Winners of ‘Kazakhstan through the eyes of foreign media’ contest announced

ASTANA (TCA) — Kazakhstan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Kazakhstan’s Chief Editors Club have announced the winners of the Fifth International “Kazakhstan through the Eyes of Foreign Media” contest. 85 entries from more than 20 countries competed in this year’s contest, with five regional prizes awarded to journalists.

The editorial staff of the Uzbekistan National News Agency (UzA), one of Uzbekistan’s leading news agencies, who actively reported on Kazakh-Uzbek relations during 2017-18, were announced as the winners from the CIS and Baltic region.

2018 is the year of Uzbekistan in Kazakhstan.

Journalist Gilly Pickup of Great Britain was announced as the European winner. Her article “One Steppe Beyond” was published in “Country and Townhouse” and describes her journey to Kazakhstan.

An article by American author Sasha Lipovtsev, “Seven Wonders of Kazakhstan: Why Fashion Tourism Is Booming in Central Asia” published in Forbes was awarded as the best publication among journalists from the Americas.

From Asia, Australia and Oceania, the jury chose Inderveer Singh of India for his article “Astana: the capital has its own charms and pleasures” published in Business Central Asia magazine. The article describes the architecture of Astana, a brief history of some the city’s landmarks, and provides details about the city’s dynamic growth.

The winner from the Middle East and African region was Ayman Abdelhafez al-Zaban from Jordan. Mr. Al-Zaban was awarded the prize for his series of articles on Kazakhstan’s economic development, foreign policy and the 20th anniversary of Astana.

The experience and feedback of travelers and journalists who have submitted applications,highlights the growing interest of visitors to Kazakhstan. “People-to-people diplomacy” is developing partly thanks to the high-quality and reliable articles which are published about Kazakhstan and the lives of local people, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry said.

This year, for the first time, video programs also participated in the competition, among them were the popular television show “The Mole” (The Netherlands). One of the episodes was shot in Almaty and broadcast in early 2018 during prime time on the First National Channel of Holland (NPO1).

The jury included Kazakh Foreign Minister Kairat Abdrakhmanov, Deputy Foreign Minister Roman Vassilenko and President of the Chief Editors Club Yerlan Bekkhozhin.

According to competition rules, the five overall winners will be awarded a trip to Kazakhstan in August this year. Journalists will visit the cities of Astana and Almaty, as well as the Burabai resort. The winners will visit cultural and historical sites and will have an opportunity to interview senior government officials, local experts, journalists and representatives from the cultural, sporting and tourism sectors.

The Kazakh Foreign Minister noted that this kind of competition is not just an opportunity to raise Kazakhstan’s profile abroad and promote Kazakhstan’s initiatives internationally, but it also contributes to the development of bilateral and multilateral relations with the countries where the contestant’s works are published.

Sergey Kwan


Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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