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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: £34.99 ISBN: 978-1-913356-07-1




Cover: Vladimir Zhirinovsky Photo 24784355 © Igor Dolgov | Dreamstime.com, 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 countries, for now, seem to be in this sub-category, even if the real case rates and mortality are likely being under-reported or mis-reported (there have been many more cases of “pneumonia” than usual). Of course, these governments are used to implementing strict measures that have enabled them to curtail the spread of the pandemic and avoid the tragic human tolls seen among many of their neighbours. But the economies of Central Asia have been significantly impacted. Nearby Russia and China have focused on their own problems first, which leaves Central Asia in a precarious economic position that may give rise to further unexpected social or political instability in the months and years to come. The world faces a new problem though – vaccine nationalism and inequality are putting up barriers to an effective program to vaccinate the world. Leaders are being slow to recognise that until the world is vaccinated, new variants will emerge to haunt them. The Economist put out a haunting map showing that Central Asia will only be vaccinated from later 2022 to early 2023. COVAX is helping, but distribution is challenging - for example, Kyrgyzstan has stated a lack of funds for the cold storage chain required for Pfizer thereby limiting vaccine options it can employ. Dear Reader, The global vaccination campaign is underway – it is the only realistic way out of the horrendous impact of the novel coronavirus that struck the world 18 months ago. Fortunately, we have more than a handful of seemingly effective and safe vaccines from the US, UK, Europe, China and Russia. It is not possible to overstate the miracle that these have come along so quickly and effectively. Although some have had years of preparations, we are lucky not only that they exist but also that in many cases they seem to be able to be tweaked to deal with the continued emergence of new variants. There are broadly two categories of countries that exist in today’s world: Those who have controlled the spread of the virus and essentially put up physical barriers and where track and trace systems can be effective (China, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand for example) and those who have lost control of the virus (pretty much every country on earth except a few like Tanzania and Turkmenistan where the governments continue to claim they have been untouched by the virus – despite the former recently losing its President to “Covid-like symptoms”). There are of course subcategories in this situation – some countries are becoming overwhelmed (such as Brazil), while others are seeing local transmission but are managing to keep things seemingly under control. The Central Asian

With the US and EU being extremely protective on vaccines for their populations first, Russia and China have an eye to vaccine diplomacy and influence in Central Asia. Russia is constantly projecting the superiority of its vaccine, Sputnik V versus those of the West. China’s one dose, fridge temperature vaccine (Cansino) will be tempting, but countries like Kazakhstan are seeking to have alternatives, agreeing to produce Sputnik V locally as well as developing their own vaccine. If the UK/EU spat currently playing out teaches us anything, it is that security of supply comes from diversity of supply. But with diversity comes the risk that diplomacy will not shroud the disappointment from some actors to see that their product is being at best shared with and at worst shunned for a competitor. Central Asia is clearly emerging as a key arena for the continued Great Game of influence channelled through the barrel of a needle. Enjoy the issue!

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


COVER STORY Photo 148302421 © Vladgalenko | Dreamstime.com



Vladimir Zhirinovsky is no stranger to controversy. The founder of the Liberal Democratic Party in Russia, he has been involved in politics and public life for most of his career. A fervent Soviet Union idealist, whose magnus opus, “The Last Break Southward” set out in no uncertain terms that he felt the only solution for the Russian nation was for Russia’s reach to extend to the shores of the Indian Ocean and the Bosphorus, Zhirinovsky is known for his view on how traitors of Russia should be dealt with. He has run for several presidential elections, infamously promising voters that if he were elected, free vodka would be distributed to all and that his presidency would in effect sum to a police state. Now 74, OCA magazine caught up with Zhirinovsky to see whether the pandemic had changed any of his views.

OCA Magazine: You were born in Almaty in what is now independent Kazakhstan. Do you feel any affinity to your birthplace? Vladimir Zhirinovsky: Of course, this is my homeland. Unfortunately, now I can’t even go there on a private visit, because the Kazakh authorities do not allow me to do so. This attitude towards Russians was the reason I left Kazakhstan at the age of 16. I understood then that the priority in employment, culture, and in everyday life is for Kazakhs only. Russians are now treated as second class citizens.

OCA: Please tell us a bit about your background and how you became involved in politics? VZ: Since childhood, I stood up for my opinion, defended my rights, and argued with teachers. All my life up to the age of 43 was trying to participate in one way or another in public life. But it was only possible in 1990 finally to switch to party work. Back at school, I actually wrote a letter to Brezhnev with a proposal on how to improve the economy through agriculture. In the USSR, they sold potatoes of terrible quality for a very cheap price. I suggested, well, let’s raise prices by 30% - people won’t notice it - and the quality of the product will increase. Or bread, it was also sold for a penny and used to feed livestock. The quality was poor. But I was just reprimanded for this anti-Soviet fabrication. OCA: In 1991 you founded the Liberal Democratic Party, which became the first officially sanctioned opposition party in the Soviet Union. What was behind the founding of this party and what were its aims? VZ: Parties are the central element in public policy; they form the managerial skills, they develop ideas and programs,

they represent the voice of the people. So, I always wanted to be a party member. I tried several times to join the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, but they didn’t accept me, because I was not ready to just keep silent and always vote “for”. In 1977, I participated in an attempt to create an underground party but failed. The police arrested several participants in a safe house, and I only narrowly escaped. In 1988, out of curiosity, I attended the congress of Valeria Novodvorskaya’s Democratic Party. I was invited to speak and was even elected to the leadership. But I turned this offer down because I already understood then that these people were radicals. They wanted to fight not for power, but against the country, to destroy the Soviet Union. I met many future like-minded people there who, a year later, persuaded me to lead a new party - the future LDPR. Our first meetings were held in December 1989, and then at the founding congress in March 1990. In May 1991, the LDPR nominated me as a candidate for the presidency of Russia, and the Supreme Council of the RSFSR supported me. As a result, I - a simple lawyer who had nothing to do with the country’s leadership - took 3rd place. 6.2 million people voted for me. It was a sensation. Two and a half years later, the LDPR won its first seats in the State Duma. OCA: You came under criticism from Western commentators at the time as being a living embodiment of authoritarianism and militarism in modern Russia. Why do you think your politics led to this portrayal and how close to the truth is it? Do you ultimately believe in democracy or another form of government? VZ: After our victory in the State Duma elections, Deputy Prime Minister Yegor Gaidar, in a conversation with US Vice President Al Gore, called us fascists, because we were against the dissolution of the USSR. Although in reality everything



COVER STORY was the opposite. LDPR at that time was the main moderate, centrist party. We avoided any extremism. On the one hand, we accepted the transition to a multi-party democracy and admitted the need for economic reforms, but we proposed to do this gradually: 1% per year and only in the service sector, not in the heavy or extractive industries. Even today I have a strong allergy to any encroachment on the territory of the country. Why on earth did we fall back to the borders of the times of Ivan the Terrible in 1991? Hundreds of thousands of Russians died for these lands. We haven’t conquered a single kilometre! All national outskirts either themselves asked for the protectorate of Russia, like Georgia or the modern Central Asian republics, which were threatened by southern neighbours, or became part of Russia under international agreements. OCA: If you were to run for president again, on what basis would you run and how would you change things in modern Russia today? How would you look to strengthen the relationships with former Soviet Union countries? VZ: One of the main transformations that I would carry out would be to cancel the division of Russia into regions along ethnic lines. In Russia, which is itself a republic, there are other republics that are indicated in the Constitution as independent states. How is this even possible? This is the legacy of the vicious Soviet system. The Bolsheviks needed to divide unitary Russia into national parts in order to prove to the world that it was not one country that adopted Communism, but many different ones united in a union.This laid a terrible mine under our statehood, and this mine exploded in 1991, when the USSR cracked under the artificial borders. 14 new states were formed! Not one of them ever existed within such boundaries. Regarding the policy towards neighbours, it is necessary to initiate a referendum in all post-Soviet countries: are you ready to return to Russia with the rights of national autonomy? I assure you that the majority would support this proposal, and we would all live richer and better lives, because most of the industries in the CIS countries are focused only on each other. OCA: The poisoning and subsequent arrest of Alexei Navalny has been well-publicized in the media recently. He too leads an opposition party in Russia. Given your experience of being in opposition, how do you assess the current situation relating to Navalny? Can a true opposition party exist in modern Russia and if so, how should it conduct its politics?



VZ: Navalny is an enemy of Russia. His slogans are beautiful: freedom, democracy, the fight against corruption, etc. But what is behind them? An open fight against Russia itself is in the interests of Western governments. It’s no secret that Navalny is initiating US and EU sanctions against Russia he openly calls on the European Parliament and Congress to implement them. Imagine if a British politician demanded sanctions against Britain. How would citizens react to that? Almost everything that Navalny participates in is somehow connected with the governments of other countries. He felt ill on the plane, Russian doctors saved him, the government, at the request of his wife, gave permission for an emergency trip to Germany for treatment, where he was fully supported by the state as a “guest of the chancellor.” Then he recovers and immediately accuses Russia of being poisoned with combat poison! There is a lethal dosage thousandths of a millilitre. If he was poisoned on an airplane with such a substance, all the passengers would be killed.And Navalny supposedly survived. At the same time, Germany refuses to provide at least some evidence of poisoning. OCA: How do you see the outcome of the US presidential election, removing Trump from office, as influencing US-Russia relationships in the near term? VZ: This is some kind of legal absurdity. American-style legislation. Democrats are trying to dismiss a man who has long been retired.The Bolsheviks did about the same in our country at the beginning of the 20th century; they executed the tsar and persecuted everyone who doubted the new policy. Nevertheless, I do not think that under Biden, relations with Russia will somehow deteriorate. The Democrats have already achieved their goal, removing an unwanted president from power, gained a majority in the House of Representatives, and increased their fraction in the Senate. They no longer need the image of an external enemy. Now they are more likely to engage in internal politics, they will finish off internal political enemies. As for the outside, the conservation of America will continue, the withdrawal of troops from other countries, and a decrease in influence. OCA: The current pandemic has led to numerous challenges for countries across the world? There has been scepticism surrounding the Russian COVID-19 vaccine (Sputnik V). What do you think is behind this and how do you think the vaccine will help bring Russia (and the world) out of the pandemic?

VZ: Our Sputnik V vaccine is by far the best in the world. All research reports were published in the respected international medical publication, The Lancet. The Russian vaccine has a low cost, high efficiency - 91%; it is easy to transport. In Russia, several million people have already got vaccinated, including me and most of the Liberal Democratic Party deputies. For comparison, the American Pfizer should be stored at -70 degrees! It is much more expensive, and several dozen people died during the tests in different countries. The British “Astrazeneca” was ineffective – it gives only 70% protection and does not prevent infection with new strains, for example, South African. So, of course, we are saving ourselves from the pandemic. Restrictions are gradually being lifted in Russia - This gives us a good advantage in catching up on the losses of 2020.





