Kazakhstan
Coffeehouse 3.0: Of Spies & Bloggers in Our Midst

Coffeehouse 3.0: Of Spies & Bloggers in Our Midst

picture credit: Molapse - http://molapse.wordpress.com/2011/05/20/molapse-is-back-in-analogue-form/   When farangi find out that I’m a professional blogger working on Central Asia, they usually pause and ask, with all sincerity, “they have the Internet out there?” I’m not trying to make a dig at my fellow Occidentals. It’s true that, for one reason or another, Central Asia tends to...
Fifteen Deaths at Seven Kilometers

Fifteen Deaths at Seven Kilometers

  It was late April 2011. The air in Belbulak, the Almaty satellite city we temporarily called home, was coarse with burning garbage. Dust hung along the unpaved roads. The refuse of the winter’s toss-in-the-snow disposal system was emerging rotted and unclaimed. The smell through town was enough enough to turn our eyes watery and to...
The Word in the Ruins

The Word in the Ruins

  “Poetry is the queen of language, the sovereign of the word. […] Language has free will in it and it warms the heart with the roundness and perfection of its form.” So says Abai Qunanbaiuli, perhaps the most well-known of the nineteenth century Central Asian men of letters. This epigram is taken from his...