmaker Spencer Hawken, and cultural organiser Natalie Bays. Last year the Eurasian Creative Guild (London) joined them under the leadership of John Farndon and Marat Akhmedjanov. Contact: Elizaveta Belova E-mail: info@eurasianfilmfestival.uk Whatsapp/phone: +447411978955

text by Jonathan Campion
















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 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.




ISBN: 978-1910886816


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.

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


ISBN: 978-1-910886-11-3

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








01/01/2017 23:25:28

“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.



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

and trans-

HERTFORDSHIRE PRESS 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

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. LANGUAGE ENGL PARPERBACK ISBN: 978-1910886892 RRP:£14.95 “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. ISBN: 978-1-910886-72-4






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 KANYBEK IMANALIEV THE KAGANATE Overall, The Kaganate is a remarkably skilful and fabulously imaginative prose poetry collection, which explores the overwhelming need for young men to be destructive, the overtly pagan sensibilities of the authors native Kyrgyzstan, along with those disciplines required by adolescent boys to channel instinctive animosities away from their parents into the rigours necessary to become worthy young warriors in such a way that his volume proves virtually obsessive. After all, each one of these observations evokes a subtle type of “second puberty” occurring between older men assaying values above mere materialism, sexuality, and having children - in order to focus on shared spiritual concerns. ISBN: 978-1910886960 HB RRP:£19.95

VLADIMIR TULINOV THE GUARDSMEN OF HIPPOCRATES No people suffered more during the Second World War than the people of the Soviet Union and the soldiers of the Red Army. Tens of millions perished and further millions were wounded – horrific numbers, which would have been even higher if it weren’t for the efforts of the army of doctors, nurses, and medics who treated the wounded and the suffering. V.M. Tulinov’s The Guardsmen of Hippocrates brings the reader up close to the men and women who fought to save the lives of those struggling to resist the Nazi invasion. ISBN: 978-1910886946 HB, RRP: £19.95 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


self help

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 ALDONA GRUPAS NURSE, GIVE ME A PILL FOR DEATH true stories Nurse, Give Me a Pill for Death is the story of Aldona’s long journey from Lithuania to a new life in England, complete with the challenges of adapting to a new culture while launching a successful nursing career. The book also provides a rare window onto the daily work of nurses caring for the sick and elderly as they face that final journey into death – some filled with hope, others sunk in despair. The author shares the joys and heartaches that such work entails, along with the compassionate motivations that transform a nursing career into a genuine vocation. Readers are swept along on a journey that is gruelling and inspiring – at times heartbreaking but ultimately uplifting. ISBN: 978-1910886922 RRP: £9.95 PB / £14.95 HB

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





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.

Take a trip along this remarkable historic trading route that once ran from Venice, through the Mediterranean, across Turkey and Iran, through the Caucasus and Caspian Sea, onwards via Central Asia and finally to China. This publications charts the history of the Silk Road with an engaging text that is accompanied by stunning photography showing the landscapes, architecture, people and traditions found along the route today. Be part of this epic journey now by pre-ordering and/or sponsoring this new publication. AVAILABLE ON AMAZON & DISCOVERY-BOOKSHOP.COM RRP: £34.99 ISBN: 978-1-913356-07-1

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





RHYMES ABOUT BOYS by Lyudmila Dubkovetcaia (2019) A prize-winning poem by Moldovan author, Ludmila Dubcovetcaia, Rhymes about Boys is a vibrant tour de force. Joyful and witty in equal measure, this engaging and fast-paced book is bound to captivate children. Can you find your name in there? HARD BACK ENGLISH ISBN: 978-1-913356-03-3 RRP: £17.50

СОФЬИНЫ НЕБЕСА, ИЛИ ВОЛШЕБНЫЙ ДАР ГНОМОВ Оксана Гордийко (2019) The eleven-year-old Ukrainian girl Sofiyka, after the events of the Maidan, moves to live with her family in Wroclaw, Poland, where her father was offered a job. A young family settles in an unusual, mysterious apartment of an old house with antiques. It is in this apartment that the Wroclaw gnomes hide the magical colors that the forces of Good and Evil have been hunting for for centuries. In the city of Fabulous Beauty there are many mystical adventures. The writer Oksana Gordiyko invites readers to experience them together with the heroes of the book. HARDBACK RUSSIAN ISBN: 978-1-910886-97-7 RRP: £14.50

