• KGS/USD = 0.01122 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00223 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09145 0.22%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01122 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00223 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09145 0.22%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01122 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00223 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09145 0.22%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01122 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00223 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09145 0.22%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01122 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00223 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09145 0.22%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01122 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00223 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09145 0.22%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01122 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00223 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09145 0.22%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%
  • KGS/USD = 0.01122 0%
  • KZT/USD = 0.00223 0%
  • TJS/USD = 0.09145 0.22%
  • UZS/USD = 0.00008 0%

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OCA Magazine Celebrates Fifteenth Anniversary

The sole English-language magazine dedicated to Central Asia and the CIS region, since 2009 OCA Magazine has been promoting diplomatic relationships and international partnerships between Eurasia and the global community. With a list of contributors which includes heads of state, ambassadors, ministers, celebrities, academicians, business-people, and others, in 2024 the magazine will celebrate its fifteenth anniversary with both new and special editions, as well as international events bringing together readers, contributors, and partners of the publication. A special issue, OCA: Creative Industries & Tourism Expertise, has already been published as part of the celebrations, which includes articles about the best tourist experiences, modern projects, and key challenges in the creative economies of Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus, and more. Written by experts from the U.K., Spain, Russia, and others, the first edition was presented during the OCA Zoom International Conference on “Sustainable Development of the Creative Economy: A New Model for Tourism in Central Asia." This conference brought together experts to discuss current issues and trends in tourism development resulting from the volatile global situation. During the session, new opportunities for Eurasian tourism were explored, with Gulchekhra-begim Makhmudova proposing the creation of an edutainment park called SILKROADLAND, and suggesting that video content based on her children's books about the legends of the Great Silk Road should be produced. Makhmudova noted that while many are familiar with Western cartoon characters, there is a great opportunity to showcase the unique and diverse culture of Central Asia through animation. Gregory Schafer discussed sustainable cultural tourism and its management, highlighting the significance of preserving cultural authenticity, promoting eco-friendly practices, and exploring gastro-tourism. Irina Kharitonova, meanwhile, addressed the topic of developing the creative economy and related industries, noting that some may not be familiar with terms such as "creative tourism," and the need to promote better understanding. Artem Klykov, a professor at Silk Road University and SWISS University, highlighted the significance of human capital as the basis for sustainable tourism and the creative economy. "Increasing the competitiveness of tourism requires effective management of human capital," Klykov stated. Despite the business-oriented nature of the conference, there was still an opportunity for celebration. Marat Akhmedjanov, the founder of Silk Road Media (U.K.) and publisher of OCA Magazine, congratulated everyone on the fifteenth anniversary and expressed his gratitude to all of the participants. Later this year, the magazine will see several more special issues and related conferences, such as the 4th OCA Magazine: Education (an opportunity for universities, experts and media representatives to promote education and research opportunities inside the region and abroad), the 5th OCA Magazine: People (featuring 40 interviews with outstanding creative people from  Eurasia), the 4th OCA Magazine: North America Edition (a special edition observing the wide range of issues related to Central Asia, the CIS, the U.S. and Canada), and the 1st OCA Magazine: Real Estate (a new opportunity for international investors). The year's activities will culminate with the OCA Dialogue Forum, “New Dimensions of International Investment Attractiveness of Eurasia. Global ReFace,” which is scheduled...

Tears and Laughter: An Evening at an Uzbek Theater

Tashkent, Uzbekistan - The action unfolds in the Soviet Union in the 1960s. An Uzbek man goes to Russia for compulsory military service and falls in love with a Russian woman. Back with her betrothed in his homeland, the Russian slowly wins over her recalcitrant mother-in-law and learns to love Uzbek culture. So goes the plot of “Uzbek Dance,” a play being performed in the colonnaded Uzbek National Academic Drama Theater in Tashkent, the capital. The tragicomedy made its debut in Uzbekistan in 2009 and has been re-staged several times, immersing audiences in Uzbek history and culture and making them laugh and cry. The Times of Central Asia attended a performance on March 9. So did hundreds of other people. Ticket prices in the Uzbek currency, the sum, cost the equivalent of about USD4 to USD5.60. Before the start, people in the atrium gazed at portraits of actors who helped to build the Uzbek theater scene over the last century. People mingle in the museum of the National Academic Drama Theater in Uzbekistan. Portraits of actors who contributed to the development of Uzbek theater in the past century are hung there. Photo: TCA   In the early days, the “Turon" troupe performed around Uzbekistan. The first performance of the theater group was held in 1913 in the garden of the 14th century Tashkent mausoleum of an Islamic leader, or sheikh. In 1918, the state took over the troupe. Written by Nurillo Abbaskhan, “Uzbek Dance” explores tension and reconciliation between the Russian woman and her Uzbek mother-in-law, whose verbal and cultural missteps make for mutual suspicion and comedy. The play invites reflection on the nuanced relationship between Russia and Uzbekistan today (at least 2% of Uzbekistan’s population are ethnic Russians, according to government data in 2021; the population is estimated today at nearly 37 million). There’s a dark side to the drama. The family saga happens against the backdrop of a real-life 1980s corruption scandal surrounding a campaign to supply more Uzbek cotton for the Soviet Union. Spectators await the performance of "Uzbek Dance," a play that has been staged in different productions several times since making its debut in 2009. Photo: TCA   The cotton campaign was marred by falsified production numbers and a backlash from Soviet officials who rounded up thousands of Uzbek people, prosecuting many on false charges. Additionally, pesticides took a devastating toll on the environment and workers’ health. In the play, the Uzbek man, Tursunboy, drives a tractor in the cotton fields. Eventually, he gets falsely accused in the purge and imprisoned. He eventually gets out of jail, but the harsh conditions and years of exposure to toxic chemicals have left him fatally ill. Then there is Panamaryova Maria Visilevna, who took the name Maryam after converting to Islam on the insistence of her Muslim mother-in-law, Kumri Aya. The two women don’t get along at first. But they get closer. Maryam, who gives birth to six children before Tursunboy’s decline, learns the Uzbek language, dances, hat-making...

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