William H. Moser was nominated by President Trump as the United States Ambassador to Kazakhstan in 2018 and sworn in in 2019. He has been a diplomat since 1984 and has experience of Kazakhstan from his previous posting in 1996 when he served in the then-Embassy in Almaty as a management officer and then as energy attaché. OCA caught up with Ambassador Moser shortly after the US inauguration of Joe Biden. OCA Magazine: You have significant experience working with Eurasian countries. What were your first impressions of Kazakhstan and its culture when you first arrived? William Moser: During my three years in Kazakhstan in the 1990s, my family and I fell in love with Kazakhstan, both its people and its culture. In fact, I frequently joke that I really learned Russian from Almaty taxi drivers during those years! However, my first impressions of a new Kazakhstan in then-capital Almaty are very different from my impression upon arriving in 2019 as U.S. Ambassador in Astana,


now Nur-Sultan. I think Kazakhstanis can be proud about how their country has developed since independence. More importantly is what hasn’t changed: my admiration for the strength and richness of Kazakhstani culture, their world-famous hospitality and their openness to visitors. I have always felt welcome in Kazakhstan. We’re celebrating 30 years of diplomatic relations between the United States and Kazakhstan this year in a series of events we are calling “30 Years Together.” We have much

to commemorate: our co-operation on nuclear non-proliferation, together cleaning up the hazardous waste left behind from the Soviet era in Semipalatinsk; American private investment, including tens of billions of dollars in the oil and gas industry, which has helped transform Kazakhstan’s economy; and, our security co-operation, exemplified by the recent successful repatriation operation bringing back Kazakhstani citizens from Iraq and Syria. Many things have changed over the last 30 years, but our unwavering support for Kazakhstan’s sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity will continue to be the bedrock of our strong relationship and Enhanced Strategic Partnership. OCA: What do you think that the culture of Kazakhstan has that sets it apart from the other countries of Central Asia? WM: Central Asia is such a unique and beautiful region – and my hope is that more and more Americans discover this by coming to visit. This is especially true for Kazakhstan, where even each region of the country has its own distinctive culture that I’ve enjoyed getting to know. From the poetry of Abai, to the musical traditions of the dombra and throat singing, there is a rich tradition that is every Kazakhstani’s birthright. There are a number of legends associated with Kazakhstan’s incredible natural landscapes. Every place I’ve visited in Kazakhstan (and I am proud to say I travelled extensively before the pandemic) has a wonderful local folktale associated with it. OCA: What are the main spheres of economic or trade co-operation between the United States and Kazakhstan, both today and in the future? WM: Historically, U.S. investment in Kazakhstan has been primarily focused on the oil and gas sector, where U.S. companies have been doing business since the earliest days of Kazakhstani independence. Together, Chevron and ExxonMobil are heavily invested in all three of Kazakhstan’s largest oil and gas projects – Tengiz, Kashagan, and Karachaganak. We are extremely proud of the contributions these companies have made to Kazakhstan’s remarkable economic development over the past 30 years. Several Kazakhstanis have risen to senior management levels in these companies. Looking to the future, and as Kazakhstan looks to diversify its economy, we see enormous opportunities for U.S. companies to contribute to that effort. Of particular interest right now is the agricultural sector, and we have been very excited about the news that Valmont plans to build a factory for irrigation equipment here, and that Tyson Foods is

developing animal husbandry interests in the economy. But we also see opportunities in other sectors, such as mining, transportation/logistics, information technology, and tourism. One of our main roles in the Embassy is to work closely with the Kazakhstani government to help create the right conditions to attract more U.S. investment into Kazakhstan. OCA: How do you see our two countries growing closer together, especially in these times of uncertainty? WM: U.S.-Kazakhstan relations have benefited from thirty years of co-operation and people-to-people exchange. Our ties are stronger now than they’ve ever been. There are many excellent examples of how our two countries continue to grow closer together. Just focusing on how the United States has been a friend and partner of Kazakhstan during the COVID-19 crisis, we have delivered more than $6 million in direct assistance to combat the virus. From purchases of needed Personal Protection Equipment, to providing laboratory equipment, our partnership has remained strong during this difficult period. But all of this assistance only builds on the firm foundation established during our long-term co-operation. The United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), for example, have been working with Kazakhstani scientists and medical professionals since 1996. CDC has run a program to train epidemiologists in Kazakhstan since 2003 and thus far we have trained 107 Kazakhstanis, many of whom are now in leadership positions in the government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year we expanded the program and four of the five COVID-19 vaccines in development in Kazakhstan are being researched in Kazakhstani labs built with assistance from the American people. OCA: Would you agree that the bilateral relations between the U.S. and Kazakhstan are at their best ever currently? What do you think could still be improved? WM: Yes, I would agree with that statement. But you’re also correct that in every relationship there can be improvements. It is only because we have such a strong bilateral relationship that we’re able to have frank discussions with each other on difficult topics. Human trafficking is a good example. The United States knows that we and our partners can never stand still in the fight against modern slavery. For the last two years



INTERVIEW in a row, Kazakhstan was on the Tier 2 Watchlist of the Department of State list, which means that there are significant improvements which need to be made. We are committed to working with the Government of Kazakhstan to implement key recommendations and make these important changes to stay ahead in this fight, prosecute traffickers, and protect vulnerable groups. OCA: The culture in Kazakhstan differs markedly from the U.S. What have you learned that might be of interest for our readers who may be from Western countries? WM: I really encourage your readers to come to Kazakhstan to see for themselves the beautiful country and experience the culture first-hand. While there may be many differences between our two cultures, there are actually more similarities than many of your readers may think. For instance, we showcased in photographs some of the similarities between traditional Kazakh nomadic culture and Native American culture. National Geographic also showed the incredible similarities in culture and landscape between the United States and Kazakhstan in a beautiful exhibition. The United States and Kazakhstan share many traditions from having an open and large countryside - “big sky” country as we call it in the American West. OCA: What’s the perspective/plans of the U.S for developing democracy in the countries of Eurasia? WM: A key element of the United States’ Central Asia Strategy is to promote rule of law reform and respect for human rights in Central Asia. Meaningful citizen input, inclusive political systems through elections, transparent policy formulation, rule of law, and respect for human rights make countries more stable and prosperous. The United States values its relationship with Kazakhstan and will continue to encourage a broadening of opportunities for political participation for Kazakhstan’s citizens, and the free exercise of fundamental freedoms for all the people of Kazakhstan. OCA: How do you think the recent events in the US around the departure of Donald Trump as president might negatively influence the development of democracy in the Eurasian countries? WM: In short, it won’t. Despite the violent storming of the U.S. capitol building on January 6, Congress completed its constitutional duty that same day, and we had a peaceful


transfer of power on January 20. Democracy can be difficult, and it can certainly be messy, but our country has also demonstrated its resilience. There are always some adjustments and changes in every new administration, however, we have had a strong relationship with Kazakhstan now for 30 years and that will continue. OCA: How do you think the confrontation between the United States with China and Russia might affect Kazakhstan? WM: The United States was the first country to recognize Kazakhstan’s independence, and the United States and Kazakhstan have enjoyed 30 years of co-operation and partnership. We continue to value this partnership and close relationship. Nothing will change that. Our policy is to ensure that the nations of Central Asia have the freedom to choose from a variety of options and partners in pursuing their own national interests. Regarding Russia and China, President Biden has been clear that we will seek co-operation when it is in the interests of the American people – it’s not just about “confrontation.” At the same time, we will not be shy about speaking up when we see other countries violating the rights of their own people, using chemical weapons, engaging in unfair trade practices, and other behaviors harmful to international security. I am proud of the open relationship we have with Kazakhstan, which allows us to discuss regional and global issues frankly. We also seek to improve the region’s connections to the global economy so Central Asian nations do not have to depend on any one country for trade and development.




THE ROLE OF THE CASPIAN SEA IN THE ECONOMY OF AZERBAIJAN The Caspian basin has historically been at the centre of production and trade cultures of Central Asia, Iran, the Caucasus and the Volga region. It has formed an important link in the magnificent Silk Road culture that connects Eastern countries and Europe. Today, the basin is an important player in the world economy, with annual economic output of $2.5 trillion. The Caspian Sea creates advantages for Azerbaijan to build and develop economic ties through the maritime economy between the Volga,Trans-Caucasus, North Caucasus, Central Asia and Iran. The favourable geographical position, rich biological resources, oil, natural gas, phosphorite, salt, iodine, and bromine reserves, as well as sanatorium and recreation opportunities of the coastal regions, provides a solid economic, strategic, social and environmental importance of Caspian Sea for Azerbaijan.


The role of the Caspian Sea in the economy of Azerbaijan is undoubtedly primarily related to its hydrocarbon deposits and development. Industrial oil production in Azerbaijan began in the 19th century. The oil pumped from a well drilled in the “Bibiheybat” field in Baku in 1848 laid the foundation for the industrial extraction of “black gold” in Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan ranked first in the world in oil production and refining, accounting for half of world oil production in 1899. During World War II, Azerbaijan accounted for 75 percent of oil production in the Soviet Union. In 1949, the oil fountain in the then rare Oil Rocks marked the beginning of a new phase of offshore oil production 100 kilometres from Baku and Azerbaijan was the first in the world to start offshore oil production. Intensive organization and implementation of planned geological exploration work in the Caspian Sea since the early

In 2017, an Amended Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) for the development of the “Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli” (ACG) block was signed in Baku which extends the “Contract of the Cen-tury “ until 2050.

1970s is one of the unparalleled historical gifts of the National Leader of the Azerbaijani people, Heydar Aliyev. Today, his farsighted plans with such projects has enabled Azerbaijan’s independence and prosperity. The oil agreement, called “The Contract of the Century”, was signed with Western oil companies on September 20, 1994 in Baku. It opened a glorious page in the new history of Azerbaijan, providing basis of exploration, development and production sharing of the “Azeri”, “Chirag” and “Guneshli” fields in the Azerbaijani sector of the Caspian Sea. In total 32 agree-ments were signed with 41 oil companies from 19 countries. The total investment portfolio is about $60 billion dollars under these agreements. The launch of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan export oil pipeline in 2006 and the Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum gas pipeline in 2007 significantly strengthened the country’s role in the world energy markets.The discovery of large gas fields - the “Umid” and “Absheron” fields are some of the greatest achievements of the industry. The probable reserves of the “Absheron” field are about 350 billion cubic meters of gas, which adds to Azerbaijan’s proven gas reserves that have reached 2 trillion 550 billion cubic meters. In September 2014, the foundation of the “Southern” Gas Corridor project was laid at the Sangachal terminal. Today, full-scale development of the Shah Deniz gas condensate field, expansion of the South Caucasus Pipeline (SCP), Trans-Anatolian Pipeline (TANAP) and Trans-Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) are in place to ensure the operation of the Southern Gas Corridor in connection with the transportation of Azerbaijani gas to the world market. Furthermore, significant work has been completed on three elements of the corridor, consisting of four major projects - development of the “Shah Deniz-2” gas field, the South Caucasus Pipeline and the TANAP pro-ject.

The Caspian Sea is connected to the Black Sea by the Don and Volga rivers, which means Azerbaijan is a crucial connecting country between Asia and Europe. Therefore, an important part of the East-West transport network is the sea routes passing through the Caspian Sea. The Caspian Sea determines the international importance of the Baku-Alat port, allowing the development of maritime transport with Russia, Central Asian countries and Iran. This port is the most strategic part of Azerbaijan’s logistics infrastructure and is the key point of the logistics corridor, which provides for the transportation of raw materials and finished products from China and Central Asia to Western markets. Characterised by its depth, and never freezing nature, this port will be of great importance to the countries of the Black Sea, the Middle East, Europe and Southeast Asia in the future. A large shipyard has been built in Azerbaijan in recent years to capitalise on this: The Alat International Sea Trade Port in the Caspian Basin is now in operation. Similarly, the Baku -Tbilisi-Kars railway has been constructed. For a long time, determining the legal status of the Caspian Sea has been a decisive factor for the wider use of its economic potential. The Convention on the Legal Status of the Caspi-an Sea, signed in Aktau in August, 2018, is the only such document agreed upon by all Caspian littoral states. According to the document, each country with a coastline in the Caspian Sea has a share in the upper sea up to 15 miles from the shore, and the right to fish 10 miles from the shore. The rest of the sea is kept in common use. One of the important points of the Convention is that Article 14 establishes the right of the littoral states to build main pipelines from the bottom of the Caspian Sea by mutual consent. It also creates a legal basis for the future realisation of the Trans-Caspian pipelines, which are important for the strategic interests of Azerbaijan.

Prof. Adalat Muradov UNEC, rector





In 2021, it is thirty years since the dissolution of the Soviet Union. Many observers in 1991 forecast a short future for the new independent states, similar to the fate of the European states created in 1919 which had lost their independence a quarter century later. The Central Asian countries have met this challenge, and for most citizens material well-being has improved since 1991. A challenge of the 2020s will be to ensure that sustainable economies can support rising living standards and other goals. Three Economic Phases The 1990s in Central Asia were dominated by nationbuilding and transition from central planning. Severe economic collapse in the early and mid-1990s was driven by the end of central planning, breakdown of Soviet demand and supply chains, and hyperinflation. Output fell and, while a few became rich, most people suffered reduced living standards with many families reduced to poverty The five countries created different market-based economies, ranging from the most radical reforms (in Kyrgyzstan) to the least radical reforms (in Turkmenistan) of all fifteen Soviet successor states. By 2000 the transition from central planning was essentially complete, and the varieties of market-based economies have changed little in the 21st. century. Political systems, established in the 1990s around a general pattern of strong presidencies, also changed little (apart from in Kyrgyzstan). Between 1999 and 2014, national economic fortunes were largely shaped by the resource boom. While the 1990s were economically harsher than many expected, economic performance over the next fifteen years exceeded expectations – albeit with some reservations. The resource boom powered rising incomes in Central Asia and reduced the need for economic reform, either because increased oil and gas revenues removed pressure on public spending or because emigration and remittances to oil-producing countries provided a safety valve.


