INFORMATION DIGEST OF PRESS OF UZBEKISTAN # 03
The presidential elections held on March 29 made for the most important political event in the history of our country.
Preparations and the process of the elections were held at the highest organizational level, in full accordance with the national law enshrined in the democratic principles of openness, transparency and fairness.
The election campaign in 2015 was held in the qualitatively new socio-political context, characterized, above all, by the increased political and inter-party engagement of the population. It clearly demonstrated that the country has established modern electoral system that meets the principles of democracy, which ensures the active participation of citizens and political parties in the electoral process. The rights of citizens in this area, which was an indicator of the successful policy of renovation and modernization of the country in the years of independence, have been realized to maximum potential. It is no coincidence that many foreign experts noted that the electoral legislation of Uzbekistan is superior to the election laws in many developed countries in terms of democracy.
The election campaign, candidates’ programs, their pre-election campaign and the results of the elections, in particular the participation of the vast majority of voters have already become history. Most importantly, the population of the republic has demonstrated commitment to democracy and freedom, the increased sense of participation in current events, and personal responsibility for the future and the destiny of their country.
However, it is still important to explain the origins and the causes of the convincing victory of the current president of the country, his inexhaustible credit of trust from the people.
There are values that are most important and immutable among the population of the republic. They are expressed in simple words ‘peace and tranquility’. These are the main values associated with the head of the state. He has led the country to independence and ensured the peaceful existence of the sovereign state for a quarter of a century. These simple words carry a lot of meaning like the well-tested foreign policy, civil harmony, and tolerance prevailing in the society.
The decision of the voters has also been affected by the successful development of the national economy that for years of independence has grown six-fold, and real per capita income has increased more than nine times. People can see with their own eyes what the increase in GDP growth or the state budget surplus represent. This has resulted in an unrecognizable change in the appearance of towns and villages, the increase in the number of modern enterprises, and the creation of new jobs. And this all is happening at a time when the whole world is facing huge problems and experiencing a continuous economic crisis.
The morals, which are found in the family, and which form the core of patriotism, are very important for the residents of the republic. The family and its traditional values and the high moral situation, which it has always possessed, area top priority for the policies of our state. The current civilized life of the population and the future prosperity of the motherland are the results of these policies. These actions and facets are the main attraction points for the people towards the head of the republic.
The charisma of the President is not only based on ideas, but more on their implementation. Take, for example, the idea of a state with a great future. This is the dream of the people, and the president has not only preserved it, but made it the core objective of his activities. And its base has clearly visible outlines of a modern state and of a free society with a high standard of living.
The Uzbek citizens said approved and supported the principles of social justice, the actions of ensuring the rights of the most vulnerable parts of the population, the implementation of effective measures for the protection of mothers and children, and the free choice of profession. They said ‘yes’ to democracy and modernization, continuity and consistency, predictability and transparency. This is what distinguishes the activities of the country’s leader, who managed to build a secular state in a very short period of time, where the focus is a man with his problems and interests, rights and freedoms.
2015 is remarkable for dozens of completed big investment projects, numerous expert meetings and negotiations, while the International Investment Forum has become the pivotal event to orient economic and financial development for many years to come.
The two-day forum that kicked off on November 5 brought together representatives of the global business elite, including 560 foreign participants from among the leaders and executives of more than 300 foreign companies from 33 countries, and representatives of major international financial institutions like Asian Development Bank, World Bank , International Finance Corporation, and others.
At the forum, the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank claimed plans to implement projects totaling over $12 billion jointly with the government of Uzbekistan in 2016-2020. The preparation and approval of new strategies of cooperation with the abovementioned international financial institutions for five years is currently finishing its completion. To date, the portfolio of joint projects of Uzbekistan and ADB has amounted to $13 billion and $6 billion with the World Bank, covering privatization, development of financial sector, upgrade of agriculture, power, infrastructure, health and education.
A total of 104 agreements and memorandums worth $12.4 billion were signed at the Forum. Reached upon the three-day forum, this amount appears huge, because, for example, in the first nine months of 2015 Uzbekistan disbursed $2.4 billion of foreign investments and credits. The number clearly reflects primarily the confidence in the business environment and investment climate in Uzbekistan.
South Korean investors, the longstanding strategic partners of Uzbekistan, were active at the forum. Companies from the Land of the Morning Calm signed 24 agreements and memorandum on the purchase of state assets in the oil and gas, chemical, electrical, mechanical engineering and food industries, construction materials and infrastructure industries totaling more than $220 million.
For example, South Korea’s Daewoo is intending to purchase a state’s share in two largest Uzbek exposition grounds – National exhibition Uzexpocentre and at the International Business Center. Another giant, Samsung, intends to take part in the construction of a pyrolysis plant on the basis of Ustyurt Gas Chemical Complex.
