“Good news Pamiris,” writes [ru] Bektour Iskender, President of Kloop Media, a Kyrgyz news portal and blogging platform. “Wikipedia has provided permission to begin a version of the site in Shughni.” Shughni is one of the main languages spoken in Gorno Badakhshan province (GBAO), a remote, eastern part of Tajikistan dominated by the Pamir Mountains. Iskender helped local internet users file the request to create a Shughni section of Wikipedia following a new media training session in Khorog, the province's administrative capital, over two years ago. “Now begins the small matter of realizing [Wikipedia in Shughni]. But I can't help there, since I don't know a word of the language,” he says.
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Discussions surrounding potential membership of the Customs Union that currently comprises Belarus, Russia, and Kazakhstan are not new to Kyrgyzstan's public. Having come into effect in July of 2011 the union aims to...
13 May 2013
Victory Day on May 9, marking the end of World War II, is a national holiday celebrated vibrantly in many former Soviet countries, including Kyrgyzstan. This year, Kyrgyzstani Internet users expressed their frustration that the country's "true heroes" are remembered only once a year, and that the holiday has now turned into an excuse to get drunk.
1 May 2013
Noorjahan Akbar, 22, is an Afghan women's rights activist and a prolific blogger. She believes that there has been a lot of positive change for women's rights in Afghanistan over the last decade. She also believes that social media serve as an important avenue for Afghan women to highlight their plight.
27 April 2013
In early April, Taliban insurgents stormed an Afghan court, killing and wounding dozens of people. While the Taliban admitted its responsibility for the deadly attack, President Hamid Karzai blames the incident on "foreign" Taliban and holds that local insurgents had nothing to do with it. Many ordinary people in the war-torn country are unhappy about Karzai's "soft" stance on the Taliban, whom the Afghan leader often calls his "brothers".
12 April 2013
KVN - the Russian abbreviation for Club of the Funny and Inventive - remains a national comedy institution in many states of the former Soviet Union. Kyrgyzstan, whose capital has recently hosted the Central Asian league of KVN, is no exception. But while most people in the country enjoy the humor, the Kyrgyz capital's mayor is looking on red-faced, emerging as the butt of every other joke.
2 April 2013
The Kyrgyz parliament might soon ban girls under 23 years of age from leaving the country without parental consent. The bill which is aimed at preventing female migrants from becoming 'sexual slaves' has come under fierce criticism from human rights groups and some internet users.
28 March 2013
An outspoken regime critic and leader of a minority ethnic community has gone missing in Tajikistan. The country's internet users have largely missed his disappearance. The reactions from those who have paid attention to this case show that xenophobic attitudes run deep within Tajik society.
27 March 2013
The quest is on for solutions to poverty reduction with the approach of the 2015 deadline for the UN Millenium Development Goals (MDG). Many organizations are exploring new avenues for answers.
26 March 2013
The Tajik government appears to be steamrolling all signs of political opposition ahead of the upcoming presidential elections. The latest suspected victim of a far-reaching purge is Umarali Quvvatov, an opposition leader, who 'disappeared' from a Dubai-based detention centre on March 17. Internet users believe he is the subject of an audacious international kidnapping by Tajik security services.
25 March 2013
An interview with The Family Without Borders: Anna and Thomas Alboth, parents, travellers and bloggers, who've been around the Black Sea and around Central America with their two small daughters.