Monday, May 28, 2007

#62: Putin's Heir?

Russian journalist Vladimir Soloviev wrote today that the issue of Russia's next president has been solved - it will be the current Vice-Prime Minister, Sergey Ivanov. This ends the battle between the two contenders: Sergey Ivanov and Dmitriy Medvedev, another Vice PM, which lasted for a year and a half. Official Russian media could not cover an event attended by one contender without showing a similar event of the other. It was known in November 2005 that one of these people would succeed Putin, who himself was, as a western newspaper in 2000 wrote, "put in" by late ex-President Boris Yeltsin.

Unfortunately, the idea of a president appointing an heir is taking deeper roots in Russia. Russian people are not being given a genuine choice. The fact that Russia's president is not chosen in the general elections, rather by the incumbent, makes the western countries worry more about Russia and development of democracy in the region. The recent arrest of opposition activists, including world chamption in chess Garry Kasparov, is an indication of how far Russia is away from that path.

And what worries me the most is that events (and methods) in Russia are copied by Central Asian rulers.

#61: Я сдал ЕГЭ

Мой результат теста
"Проверь себя: Сдай ЕГЭ! "


Твердая четверка. Если вы взрослый и уже давно окончили школу, значит, вы, видимо, много читаете или у вас гуманитарная профессия. Если вы юноша, готовящийся к выпускным в школе, вам стоит полистать учебник, чтобы закрасить кое-какие пробелы в знаниях.

through edil

Thursday, May 24, 2007

#60: Monopoly and Development

One of the things that could change the way people handle their finance is to start playing Monopoly. Introducing it in Kyrgyzstan, especially to kids, could help understand and more importantly internalize the basic concepts of investment, rent, and trading of property.

Here is something more specific to development though - Fighting Poverty Efficiently.

Monday, May 21, 2007

#59: On Ambassadorial Journalists

If the news about Melis Eshimkanov's possible appointment as the Kyrgyz Ambassador in Switzerland is true, it will confirm his "reputation" as the least trust-worthy politician in Kyrgyzstan. Other journalist-turned-ambassadors are Zamira Sydykova (ResPublica/U.S. and Canada), Rina Prizhivoit (MSN/Austria and Central Europe) and Kuban Mambetaliev (Journalists Association/UK) . Now it might be the owner and MP (althoug he still secretly writes) of Agym, Melis Eshimkanov.

Background: Journalist-turned-politician Melis Eshimkanov ran for the presidency in 2000 and parliament in 2005. Because of his changing political alliances, the editorial policy of his newspaper shifted accordingly. In 2002, Melis Eshimkanov accompanied ex-president Akayev to the U.S., where Akayev introduced him to President Bush as the country’s “most outspoken opposition figure." Some speculated that Akayev had promised him the post of the State Secretary and, as a result, Agym changed its editorial policy from critical to pro-government. These critics were proven to be correct, when the paper returned to publishing critical articles as he never received a government appointment. Currently, he is distrusted as being an unpredictable editor/politician, who changes allegiances based on the favors he receives.

Update: According to Azattyk Radio, Melis Eshimkanov sold his newspaper.

Friday, May 18, 2007

#58: Kudaga şügür, bügün juma*

I am so tired of everything. I need to find a place where I could be alone and not think about anything. I don't want to do anything. Just lie on a hammock and stare at the sky.

*TGIF in Kyrgyz

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

#57: Issykkul and Naryn

During the last four days I spent a lot of time on the road between Bishkek and Issykkul with friends and Bishkek and Naryn with colleagues. On weekends, Boris+Asyla, Meder+Elya, and me spend a very relaxing time at Meder's bungalow. Jumped into the cold water of the lake, got some tan (although I burned by back a bit and it is itching now), and visited the Georgievskiy Gorge. On Monday, left to Naryn on a work trip and met journalists from Kochkor and Naryn. Ate a lot of meat and drink fresh kymyz. Two interns joined me on the trip. Returned with a project in mind to start in Naryn.

I am hoping to travel to Osh and Batken at the end of May.

Friday, May 11, 2007

#56: Wonderwall*

Today is gonna be the day
That they're gonna throw it back to you
By now you should've somehow
Realized what you gotta do
I don't believe that anybody
Feels the way I do about you now

Backbeat the word was on the street
That the fire in your heart is out
I'm sure you've heard it all before
But you never really had a doubt
I don't believe that anybody feels
The way I do about you now

And all the roads we have to walk along are winding
And all the lights that lead us there are blinding
There are many things that I would
Like to say to you
But I don't know how

Because maybe
You're gonna be the one who saves me?
And after all
You're my wonderwall
* by Oasis

Thursday, May 03, 2007

#55: Going to Astana, Think Again!

Thinking of going to Astana, think again. Astana, as many other town in the region, is being affected by sand storms. Here is a picture of yesterday's sand storm that killed at least 2 people.
By the way, Russia's Channel 1 is advertising "elite" housing in Astana. Come to Bishkek. We don't get these sand storms and you can see stars at night, unlike in Almaty.

#54: Rethinking Life and Quarterlife Crisis

Is there such a thing as "Quarterlife Crisis" (QLC)?

Characteristics of this crisis are:
- feeling "not good enough" because one can't find a job that is at his/her academic/intellectual level
- frustration with relationships, the working world, and finding a suitable job or career
- confusion of identity
- insecurity regarding the near future
- insecurity regarding present accomplishments
- re-evaluation of close interpersonal relationships
- disappointment with one's job
- nostalgia for university or college life
- tendency to hold stronger opinions
- boredom with social interactions
- financially-rooted stress
- loneliness
- desire to have children
- a sense that everyone is, somehow, doing better than you (source: Wikipedia)

I won't specify which of these characteristics applies to me at this point, but many of them do. Here is some more reading on the topic.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

#53: Graduate School - Part 2

So far I found a couple of interesting programs for Master in International Business (MIB).
- Master in International Business at the London School of Business and Finance
- Master of International Business at Tufts University

Please let me know if you know any other schools with scholarship/assistanship/other aid possibilities.