NORTH AND CENTRALASIAIt is also sometimes referred to as Middle Asia, Bernice CañaAnd, colloquially, “the „stans‟” (as the 5 countriesGenerally considered to be within the regions Charles Chuaall have names ending with that suffix) and isWithin the scope of the wider Eurasian continent. Madge Cometa GROUP 8 – 1BES2
Country CapitalAfghanistan Kabul Kazakhstan Astana Kyrgyzstan Bishkek Tajikistan DushanbeTurkmenistan Ashgabat Uzbekistan Tashkent
RELATIVE LOCATION North: Russia East: Mongolia and China South: Pakistan and Iran West: Caspian Sea and some portion of Russia
GOVERNMENTRepublic-a form of government in which the people‟s elected representatives,and not the people themselves, vote on legislation.*Afghanistan (Islamic Republic) *Kyrgyzstan *TajikistanAuthoritarian-a form of government in which state authority is imposed onto manyaspects of citizens‟ lives. The following countries implement both arepublic and authoritarian form of government, in which the control liesmainly in the executive branch and there is very little power outside of it.*Kazakhstan *UzbekistanDemocracy-a form of government in which the supreme power is retained by thepeople, but which is usually exercised indirectly through a system ofrepresentation and delegated authority periodicallyrenewed. Turkmenistan defines itself as a secular democracy and apresidential republic; however, in reality it practices authoritarianpresidential rule, with power concentrated within the presidentialadministration.
Afghanistan President Hamid KarzaiKazakhstan President Nursultan A. Nazbayev (Chief of State) Prime Minister Karim Mazimov (Head of Government) Kyrgyzstan President Almazbek Atambaev (Chief of State) Prime Minister Ormubek Babanov (Head of Government) Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon (Chief of State) Prime Minister Oqil Oqilov (Head of Government)Turkmenistan President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow Uzbekistan President Islom Karimov (Chief of State) Prime Minister Shavkat Mirziyoyev
Economy COUNTRY IMPORTS EXPORTS CURRENCY Afghanistan machinery and other capital opium, fruits and nuts, afghanis goods, food, textiles, handwoven carpets, wool, petroleum products cotton, hides and pelts, precious and semi-precious gems Kazakhstan machinery and oil and oil products, ferrous tenge equipment, metal metals, chemicals, machinery, grain, wool, meat, coal products, foodstuffs Kyrgyzstan oil and gas, machinery and cotton, wool, meat, tobacco; soms equipment, chemicals, gold, mercury, uranium, natural foodstuffs gas, hydropower; machinery; shoes Tajikistan petroleum products, aluminum, electricity, cotton, Tajikistani aluminum oxide, machinery fruits, vegetable oil, textiles somoni and equipment, foodstuffs Turkmenistan machinery and equipment, gas, crude oil, petrochemicals, Turkmen manat chemicals, foodstuffs textiles, cotton fiber Uzbekistan machinery and equipment, energy products, cotton, gold, Uzbekistani foodstuffs, chemicals, mineral fertilizers, ferrous and soum ferrous and nonferrous nonferrous metals, textiles, metals food products, machinery, automobiles
CURRENT EVENTSOn her final full day in office, President RozaOtunbayeva of Kyrgyzstan became the first senior Kyrgyzofficial to forcefully denounce "bride kidnapping," an entrenchedcustom in her Central Asian state."Bride kidnapping is a tradition of the Kyrgyz people," sheacknowledged as she was preparing to leave the presidentialpalace on Nov. 29. "But these crimes often force women tocommit suicide."Young men kidnap about 15,000 girls each year, Otunbayevasaid. They simply grab a girl walking down the street, stuff herin the car, kicking and screaming, and take her home. He mayrape her -- or not. Either way, after shes locked up overnight inan unrelated mans house, the girl is unfit to wed anyone else.Her family wont permit her to come home. So shes forced tomarry her kidnapper.
No one keeps precise statistics, but estimates suggest thathalf of Kyrgyz wives are married in this way. The outgoingpresident urged her people to stop romanticizing bridekidnapping and inaugurated a month-long campaign to fightthe practice. But then the new president, AlmazbekAtambayev, had nothing to say about this as he took office --though admittedly he was preoccupied. The next day his rulingcoalition collapsed.Around the world, numerous nations cling to longstandingtraditions that, to Western eyes, seem barbarous -- or worse.Most of them victimize girls.In Northwestern Thailand, I interviewed a woman, one ofmany, preparing to sell her 12-year-old daughter to traffickerswho would force her into prostitution. The mother intended touse the traffickers payment for her daughter to buy a newrefrigerator. "Its our tradition," she explained.
In Saudi Arabia, centuries-old religious convention allows middle-aged men to marry prepubescent girls -- some as young as 7 or 8years old.Pakistani officials use gang rape as a government-sanctionedpunishment.In Cameroon "breast ironing" remains an honored custom. Aftertheir daughters reach puberty, mothers heat a flat rock in the fireand then press it forcefully onto each of her daughters breasts --burning away breast tissue, leaving them flat-chested soavaricious young men will leave them alone."Breast ironing has existed as long as Cameroon has existed,"gynecologist Sinou Tchana told the Inter Press news service.Women "told us that it was normal for them."If its "normal for them," how should Western societies regardpractices like these? Anthropologys "cultural relativism" rulesuggests that we should not judge other countries by thestandards of our own society.
But some acts are just too vile, and cultural courtesies dont stophuman-rights groups from wagging their fingers at these states."Kyrgyzstans government is allowing domestic violence and theabduction of women for forced marriage to continue withimpunity," Human Rights Watchdeclared. "Many Kyrgyz officialsportray bride kidnapping as a harmless ritual, a voluntary practice."But Kyrgyzstan "must prosecute perpetrators of domestic violence andkidnapping to the fullest extent of the law.“Human Rights Watch issued that report in 2006. It did no good. In thefollowing years, Louise Arbour, the United Nations High Commissionerfor Human Rights, lectured the government about bride kidnapping.So did the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Discriminationagainst Women. The U.N. Human Rights Councils special rapporteurfor Kyrgyzstan reprimanded the nations leaders, and a representativefrom the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europedeclaredthe practice "a violation of womens rights."
Their admonitions accomplished little if anything. Now, however,awareness is finally rising among the Kyrgyz themselves, andchange may be coming -- as the presidents parting statementsuggested. Last spring, 200 people staged a small rally in Bishkek,the capital, protesting on behalf of two kidnapped girls whocommitted suicide rather than succumb to marriage. That was afirst.Then, late last month, the Association of CrisisCenters in Kyrgyzstan announced that it is staging "awarenesscampaigns in 13 villages to inform villagers that bride kidnapping isa crime."As barbaric as we may view bride kidnapping, breast ironing andother hideous practices, most often human-rights lectures havelittle actual effect. Change must come from within.Its no coincidence that most places preying mercilessly on theiryoung are desperately poor. Kyrgyzstans average annual incomeis $870; in Cameroon its$1,170. And Kyrgyzstans Red CrescentSociety seems to realize that economic development is the only