Global, but not local: Tajikistan’s new Education Minister overlooks basic reform needs

Earlier this month, Tajik President Emomali Rahmon installed a new Minister of Education: the former Rector of Tajik National University Nuriddin Saidov. (The outgoing Minister Abdujabbor Rahmonov has been appointed Rector of Aini Pedagogical University. I don't know if there was a particular reason for the move - the only information I can find is from state …

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Students: heads you lose, tails you lose

Are today's students in the former Soviet Union too political or not political enough? Two recent stories from Uzbekistan and Russia suggest that either way, students will end up being criticised: you're damned if you do care and you're damned if you don't. In Uzbekistan, the government has introduced a new moral code - no …

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Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer

This week, four stories that at first glance appear quite different... The UK's Telegraph has featured a number of articles on Central Asia recently, and  the report I'd like to bring to your attention now is about the opening of a new British Embassy in Kyrgyzstan. This is, as the newspaper notes, 'despite budget cutbacks'. …

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Straws on a camel’s back

The "aeroplane affair" between Russia and Tajikistan, as I suspected, shows no sign of landing (excuse the pun) anytime soon. Konstantin Parshin has - again - written an excellent article summarising what's happened over the last few days, so if you're not following this story elsewhere (and even if you are), do read what he has to …

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Russian pilots and Tajik workers, or How to lose friends and alienate people

For the last few weeks, I haven't had any interesting stories to report under my favourite 'bureaucratic madness' category. Central Asia seems to have been a pretty sensible place of late. However, I'm pleased to report that the Tajik government is back on form with a new episode of red tape craziness. As I've suggested …

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Hillary Clinton’s visit to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan

A slightly light-hearted post today as I've spent the last few days unwell and my mind is not in serious analysis mode right now! As anyone in Central Asia will know, the American Secretary of State Hillary Clinton paid a short visit to Tajikistan and Uzbekistan over the weekend. This post is a round-up of …

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