LEIA THE LITTLE MOUSE by Arina Chunaeva (2019) Leia the Little Mouse follows a small, determined mouse called Leia who loves to draw and paint more than anything else in the world. However, the mayor of her hometown of Yoshlish, the oppressive Mews Mursus is determined to stifle the passions and aspirations of its citizens. In this society, people are only allowed to pursue a career dictated by their family business, which is passed down through the generations. Another horrible and restrictive custom is that young people are forced to marry via a lottery. Thus, Leia finds herself promised to an old sewage worker, doomed to a loveless marriage and unable to fulfil her creative passion. HARDBACK ENGLISH ISBN: 978-1-913356-01-9 RRP: £22.50 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




TALES OF GRANDMA GULSIFAT by Gulsifat Shakhidi Everyone loves fairy tales, both adults and children, and in this book each person will find something both attractive and instructive. In this volume, the heroes of these fairy tales: a wounded dove which refuses to surrender, a tricky monkey called Cutie, an old-time doll named Alyonushka, a naive lamb, a young wolf which does not want to grow bloodthirsty, and other animals will tell their stories to you, my friends and readers. HARD BACK ENGLISH ISBN:978-1-910886-90-8 RRP: £22.50

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

new books







ecg book series САУЛЕ ДОСЖАН САҒЫНЫШ... сборник рассказов на казахском языке / kazakh language ISBN: 978-1-910886-46-5 RRP: £9.50

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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





ISBN: 978-1-910886-61-8 RRP: £12.50 РАИМ ФАРХАДИ ОСТРОВ СТИХОВ стихи ISBN: 978-1-910886-56-4 RRP: £14.50






RRP: £19.95

nitive-linguacultural methodology and the theory of intercultural communication”.

The work can be applied to the theory and practice of training as well as to the process of upgrading translators, philologists and specialists in the fields of intercultural communication, foreign language education and in other spheres of international correlation.





The professional and functional model of a modern translator has been proposed FOR HIGHER FOREIGN and the competence-based educational paradigm has been developed on the conceptually-grounded platform. LANGUAGE EDUCATION




Reviewers: Alshanov R.A. – PhD, President of Turan University

The scientific and theoretical platform and methodology of the “cognitive-comSTRATEGIC GUIDELINES municative concept of translation studies” are presented on the basis of the “cog-




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

The manual is focused on the conceptual basics of cognitive linguistics in the theory and practice of intercultural communication and the formation of a multilingual personality. It describes the patterns of the formation of a global intercultural space; dwells on the conceptual and theoretical foundations of “intercultural communication” as an independent scientific branch; the ways and cognitive-process components of the formation of the “language personality”; the methodological grounds of translation studies and foreign language education.



Kunanbayeva S.S.

Kunanbayeva S.S.

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




ISBN: 978-0957480780 RRP: £19.95

ISBN: 978-1-910886-67-0 RRP: £19.50


ISBN: 978-1-910886-99-1 RRP: £14.95

PAPERBACK ISBN: 978-1910886267 RRP: £18.50


PAPERBACK ISBN: 978-1910886267 RRP: £17.50

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! PAPERBACK

ISBN:978-1910886373 RRP: £14.50

A POETIC TREASURY FROM BELARUS A celebration of the life and work of Vera Rich The copyright on Vera’s translations from Belarusian is held by the Francis Skaryna Belarusian Library and Museum © HARDBACK


ISBN: 9978-1-913356-04-0 RRP: £14.95





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 ISBN: 978-1910886663 RRP: £19.95 HARDBACK ENGLISH LOST PARADISE - TRUE PARADISE by Gulsifat Shakhidi, 2019 ISBN: 978-1-913356-02-6 ENGLISH HARDBACK 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 HARDBACK ISBN: 978-0-955754913

RRP: £25.00

WANTED MAN by Gary Cartwright (2019) “Gripping... an expose of how money talks in the EU and in individual member states. Corruption is a growing problem and as always, as this book shows, the guilty remain at large, and the taxpayer foots the bill.” — Colin Stevens, Publisher, EU Reporter www.eureporter.co ISBN: 978-1-910886-95-3 PAPERBACK RRP: £9.95 PHONETICS AND PHONOLOGY PROBLEMS by Fakhraddin Veysalli (2016) In this manual, the phonetic structure of the Azerbaijani language and its phonological systems have been (systematically) explained by focusing on comparative materials from a number of different languages. Thus, the author defends his theoretical position, as well as persues common principles, through the topics raised. Additionally, he demonstrates his thoughts and considerations, while basing his own investigations upon existing perceptions in literature. As such, this book is primarily intended for philologists. However, these materials can be used by teachers of language or literature, along with postgraduates, dissertants, and students of philological faculties: including everyone interested in linguistics. PAPERBACK ISBN: 978-1910886182 RRP: £19.95 ENG































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