Other interesting projects include the establishment of the CIS’s first manufacture of asynchronous traction motors in Tashkent jointly with the French company Alstom. In addition, the national railway carrier of Uzbekistan signed a contract for the purchase of two high-speed trains from the Spanish company Talgo. It is planned that the new trains will run on a high-speed railway line linking Tashkent and Bukhara, slated to be launched in September next year.
Finland’s Outotec will build a plant for the production of sulfuric acid for the flagship of the domestic industry – the Navoi Mining and Metallurgical Combine. The parties signed a corresponding memorandum in Tashkent. The emergence of the enterprise due to the need to further expand the capacity of the plant, increase production of non-ferrous metals.
Turkish consortium Dal Engineering Group plans to build a new cement plant in Sherabad district of Surkhandarya region. A memorandum was signed with the Almalyk Mining and Metallurgical Combine. The approximate cost of the new facility is estimated at $ 225 million. After commissioning in 2018 the plant will produce up to 1.5 million tons of Portland cement annually.
The Finnish company of Outotec will build a sulfuric acid plant for the domestic industry’s flagship – the Navoi Mining and Smelting Plant. The parties signed a respective memorandum in Tashkent. The establishment of the enterprise was entailed by the need to further expand the capacity of the plant, and increase the production of non-ferrous metals.
The Turkish consortium Dal Engineering Group intends to build a new cement plant in Sherobod district of Surkhandarya region. A memorandum was signed with the Almalyk Mining and Smelting Plant. The approximate cost of the new facility is estimated at $225 million. After the commissioning in 2018, the plant will produce up to 1.5 million tons of Portland cement annually.
Another important project will be carried out with the involvement of the world’s leader of cement industry – German company Heidelberg Cement. The company signed a memorandum of intent for the purchase of a stake in the leading Uzbek cement plant Kyzylkumcement.
HEALTHY FOOD FOR THE POPULATION
The holiday table on the days of New Year celebration is perhaps one of the most discussed topics. At any rate, the subject matter – as to what to put on the table and what to treat guests to – is never on the sidelines. Conceivably, it is because you always want to impress with something original, something delicious. Yet, lately, one has to think over the safety of the food itself. This passing year, the theme of healthy nutrition has been one of the most critical. All the food products sold in the marketplaces were studied rather closely. The scientists examined the ratio of nourishment and, as a result, the Cabinet of Ministers sanctioned a resolution on 29 August “On approving the concept and complex of measures to secure safe nutrition of the population of the Republic of Uzbekistan for the period 2015-2020”.
We are the very thing that we eat; our health does directly depend on the diet. And thus, one can say without any exaggeration that the document was one of the most crucial decisions made in the outgoing year in the social sphere, which doubtless will exert a positive influence on the implementation of other state programs and is capable of improving the welfare of each resident of Uzbekistan from the newly born to those have overcome the 100-year frontier.
Only after Uzbekistan attained national independence did great significance begin to be assigned to instill the culture of healthy food among the population. A corresponding environment was created to allow for effective prevention of the most widespread diseases through foodstuffs. It is by no accident that physicians struggle to secure breast feeding as the exclusive means of baby nutrition at least up to six months. Only that type of nourishment is capable of safeguarding the child from many grave diseases.
In order to decrease the number of ailments triggered by the deficit of iodine and iron as well as many other micro elements, flour mills and factories producing culinary salt were reequipped. To fix the results, the Ministry of Healthcare has been undertaking a range of projects to prevent diseases by way of providing vitamin complexes. Among the most wide-ranging schemes is the one designed to provide the pregnant rural women with general health-boosting multivitamins.
Forming the skills of healthy diet has become the most vital dimension of a whole range of social programs in recent years. Including such major ones as the Ministry of Health and World Bank joint project Health-3, and the State Program “Year of Attention and Care for the Senior Generation”. Efforts are underway to imprint the principles of healthy food in our life. Within the framework of these very projects, a wide range of pressing issues was placed an emphasis on, the existence of which was proven by research. It turned out in particular that notwithstanding the status of the country as one of the major producers of fruits and vegetables in the CIS space, the population consumes them in insufficient amounts. Currently, the doctors have been striving to change the state of affairs not only by means of propaganda among the public, but also by encouraging the local government and heads of public catering entities to increase the products of plant origin in the range of foods. A program of formation of healthy environment in population areas has been launched in a pilot mode in Ferghana and Kashkadarya regions.
Simultaneously, the internal market of foodstuffs is a gigantic sea with a great number of rivers feeding it. As a result, our marketplaces, shops and supermarkets are filled with not only useful goods. It is for this reason that physicians keep alarming us that some of those products are safe only in limited amounts. Otherwise, the number of patients with various diseases – cancers and those caused by compromised metabolism – has been on the rise. The number of people with diabetes suffering from diverse complexities of it is growing, too, as are those with cardiovascular disease and other maladies.