Table 1: GDP per capita, 2000-19, current US dollars Kazakhstan Kyrgyz Republic Tajikistan Turkmenistan Uzbekistan

2000 1,229 280 138 643 558

2014 12,807 1,280 1,104 7,962 2,492

2016 7,715 1,121 802 6,390 2,568

2019 9,731 1,309 871 n.a. 1,725

Source:World Bank World Development Indicators After 2014, when world prices for key exports collapsed, incomes fell and governments acknowledged the need to reorient Central Asia from dependence on primary product exports and remittances. Improved transport infrastructure has opened a window of opportunity to create more diversified outward-oriented economies. Successful countries will reinvigorate economic reforms to improve the chances of taking advantage of the opportunity. However, governments are reluctant to make dramatic policy changes, in part because economic reforms create winners and losers and the potential losers included the political elite. Political Context for Further Reform After independence, the Communist-era leaders transformed themselves into national presidents. Personality mattered to some extent – Kyrgyzstan was relatively fortunate and Turkmenistan unfortunate in their inherited leaders – but resource base and historical background were major determinants of national economic outcomes. Apart from Kyrgyzstan, which has had an active civil society and ongoing political instability since 2005, political leadership in the 21st. century has been stable. Changes in president – notably after the deaths of the first presidents of Turkmenistan in 2006 and Uzbekistan in 2016, and retirement of Kazakhstan’s first president in 2019 - the succession was smoothly arranged within the elite. A major reason for lack of economic reform since 1999 is that the economic transition benefitted an elite which

feared further reforms might undermine their wealth. Governments were suspicious of unregulated markets and of international organizations that might constrain their sovereign power. Before 2010 only Kyrgyzstan joined the World Trade Organization. Uzbekistan - geographically the centre of Central Asia - imposed substantial costs on transit and discouraged international trade.

Currently, the trains take sealed containers through the transit countries without stopping, but improved infrastructure of trans-Central-Asian railways creates potential outlets for non-traditional Central Asian exports. Which countries take advantage of the opportunity will depend on their success in implementing economic reforms to improve the ease of doing business and to facilitate trade across borders.

A countervailing force to this reluctance to reform is a generational change in leadership. Whereas the initial presidents had spent their entire lives in the planned economy, the presidents in 2021 have spent the majority of their adult lives in their countries’ post-independence market-based economies. This mirrors similar changes in the wider population. Leaders and populations more comfortable with market-based domestic economies and participation in the global economy than in the past may be more open to economic reforms.

Table 3: Volume of Traffic on China-EU-China Container Trains, 2015-20

Table 2: Central Asian Leaders by Date of Birth Source: Eurasian Rail Alliance Conclusions

Economic Context for Further Reform The economic context in the 2020s includes improved infrastructure for overland trade across Eurasia as well as an uncertain global trading system and the consequences of the COVID-19 epidemic. In 1991 all roads, railways, air routes and pipelines led north from Central Asia to Russia. After independence, exports could be sold on world markets but establishing such trade depended on the product. Cotton’s high value/weight ratio made it feasible to airfreight if cheaper means were unavailable. Gold was similar. Construction of new oil and gas pipelines would follow increased energy prices in the twenty-first century. Non-traditional exports requiring overland transport have been rare despite upgrading of road, airport and rail infrastructure over three decades. A potential game-changer is the creation of efficient rail services between China and Europe, on which freight has grown from virtually zero before 2011 to over 550,000 containers per year in 2020 despite the COVID pandemic.

Central Asia has changed dramatically over the last thirty years. The market-based economies created in the 1990s contributed to increased economic prosperity and opportunities in the 2000s, although economic uncertainty and inequality increased. Positive economic outcomes since the turn of the century were also driven by high world prices for oil and gas, gold and other minerals until 2014. Whether that can be built upon in the 2020s will depend upon national economic reform to make economies more efficient and responsive to market incentives, including opportunities offered by improved Eurasian infrastructure. The need for reform is apparent to a new generation of leaders whose adult lives have been mostly spent in postcentrally planned economies, but the leaders may be driven by the interests of an elite which is content with the status quo. The resolution of these dilemmas will be decisive.

Text by Richard Pomfret Richard Pomfret is Professor of Economics at the University of (Adelaide, Australia) and Adjunct Professor of International Economics at the Johns Hopkins University SAIS Europe in Bologna (Italy), where he teaches a course on the economies of Central Asia.




THE EURASIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY: THE FUTURE OF THE COUNTRY IS BORN HERE YERLAN SYDYKOV CHANCELLOR OF THE EURASIAN NATIONAL UNIVERSITY CHAIRMAN OF THE COUNCIL OF RECTORS OF UNIVERSITIES OF KAZAKHSTAN This year,The Eurasian National University (ENU), named after L.N. Gumilyov, will reach over a quarter of a century in age, during which time, its consistent successes across all areas of the educational space, has seen the institution comfortably take it’s place as one of the regions leading educational establishments.


“Nur-Sultan can become the sacred capital, the heart of Eurasia, and the most sacred centre of this heart is our Eurasian University in Nur-Sultan”, the First President of Kazakhstan defined the significance of the young university, assigning it a huge responsibility in training young specialists for the country.

The vision of Eurasianism, as articulated by Nursultan Nazarbayev, is closely connected with the theory of “passionarity” that was first proposed by the Eurasian scientist Lev Nikolayevich Gumilyov, after whom the university is named.The ENU became one of the first proponents of the idea of Eurasianism that has been successfully implemented at the interstate level.

Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, which has developed more than thirty drugs for medicine and agriculture. The successful implementation of a system for preparing a water-fuel oil emulsion, capable of producing alternative fuel to supply all boiler houses of small cities with a population of up to 40 thousand people in 2019 is the result of the integration of the ENU scientists and businessmen.

For the ENU, 2021 has begun in earnest and there are a number of priorities requiring immediate action to nourish positive global development during a time where “humanity chooses between future opportunities and threats...”

Today, the university occupies a leading position in the Kazakhstan segment of international scientific journals. The average citation index of one article by ENU scientists over the past five years from 2013 to 2019 is higher than the national average. Scientists of the university, the winners of the “Top Springer Author “ award, hold absolute records in Kazakhstan for the number of articles in journals with an impact factor published of one author per year. Among them are the names of both well-known and talented young researchers. According to the international information and analytical platform Web of Science, in 2020, ENU was awarded the independent award “Leader in the Number of Publications” in the subject area for “Materials Science” over the last 3 years among the universities of the Republic of Kazakhstan by the Web of Science Core Collection.

In response, the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, has authorised the provision of all intellectual resources, processes, initiatives, conceptual scientific ideas, personnel specialists & technologies to successfully equip the next generation of graduates to tackle the most urgent issues facing society today. Since its inception, the ENU has become internationally recognised, achieving 357th place among the top 400 QS World University Ranking of leading universities from among thousands of universities. ENU also ranks 51st in the QS ranking for “Developing Europe and Central Asia”. In 2019, the university was included in the Times Higher Education (THE) global university ranking for the first time. In 2020, the university took a worthy place in the 800+ group of THE subject rating in the direction of physical sciences. For more than ten years – ENU has been in the top three of the National Rating of the best multidisciplinary universities in Kazakhstan according to the Independent Agency for Quality Assurance in Education. The ENU has been making efforts towards modernisation of scientific activities with the allocation of funds for the purchase of laboratory equipment, to not only expand the range of research activities, but also to bring scientific projects into commercialisation. It’s scientists from ENU that are currently leading the way in both fundamental and applied research areas such as nuclear and space technologies, bio & nanotechnologies, and new technologies for the hydrocarbon and the mining industries. Examples include the Engineering Laboratory, which develops projects on track membrane technologies and the Research

The supercomputer, otherwise known as the artificial intelligence “PARAM”, was introduced into the scientific and production process thanks to the co-operation of Kazakhstan and India. In the Kazakh-Indian Training Centre of Information and Communication Technologies, where the supercomputer is located, many undergraduates and doctoral students of Kazakh universities worked on joint international research projects. Today, the ENU has more than 20,000 students and employs about 3,000 teachers. The fact that its demand remains high is evidenced by the fact that in the past 9 years the number of students has increased from 12,000 (in 2011) to more than 20,000 (in 2019), that is, by 60% Training is conducted at thirteen faculties across 68 departments and in 262 three-level educational programs, most of which fall under master’s and doctoral programs, which reflects the identity of a modern research university. The most important indicator of the quality of the university if often the level of employment of its graduates. Their demand in industrial enterprises, the quasi-public sector, and public services is 70-80%. Not every university can be proud of such an achievement.





The international relations of the ENU are very extensive. Today, the university closely cooperates with 370 recognised universities in 52 countries of the world. This fact attracts foreign students and teachers, the number of which increases from year to year. In 2019, the number of students studying abroad reached more than one and a half thousand people. The university has many amenities providing for the comfort of its students. In addition to the educational resources, students find themselves surrounded by various cultural centres and youth leisure organisations for interests and hobbies.There are dozens of such clubs and societies in ENU from public speaking clubs, theatres, orchestras, debating societies, music studios, centres for youth policy, foreign language learning and many more. In each building, coworking centres are open during free time. There are seven student accommodation buildings in the ENU. During the acute period of the pandemic, the ENU took an unprecedented step: it was the first in the country to launch the construction of dormitories on the basis of public-private partnership by attracting investors. The 2,500-seat construction facility will be commissioned in 2022. The 25th anniversary of the Eurasian National University named after L.N. Gumilyov happens in the context of another remarkable date – the 30th anniversary of Independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan. It is a wonderful reason to say: “The chronicles of the University are not interrupted: the years hold glorious abundance of the knowledge generation”. The well-known public figure Olzhas Suleimenov clearly deduced his formula of knowledge: “The people will become eternal if they always adapt to modern conditions. It should be, first of all, a knowledgeable people. Knowing his past, knowing the present, and then foreseeing the future.” The ENU, in the centre of Eurasia, is under the close attention of the state and its people. At the university, which is steadily increasing its influence on the international educational space, we look towards a more enlightened tomorrow for the Republic of Kazakhstan.





Since Kyrgyzstan is a part of Central Asia, events in this country affect both ongoing and planned projects and agreements throughout the region.The political crisis in the country, related to the third revolutionary change of power resulting from mass protests, led to a range of consequences, including those in its foreign policy.

This article raises the question about the consequences of yet another political crisis in Kyrgyzstan, and the article also sheds light on what can be predicted about the country’s foreign policy in this context.

Major international organisations were quite alarmed about the country’s political crisis in its early days. For instance, the UN and the OSCE called for the peaceful settlement of the situation. In a similar vein, the SCO and CSTO also expressed their concerns.

Internal contradictions, weak state institutions, and the inability of the authorities to pursue policies within the legal framework have cooled the western direction of Kyrgyzstan’s foreign policy.

The events of October 2020 revealed that Kyrgyzstan, the “isle of democracy,” has yet to successfully build a robust institutional and constitutional mechanism of the transfer of power to enable guaranteed legitimacy, social justice, and the representation of the interests of the main political groups.


The rule of law as a recipe for overcoming the crisis

Kyrgyzstan could have built exemplary relationships with the EU, a unique player advancing its normative issues. For many years, Brussels has supported Bishkek, and in 2016, Kyrgyzstan received trade preferences from the EU via the GSP+ system. However, currently, Bishkek risks losing these preferences amidst the lack of progress in the rule of law and

“Freezing” strategy human rights. Recently, the EU decided to postpone the €6 mln aid package to Kyrgyzstan until after the next year’s parliamentary elections, which implies that the new authorities lack legitimacy. This is confirmed by the Helsinki Commission’s statement, which stipulates that “for the country to move forward, the authorities have to seriously combat the widespread corruption, protect private businesses and foreign investment.” Principles of the rule of law and transparent elections, promoted by the West, could provide a recipe for overcoming the crisis. However, the interim authorities intend to carry out constitutional reform amidst the weak institutions, such as the main legislative body, extending its mandate on its own, the acting president, and the acting prime minister. Thus, one can observe, the interim authorities have turned a deaf ear to the calls of the local civil society, the Western partners, and international organisations to return to the law-based system.

Russia and China are also important partners for Kyrgyzstan. Since October, Moscow has suspended the provision of financial support to Kyrgyzstan until the stabilization of the political situation in the country and until the restoration of the functioning of the authorities. Additionally, the Eurasian Fund for Stabilization and Development (EFSD) has already suspended the transfer of $100 mln. – money intended to counter the impact of the COVID-19 on economic, financial, and social sectors. Paradoxically, the cross-cutting 2020 has marked significant, but perhaps, temporary cooling of the relationships between Russia and Kyrgyzstan. The last time, in 2019, Moscow unconditionally donated $30 mln. to Bishkek in support of the state budget. As a result of such a “pause” from Moscow, the new administration in Kyrgyzstan still has to resolve the issue of the budget deficit, which according to the latest data, comprises 35.6 bln. soms (around $434 mln. at the exchange rate of 1 USD = 82 soms). The strange measures of the new government, aimed at replenishing the state budget, propose an



POLICY economic amnesty, offering corrupt officials to voluntarily return unlawfully acquired funds to the state. The role and significance of China for Kyrgyzstan can hardly be overestimated. Beijing is the major trading partner and the main investor. According to 2019 data, China accounts for the largest share in the volume of incoming foreign direct investment – that is, 34.3% of the total volume. By 2019, China has provided Kyrgyzstan with loans of around $1.69 billion for transportation-related projects. However, the numerous attacks on Chinese enterprises, such as those in the Naryn region in 2019, have added a fly in the ointment to bilateral relations. In February of 2020, the protests of the local population once again disrupted the project of the building of the trade and logistics center, where the Chinese companies planned to invest up to $280 mln.

towards the country. Under the current conditions, the field for Bishkek’s foreign policy maneuver will be narrowing and further leading towards Moscow or Beijing. Objectively, none of the internal forces can challenge the status-quo in Kyrgyzstan, the economy of which is too dependent on Russia, where most of the migrants work, and on China, with its loans and infrastructure projects. The political crisis in Kyrgyzstan will play an ambivalent role for the other neighboring countries. Its “negative” role involves the justification of the authoritarian measures to supposedly strengthen stability, while the “positive” one entails showing the other authoritarian leaders that the voices of the youth and the opposition’s requirements at least have to be heard. Meanwhile, one may also predict that international organisations will strengthen their attention to the issues of “color revolutions” and the mobilization of the protesting potential.

