“101 zážitkov z Kazachstanu”,a new book about Kazakhstan in Slovak

Hertfordshire Press, a leading British publishing house, in cooperation with the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in the Slovak Republic and the national company Kazakh Tourism, published one of the first books about Kazakhstan in the Slovak language called “101 zážitkov z Kazachstanu” (101 experiences from Kazakhstan). “101 zážitkov z Kazachstanu” is a vivid […]

Forging Ahead Despite the Headwinds

Interview: Erlan Idrissov Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the United Kingdom AlthoughKazakhstan’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom, H.E. Erlan Idrissov, came from a creative and academic background (his father was a renowned Kazakh journalist, writer, and academic), he chose a very different career path. His father instilled in him the belief in the power of words, […]

A Focus on Agricultural Research Development Interview: Yespolov Tlektes

Yespolov Tlektes is the Vice President and Academic at the National Academy of Sciences in the Republic of Kazakhstan. He is also the Chairman of the Board-Rector of the Kazakh National Agrarian Research University. He is also an academic of the Russian Agricultural Academy, the National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine. His scientific work […]


Elvira Svetlova was born in Russia. She graduated from Pedagogical University. After moving to Almaty, Elvira’s articles were published in many media sources. She also wrote several books. She received the title of Doctor of Creative Sciences and Teachings of the Moscow Academy of Sciences. OCA: Tell us about yourself and your creative activity/work ES: […]

From Disney to Almaty. Interview with Max Howard

Max Howard is a famous Disney producer, who has produced numerous bestsellers such as “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, “Saving Santa’, “The Little Mermaid”, “Aladdin”, “Beauty and the Beast”, and “The Lion King”. He recently visited Kazakhstan for the “Almaty film festival” and gave a series of master classes. OCA therefore took the opportunity to speak […]


Business coach and owner of the “Elena Bezrukova Center” aimed at training and consulting,she is also practicing psychology. Her work experience over 26 years. More than 5000 specialists have been trained by her programm and now they successfully apply learned knowledge. Education: pedagogical, economic, psychological. Elena Bezrukova has Kazakh and international certificates for conducting training […]

Projective graphics through the eyes of an art critic

“Imagination is more important than knowledge,” — those words of Einstein might describe Yelena Bezrukova’s approach to art. She herself confesses that she has no professional training in art – she is entirely self-taught. But this has not been an obstacle to her pioneering the concept of projective graphics!  But then the whole idea of […]


Don’t underestimate the potency of soft power grounded in education and people-to-people contact. Both are the backbone of deepened relationships, and the global community needs to invest in strengthening those ties with the Central Asia region. Soft power is an axiom of international relations and multilateral ties. Within this framework, education and research is a […]


The recent international tourist forum “Ulytau-2019” in Nursultan City attracted participants from more than 30 countries, including the UK, USA, Italy, France and others. President Kasym-Jomart Tokayev of Kazakhstan announced that the government of the country would continue putting special attention and billions of dollars into promoting his country as a major tourist destination. Indeed, […]


The territory of Ile in Xinjiang was occupied by Russian troops in 1871. After ten years, in the year 1881-82, the Ile area was returned to China. For the second time (after Alaska) the Russian Empire refused the almost-conquered territory that was lying at its feet like a ripe melon … Ile area Numerous rivers, […]


On May 15th 2019, the House of Friendship in Nur-Sultan hosted an exhibition dedicated to Chingiz Aitmatov entitled Tales of the Mountains and Steppes. The event was initiated by the Kyrgyzstan-Astana Ethnocultural Association and supported by The Eurasian Creative Guild (London). The main guest of the evening was Rosetta Aitmatova, the younger sister of Chingiz […]

Kazakh Superstar Brings Sensational Show to London

The London DQ show is part of the Kazakh Culture Days in the UK, hosted by The Ministry of Culture and Sport of the Republic of Kazakhstan and supported by the Embassy of Kazakhstan in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. Dimash Quadaibergen is an international, multiple award winning and world-famous Kazakh […]


