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Tajikistan courts energy investment

Tajikistan courts energy investment

Several development banks have recently come to Tajikistan, planning to invest in Tajikstan's energy security‚ which Tajikistan really needs.  Last year, energy distribution problems precipitated a closure of Dushanbe's bakeries; the resulting bread riot (really a woman's sit-down demonstration) underscored the past-due need for energy infrastructure investment in Tajikistan.  At neweurasia.net, Gulru has written this winter has been […]

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Africa Travel

This past Sunday's New York Times travel section featured Africa. It includes pieces on West Africa, featuring Senegal, night-time in South Africa's Mountain Zebra National Park, and following the path of David Livingstone's quest for what would come to be known as Victoria Falls as well as much more.

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'tis Spring: Caspian Outbreak of Avian H5N1

'tis Spring: Caspian Outbreak of Avian H5N1

See this map of bird migration patterns, courtesy of BBC: then imagine that these lines are kind of blurred, because birds, after all, do not read maps and do not march in single file.  Instead, these lines demarcate a range of individual flights that are a little more widespread.  Then consider that birds bypass whole […]

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Mbeki on the Links Between Crime and Racism

Thabo Mbeki recently wrote in ANC Today about the links between the role that crime plays in the country's psyche and the still percolating racism that simmers beneath the surface of the ociety.  The country's whites too often ignore the connection. Money excerpt: “For this section of our population every reported incident of crime communicates the frightening and expected […]

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Helen Zille, the Democratic Alliance and National Politics

Cape Town mayor Hellen Zille has announced that she will be running for the Democratic Alliance's (DA) national leadership title, which will then put her in place to be the DA's candidate for the presidency. Zille hopes to replace Tony Leon, who announced last year that he would not seek another term as party leader. Zille […]

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Nomadic architecture: the felt home (not yurt)

Nomadic architecture: the felt home (not yurt)

One strength of the English language has been its incredible ability to assimilate any noun from any language–and then, through mispronunciation, claim it for itself.  This characteristic is undisputably useful, but can also institutionalize translation errors.  The yurt is not a yurt.  Yurt means “homeland”.  Wikipedia says: In Kazakh (and Uyghur) the term for the structure is kiyiz uy (киіз үй‚ lit. […]

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Tulips and Mud in Kyrgyzstan, part 2 of 2

Tulips and Mud in Kyrgyzstan, part 2 of 2

Constitutional Crisis to Prime Minister Crisis, continued. . . . Though the first two assassinations of legislators were alarming, the third execution, of Akmatbaev, has been the most troublesome for Kyrgyzstan's domestic order.  During the incident, after Mr. Akmatbaev had been killed, Prime Minister Kulov came to the prison and negotiated the release of hostages […]

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Tulips and Mud in Kyrgyzstan, part 1 of 2

Tulips and Mud in Kyrgyzstan, part 1 of 2

 Simply put, Kyrgyzstan's Tulip Revolution of March, 2005, saw the ouster of President Akaev for one political and two economic reasons.  Politically, he was consolidating the power of his presidency and weakening the legislature.  Constitutionally-mandated term limits were extended under Akaev's rule.  As Akaev neared the limit of his last extended term, he began grooming two […]

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Escalation in Zimbabwe

The situation in Zimbabwe is intensifying following a firebomb attack against the Marimba police camp  in Harare by suspected opposition activists, most likely from the Movement for Democratic Change. The descent into violent response was probably inevitable. Even the most rightoeus opposition movement will only be able to resist through the political system for so long when […]

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Cricket World Cup Update

The cricket World Cup is underway. Among the African entrants: Kenya won its first match against Canada by seven wickets. Zimbabwe will face Ireland later today. South Africa will start things off against the Netherlands in a match they should win handily. The Proteas are one of the favorites, so most South African fans are torn […]

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Good News on AIDS?

The news on AIDS from Africa is rarely good, and southern Africa usually offers the grimmest tidings. Nonetheless, the feedback from what is being billed as “the most representative HIV/AIDS meeting ever held in” South Africa hints that perhaps things will improve. The meeting,  opened in Pretoria today, and will debate the new HIV/AIDS national strategic plan for […]

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Zim: Whither Mbeki?

One of the major reasons why this blog, putatively devoted to South Africa, has so emphasized Zimbabwe thus far is that beyond the obvious significance of Zim right now, the country also represents South Africa's biggest foreign policy challenge. It is too facile to assert that South Africa is doing nothing as so many obeservers have […]

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The newest Central Asian development bank

On January 26, 2006, the Eurasian Economic Security Council (EAEC or EurAsSec) announced the inception of a new development bank that aims to improve economic issues for its member states.  According to Vladimir Putin, the Eurasian Development Bank (EADB, or sometimes EDB) was proposed by Nursultan Nazarbaev in 2004, in order to create regional economic […]

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Tajikistan: Refurbished air force base

What in the West we consider to be the Central Asian state furthest from international access, India is calling "the fulcrum of regional geopolitics." In a move little noted elsewhere, India has developed its first foreign air base‚ in Tajikistan.  The Ayni base is a former Soviet airbase used to supply the Soviet-Afghanistan war, but […]

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Stalin and the hijab

Stalin and the hijab

Eighty years ago, Stalinists attempted to eradicate specific Central Asian religious and cultural practices: one such undesired practice, again relevant, concerned the customary headcoverings for Islamic women (hijab).  According to articles by Douglas Northrop in 2000 and 2001 (see Worth Reading: Uzbekistan), Bolsheviks in Uzbekistan began korenizatsaiia (nativization) in the early 1920's.  By 1926, they had identified traditional Islamic […]

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FPA Administrator
FPA Administrator

Blog updates from the FPA online editorial team and op-ed publisher for special contributors.

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