The concepts and complexes of measures designed to provide for healthy nutrition of the populace are directed at perfecting the mechanisms of control and supply of this kind of foodstuffs. In particular, the Ministry of Healthcare has been working on the improvement of sanitary norms and rules in cooperation with corresponding government agencies. Among the already introduced, for instance, are the norms of safe levels of free sugars, salt, saturated and trans-fat acids and food additives in convenience foods and other food products of industrial origin.
The endeavors ahead include those aimed at expanding the range of diet foods. Particularly, the elaboration of State Standards for Food Products (O’zDst) is said to be launched along with technological instructions envisaging the expansion of the range of diet sour dairy, of foodstuffs containing low levels of salt on the basis of plant cellulose produced by local food industry enterprises. Issues expecting to be addressed also concern the genetically modified foods. It is planned to extend the production of new domestic diet goods. Fields are anticipated to be expanded in the Surkhandarya-based experimental farming enterprise to cultivate stevia, crude for the safe sweetener for diabetics.
Crucially, our nutrition is now under the focus of scientists. The study and elaboration of safe norms of diet is undertaken – along with the renowned research institutions – at the Diet Studies Center set up earlier this year at the Tashkent Medical Academy. The scholarly community faces the challenge of working out novel academically-grounded recommendations to improve nourishment and practical participation in the implementation of relevant projects.
All in all, we are now to eat only for the sake of boosting our health, while the sound body nurtures, as they say, a sound spirit.
SCIENCE NOT FOR THE SAKE OF SCIENCE
This year, following the reform of the system of training scientific-pedagogical and academic specialists of higher qualification, the first doctoral theses have been defended by researchers.
The decision taken in 2012 stipulated to move to a two-tier system of training scientific-pedagogical and academic personnel of higher qualification, envisaging the defense of doctoral theses and the assignment of a corresponding title of Doctor of Science. It has made possible to reduce bureaucratic barriers and improve the system, as the defense of dissertation for the title of the Candidate of Sciences and the reception of a diploma on awarding the scientific degree used to be very often an end in itself, far removed from the interests of scientific progress. The transition period has lasted about two years.
Today, the defense of a doctoral thesis is virtually the same as the implementation of scientific achievements into practice. One of the principal novelties introduced is for applicants to provide a document confirming the introduction of the outcomes of academic research into practical application. Thus, the key principle envisioned by the new system is applied, that is, academic degree is not sought exclusively for prestige.
Likewise, the credibility and relevance of graduate study (masters of arts and sciences) has been bolstered to a significant extent. The existing approaches to training cadres on this front have also been completely revised. It is built now on an individual program based on research in specific topics. This has proven an important step toward training highly qualified specialists.
This year, among those who defended their dissertations is by and large in the field of technical sciences, chemical engineering and technologies, healthcare sphere. This stride confirms once again that the system of training scientific specialists is focused more on preparing experts who address pressing issues in practice and improve the system of training cadres and education.
The first nominee who defended dissertation was Ahmad Rakhmatov, dealing with modern technologies in the production of diodes. The scientist worked on his thesis at the Physics-Sun Institute, the Institute of Ion-Plasma and Laser Technologies, as well as Samarkand State University. The technology is implemented in practical production.
Among those who succeeded in thesis defense there is the first foreigner. Research materials of the Korean citizen O Ingyong were used in the publication of a hundred-volume titled Monuments of Uzbek Folklore. At the Tashkent-based Institute of Language and Literature, the scientist conducted a research into the typological similarities of the Uzbek and Korean epic stories, Alpomysh and Jumong, respectively.
SUPPORT IS ALL AROUND
Today, there are about 17,000 single elderly and disabled people in need of outside support. The Resolution of Uzbekistan’s Cabinet of Ministers “On measures to boost targeted social protection and support for the elderly and disabled persons” signed August 10, 2015, has contributed to the improvement of a number of mechanisms to ensure care for this category of citizens. Some of them will start to work from January 2016.
In early 2015, the legislation of the country did not contain a mechanism to identify the elderly and people with disabilities who need help. Everything has now changed. For this purpose, quarterly home-by-home ‘patrols’ are conducted in local communities. In these efforts the social workers of the centers to promote social protection and employment are helped by local councils set up in neighborhoods to provide the attention and care for the elderly. Thus, figuratively speaking, the assistance itself comes to those in need of it.
Another important innovation is that now services are provided based on the assessment of individual needs and assistance programs. Before, people of the categories in mind used not to know that they are entitled to this or that government-granted aid. Today, everything is different: the social worker is obliged to identify all types of assistance. Among these services are free medical care and supply of medication, state assistance in paying out for utilities, home service, and provision of free monthly food basket.
