• KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09427 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09427 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09427 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09427 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09427 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09427 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09427 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01153 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00215 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09427 0.11%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

Viewing results 1 - 6 of 395

Firefighters Evacuate People from Burning High-Rise in Astana

A large fire broke out at a 26-storey building in Kazakhstan’s capital on Saturday, sending dense clouds of smoke billowing across the city. Firefighters evacuated people, including a three-month-old baby, from the Rixos Khan Shatyr Residences in Astana, the Ministry of Emergency Situations said. It posted photographs and video of firefighters escorting people into the street and using a crane and hose to extinguish the flames. Much of the blaze appeared to be on part of the building’s outer covering material. Built by Turkish company Sembol Construction, the building is on Turan Avenue and near the Khan Shatyr shopping and entertainment center, which has a distinctive cone-like structure. “Fully equipped apartments and high-level finishes, full range of services and infrastructure, as well as comfortable and spacious offices will be a hallmark of the project,” Sembol Construction said when the building project was underway. Eight people, including one child, were evacuated from the building. According to the official representative of the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Republic of Kazakhstan Dinara Nurgalieva, there was no information about the severely injured. A firefighting headquarters has been set up at the scene, with firefighters continuing to extinguish not only the cladding of the building, but also working inside the complex. The causes of the fire have not yet been reported, and specialists continue to work at the scene.

“Photography in Kazakhstan is Characterized by Local Flavor”: Interview with Photographer Veronika Lerner

Veronika Lerner is a successful, self-taught Fine Art photographer from Kazakhstan whose work has received international recognition. Early in her career, an image of her grandmother sitting near-naked in her kitchen, was selected for inclusion in the portrait collection of the prestigious 5th Exposure Award exhibition at the Louvre, Paris. Deemed controversial when it appeared online, it embodied Lerner’s interest and talent in conceptual photography. Her portraits have been placed in the international  ‘Shoot The Face’ competition as well as ‘My Amazing Kazakhstan’, and in 2016 and 2022, her series "Strangers" was featured in exhibitions in St. Petersburg. One of Kazakhstan’s finest contemporary photographers, Veronika continues to make a significant contribution to the development of Kazakh photography.   TCA: What inspired you to take up photography? I turned to photography in 2007, when studying to be an artist-designer at college. I had no formal art school training and though keen to develop my own style in drawing, was disillusioned when criticized for my use of shading. Photography allowed me more freedom and with no one editing what I was doing, I was able to express myself fully. TCA: How has your career evolved and what changes have you noticed in the field along the way? After college, I continued taking photos and a post with a print publication led to a second job in which I was required to photograph just about everything. Parallel to my job, I worked independently on creative shoots and by developing my practice, my career in photography was soon in full swing. During that period, my style became much lighter and more cheerful. I moved away from black and white contrast shots towards color and my images became airier and more dynamic.   TCA: Where do you find inspiration for your work? Are there any photographers in particular whose work you admire? I find inspiration in everyday life, new experiences, and the beauty of the world around me.  Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004), is a brilliant photographer. Working as a photo-journalist for Magnum, he pioneered street photography and was the first Western photographer to work ‘freely’ in the former Soviet Union. Capturing seemingly unimportant moments of ordinary life, there is something elusive and eternal about his work.  I greatly admire photographers whose work resonates with the contemporary culture.  Irina Dmitrovskaya was a journalist prior to attaining a degree from Docdocdoc, St Petersburg School of Modern Photography. Focusing on identity and societal constructs, and issues concerning the LGBT+ community, her work raises questions about the Kazakh perception of beauty and femininity and last year, was lauded in the exhibition ‘Bodily Autonomies’ at the Queer Festival, Heidelberg. https://queer-festival.de/bodily-autonomies/ I am also inspired by black and white images in which by Moscow-based Anisiya Kuznina, https://anisiakuzmina.com  explores the concept of individuality; by Evgeny Mokhorev https://heyboymag.com/evgeny-mokhorev-life-through-the-lens-of-emotion-controversy/ for his raw, black and white evocative studies of St Petersburg’s marginalized youth, and by Didar Kushamanov https://t.me/s/kushamanov for his use of camera obscura. In addition to work by other photographers, my approach to subject matter...

