Current events in KZ and Title VI woes

Check out my Kazakh class' cool T-shirt. It says Peace in all of the Central Eurasian languages offered at SWSEEL.

Hello all, I am back again and am starting to keep up with Kazakh current events a little better. First and foremost, I learned that WordPress was just recently unblocked in KZ after several months in darkness. I guess that’s good news for anyone hoping to follow this blog about my “exciting” adventures in Kazakhstan. More interestingly, I have been following closely reports related to incumbent Kazakhstan President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s health. He was recently in Germany for prostate surgery and presidential adviser Yermukhamet Yertysbayev announced that Timur Kulibayev, the husband of Nazarbayev’s middle daughter Dinara, should be Nazarbayev’s successor. Yertysbayev concurrently insisted that Nazarbayev remains in excellent health. I hope I am wrong, but this already sounds strikingly similar to the transfer of power I witnessed in Azerbaijan in 2003…

In other news, I am extremely stressed about potential cuts to Title VI funding. Title VI provides funding for National Resource Centers, Fulbright Hays, Foreign Language and Area Studies Scholarships and Fellowships, and other outstanding education programs that promote a better understanding in the US of other parts of the world, particularly countries in the non-Western world that influence U.S. national security and economic competitiveness. This past year Title VI funding enabled to me to study Turkish language and Central Asian culture concurrently with international law, however this may not be possible for my 3L year as the program may be on the chopping block as part of federal budget cuts. I have to say that I think this is a bad idea that would adversely affect the aspirations and qualifications of countless students, including me, who are developing expertise and skills that the government desperately needs.  Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and former Senator Chuck Hagel recently wrote an op-ed in USA Today about the importance of Title VI funding.

That’s all I’ve got for now! Peace!

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