Following the social unrest and the change of power in the country, Chinese Ambassador to the Kyrgyz Republic Du Dewen, drew attention to the security of the Chinese companies and enterprises during the meeting with Sadyr Japarov. It seems that the audit of bilateral relations with China has already begun. For example, the Chinese authorities might use the management of the border regime with Kyrgyzstan as a bargaining chip. Particularly, in response to Kyrgyzstan’s request to increase the cargo traffic at the Torugart checkpoint, besides the other technical requirements, the Chinese side voiced the necessity to ensure the safety of the Chinese companies. Interim findings With Kyrgyzstan focused on internal struggles, concentrating on confrontation between the different political forces, as well as on the issues of holding parliamentary and presidential elections, the “isle of democracy” has been rapidly losing its position in the international arena. Funding is being frozen, agreements are being postponed, whereas the new projects are suspended. While it might be sufficient to hold elections and obtain the official mandate to legalize power, maintaining legitimacy (the recognition by population and international partners) requires constant work. Such work entails improving socio-economic indicators, a genuine, rather than declarative fight against corruption, guarantees for agreements, and transparency. Each socio-political turbulence in Kyrgyzstan leads international organisations and actors to revise the credit of trust


Nargiza Muratalieva PhD in Political Science CABAR.asia Editor




NAVRUZ CELEBRATION IN TAJIKISTAN Navruz is one of the most ancient of holidays that has survived from the depths of centuries to present day. It is one of the biggest holidays of the Aryan people, including the Tajik people, and other peoples and cultures celebrate it under the same name. Each region in Tajikistan celebrates Navruz with its own distinct local customs and traditions. Badakhshan In Badakhshan, Navruz is celebrated as “Navruz of Sultan” in some places. In Shugnan and Roshtqala, it is called “Khidir ayom” (Great Holiday). In these places, people greet each other with the phrase “Shogun bahor muborak!” (“Happy spring”) and the answer is “Bar rui Shumo muborak”, which literally means “Happy to your face as well”. In Shugnan, Roshtqala and Ishkashim, two brooms are used to clean the house, one called “Savorajorub” (this is attached to a long stick) and the other “Piyadajorub” (without the stick). With “Savorajorub” the dust from the ceiling and walls of the house is removed and it is thrown on the roof through the hole in the ceiling called rudz, and by this action, all the evil forces that have accumulated during the year are expelled from the house.With “Piyadajorub” the lower parts of the house (chalak and nekh) and the floor are cleaned. Also, in the early morning of the first day of “Khidir ayom” or Navruz, the man of the house would take a few willow buds, cut the branches with a knife in the shape of pea shells, and children with the phrase “Shogun bahor muborak” would bring them into the house and the owner of the house sprinkles flour on their right shoulder with the intention of purity and peace and puts the branches between the walls of the house. Kiloguzguz, another local tradition, is a type of “trick or treat” done by children and teenagers. On the evening of the “Khonatakon” ceremony, which is entirely dedicated to cleaning and tidying up the house, children and young people go their neighbours’ or relatives’ house, climb the roof and through a long scarf, or several scarves tied together, from




CULTURE the hole in the ceiling (rudz) to the house and recite a special poem. A slice of bread is tied in one corner of the scarf, and the host takes the bread, and after the song is finished, he puts something on the scarf at the request of the person who came for kiloguzguz. According to the tradition of the mountainous Tajiks, everything that is requested from the owner of the house this evening must be done or given. Special dishes are also made on this day. Given the cold climate, women prepare dishes that are supposed to be warm. Bat, kochi, noni ravghan, consisting of milk, bread, and butter, boj, osh, amoch are an incomplete list of dishes prepared by Badakhshan women on Navruz. Kuhistoni Mastchoh The people of Kuhistoni Mastchoh district celebrate Navruz as the biggest and most important national holiday, and the first festivities begin in Paldorak village and end in the picturesque village of Rog. Until the end of March in all villages of the district, Navruz is celebrated as an ancient Aryan tradition with honouring the heritage of Jamshed, the ancestral New Year and the revival of spring, the beginning of the planting season and the eternal connection between man and nature. The end of Navruz in Rog village is not without reason since Rog Navruz is celebrated on the same day as the Navruz of Bukhara, and the students of Bukhara madrassas who spend the winter in the village would also join the celebration. In this village, Navruz is also called “Sari soli Rog” or “Rog’s Start of the Year”. Panjakent Navruz is an important and blessed holiday for the people of Zerafshan, especially the people of Panjakent. The people of this valley eagerly await the ancient holiday of our ancestors, which was celebrated in ancient Sarazm and later in the ancient Panjakent (Panjkat, Bunjikat or Panjekat) and prepare to celebrate it with bright and enlightened spirit. Navruz in Panjakent also begins with cleaning homes. The wisdom of this tradition is explained by the old women of Panjakent, who heard it from their ancestors: “With the advent of spring and the revival of nature, the human body is renewed. By cleaning one’s house and getting rid of broken and old utensils, blessings enter the house and remove sorrow”. Juftbaroron This ancient tradition is mainly practised by working elders and wealthy men. Juftbaroron is the beginning of the planting season. One of the old men takes a yoke of spores in the presence of all the villagers, and the other takes two or three cups of wheat in his shirt and throws them on the ground.


Other elders turn to the qibla and pray that the new year will be full, and the harvest will be abundant.

Rashtonzamin On the morning of Navruz, the people of Rasht open their doors and wait for their guests. During and after the holidays, visiting each other’s homes and visiting the elders of the clan and the village in general, public walks, cultural events and sports competitions, organization of festive markets, beginning of the spring planting and spring planting are the traditions of Navruz. In each village, a pair of bulls plow the land, and one of the elders begins the sowing season by sprinkling wheat. It is imperative to receive blessings from the elderly during the day. Rasht people say: “The way you celebrate Navruz impacts how you spend the entire year”. According to a local legend, on the day of Navruz, angels descend to earth and bring joy and happiness to people. They only enter a house where there is security, stability, and mutual understanding. On the day of Navruz, a white tablecloth is spread in the house of Rasht people. A variety of food, sweets, bakery products and, sumanak (a traditional sweet meal made of wheat) are placed on it. On the eve of the holiday, houses are cleaned. Old and broken things are thrown away, debts are paid off and peace is made the rivals on this day. Text by Khujanazar Aslamshoev




HOW HAVE KAZAKHSTANIS FARED DURING THE PANDEMIC? From March 2020 and throughout the whole year, the Business Information, Social and Marketing Research Center “BISAM – Central Asia” had been monitoring public sentiments and social situation by tracking changes caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The information was collected within the framework of international surveys by Gallup International, whose representative in Kazakhstan is BISAM Central Asia, as well as a number of special measurements. The surveys were carried out on a nationally representative sample, as well as on urban and special samples ranging in size from 500 to 2000 respondents. Today, contrary to the expectations of both general public and specialists, the pandemic continues and, apparently, is not going to leave humanity in 2021 either. The results of sociological monitoring make it possible to see qualitatively new behavioral traits of people and societies, which are important for the health care system, the socio-economic policies of countries, and for business strategies.


Fright and Bravado In March 2020, when Kazakhstan declared the COVID-19 pandemic state of emergency and the sample of the survey did not include a single respondent who had been infected or whose relatives and friends had been infected, fear of coronavirus was experienced by 53% of the respondents. At the same time, however, a noticeably large proportion of respondents – 60%, believed that the threat of coronavirus was exaggerated. By April, the situation had changed. The share of those who had a fear of being infected increased by 5%, and the share of “covidoskeptics”, those who were convinced that the threat of coronavirus was exaggerated, decreased to 47%. Here, however, Kazakhstan fell out of the world trend. Globally, bravado over the coronavirus had weakened significantly more. In the United States the proportion of those who had a fear of being infected increased by 25%, in Germany – by

22%. Most other countries recorded the dynamics close to these indicators. In this context Kazakhstanis turned out to be almost the most courageous people in the world in the face of the coronavirus. By June, Kazakhstanis had relaxed. The share of those who feared of being infected dropped to 45% with an increase in “covidoskepticism” to the March level and even slightly higher. However, a few days after this measurement, the COVID-19 situation in the country began to escalate sharply. In the next six months 6% of respondents had a confirmed coronavirus or suspected an infection. Accordingly, the share of “covidoskeptics” significantly decreased - to 44% of respondents in December 2020 compared to 60% in the first half of the year.

In the first months of quarantine, 58% of the working respondents switched to a new mode of work (remote work, online services, take-out orders, etc.). About two thirds of the respondents reacted negatively to this transition. An even more negative reaction was caused by the transition to distance learning, which affected almost all school, college and university students. On the eve of the academic year 2020-2021, 86% of parents of students, 74% of teachers of all types of educational institutions and 68% of students expressed their belief that distance learning has reduced the quality of education. The emotional state of Kazakhstanis had noticeably deteriorated. Almost all respondents experienced anxiety and stress. More than 70% of the respondents had to change their plans for the future and limit their circle of contacts. Assessment of State Measures

And yet, by the end of 2020, more than a third of respondents were convinced that COVID-19 was no different from a seasonal flu.

Despite material losses and emotional deterioration, the majority of the interviewed Kazakhstanis treated the measures of the state with understanding and approval throughout the entire period of quarantine restrictions. In March, 62% of respondents agreed with the statement that the government was coping well with the coronavirus, the number went up to 73% in April and 74% in June. However, there was some decline in the indicator at the end of the year, but it still retained a fairly high value of 66%.

Losses Measures to combat coronavirus had complicated the lives of Kazakhstanis much more than the virus itself. By June 2020, 76% of Kazakhstanis who participated in the Gallup / BISAM survey had experienced reduction of family income. Quarantine forced the overwhelming majority of respondents to learn how to save on almost all items of the family budget. Only 12% of those surveyed said that they did not have to “tighten their belts.” 32% saved on food, 43% - on medical services, 58% - on perfumes and cosmetics and 67% - on purchases of clothes and shoes.

Who is Guilty? With regard to responsibility for the spread of COVID-19, Kazakhstanis have found a fairly rational approach. Against the background of an infectious disease, their self-awareness turned out to be quite healthy. About 80% of respondents



SOCIETY agreed with the statement that people who refused to comply with the quarantine rules were responsible for the spread of coronavirus infection. However, there were also quite a few respondents who were ready to assign responsibility on “external forces”. More than a half of those surveyed believed that China was to some extent responsible for the pandemic, and a third of them thought it was the United States. About 60% believed that the World Health Organization had not performed properly in the fight against the pandemic. Fifty four percent of survey participants supported the belief that the virus originated in the process of development and testing of biological weapons. Like any collisions, the pandemic caused a craving for conspiracy theories. Toughened Up and Adapted? So can we say that Kazakhstanis have mastered a new lifestyle that is adapted to the pandemic? Hardly. As the monitoring showed, the mood of Kazakhstanis was characterized by doubts, uncertainty and suspicion throughout the year. Ultimately, this was expressed in vigilance in relation to vaccination. Only 56% of respondents are ready to be vaccinated, even with a full guarantee of the safety and efficacy of vaccines. The average indicator for the sample of respondents in more than 40 countries is significantly higher – 67%. Kazakhstan lags behind not only the countries of South-East Asia with their indicators of 84-98%, but also behind most of the Western countries and most of the CIS countries. However, it is ahead of Russia, where, despite the massive scale of vaccination, the share of those who do not agree to be vaccinated (46%) exceeds the share of those respondents who are willing to be vaccinated (43%). Throughout the year, Kazakhstanis were constantly disappointed in their expectations. In June 2020, 65% of those surveyed were confident that the situation would return to normal by the end of the year. This, as known, did not happen, and the forecasts became much more pessimistic.Thus, both the state and businesses will have to develop and adjust models designed for extraordinary and unstable. Leonid Gurevich, President Zhanna Abdrakhmanova, Marketing and Communications Manager BUSINESS INFORMATION, SOCIAL AND MARKETING RESEARCH CENTER “BISAM – CENTRAL ASIA” (Kazakhstan)






SECRETS AND MYSTERY OF BRASLAV LAKES The largest lake group in Belarus, including more than 50 lakes spanning 130 square kilometres, is located around Braslav.The lakes are connected by numerous, but mostly shallow, rivers and streams with a length of more than 300 km.