Kazakhstan: Preconceived Notions and Changed Minds

When I received the email stating that I had received a fellowship to move to Almaty, Kazakhstan, to teach English for a year, I nearly fell out of my office chair in Midtown Manhattan. I worked in a market research company fresh out of college but knew I needed to do something more exciting in my early 20s. I began studying Russian when I was 13 years old. I’m unsure what the exact catalyst for my language endeavor was. Still, coupled with my Ukrainian ancestry, Putin’s annexation of Crimea, and the Sochi Olympics, it seemed like a no-brainer to me. At this point in my life, I lived outside of Boston, Massachusetts, and began taking Russian classes on Saturdays in Brookline to satiate my desire to learn. After a year of classes, I enrolled in a Russian language immersion camp in Bemidji, Minnesota, for three summers. Following that, I received a grant from the US State Department to immerse myself in the culture for a summer in Narva, Estonia. I knew where and what I wanted to study after graduating high school. I started my studies at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University in Washington, DC, declared a major in international affairs with a minor in Russian language and literature, and never looked back. After graduation, my plans were in the air. I had been looking into opportunities to move to Russia or Ukraine, but this was now off the table due to the war. I worked in New York to get sorted, earn money, and start a new chapter of my life. At some point in April 2023, I received an email from a fellowship I had applied for in October 2022. I was initially placed on the waitlist, but I was notified that I had been accepted for the 2023-2024 cohort to relocate to Almaty, Kazakhstan. “Oh my god,” I said at my desk. My coworker asked me what had happened. I said, “I’m moving to Kazakhstan. “Kazakhstan, like Borat’s Kazakhstan?” she asked. [caption id="attachment_19278" align="aligncenter" width="370"] Horses graze along the way to Furmanov Peak – Almaty, KZ[/caption] Preconceived notions Questions arose after the excitement had settled and my family and friends were informed of my plans questions began to arise. “Why Kazakhstan?” “Is it safe there?” “Is that next to Serbia?” “Does the Taliban rule Kazakhstan?” It is shocking how little most Americans know about the 9th largest country on the planet. Spanning two continents with nearly 20 million people, most Americans only know Kazakhstan from Sasha Baron Cohen’s 2006 film, Borat, and nothing more. When they hear the word “Kazakhstan,” they picture a backward and socially undeveloped post-communist country in which people commute by donkey carts, are misogynistic, and are openly antisemitic. While the depiction of Kazakh culture is inherently incorrect, the message is stuck, and the film has become synonymous with Kazakhstan in the American mind. However, most Americans probably can’t find it on the map. I explained, “Kazakhstan is in...

Testing Limits: Marathoners Head For the Shrinking Aral Sea to Run in the Desert

By Christopher Torchia   The dry bed of the Aral Sea, a symbol of ecological disaster in Central Asia, will host one of the world’s more extreme marathons on Sunday. Supported by aid stations and medical staff, a small band of athletes will run on sand, gravel and stones, inhaling salty air in scorching temperatures and bracing themselves against strong winds. The Aral Sea Eco Marathon is being held in Karakalpakstan, Uzbekistan and planners aim to draw attention to what was once the fourth biggest saltwater lake and is now about 10 percent of its original size. Race promoters also want to highlight the need for sustainable use of water. The marathon roughly coincides with the United Nations-designated day to combat desertification and drought, which falls on June 17.  Andrey Kulikov, founder of the ProRun running school in Uzbekistan, ran a marathon distance in the area last year with American ultramarathoner Dean Karnazes in 4:51:18. Kulikov planned this year’s event with the help of Aziz Abdukhakimov, Uzbekistan’s minister of ecology, environmental protection and climate change. A limit of 100 runners was set, though far fewer signed up. Still, Kulikov said participants are from countries including Japan, China, France, Pakistan, Kenya, Togo and the Philippines. He hopes to expand the event next year. Uzbek participant Denis Mambetov said in a text interview on Telegram that he is taking part because of “a passion for adventure, for something new and unusual, to test one’s strength, and, of course, to draw the attention of others to an environmental problem of global proportions.” The Aral Sea, which lies between northern Uzbekistan and southern Kazakhstan, began shrinking significantly in the 1960s when water from the rivers that fed it was rerouted for Soviet-led agricultural irrigation. The subsequent emergency of the Aralkum Desert and the sand and dust storms arising from the world’s newest desert have polluted the environment and severely affected health in local communities. There are regional and international efforts to restore the Aral Sea ecosystem, including seed-planting and the implementation of water-saving technologies. The five Central Asian countries - Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan – formed a group three decades ago, soon after independence from Soviet rule, to address the problem. The gap between goals and results is wide, though the countries are recognizing the wider threat of water scarcity as the planet becomes hotter.  “Colleagues are well aware that the problem of water shortage in Central Asia has become acute and irreversible and will only worsen in the future,” Uzbek President Shavkat Mirziyoyev said at a regional meeting on the Aral Sea last year. “Experts believe that in some regions of Central Asia pressure on water resources will increase three times by 2040. Economic damage could eventually reach 11 percent of regional gross product.” Nurbek Khusanov, who will run the marathon on Sunday,  works at SQB, a top bank in Uzbekistan, and is a leader of its efforts to promote “green” policies that aid the environment. The marathon will “attract more...

