Gulnara’s Twitter Fight: If you’re interested in Central Asia, and follow one or two of these talented folks online, you’re probably aware that Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of Uzbek President Islam Karimov, got into a bit of a spat via Twitter this week with some CA analysts and journalists. We’ve discussed her recent deluge of headlines recently, from the electronic pop album, to the movie with Gerard Depardieu, the seizure of her Moscow apartment, shady dealings in Switzerland…anyway, now she’s been promoting yoga via Instagram and taking some comparatively revealing shots of herself exercising. We wondered in our post what we’d be reading next, but I have to say I wasn’t really expecting to see her lash out at Central Asia analysts via social media. It got quite personal, with her calling one journalist the product of incest, etc. Unluckily for many of us following along, most of it was in Russian, but RFE/RL stepped up with a good summary of the Twitter spat here by Zach Peterson.
Follow Up on Georgia’s new Prime Minister: For background on this issue, we did an article last week about the recent spate of arrests and political turmoil in Georgia. Since then, newly elected Prime Minister Ivanishvili has continued to push to strip Saakashvili (The President) of his powers, though Ivanishvili is no longer calling for the President’s resignation. The relationship caused by the dual (and divided) leadership has already proven to be fraught with tension, and this seems set to continue. The Prime Minister is attempting to push provisions of the constitution (which strip President Saakashvili of powers) through prior to the date it is scheduled to go into effect. This is bound to worry members of the international community, particularly Western observers, who see Ivanishvili’s political movements as evidence that he is going to move towards an authoritarian political system. It’s likely too soon to tell exactly what the motivations for the arrests and political movements are, as it could be clean up from the former administration (which has been exposed as having corrupt elements and involved in scandal) or something more concerning for Georgia’s future. We’re featuring Civil.ge, an English-language Georgian news outlet, for follow-up on the situation.
For some lighter fare, here’s a look at what it’s like to be a Vegetarian in Mongolia from the Economist. Terrible headline (seriously, awful. Usually they can be quite clever but this wasn’t one of their stronger moments) aside, this is a look at how an established trend in the West moves into a country that hasn’t really considered going meatless. Mongolia has apparently been called the most difficult country to be vegan in, as they’re so culturally and economically tied to livestock raising as a way of life. It’s a shame the article doesn’t address specific vegetarian recipes in Mongolia, nor does he discuss any local vegetarian restaurants, only discussing an international chain called the Loving Hut. I would have loved to have seen what a more local vegetarian restaurant menu was like in meat-loving Mongolia, so to compliment the article, here’s a list of vegan and vegetarian restaurants in Ulaanbaatar. Loving Hut certainly dominates the market, but the article appears to have a point – vegetarianism seems to be a growing niche in Mongolia.