The most famous of the Braslav lakes are the Drivyaty, Tsno, Nespish, Nedrovo, Potsekh, Voyso, Boloyso, Strusto, Snudy, Lake Osveyskoye, Volos Severny and Volos Yuzhny. The outskirts of Braslav are one of the few regions of Belarus where there were once inhabited lake islands.

There’s a fragile world reigning, although there is a war around the hush of forests that cover them. Invites to rest a disarmed warrior And everyone here is breathing happin



NATURE has absolutely nothing to do in Belarus. Deep bays hide the cleanest beaches, isthmus, peninsulas and even an inner lake. It is not easy to find, being carefully hidden by lush thickets. But the tireless seeker is rewarded by an amazing spectacle: the forest ends and a perfectly round mirror of water opens in front of the eyes.

Since ancient times, the water has represented a mysterious and magical environment for Belarusians, where mighty creatures other than humans lived. It is not surprising that the lakes of Braslav are shrouded in famous legends and myths. The lake on the lake

One legend of the Braslav region is associated with the unusual origin of Lake Strusto. The deep clean reservoir provides good fishing opportunities. Legend has it that once in a marriage of famous girl, named Strusto, she loved a man with an unusual name, Shovo. Probably this legend has Bulgarian roots, evidenced by the fact that the Slavs started a war and Shovo went to defend his homeland from enemy forces. He promised to Strusto that he would return alive and unharmed, and his beloved was waiting for him. The whole war was coming to its end, but Shovo was still gone and nobody knew what had happened to him. The girl cried inconsolably and cried to form the whole lake. In the end she realised that her fiancé was no longer alive, went out to the lakeshore, looked at the sky for the last time, and rushed into the water. There, where her body rested, and a small island appeared. St.Teresa Bay

This bay of the holy crystal-clear water, hosts an abundance of fish and crustaceans besides its Surrounded by pines, Strusto is a tent paradise. shores - there is everything you need for recreHere you’ll find campsites to suit every taste and ation. One of the bays of Lake Nedrovo is named wallet, from ascetic student campsites to fully after St. Teresa, although almost no local residents equipped campsites, that can be booked in advance can explain why. There is a legend, according to from the tourism department in the national park. which a beautiful girl named Teresa once lived on the lakeshore. She was known not only for her fairy tale beauty with her blue eyes, snow-white Strusto lake and Shovo island skin, and golden hair, but also for her kind characStrusto’s main attraction is Chaichin Island, the ter: she helped everybody in trouble, was wise and largest in the Braslav district. The name comes treated the locals with spells and herbs. For all this, from the word “seagull”, as all this land, since the she was called a saint. One day Teresa went to the destruction of the last village, is now occupied by lake to wash her laundry. The sun was very strong birds. The island has a unique nature, for example, and very warm. Teresa wanted to take a swim. She the Karelian birch grows here by a miracle which fainted in the middle of the lake and went to the 36 OCA MAGAZINE

bottom like a stone. The locals said then that God takes the bright people early. Since then, this bay has been named after St. Teresa. The Deepest Lakes: South Voloso & North Voloso Pagan Vladimir Svyatoslavovich (Krasna Solnishko) and his henchmen wishing to strengthen their position in society and to centralise authority, baptised Russia by fire and a sword. The Belarusian principalities of that time fell under the influence of Kiev, abandoned their traditional beliefs and accepted Christianity. Nevertheless, pagan traditions live in Belarus to this day. For example, in Minsk - the largest city of the country - the last pagan temple was destroyed by the Bolsheviks only in the twenties. Since Belarus is a lake country, pagan hydroniums are common here. Such as the South Volos and the North Volos. After a stone - the altar of a pagan deity - was discovered on the shore of one of the lakes, the theory emerged that the name of the reservoir came from the pagan god

Veles, the owner of the dead kingdom, the patron of animal husbandry, ritual poetry and wealth. Braslav itself contains some 300 lakes. The word Brasl itself is translated from Latvian as “ford”, so the local waters have never been famous for their depth. One of the fords even had a road to the Polotsk lands, between the lakes Drivyaty and Novyaty. The lakes of Braslav are the best visited on foot in spring and summer when the whole area becomes a botanical garden. It is advisable to take a guide for a walk to get the most out of the history and legends as well as being able to point out the healing herbs and plants that can be found amongst these marvelous lands and waters. Text by Olena Andreieva Fiction writer, author of course books for Russian and English learners, professional ESL teacher, OR (Operation Respect) coach, psychologist and motivational coach. WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM




THE ROAD TO GROWTH Prior to 2020, Uzbekistan was one of the fastest growing travel destinations in the world, with the surge in visitors arriving beyond even the highest expectations of those within the Central Asia tourism scene. It was an exciting time to be creating product and leading sales of Uzbekistan holidays for a company organising tours for the UK and European market. With travel as popular as it is, it’s not too often you find yourself around the foundations of a tourism boom, and the few years of astronomical rise in arrival figures was a joy to witness. Of course, we now find ourselves in a position looking at desperate recovery, rather than mere growth. Considering the devastation throughout the tourism sector over the past year, it’s been difficult to fully concentrate on what can actually be done, particularly for a reasonably new destination on the global scene.With how quickly travel & tourism became a part of Uzbekistan’s infrastructure, the sudden absence of visitors has been harshly felt, with us now approaching the third peak-season for the country without tourist arrivals. However, as more and more vaccines arrive and become common place all over the world, optimism will



TRAVEL grow that borders can reopen, and tourism can return to the landlocked countries of Central Asia. The phenomenal visitor statistics pre-2020 for Uzbekistan are certainly a bright memory for us to follow and be an essential ally in the challenges of recovery. The enormous growth of arrivals had its foundations laid at the end of 2016, when Shavkat Mirziyoyev became President, and tourism was mentioned as an integral component of his plans for the country. The exact numbers, according to The State Committee for Tourism Development of the Republic of Uzbekistan, are still staggering when seen today. In 2017, visitor arrivals had risen to 2.69 million people annually, by 2018 this had become 5.35 million, an astonishing 99% increase in one year. A further 26% increase the following year led Uzbekistan to an impressive 6.75 million arrivals for 2019. Unfortunately, we’ll never know what could have been achieved in 2020, but it’s fascinating to know the forecast for 2025, pre-pandemic, was 11.81 million arrivals. Focusing on recovery for autumn 2021 onwards, there are a number of aspects to be optimistic about for the rebuilding of the tourism scene – both domestic and international – in Uzbekistan. With 86 countries, as of 2020, being visa free entry, this enables those looking for their next destination to easily choose Uzbekistan. The continuation of previous top arrival figures from the other countries which make up Central Asia, plus Russia, Turkey and China will be vital for immediate increase in figures, with the attraction of the Silk Road remaining high amongst the UK market too. The potential of winter sports within the country is an incredibly exciting prospect, especially with Amirsoy Mountain Resort, and one which grows from strength to strength, even during the past year while only those living in Uzbekistan could enjoy the perfect slopes. Expanding the peak seasons of spring and autumn with options for skiing will have a stirring effect on visitor numbers from the end of 2021 and beyond. As for the electronic music scene in Uzbekistan, its evolvement amongst the younger generation is creating a stimulating environment, and none more so than with the Stihia music festival, and its unique Aral Sea location.


The US-based film director George Itzhak’s spirited documentary last year, Waiting for the Sea, has certainly assisted in further recognition outside of Uzbekistan, and all adds to the curiosity of those looking for a new destination.

through its monuments of imposing beauty, illuminating Silk Road history, adventurous road trips (or by rail), and fine traditions of dance, costume and art, its tourism scene is one that looks ready to grow once again. Words and photography by Gary Meynell

Sustainability is, and was, a buzz word circling tourism, and one which Uzbekistan sets up for very well, especially amongst the traditional production of silk and ceramics which can still be seen today throughout the country. Rather than the mass-manufacturing factories of so many other countries, Uzbekistan can showcase its sustainable production through local workshops which continue to create products through traditional processes. Visits to these special places are already an integral part of tour itineraries, most notably at Yodgorlik Silk Factory, and the ceramic workshops of Gijduvon and Rishtan. Pilgrimage tourism is also another aspect which Uzbekistan will be focusing more on in the future, with a view to capture the eye of tourists from both Indonesia and Malaysia.

Gary Meynell is a travel consultant specialising in Central Asia for the UK and European market. He is also the co-founder of The Central Collective, the curated guide to Central Asia.

Excitedly, even during the closure of the country’s borders, we’ve seen an experienced travel company set up an office in Uzbekistan, highlighting the continued potential of tourism within the country. ICS have been a leading DMC in Asia for over 23 years, and their faith in Uzbekistan for the future lends great credibility to the country as a must visit destination. Carsten Schmidt, Group Director of Operations and Product at ICS says “When you look into options for expanding your portfolio, there is an overwhelming variety of amazing destinations. For a very long time I had my eyes on Central Asia. With its collection of ancient cities, there is hardly any other country in the world that reflects the charm of the old Silk Road as much as Uzbekistan”. Such words can only increase confidence in what to expect for Uzbekistan as borders reopen and we all move ahead in recreating the success in arrival figures, alongside the overall satisfaction of those visiting. As we see the vaccination process gather pace around the world, I have high hopes for Uzbekistan to continue its rise in popularity, which was only stopped in its tracks by the pandemic we’re currently living through. Knowing how much Uzbekistan already has to offer




ARCTIC: AN INTERCONNECTED CULTURE AND CLIMATE One of the global problems of our modern world is climate change.The most noticeable process of climate change is observed in the Arctic. There are lots of rallies, actions and campaigns held in support of work on preserving the climate in the Arctic, and on preserving the local habitat and settlements. And against the background of such events, the exhibition “Arctic: Culture and Climate” provides something very different. The exhibition “Arctic: Culture and Climate” was opened at the end of October 2020 at the British Museum in collaboration with the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (“Kunstkamera’’) and other museums. It is the first event where people can see the unique history of the Arctic people and their culture. The main idea of the exhibition was to show the interconnection of Arctic culture and the climate. More than 50 pieces were brought over from the Russian museum. And among them are amazing things of different purposes: tools of labour; clothes adapted to the local climate and to activities; tableware; artworks that reflect the features of the region and much more. According to the Russian Ambassador to the United Kingdom, Andrey Vladimirovich Kelin, it took a lot of effort to organise the exhibition: “We are well aware of how much effort was put into organising this exhibition, with preparations under way for the past 8 years, which is why it is a great pleasure to see this exhibition


taking place today, despite all the coronavirus restrictions.” As the Ambassador notes, this exhibition is also an important platform for British-Russian cooperation and for the development of cultural communication between countries. About the region The Arctic is a region neighbouring the North Pole and includes parts of Eurasia and North America, the islands of the Arctic Ocean, as well as the neighboring parts of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.The area of the Arctic is approximately 27 million km². The nature of the Arctic is balanced - unique and rich fauna and flora, fresh air, fresh water, natural resources. The Arctic is not only nature, but also an ethnocultural region where different people, cultures, languages are concentrated, and their cultural uniqueness have been retained for several centuries. About the local people Local people are accustomed to living in the polar climate, which is characterized by long winters, constant snow cover (despite the fact that precipitation in this region does not fall often), and ice. Through the centuries they began to use climatic features in everyday life, and it was demonstrated at the exhibition as well. Moreover, people are completely dependent on the local ecosystem: their everyday life is closely intertwined with the peculiarities of the Arctic. The main activities

of local people are hunting, gathering, reindeer husbandry and fishing, so nature is the basis of their life. Therefore, environmental problems like climate change affect their lives more than the lives of people in other regions. Climatic changes According to the research, the temperature in the Arctic continues to rise at more than twice the global annual average and there is a noticeable melting of snow and ice, which reduces the total area of Arctic ice (this year the ice reached only 3.74 million km²). Climatic changes in the region have already manifested themselves in the second half of the last century, but the changes were not as significant as now. As the threat of warming has hung over the inhabitants of the regions, they have taken measures to preserve the climate and nature. For these purposes, the Arctic Council was established in 1996. Today it includes 8 Arctic countries and deals with Arctic issues, in particular on issues of sustainable development and environmental protection in the Arctic. What is the threat of climate change? Due to the reduction in sea ice, animals have to change their usual way of existence. For example, during their annual migration, walruses cannot last for long voyages, so they often stop on ice floes for rest. Due to the melting ice, they have to change the places of their rookeries, and in recent years the rookeries are moving closer and closer to the narrow coasts, which causes some sad consequences, such as the mass death of walruses in Chukotka in 2007.