Alternative Transport Routes in Kazakhstan: Potential and Current Opportunities

Kazakhstan's President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has ordered alternative transportation and shipping routes to be drawn up and supply routes to be diversified. Amid ongoing geopolitical shifts, routes passing through Kazakhstan's territory are already seeing relatively high freight flows. Still, to develop them, further measures are needed to enhance international logistics cooperation and increase efficiency along the entire length of the transport corridors. The country's deputy minister for transport Maksat Kaliakparov kindly agreed to answer some questions from The Times of Central Asia. TCA:  Not so long ago, Kazakhstan Temir Zholy (KTZ) announced the launch of a project to create a digital corridor as part of the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route (TITR) with the company Global DTC Pte Ltd. What countries are to be integrated into this project? Can a similar digital trade corridor be considered for the International North-South Transport Corridor (INSTC)? MK: As you know, on August 16, 2022, KZT and the Singaporean company PSA concluded a memorandum according to which one of the identified areas for cooperation is developing a digital trading corridor (DTC). Towards this, a multimodal DTC has been developed. Using this platform, three container trains were sent on the route from Xi'an (China) to Absheron (Azerbaijan) as a test run. Integration with the railway systems of Kazakhstan and Azerbaijan has been carried out. Currently, the process of integration with Georgian systems is underway. Overall, the DTC platform allows for: entering into online contracts with freight forwarding companies; seeing and receiving transportation tariffs from logistics companies; tracking the location of containers along all routes; getting customs status based on transit declarations when crossing borders along the route, etc. This year, it is also planning to launch the commercial operation of a container tracking service in Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, and Georgia, and it is also planning to be integrated with a Chinese logistics operator. In addition, the Tez Customs platform has been developed. It is part of DTC, created to automate the customs clearance process of railway transit freight on the route China-Kazakhstan-Central Asia/Europe. Tez Customs allows for: automating the process of customs transit clearance at the Kazakhstan-China border; reducing the time of customs procedures (from 4-8 hours to 30 minutes); tracking the status of transit declarations and freight until final departure from the territory of Kazakhstan. Meanwhile, a similar DTC for the INSTC is being considered within the cooperation framework with the UAE company Abu Dhabi Ports. TCA: As part of the development of the INSTC, the railway administrations of Kazakhstan, Russia, and Turkmenistan are planning to create a joint venture (JV). Tell us about the plans for how it is to be formed. How will shares in the JV be allocated between the countries? MK: Yes, indeed, for the further development of the eastern branch of the INSTC, the participating countries are working to create an equal-term JV between KTZ Express, Russian Railways Logistics, and the Transport and Logistics Center of Turkmenistan. Today, the railway administrations of Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, and Iran are creating a favorable tariff...

Is Kazakhstan’s Parliament About to Ban Religious Clothing?

The Kazakh authorities are once again trying to restrict the wearing of religious clothing -- hijabs and niqabs -- in public places. There have been heated discussions on social media, and Muslim women have appealed to President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev himself. The hijab (headscarf) has long become an everyday accessory, and today, the secular part of society is trying to prevent its wearing in schools. However, women wearing niqabs -- a long, usually black cape that covers the face -- are increasingly common on the streets. Many Kazakhs consider the niqab categorically unacceptable. The issue of wearing religious clothing in public places may be considered in Kazakhstan's parliament, said Yermurat Bapi, a member of the Majilis (lower house of parliament). "Now, the most important issue for us is to preserve our country's national interests, traditions, and culture. And if we look at the current situation, more Kazakhs are dressed in black in society. This situation seriously harms our future national interests," Bapi said. "That is why we, a group of deputies, have prepared such a bill. It will be submitted to the Parliament at the fall session. I think that the issue of hijab, niqab, and other religious clothing in society will be solved after its adoption. Then we will be able to regulate the issues of religious dress in some way," he added. In May this year, President Tokayev spoke sharply about covered faces. "Dressing in all black contradicts the worldview of our people, is thoughtless copying of foreign norms, conditioned by religious fanaticism. We must not break away from our spiritual roots and erode our national identity," he said. Also, in October 2023, Minister of Culture and Information Aida Balayeva said that the new law on religion will prohibit wearing religious clothing in public places. Kazakhstan has been trying to solve the problem of wearing religious clothing in schools, universities, courts, and other organizations for years. In the past, the ban on wearing hijabs to school repeatedly caused clashes between school administrations, akimats (mayor's offices), and parents of female students. For example, in Atyrau region in 2023, more than 150 girls refused to attend classes without a hijab. As the Ministry of Education explained, the parents were spoken with, after which the children returned to classes. Experts believe the hijab and niqab have become fashion elements imposed by foreign influences alien to Kazakhstanis. However, local theologians are virtually unanimous: Kazakh women have never covered their faces. "After gaining independence, our youth began to study in foreign educational institutions and began to instill in our people certain clothes and dress codes, which were abroad: in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and other Muslim countries. These are their customs, especially about covering the face. Popularly it is called a burqa -- a headscarf with slits for the eyes -- but in Arabic it is called a niqab. The niqab, which completely covers the face, is generally unacceptable for our people, and our people do not use it. Today, in some regions of our...

Start typing to see posts you are looking for.