You may not have heard of it, but the L.N. Gumilyov Eurasian National University has made significant advances for the years of educational activity. This national University of Kazakhstan puts its success down to fundamentally classical principles together with innovative footsteps. The reason for establishing this national university in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, was […]

I see a light for my native cinema at the end of this dark period

INTERVIEW WITH Bolot Shamshiev Few will know much about the cinema in Kyrgyzstan. What currently hampers its development is never aired and never makes the top priority list of state and international organizations. But there is a cinema to note and so Open Central Asia decided to meet one of its prominent players, the People’s […]

KAZAKHSTAN: The quest for international recognition drives many emerging markets

WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM OCA#28 SPRING 2018 Text by Nick Kochan The quest for international recognition drives many emerging markets. Kazakhstan has undoubtedly been better at it than many. The country has spent great effort and money building up an image as a modern state whose leaders can sit at the top table with world leaders. This effort […]

Azat Akimbek: Art Collector, Antiques Expert and Philanthropist

Azat Akimbek is a distinguished expert in art and antiques and a well-known philanthropist in Kazakhstan. He is renowned for his unique collections of antiques from Central Asian, Caucasian and Russian heritage. Azat holds a special award ‘The Honorary Arts Worker of the Republic of Kazakhstan’. In 2011, Akimbek was awarded the ‘Barys’ State Order […]

Warwick Central Asia Forum

By showcasing the cultural, political and economic dynamism of this rapidly-developing region, the Forum hopes to spark interest amongst novices to the region, whilst enhancing the knowledge of experts. Beyond the conference, it has been working to establish an online platform for publishing and sharing content regarding Central Asia, including articles, videos and podcasts. The […]


Motto: «World without national or government borders! We are one! We are a single field!» Project description. Photo project “On the Great Silk Road” is a showcase of diverse eastern women living in Kazakhstan. This manifold is shown as a gallery of feminine types through images in eastern outfits. These are stylized eastern images of […]

Svetlana Yudina: “Everything begins with itself”

Today, expensive accessories made of precious metals and stones are replaced by accessories made from natural materials in ethnic style. The new trend opened new names for the world – young and talented masters. Handicraftsman from Central Asia, whose culture and history serve them as an inexhaustible source of inspiration, have succeeded in creating unusual […]

The American View: EXPO-2017 People are the source of future energy

In the capital of Kazakhstan, Astana, the international specialized exhibition “Expo-2017” has finished its work. It has continued for 3 months since 10’th of June to 10’th of September. There were 115 countries and 22 international organizations who has participated in EXPO. The exhibition was been visited by about 3 million people. The theme of […]

Back in the USSR: The Spirit of Beatlemania in Kazakhstan

The site of a Silk Road oasis laid waste by the Mongols, the modern history of Almaty began with the construction of a Russian piedmont fort in 1854, around which a minor provincial centre grew. Upon hearing that Trotsky had been exiled to Alma-Ata in 1928, one of his enemies quipped that ‘even if he […]

Sculpting “Brand Kazakhstan” for its Next Step on the International Stage

The quest for international recognition drives many emerging markets. Kazakhstan has undoubtedly been better at it than many. The country has spent great effort and money building up an image as a modern state whose leaders can sit at the top table with world leaders. This effort at branding has been driven by the Kazakh […]

Guildhall sparkles again to Kazakh Classic

On the 19th of November, a Kazakh Classic Concert was held at London’s prestigious Guildhall to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan. The event was held in association with the embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Great Britain, Kazakh Gala Limited and the Eurasian Group Companies. The concert […]

Yerlan Sydykov: It’s Our Way. And We are to Overcome It.