EVENTS Also, climatic changes have a direct impact on water supply, traditional food for the local people. They have had to change their habitual way of life: the duration of the fishing season is shrinking, the conditions for hunting have also deteriorated. Animals living on ice sheets have moved to other places because of the melting ice, and hunters have to go further and run the risk of being drowned. Climate change also impacts on infrastructure: there is deformation of buildings’ foundations, roads, and various technical structures. The situation is aggravated by poor-quality work done in past years, but the most terrible threat is a rise in the sea level, which can cause natural disasters, such as floods, tsunamis, and this will undoubtedly affect the life of regional settlements in the near future. The importance of cultural events Local people, who have lived in the same conditions for thousands of years, have united with the local climate. It is the features of the region that contributed to the development of these people’s lives and it is the climate that plays a big role in their culture. Therefore, the slightest climate change can lead to very unpleasant consequences in their lives: from the loss of cultural authenticity to disappearance altogether. That’s why it is very important to hold cultural events so that people understand how closely culture and climate are intertwined, and how important climate change is in general. Text by Sabina Abdybachaeva






The unexpected and rapid developments of 2020 as a result of the spread of the new virus have led to unpredictable and tragic consequences on a global scale. A lot has been said about this, and most likely the topic of the consequences for the world’s population remains an urgent topic for modern and future scientists. In this article, we will consider only some aspects of the International relations during a pandemic in Eurasia. Health diplomacy The introduction of a general quarantine froze international relations in the classical sense. Forgotten in the 60s, the race of medical diplomacy to eradicate dangerous forms of disease in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Middle East has acquired new features. As in classical international relations, we have seen outcasts with inappropriate behavior. Countries projecting power, countries that are equal and countries competing in medical technology. Access to advanced technology products - vaccines and drugs for Covid-19 - are dividing the world and regions, building new lines of rivalry. We are witnessing the formation of vaccine war in real time. Global challenges International challenges don’t disappear by themselves and continue, similar to other resource wars. From oil price wars between Russia and Saudi Arabia to competition over the EU gas market, between Russia and the U.S. Competition has seen direct clashes, such as the aggravation of Sino-Indian relations on the disputed border territories of Fergana in Central Asia. We witnessed a lightning-fast war between Azerbaijan and Armenia. Countries competed for medical resources. The crisis has exacerbated humanitarian issues. The EU countries resorted to harsh measures such as border closures and administrative expulsion. The general deterioration of the economies in the countries of origin pushed new waves of refugees to migrate. In the EU these were spontaneous protests against lockdowns. In countries such as Kyrgyzstan and Belarus, acts of disobedience and protests have occurred as a result of falling living standards and reactions to growing injustice in society. We witnessed the share of small and medium-sized businesses in all countries was rapidly decreasing.


New accents in world politics and diplomacy The quarantine and lockdowns have changed our world. With a decrease in consumption, transportation, and services, there was a simultaneous growth in medical services, pharmaceuticals, freight transport, communication services, software development and digital content. Despite the threatening trends in the global ecology, the pandemic has produced unexpected results. Such as reducing air emissions and reducing pollution of the world’s oceans. The striking self-purification of water in Venice, as well as the significant reduction in carbon emissions from the standstill of a multimillion army of private cars, improved air quality in cities and the overall emissions situation. Significant events with titanic consequences for the future world happened in 2020. These are the People’s Republic of China’s (PRC) refusal to process foreign waste, the PRC’s plan to reduce its hydrocarbon dependence. Plans to phase out hydrocarbon fuels have intensified, for example Uzbekistan’s plans to soon reach 8GW of solar generation. Modern Don Quixotes Among the large amount of information about Covid-19 of a predominantly alarming nature, it is also worth noting the examples of high professionalism and the height of the human spirit. Chief Sanitary Doctor of Greece, Sotiris Tsodras, a man who recognized the danger of a new threat earlier than anyone else, did everything possible to save his country and helped other countries by transferring experience. Jack Ma, a man of great heart and modesty, who has helped every country affected by the virus and wished to remain in the shadows. Mr.Yavlon Vakhabov, Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan to the United States and Canada, despite the developing global crisis, made titanic efforts to promote investment, ecology and improve relations between nations. Charles Garrett, Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain to the Kyrgyz Republic. During the peak of the Covid-10 crisis in Kyrgyzstan, he did not stand aside and in his free time with his wife, Véronique, prepared and delivered meals for doctors working in the “red zones” of hospitals.

Veronique Garrett preparing lunches for Kyrgyz Doctors

What didn’t work? At the beginning of the crisis, international co-operation was practically curtailed. International institutions that were largely unprepared for the Covid-19 situation were paralyzed and worked with limited resources. Sluggishness and bureaucracy in the EU in responding to the acute crisis in Italy, the untimely response of the EEU to the return of labour migrants to Central Asian countries from Russia etc. These events clearly demonstrated the poor efficiency of multilateral organizations. Narrow national policy among most countries did not allow widespread generation of physical material and intellectual resources in a response proportional to the crisis. Instead, countries themselves responded to the crisis individually, made their own errors and blamed others. We can say that multilateralism has largely failed in 2020. We hope not forever. So what worked? Sending doctors from China, Germany, Poland, Russia, etc. to the most affected countries, on the contrary, has shown its effectiveness. Sharing medical products, medical protocols and tests. Countries and continents learned to how to trade in the Covid-19 era, which gives bright hope for the continued development of civilization. Countries actively developed bilateral relations as a result: Hungary and Uzbekistan are prime examples of effective diplomacy in Eurasia.

Hungarian “openness to the East” diplomacy achieved significant results in 2020 in the Central Asia. A New role has been added to Modern Uzbek Foreign Policy. It was the Republic of Uzbekistan that first began to send humanitarian aid to neighboring countries affected by Covid-19.

What needs to be done for the future? It is already clear that the current and new mechanisms of international relations and diplomacy will continue.The good news is that international relations have returned somewhat and the intensity of international contacts, albeit with the use of modern communication technologies and the limitation of physical contacts, are growing. Work in the digital dimension and new communication systems will continue and after returning to offline life. This practice, although involuntarily, has confirmed its efficacy.

By Bakyt Kakchekeev





EMINESCU - AN ECHO OF LOVE Love has no boundaries. Anyone can find their favorite poetry through the work of Mihai Eminescu. In Romania, as well as in the Republic of Moldova, children study the poetry of Mihai Eminescu from a young age. He is the most beloved poet for Romanians of all ages. For in his poems we find the emotions we experience at different stages of life. However, we can say that the first significant spark between readers and Eminescu’s poetry appears in the adolescent period, when love leads to its biggest headaches. Eminescu’s work has been translated into several languages. Specifically, in 150 languages distributed in over 250 countries. In German, during his lifetime, the Rumänische Dichtungen collection was published in three editions between 1881 and 1889, by the queen-poet Carmen Sylva, in collaboration with Mite Kremnitz. Out of 20 poems by Eminescu translated into German, the queen (who appreciated him “moderately”) translated only 3, Mite Kremnitz, instead, 17 (including the most famous pieces: Evening Star, Doina, Letter III). Beyond his unparalleled work, there are many aspects of his life less known to the public. Eminescu tended to create a semi-circle universe. On this semicircle, having as horizons the birth and death of the world, between which stretched the arc of universal history. Eminescu was, of course, a romantic. His love affairs, as well as the spices of bohemian life, have also been the subject of extensive controversy in the public sphere since the poet’s lifetime. Disturbingly handsome, conquering, a singer with a golden voice, a heavy smoker, a great coffee lover and a borderless partygoer, but also a patriot for whom “Long live the nation!” was the only greeting. This is how the researchers rediscovered the man who was Mihai Eminescu. The historians who studied Mihai Eminescu’s work and life say that he impressed at first sight, he had an extraordinary charisma and a very pleasant physique. I would also say that what really impressed people about

the poet was his voice. He sang very nicely. Little is known about this talent of Eminescu. He could have been a good vocal soloist at any time. He often accompanied the fiddlers at a party, but his relatives also asked him to sing to them. After the age of 25, the poet began to face his own demons. The fire of creation, the often-precarious life he led, and disturbances of the soul caused the poet to acquire a serious mental disorder. Eminescu suffered from bipolar disorder. It manifested itself in halves. Of course, Eminescu’s genius did not cause this condition and the disease did not condition his genius either. They were completely independent. He probably ended up in this situation because of the living conditions of a certain period. The poet did not receive adequate treatment either. There were no effective treatments at that time. The Viennese doctors to whom he was taken also confirmed this diagnosis. In Romania, he was put into barrels filled with cold water when the conditions worsened. The poet Mihai Eminescu died on the morning of June 15, 1889, in the Sanatorium of Mental Illnesses of Doctor Şuţu, in Bucharest. His death did not match his creation. He died in a shabby robe, on a metal hospital bed, locked in his “cell” in the hospital. Just minutes before he passed away, he only wanted a glass of milk and moral support. Mihai Eminescu wrote poetry until his death. When he was taken away for autopsy, the robe in which the poet had died was taken by his admirers. In one of the pockets was a small notebook. On it were written his last poems: “Life” and “Stars in the sky”. “The Evening Star of Romanian poetry” sparked a real revolution in Romanian and universal literature. Dying at the age of thirty-three, Eminescu left behind an great body of work composed of poetry and prose. But flipping through his manuscripts reveals an Eminescu planning great lyrical and dramatic compositions, a poet with aspirations of greatness, perhaps such as Goethe. Written by Lucia Tăut




MAN’S BEST FRIEND: THE TALE OF THE TURKMEN ALABAI What breed of man’s best friend won the hearts of 5 million Turkmens? Big, furry, calm as God, but shaped like a beast? It’s the Turkmen Alabai. In Turkmen, Ala means patchy, variegated or multicolored if you will. Bay, in this case, means rich as in terms of very rich. These wonderful gentle giant monsters are exceptionally cool, reserved and intelligent, yet they are the lonely beastly lions of the Garagum (Black sand) deserts. If you cross their territory, they turn into predatory bear assassins with a point of no return.




CUSTOMS They are not categorically disposed towards people and only accept their own immediate family. It’s more of a partner in crime type relationship. They are the ‘keep your distance’ type of dogs, although, if they would be bred as friendly home pets, I imagine they’d be the Saint Bernards of Turkmenistan. Alas, I haven’t met a Turkmen that has considered that option, although, once we owned a part Alabai and desert wolf, who we named JJ. He loved to run away and roam free around the herds of our neighbor’s cows on Petit Jean Mountain in Arkansas. He also loved meeting anyone, be it human, animal, or insect. He loved life, but he didn’t like the water, wouldn’t even dip his paws in it. His amicable nature also became his doom in Ghana, where we lived for almost 2 years. To our dismay, he was poisoned, possibly by burglars at night. So, when I say Alabai dogs are very loving and friendly, I truly mean it. Turkmens have bred Alabais for various reasons, but the primary purpose nowadays in modern Turkmenistan so far is for dog fighting, which is practiced unofficially. The authorities choose to turn a blind eye, as they are the ones who are usually involved in such sport. At an early age their ears and tails are clipped to help with sparing and reducing the possibility of rips and tears. Alabai dogs, also known as Caucasian or Central Asian Shepherds, are the best guard dogs for herds of sheep. The jackals, wolves, and even leopards and hyenas in the deserts are generally fearful of them. They became so admired, that the President of Turkmenistan found yet another novelty in his old age. The other one obviously being Akhal Teke, breed of horses. Not long ago the undoubtedly ominous “Khan” of Turkmenistan (Han in Turkmen), Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov, established a national holiday to honor the Alabai. Berdimuhamedow, who has the honorific title Arkadag, and is called the “Kim Jong-Un” of Central Asia behind his back, ordered a 15-metre (19 foot) gold coated statue for the Alabai to be erected on a traffic circle in Ashgabat. Returning to the other giant, however, it’s a shame that a country with the fourth largest gas reserves in the world, has regressed so fast that there is now scarcity of food in Turkmenistan, and moreover some regions have to live off of food stamps to merely survive. While the government keeps sending humanitarian aid to Afghanistan to calm the Taliban, or bribe them quid


pro quo, or presents Tatarstan with giant trucks loaded with food, Turkmenistan’s own residents are either stampeding their way to the state bread shops to buy poor quality flour, bread, oil and eggs, as well as just one chicken per family per month. In addition to food shortage, because of new construction, the Turkmen people continue to be asked, and sometimes forced, to leave their homes, without adequate provisions for alternative shelter. So, Turkmenistan has a giant gold coated statue of the Alabai, hoisted honorably with a countrywide holiday celebration, while the reality of life remains grim and harrowing for many. This compares to the streets of Ashgabad that you will find clean and beautifully presented – there are no beggars or roaming animals. What happens to Alabais, and other dogs, and cats, and pets? The Housing and Utilities Services are given unwritten instructions to exterminate any animal on the streets. I have witnessed the aftermath first-hand. In 2018, to my horror, I saw a kitten laying on the side of the park with its head crushed. It was bludgeoned to death. In the past, I had heard stories about such things taking place all over Turkmenistan, but never imagined coming across one myself. Nearby men and women were working, they leisurely and naturally tended to the lawn of the park. So, while Ashgabat is a beautiful Guinness-proclaimed “marble city” it holds within it spine-tingling secrets of extermination and fear. Both, the first president and the second, never appeared to like living beings. They got rid of animals, got rid of trees, and got rid of unwanted people, or the horses that overthrow them. Alabai dogs are no exception.

