Tags / Kazakhstan
Interview with Erlan Idrissov, Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Erlan Idrissov is a skilled diplomat. He served as Kazakh Ambassador in London and in Washington and now is the head of the Kazakh diplomatic service in Astana. In this exclusive interview he accuses Ablyazov of being a criminal and gives the official position of its government on the whole story.
Interview with Alma Shalabayeva
Almaty (Kazakhstan), 2 august 2013.
“I am free like in a cage”, whispers Alma Shalabayeva from her stylish two-floor house in Almaty, the ancient Kazakh capital where she is obliged by the authorities to reside.
She lives in Kargaly, the VIP district of Almaty, where there are fabulous houses designed by Italian architects and protected by checkpoints with vigilantes armed with Kalashnikov. Alma lives in a red bricks villa, together with a housemaid, the mother and the father, who suffers from Alzheimer. The nephew with a couple of unarmed men plays the role of bodyguard.
For the first time since her shameful expulsion, together with her 6 years old daughter Alua, from Italy on may 31, Lady Ablyazov opens the door to an Italian journalist. After walking a narrow and dusty road we arrive in front of the main entrance of the house. Suddenly a black SUV with darkened windows arrives, slamming on the brakes and two youngsters start questioning me and my interpreter, who begins to stammer. He is afraid they could be members of the notorious KNB, the Kazakh security service. Suddenly the door of the house opens and Alma comes out. We realise that the two suspicious fellows are part of the “security” ring around Mrs. Shalabayeva. A very thin one, since most of the family’s friends have abandoned Ablyazov family, fearing reprisals from the authorities. “I understand them” explains Alma. “I am spied and observed constantly. From that hill they recorded me inside the house. And I am sure that they have put microphones inside the house as well. Since I came back here I am afraid to go out of the house”. As we enter the house and sit down Alua, the 6 year-old daughter comes in. She was with the mother in Italy and they were together expelled. She speaks good English and, to demonstrate her skills, she sits to the piano and start playing. Than, to show what she has learned in Italy, she starts singing an Italian famous child-song that runs “era una casa, molto piccina….”. Than she grabs me into the garden to introduce Sasha, her loved little rabbit. Alma come after us and, when she is sitting on the grass, she murmurs with the voice broken by emotion her main message for us “I thank the Italian government for having cancelled my illegal expulsion, but please, let me come back to Italy. I have four children living in Europe and I want to see again my husband. If he will be handed over to Kazakh authorities he will risk his life. The accusations against him are politically motivated”. Than she shows us some pictures of dead men laying at the edge of a road, with the hands tied on their backs, who is, supposedly, a former Kazakh minister with his bodyguards. A former minister, like Ablyazov. In the two months that Alma Shalabayeva spent in Kazakhstan after her expulsion she was questioned twice by the prosecutor. In one occasion she was visited by men from the Kazakh secret services, and they asked her on the whereabouts of her husband and how she communicated with him while they were living in Italy. She replied that she never saw Ablyazov again since he left Rome two or three days before the police raid when she was arrested.
Cairo, Egypt | March 24, 2012
Iranian diplomats along with ambassadors of other six states celebrated the Nowruz Festival on Saturday evening, March 24, for the first time in Egypt.
Ambassadors and diplomats of Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan jointly held the celebration in a big hotel in Cairo.
Ties between the mainly Sunni Muslim Egypt and predominantly Shiite Iran were severed in 1979 following Iran's Islamic Revolution and Egypt's peace treaty with and recognition of Israel. The relations improved since January 25 Revolution toppled Egypt's former regime in Feb 2011.
SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) – Mojtaba Amani, Head of Iran's Interests Office in Cairo, Egypt:
"The relations are already existent. We're ambassadors of seven states sharing the Nowruz, besides some other countries. We are looking forward to more cooperation due to our shared cultures. None of these countries or those neighboring countries in the Arab region would want anything wrong for the other countries."
Other diplomats of other states also attended the celebration, including China's Ambassador to Egypt Song Aiguo who hoped that this happy feast brings nations together for more cooperation and enhanced relations.
SOUNDBITE 2 (English) - China's Ambassador to Egypt Song Aiguo:
"This is the first time for me to attend such a celebration of the Spring Festival, the celebration of Nowruz, in Egypt. I think it is a happy occasion to bring all those nations together. Now we're in the spring, in such a wonderful season. I think the spring will bring a lot of good things for the people of China, Egypt and those people celebrating this great event." In May, 2010, the United Nations announced March 21 as the International Nowruz Day.
The day is celebrated by more than 300 million people worldwide, marking the beginning of spring.
Local News Agency: Middle East Bureau / VCS
Shooting Dateline: March 24, 2012
Shooting Location: Cairo, Egypt
Publishing Time: March 24, 2012
Video Size: 119 MB
Language: Arabic and English
1. Various shots of the ambassadors of participant countries receiving the guests
2. Tilt down, banner of the festival with flags of participant countries at the entrance of the celebration hall
3. Wide shot, guests at the celebration hall
4. Medium shot, Mojtaba Amani, Head of Iran's Interests Office in Cairo speaking during the celebrations
5. Various shots of guests talking and eating during the celebration
6. Various shots of a dance performance during the celebration
7. Medium shot, the open banquet at the celebration hall
8. SOUNDBITE 1 (Arabic) – Mojtaba Amani, Head of Iran's Interests Office in Cairo, Egypt:
"The relations are already existent. We're ambassadors of seven states sharing the Nowruz, besides some other countries. We are looking forward to more cooperation due to our shared cultures. None of these countries or those neighboring countries in the Arab region would want anything wrong for the other countries." 9. Medium shot, a dance performance during the celebration
10. Various shots of diplomats speaking during the celebration
11. Medium shot of guests
12. SOUNDBITE 2 (English) - China's Ambassador to Egypt Song Aiguo:
"This is the first time for me to attend such a celebration of the Spring Festival, the celebration of Nowruz, in Egypt. I think it is a happy occasion to bring all those nations together. Now we're in the spring, in such a wonderful season. I think the spring will bring a lot of good things for the people of China, Egypt and those people celebrating this great event."
13. Medium shot, ambassadors of participant states standing side by side
14. Close up, the cake
15. Medium shot, ambassadors holding the knife and cut the cake together and clapping
In 2008 Maximilian Semsch at the age of 24 cycled from Munich to Singapore to find out more about himself and to go on a real adventure, as life must be more than just working. He did the journey all by himself, without the help of a professional camera team. As there was no one to talk to, his camera became his best friend during the trip. His journey started in May 2008 in his hometown Munich. His route took him through Czech Republic, Poland, Ukraine into Russia and further on to Kazakhstan. Semsch then did hit rock bottom, as he was refused a visa and couldn't enter China. After days of consideration he did decide to skip China and flew to Thailand. His route through south-east Asia took him from Thailand to Cambodia back into Thailand and via Malaysia he finally reached Singapore, after 211 days and 13.500km on his bike. Semsch recorded everything on his trip. The nice and helpful people he bumped into, drinking vodka in Russia with complete strangers and its aftermath of a hangover the next day but he also tells about his fight against loneliness, heat and extreme headwind. He always does it in a very personal way that gives the audience the feeling of sitting on the back of his bike.