Yerlan Sydykov, chancellor of the Eurasian National University named after Lev Nikolayevich Gumilyov (Kazakhstan, Astana), may not be a name familiar to those outside Central Asia, but many in the cultural community across the world will likely have come across his work at some point. Last year, his book “Shakarim” was presented at the University […]

Building a Nuclear Weapon Free World

WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM #23 AUTUMN 2016   From 29th to 31st August, in Astana (Kazakhstan), the international conference “Building a Nuclear Weapon Free World” was held and dedicated to the closing of the Semipalatinsk nuclear test site. In one place parliamentarians, representatives of international organizations, civil activists, scholars as well as mayors and media from more than 50 […]

Interview with the Ambassador of Kazakhstan

to the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, H.E. Mr. Erzhan Kazykhanov WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM #23 AUTUMN 2016   Formerly Assistant to the President of the Republic of Khazakstan in 2008 and 2012-2014, His Excellency Mr Erzhan Kazykhanov has been privy to many of the recent developments in Kazakhstan’s political and economic arenas. Amongst a number […]


OCA #22 SUMMER 2016 WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM Despite being far from their motherland, Kazakh students in the UK are among the first to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Thus, the alliance of Kazakhs abroad “KazAlliance” organised an annual spring ball at Warwick University, one of the top universities in the UK. […]


OCA #22 SUMMER 2016 WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM Text by Eugenette Morin It is calm, silent at the end of the Tian Shan mountain range in the Sayram-Ugum State National Park of South Kazakhstan. That won’t last as the sun rises early, snowy peaks glisten and birds break out into song. The view is breathtaking, bathed in the […]


OCA #21  SPRING 2016  WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM A personal reflection by David Parry Words are not as they seem. They neither yield to linguistic analysis, nor allow an uninitiated mind to unravel their secrets. A staggering fact haunting Tamburlaine the Great (died 1405), ultimately frustrating Abai (1845-1904), although stimulating my colleague Sultan Raev (born 1958) in his […]


OCA #21  SPRING 2016  WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM He who drives along the motorway from Russia into Belarus or vice versa will see no control posts either for cargo, vehicles or persons at the border. Further southeast, control posts between Russia and Kazakhstan are at an advanced stage of being dismantled. Together with Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, they make […]

From Scotland, Via The Soviets, To The Stans Interview with Baroness Alison Suttie

Born and brought up in Hawick, in the Scottish Borders, Baroness Alison Suttie is perhaps not the most likely of fluent Russian speakers you might expect to meet. However, having graduated from Edinburgh’s Heriot-Watt University in 1990 with a degree in French and Russian she then went on to study at Voronezh University in the […]

Astana Hosts 2015 Charity Marathon

On 13th September 2015, the British Kazakh Society organised a charity marathon in Astana. The event was held with the support of the Rotary club of Astana. “BKS Air Astana Marathon 2015” was attended by over 500 athletes, more than 100 of which were foreign athletes from 18 countries. Participating in the event were both […]

Astronauts Return as Heroes from Orbital Watch

On 12th September 2015, the “Soyuz TMA-16M” capsule landed back in Kazakhstan. There were 3 astronauts on board: a new space record-holder Gennady Padalka (Roscosmos), the first astronaut of independent Kazakhstan Aydin Aimbetova and the first Danish astronaut Andreas Mogensen. The crew of “Soyuz TMA – 16M” were taken to the Astana International Airport by […]

Astana Hosts the Fifth Summit of the Turkic Council

On 11th September 2015 Astana hosted the Fifth Summit of the Turkic Council. This was the second summit held in Kazakhstan and the fifth anniversary of the Summit. The Summit of the Turkic Council is a unique event that brings together countries with a long history, which have common Turkic roots. The main purpose of […]


OCA #21  SPRING 2015  WWW.OCAMAGAZINE.COM Different people are drawn to Central Asia for different reasons. Indeed many come by accident, knowing little of what awaits them or how life changing it could be. Once such person is Gareth Stamp who came to Kazakhstan five years ago for what he describes as his ‘daily adventure’. ‘I […]