Follow Steve Mile, a teenager with a dangerously short temper, and his best friend John, as they join a summer camp called “Jack’s Wood”. But after just a few hours there, it becomes clear that Jack’s Wood is understaffed and is really only running from the Enthusiasm from it’s founder and camp Leader; Mr Chang! And the more time they spend there, the more it is clear that Jack’s Wood isn’t just filled with strangest people on earth, but also Jack’s Wood isn’t everything it seems.




QUARANTINE Famous Russian actor Anatoly Bely plays the lead role in the new feature film “Quarantine” by Diana Ringo, a young director from Finland. The film also stars Alexander Obmanov. Filming of “Quarantine” took place in Russia and Finland. The film, describing the near future, touches upon urgent problems: the isolation of a person during quarantine, the transition of society to a totalitarian regime, the corruption of power, the threat of the destruction of humanity. The protagonist, Felix, must decide whether he should save the world from evil at the risk of everything or stay on the sidelines. Felix is writing a diary. He has not left the bunker for over 20 years. His only companions are the ghosts of the past. He tries to find an explanation for the fateful course of events in history, which have destroyed civilization. The feeling of guilt does not leave him as he believes that he could have prevented the apocalypse and the death of a loved one. The music for the film was written by the director herself. Diana Ringo is a pianist and composer, whose original score was featured in the 2018 film ”A Million Love in Me”, direct-


ed by Sampson Yuen (Hong Kong’s Golden Globe nominee) and won the Best Film Score prize at the 2020 Los Angeles Film Awards. She has also written music for the films “Diary”, “Breathless in Vienna” and “Hinge” which have been presented at various international film festivals including Cannes Film Festival. The release of the feature film “Quarantine” is scheduled for the summer of 2021. Director’s statement -“Now the whole world is practically on its knees. Every day people are deprived of their rights under various, often very ridiculous pretexts. Unfortunately, almost all cultural figures remain silent. In this film, I wanted to show what can happen if events continue to develop in the same direction and show what we can come to if we do not take responsibility to humanity and ourselves. The Russian title of the film “Quarantine” (“КАРАнтин”) contains a play on words, with КАРА meaning punishment. The film features various characters, each with their own point of view. It was important for me to ask questions, not just to give answers. My film provides an opportunity to think about our time and our future “

BOOK REVIEW Russia faces a myriad of issues, prominently featured among them those of economic nature and such realizations provided the initial impetus for V. Kozlov to begin working on ‘The Russian Mentality’. Russia’s position between east and west in a review of a book dedicated to Russian mentality and the ways it bears on management might strike as something of an oddity but as V. Kozlov notes in the hard-hitting introduction of his admirable work, to understand Russian mentality one has to ‘look back over our history and trace the process of the formation of national character’. It is no surprise, therefore, that while focusing on the present, again and again Kozlov looks for examples from the past to explore the development of certain phenomenon to their fullest. As he writes, ‘economy needs a transformation on a different scale to take a qualitative leap forward’. Indeed, the very goal of his book is to throw light on issues not only related to how do the peculiarities of the Russian mindset translate to work ethic, for example, but also to what extent are structural reforms needed to create an environment where businesses can thrive. The goal is undoubtedly most commendable, and one can only hope that for all ebbs and flows, some conclusions of this book of outstanding learning will not only be



utilized by those at the country’s helm but also by those who, day by day, work and shape its economy, and it’s the future. Dr. Gerald Mako Cambridge Central Asia Forum Jesus College, Cambridge University






Timur Akhmedjanov’s comic book “Elish and the Wicker Tale” was published by the publishing-house Hertfordshire Press (UK), and was presented in various Eurasian countries at the end of 2020. The story is based on the original book of Azerbaijanian writer and child psychiatrist, Kamran Salayev. The main feature of the comic, as well as the book, is that it is dedicated to children with autism and highlights their social problems.

During the presentation, Marat Akhmedjanov revealed all the details of the creation of the comic, shared the main idea of the project, answered questions from the guests, and also talked about the support provided by people during the publishing process. At the end of the presentation, the publisher presented a certificate for 2000 lei from the author to the “SOS Autism” center and several copies of the comic book.

The official presentation was held online, both in the English and Russian language in order to involve as many people as possible in such a unique project. The first offline presentation took place in Bishkek on November 21 with the public organization “Hand in Hand”. The presentation of the comic was personally attended by the executive director of the “Hand in Hand” foundation, Galia Gaas. It was also attended by the spouse of the British Ambassador to Kyrgyzstan, Veronique Garrett, who was the guest of honor. The comic was presented to the representatives of the NGO “Hand in Hand”, children who are under the care of the organization, their parents and other guests that attended the meeting. The next presentation took place in Kishinev, Moldova on December 16, at the creative site, “Art Studio Seven Flowers of Happiness” for the “SOS Autism” foundation. It presented the “Elish and the Wicker Tale’’ comic book, created by a British student to support children with autism. The book was personally presented by Hertfordshire Press publisher Marat Akhmedjanov.The main guests of the event were representatives of the Resource centre for rehabilitation of children with autism, “SOS Autism” and members of the Eurasian Creative Guild (London), with the support of which the comic was published.


ISBN: 978-1-913356-19-4 The project’s main aim is to attract the community’s attention to children with autism. The publishing of the comic became possible due to a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo. More than 220 people from 25 countries supported the project, among these people are musicians, writers, public figures, diplomats from Kazakhstan, Belarus, Russia, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and other kind hearted people.




ALL YOU WANT TO KNOW ABOUT EURASIAN CULTURE WEEK An Art is a reflection of a soul. It gives a human being the sense of satisfaction, food for thoughts and opportunities to provide your message, your ideas. In the art you can find solace, answers for your questions or just esthetic pleasure. But let’s make it clear that art and creativity are not the same things.The Art is a skill that has reached its highest level of development. Art products are aesthetically expressive. They are a fusion of truth and beauty. Masterpieces are created by expression of reality through artistic images. But what can we say about creativity? Creativity is a process where the result of the interaction of the individual with reality is something unique, new, related to the material or spiritual sphere. Creativity entails changes both in reality and in the individual. So both art and creativity have the result which we can hear or touch or see. But through art we receive the masterpieces. Art assumes the birth of an unsurpassed masterwork, it’s bright, strong, not amenable to replication and mass production. The product of creativity is not necessarily perfect. Nevertheless there’s no point to neglect the latter. Moreover people hardly can find the way or the area where they could assert themselves . That’s why the presence of such projects as Eurasion Creative Week is so vital. Eurasian Creative Week is a unique culture festival which provides a great chance for writers, poets, artists, directors, singers, designers to meet each other and show their works on English-speaking area. Participation in Eurasian Culture Week is two-way interaction. You have the opportunity to communicate with other creative people and share your ideas with them. The festival was held for the 4th time from 1st to 6th October 2020. In Framework of ECW Members of the Eurasian Creative Guild (London) presented their work at the online event. Victoria Levin (Israel) told about her books and creativity, Sagyn Berkanalieva read out her own poems, Nurim Taibek made a speech.


Also in rossotrudnichestvo was an exhibition of project 25 works of Eurasia. There’s one more point that should be mentioned . Sometimes people can not find the strength in themselves to speak out and in through art or creativity as well. It happens due to social differences, descrimination by gender, age, race or others. Society builds frames around us, and such cases do prevent us from telling the things we want to tell, do the things we want to or even just be happy. Art and creativity should not have any limits or frames and the festival helps to fulfill this mission by opening broads for everyone irrespective of origin, gender or your language. Creativity should not be associated with conventions, it should allow self-realization, it helps us to discover the world around us, people around us that’s why Eurasian Culture Week is an international cultural festival that brings together people from all over the world to present their creative works. It doesn’t matter who you are. Whether you are the painter, writer , designer, speaker, or just an ordinary person who is fond of art or creativity and wants to find new acquaintances with interesting personalities and look at the world from another perspective. Eurasian Culture Week is free from stereotypes and prejudices. This article is aimed to inform you that you have a unique chance to be a part of this freedom and it is the right time to use it .


YOU ARE CREATIVE PERSON, and you have something to share with the creative elite of England, then THIS IS A UNIQUE CHANCE for you!


For detailed information, please contact the following email: lari@ocamagazine.com















There have been many sad losses this year within the Guild, each a personal tragedy, each the extinguishing of a bright candle of art illuminating the darkness of our existence. We mourn deeply for you. I have no way of understanding the pain of loss to those who knew you and loved you, but I send my deepest sympathy. I would like them to know that the Guild feels great gratitude that we were able to share their artistic journey, and even though they are now departed they remain part of our artistic family and their work will live in us.











John Farndon Chairman, Eurasian Creative Guild List of members died during the COVID (not all of them passed away because of the covid): 1. Uladzimir Shchasny (Belarus. Diplomat and cultural activist) 2. Peter Berman (Kazakhstan. Champion Boxer, writer) 3. Saltanat Rahimbekova (Ecology activist, the Head of “Eco green collaboration”) 4. Zhunusbai Kadyrhanov (Kazakhstan. Musician, poet, mecenat) 5. Zamira Jantaeva (Kyrgyzstan. Poet) 6. Akhmad-hoji Khorazmiy (United Kingdom. Scientist, writer, Sufi) 7. Sergey Zakharov (Russia. Surgeon, poet) 8. Azimjan Askarov (Kyrgyzstan. Artist, journalist) 9. Alpamys Naziken Alpamyszyzy (Kazakhstan. Poet) 10. Kairat Dusenov (Kazakhstan. Poet) 11. Serkali Ussanov (Kazakhstan. Artist) 12. Aydin Shemi-zade (Russia. Writer) 13. Zhanat Seidumanov (Kazakhstan. Ex-Head of the National Libruary) 14. Valery Sanko (Belarus. Writer, local historian, journalist)











book of the year HERTFORDSHIRE PRESS


BLUE RIVER by Zinaida Longortova (2016) ENG / KHANTY HARDBACK ISBN:978-1-910886-34-2 RRP: £17.50

CRANES IN SPRING by Tolibshohi Davlat (2015) ENG / RUS HARDBACK ISBN: 978-1-910886-06-9 RRP: £14.50

MAN OF THE MOUNTAINS by Abudlla Isa (2014) ( OCABF 2013 Winner) ENGLISH PAPERBACK ISBN: 978-0-9930444-5-8 RRP: £14.95

KASHMIR SONG by Sharaf Rashidov (translation by Alexey Ulko, OCABF 2014 Winner). 2017 ENGLISH RRP: £24.95 ISBN: 978-0-9930444-2-7

AND LONGER IFE LASTS by Ion Jani ISBN: 978-1913356163 RRP: £9.99



KAРА Автор Султан Раев (2015) РУССКИЙ / RUSSIAN ISBN: 978-1910886137 RRP: £24.50

WIND ISBN: 978-1910886915 RRP: £17.50

best female AUTHOR

FOREMOTHER ASIA by Natalia Kharlampieva (2016) ENG / SAKHA HARDBACK ISBN: 978-1-910886-22-9 RRP: £17.50 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. Their customs and local environment – the communal courtyard where neighbours gather to drink tea on a raised bed- may belong to Central Asia, but the hardships they endure are universal: infidelity, addiction, abuse, poverty, death. And it is this, so sensitively described by Shakhidi that will resonate with readers the world over. Zulfiya’s ‘sisters’ include feisty professionals and housewives, grandmothers and new brides, and as the novel unfolds, we learn how they value being able to share their problems and support each other in times of trouble. They also rely heavily on the wisdom and experience of Zulfiya’s adopted uncle and fellow tenant, war veteran, Grigory Semenovich. My Neighbourhood Sisters is a powerful and beautiful book filled with characters drawn from both the author’s imagination and her actual family, but in all of them, we will recognise aspects of ourselves and people from our own lives, and will perhaps be drawn to reflect on that close camaraderie between neighbours and that sense of community which in our current age, are fast disappearing.


