Foreign Ministry awards foreign journalists writing about Kazakhstan

ASTANA (TCA) — A formal ceremony for the winners of the 5th Kazakhstan Through the Eyes of Foreign Media contest for foreign journalists was held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan on August 6.

Annually, authors who have most interestingly covered various aspects of the development of modern Kazakhstan participate in the contest. This year five winners were selected from among 85 publications that were submitted from more than twenty countries. Winners of the contest won a trip to Kazakhstan including visits to Astana, Almaty and the Burabai resort which provides an extensive cultural program.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan will continue to support and contribute to the work of foreign journalists who cover events in the country. Addressing the participants of the ceremony, Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov said that Kazakhstan’s open society and consciousness, with its representation of its culture to the world, was the essence of the Rukhani Zhangyru program of President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The editorial staff of the Uzbekistan National News Agency (UzA) which actively reported on Kazakhstan–Uzbekistan relations during 2017-18 was announced as the winner from the CIS and Baltic countries. Publications the Agency has submitted for the contest have included the article Uzbekistan-Kazakhstan: devoted to the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations, thematic materials about a cycling marathon and Days of the Almaty region in Uzbekistan.

This year a significant number of publications were devoted to the rapprochement and cooperation of the Central Asian states. Last year trade turnover between Kazakhstan and all Central Asian countries increased by 18.4%, with Uzbekistan rising by 32%, the Kazakh Foreign Minister noted in his speech.

An article by American authors Stephan Rabimov and Alexander Lipovtsev “Seven Wonders of Kazakhstan: Why Fashion Tourism Thrives in Central Asia”, published in Forbes, was awarded as the best publication among journalists from the Americas.

The winner from the Middle East and African region was Ayman Al-Zaban from Jordan, for a series of pieces on Kazakhstan’s membership of the UN Security Council, the Five Social Initiatives of the President of Kazakhstan, the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) and the 20th anniversary of Astana.

In general, around 300 publications by foreign media were devoted to the anniversary of Astana this year. The overwhelming majority were exclusive pieces by journalists who arrived specially in Astana to cover the development of the city. The article entitled “Astana: the Capital With its Own Charm and Pleasures”, published in the magazine Business Central Asia by Indian author Indervir Singkh, was recognized as the winner from the countries of Asia, Australia and Oceania.

British journalist Gilly Pickup won the contest among journalists from European countries. She published in the Aberdeen Press & Journal and The People’s Friend pieces titled “Destination – Kazakhstan” and “Kazakhstan: One Step Ahead”.

During the ceremony President of the Chief Editors Club of Kazakhstan Yerlan Bekkhozhin, Ambassador of Uzbekistan Saidikram Niyazkhodzhaev, Ambassador of India Prabkhat Kumar, as well as diplomats of the embassies of Jordan and the United States made speeches.

Sergey Kwan

TCA