My Neighbourhood Sisters A Collection of Short Stories

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. And so it came to be: I graduated in journalism from Tajik University, worked for the republican youth newspaper, undertook scientific research, and completed my thesis on “Twentieth Century Tajik-Russian literary connections in the 1920s-‘30s.” I later worked in the Tajik branch ISTRC “Mir”, as chief editor of Radio and Television and had my work published in Tajikistan and Russia. This collection of stories was first published in Russian but it is my hope that the English edition is just the start of it being translated into other languages. Gulsifat Shahidi


RRP: £19.95

My Neighbourhood Sisters

RECYCLED by Anna Komar HARDBACK ENGLISH ISBN: 978-1910886816 RRP:£17.50


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





HP_IMAK COVER_JACKET_515x226.indd 1

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


THE LAND DRENCHED IN TEARS by Söyüngül Chanisheff ENGLISH PAPERBACK ISBN: 978-1910886380 RRP:£24.50

01/01/2017 23:25:28

MY NEIGHBOURHOOD SISTERS by Gulsifat Shakhidi (2016) ENG / RUS HARDBACK ISBN:978-1-910886-35-9 RRP: £19.95

Тегеран-1360 Жанна Голубицкая ISBN: 9781913356118 Paperback RU |2020 £19.95





COLORFUL TEARS by Khosiyat Rustam ISBN: 978-1-913356-12-5 RRP: £12.95

MY HOMELAND, OH MY CRIMEA by Lenifer Mambetova (2015) ENG / RUS HARDBACK ISBN: 978-1-910886-04-5 RRP: £17.50

“THE WORLD DISSOLVES LIKE A DREAM” by Leyla Aliyeva, 2018 ENG HARDBACK 978-1-910886-76-2 RRP: £14.95

The “LIRA” award for the best poetry in the literary competition “Open Eurasian Book Forum and Literary Festival - 2019”

In this jewellike collection of poems from Kyrgyz poet Sagyn Berkinalieva, the poet explores her own personal destiny and her memorable insights into love, plumbing the raw feelings that cut through her heart in the course of one memorable encounter. Berkinalieva’s own unique and genuine voice shines through poignantly on every page.


Published works: 1) «Sheet covered with the dust» (Publishing house «Biyiktik» – 2014). 2) «Girl dancing in the sky» (Publishing house «Great mountains» – 2019). In 2016 she took part in the competition for young poets and won the Audience Award. Diploma winner for active participation in the competition of young poets «Mekenge taazim» and «Besh Akin» in 2017. Diploma winner of the Festival of Eurasian Week of Culture, which was held in Great Britain (London). In 2019 she had participated in an International Competition of Eurasian Creative Guild in Belgium (Brussels). She won the first place in the nomination of poetry and was awarded the «Lyre» medal for the best female lyrics. In 2019 she was awarded «The Best Poet of the Year» in Kyrgyzstan.


Member of the National Writers’ Union of Kyrgyzstan, member of Eurasian Creative Guild, member of the Writers’ Union of North America (German department).


Poetess – Berkinalieva Sagynbubu Abdusamatovna (Kyrgyz Republic)

edited by John Farndon


RRP: £12.95

I THINK WE SHOULD JUST LIVE by Ekaterina Khlebnikova ISBN: 9781913356217 Paperback ENG \RU | 2020 £9.99

GIRL DANCING IN THE SKY by Sagyn Berkinalieva ISBN: 9781913356217 Paperback ENG | 2020 £12.95

ONE OF YOU by Lenar Shaehov ISBN: 9781910886472 Paperback ENG | 2017 £9.50


BELARUSIAN WHALES by Anastasiya Kuzmicheva ISBN: 9781910886458 Hardcover EN |2017 £14.50

МАЭСТРО И МУЗА Сергей Белый ISBN: 978-1-913356-28-6 Hardcover RU |2021 £17.50






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

ISBN: 978-0-9930444-0-3

RRP: £24.95

PAPERBACK ISBSN: 978-1-910886-05-2 RRP: £14.50 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 WEST MIDLANDS HO! by Aldona Grupas West Midlands Ho! is a compelling work of local history, focused on a particular corner of England but set against a background of tumultuous international events.In the book, Lithuanian author Aldona Grupas reveals the personal tales of Lithuanian migrants who moved to Britain in the wake of World War II. Unable to return to their homeland due to the Soviet occupation, from 1947 onwards, several thousand refugees swapped the refugee camps of Allied-occupied Germany for basic accommodation in Britain, along with jobs in manufacturing and agriculture. In the following decades, they put down roots in Britain, all the while keeping their Lithuanian identity alive. In a series of interviews, Grupas teases out the personal experiences of five members of this migrant community in the West Midlands of England. PAPERBACK


ISBN: 978-1913356231 RRP:£19.95


THE PLIGHT OF A POSTMODERN HUNTER Chlngiz Aitmatov Mukhtar Shakhanov (2015) ENG HARDBACK ISBN: 978-1-910886-11-3 RRP: £24.95



I AM LOOKING TOWARDS THE EAST by Gulsifat Shakhidi, 2017 ISBN: 978-1910886663 RRP: £19.95 HARDBACK ENGLISH

BRÄNNANDE SOL, ISANDE VIND, LEVANDE STÄPP by Dulat Isabekov ISBN: 9789198244977 Hardcover Swedish |2020

A POETIC TREASURY FROM BELARUS: A CELEBRATION OF THE LIFE AND WORK OF VERA RICH by David ParryJim Dingley SBN: 9781913356040 Hardcover EN \ BY|2019 £14.95

GOETHE AND ABAI by Herold Belger ISBN: 9781910886168 Hardcover EN|2015 £19.95

WHEN EDELWEISS FLOWERS FLOURISH by Begenas Saratov and (Shahsanem Murray) ISBN: 9780955754951 Paperback ENG 2012 £12.95




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 y, this is both an of the world that of years but is on e.


A Silk roAd Journey

Friendly SteppeS:

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




rdinary adventure ’s most incredible ll recovering from isunderstood Iran; et domination; and ertwined with the recounts not only e route has had on


Friendly SteppeS: A Silk roAd Journey Nick Rowan

THE SILK ROAD REVISITED by Nick Rowan (2020)

This is the chronicle of an extraordinary adventure that led Nick Rowan to some of the world’s most incredible and hidden places.

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.

HARD BACK ISBN: 978-0-9927873-4-9 PAPERBACK ISBN: 978-0-9557549-4-4

HARDBACK 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

MEET THE ‘STANS by Christopher Jones “If you want to travel in peace, you must howl like the wolves among whom you find yourself,” a 19th century French explorer advised on entering Central Asia. Which was simply the Central Asian version of raising your negroni and slurring ‘When in Rome’. Thankfully, the author discovered, the negroni’s had since made their way to Central Asia, or at least Almaty, as part of the somewhat inconsiderable encroachment made by the modern world. HARDBACK ISBN: 978-1-913356-15-6 RRP: £17.50 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



children award winning HERTFORDSHIRE PRESS

RHYMES ABOUT BOYS by Lyudmila Dubkovetcaia (2019) HARD BACK ENGLISH ISBN: 978-1-913356-03-3 RRP: £17.50

MENIK THE MAMMOUTH by OGDO (2017) PAPERBACK ENG ISBN: 978-1-910886-62-5 RRP: £12.50

СОФЬИНЫ НЕБЕСА, ИЛИ ВОЛШЕБНЫЙ ДАР ГНОМОВ Оксана Гордийко (2019) ISBN: 978-1-910886-97-7 RRP: £14.50

LEIA THE LITTLE MOUSE by Arina Chunaeva (2019)


ELISH AND THE WICKER TALES by Kamran Salayev PAPERBACK SQUARE ENG ISBN: 978-1-910886-88-5 RRP:£12.50

HARD BACK ENGLISH ISBN:978-1-910886-90-8 RRP: £22.50

Дневник Ёжика - путешественника, или Где живёт счастье? by Надежда Серебренникова ISBN: 9781913356095 Paperback RU| 2020 £19.50 ELISH AND THE WICKER TALE by Timur Akhmedjanov ISBN: 9781913356194 Paperback ENG | 2020 £9.99


HARDBACK ENGLISH ISBN: 978-1-913356-01-9 RRP: £22.50



THE EGRET AND THE COW by Gareth Stamp ISBN: 978-1913356149 RRP: £9.99

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

The door to a fairy tale by Denis Kuvaev ISBN: 9781910886632 Hardcover EN| 2017 £22.50

AYSU AND THE MAGIC BAG by Maide Akan (2016) CARDBOARD ISBN: 978-1-910886-24-3 RRP: £10.00



Crane by Abu-Sufyan ISBN: 9781910886236 Paperback EN| 2016 £12.50

POOL OF STARS by Olesya Petrova (2007) PAPERBACK ENG / RUS ISBN: 978-0955754906 RRP: £4.95





100 EXPERIENCES OF KYRGYZSTAN by Ian Claytor ENG ISBN: 978-0957480742 RRP: £9.50

101 Zážitok Z Kazachstanu Editori: Nick Rowan a Roman Vassilenko ISBN: 9781913356255 RRP: £9.50

100 EXPERIENCES OF MODERN KAZAKHSTAN by Vitaly Shuptar, Nick Rowan and Dagmar Schreiber ENG ISBN: 978-1-910886-15-1 RRP: £9.50

THE TASTE OF CENTRAL ASIA COOK BOOK by Danny Gordon ENG ISBN:978-1-910886-09-0 RRP: £9.50

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









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.





ISBN: 978-0957480780 RRP: £19.95



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: 978-1-910886-67-0 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

НУРЫМ ТАЙБЕК ЛЮБОВЬ КО ВСЕМ, НЕНАВИСТЬ НИ К КОМУ! — СМЫСЛ ЖИЗНИ МУСУЛЬМАН-АХМАДИ послание Ахмадийское движение – единственное в исламе, объявившее, в соответствии с предписанием Мухаммада, военный джихад отмененным (с 1891 г.) в связи с появлением мессии-махди (и началом эры прав человека). Ахмад боролся против политизации ислама и восстановил первоначальную – мирную интерпретацию понятий “джихад”. ISBN: 978-1-910886-73-1 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


ISBN: 9781913356255

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



Dr. Gerald Mako , Cambridge University


red among them those d the initial impetus for ty’. on on a different scale y goal of his book is to he peculiarities of the ple, but also to what exvironment where busicommendable, and one nclusions of this book those at the country’s shape its economy,and



ussian mentality set in draws on the works of ts and authors in his reanged over the course the Russian mentality society, including the ilism, various types of ures, personnel policy, world. With interesting ssible avenues for the Russian Mentality is at er dull.



THE RUSSIAN MENTALITY by V. V. Kozlov An exploration into the birth processes of the Russian mentality set in juxtaposition to Western mentalities, V. V. Kozlov draws on the works of many eminent philosophers, historians, sociologists and authors in his research. In analysing how the Russian state has changed over the course of millennia, the author focuses on the influence the Russian mentality has had on the development of modern Russian society, including the issues of management and governance, legal nihilism, various types of rights and freedoms, corruption in power structures, personnel policy, and Russia’s place an increasingly contradictory world. With interesting arguments on the roots of ‘Russophobia’ and possible avenues for the future development of civil society, Kozlov’s The Russian Mentality is at times illuminating, at others controversial, but never dull. ISBN: 9781913356262 Hardcover ENG | 2021 £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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Higher education in the countries of the Eurasian region has deep historical roots that gave to the culture of the world such great geniuses as Khwarizmi, Ulugbek, Avicenna, Lomonosov. Many scientists who were educated in higher institutions of Kazan, Moscow, Bukhara, Samarkand and St. Petersburg made a huge contribution to the world civilization. Hundreds of years later, these scholarly traditions are continued by more than 1,500 universities in the Eurasian region. Our editorial board decided to publish (inspired by Forbes magazine) a special issue of 50 Universities of Eurasia 2021. The issue will be interesting for scientists, international students and experts in the field of higher education. The aim of the project is to bring together top universities, experts and media representatives to promote academic education and research opportunities in the region. A special edition of OCA Magazine: 50 Universities of Eurasia-2021 will be published in London in June 2021 in English. Due to the space constraint, we have reduced the number of participants from the countries and regions of Eurasia, which are located on the territory of the former Soviet Union. Our contacts: bozhena@ocamagazine.com / WhatsApp : +447411978955

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ECG SUMMIT 3 GREAT EVENTS IN ONE PLACE 24-28 JUNE, 2021 LONDON UK For detailed information, please contact the following email: lari@ocamagazine.com






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