Coordinating the provision of social services has become much easier. This is dealt with by the Unified Register of the Elderly and the Disabled who receive social services and social assistance.
If necessary, services for home care become available within a day and a night from the time an appeal is made to the Center to Promote Employment and Social Protection. Among the changes is also the approach to the definition of the scope of services for home care. Instead of visits twice a week for two hours, regardless of the ability of a person with disabilities to self-service, now the rate of visits is set at seven times a week for three hours each, depending on the person’s ability to self-care.
In September, the lonely elderly and disabled people received an extended list of food and hygiene products, containing 15 titles instead of 9. And starting from 1 January 2016, the list of persons entitled to receive these kits will expand. From the start of the new year, their number will reach 7,000. Beginning from the first day of the upcoming year, they will cover the elderly and people with disabilities designated to I and II groups with no work experience enough for a pension and who have relatives minors or those in need of constant care of relatives.
The recipients of the kits will have the opportunity to select a set of necessary quantity of each product within the total sum designated. The State Committee for Competition will determine the average retail prices based on the results of price monitoring. This mechanism will also allow for the protection of the aid recipient from low-grade products and goods.
TENTH INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL “SHARQ TARONALARI”
It is, no doubt, difficult to single out the most important event in the chain of other events and new discoveries. Everything, starting with the first victories of still young musicians at International contests and ending up with large premiers at the reconstructed Bolshoi Theater, add up as pieces of a mosaic that gradually outline the cultural life of the country.
Without pretending to objectivity I would like to highlight one of those events. This is, undoubtedly, the jubilee Tenth International festival “Sharq taronalari”, which opened on the 28th of August in Samarkand. It is held once in two years under the aegis of UNESCCO and at the initiative of the President of the country. The number of its participants keeps growing up with every passing year, the number of participating countries went up from 31 to 66; also growing is the forum prestige, which is called up to bring together under the cupolas of Registan people speaking different languages, confessing different religions and following different customs. These are the days when melodies of different cultures merge into one harmony and fame of the Uzbek musical art is spread far and wide in the whole world.
A gala closing ceremony was a deserving completion of a large-scale project, when were announced the names of the festival winners. A unique sound-and-light 3D-mapping show produced a sensation at the event. The seven-minute version of a historical play impressed the festival guests and participants, since it was only in Uzbekistan that such a light-and-music show was designed to enlighten and attract the audience to our cultural and historical heritage.
Musicians, who defended the honor of Uzbekistan, have always been among the winners, except the forum of 2007. People’s Artist of Uzbekistan Munijat Yolchiyeva, who for several years has been a jury member, herself is a winner of the first place at the forum of 1997.
She was also a jury member of another, no less in scale and very important “Nafosat – bo’stonim manim” 9th Republican Festival of young performers and artists, held in Karakalpakstan. It holds a very special place among other contests, since it promotes the development of national types of creative activity and performance of masterpieces of global culture, contributes an invaluable share into upbringing of the youth in the spirit of continuity of generations and continuation of traditions and customs in our country.
The Republican competition of folk music “Sozlar navosi” serves the same objectives. It was held for the first time in 2014 within the framework of the program “The Year of a Healthy Child”. Musicians aged 15-30 – starting with the students of Music and Art Schools and professionals with Master’s degrees demonstrated their skills at the contest. A scientific conference “Questions of attracting the youth to performing on national instruments” was held within the framework of the contest, where the faculty of the State Conservatory made their reports.
By the way, for those who only start getting acquainted with the rich world of traditional Uzbek music, the Institute of Art Studies has issued this year eight compact discs with unique recordings. The researchers of the Institute had digitized a whole range of songs – beginning with labor-extolling, calendar and family-ritual works up to work from professional repertoire. There are also discs with compositions performed on national string, wind and percussion instruments with Bukhara, Khorezm and Ferghana-Tashkent schools of maqom art, as well as discs with fragments of dostons of Surkhondaryo, Qashqadaryo, Khorezm and Karakalpakstan.
More than one and a half year remains before the beginning of the next International festival “Sharq taronalari”, which, undoubtedly, will be more colorful, larger in scale and brighter than the previous one. Although the sounds of folk melodies from different countries stop resounding under the domes of Registan for two years, work on the preservation, propagation and distribution of classical Uzbek musical traditions keeps going on a permanent basis.
FAIRYTALE AS A PRESENT
Father Frost and Snow Maiden, holiday lights and tinsel, laughter and merry-making… The streets, houses and squares of the country have immersed into a special atmosphere of miracle, which both children and adults, have been looking for a whole year.
The cities’ and towns’ major squares are decorated with festive New Year trees, around which professional artists, amateur troupes, and actors dressed up as characters from well-known cartoons, entertain the spectators. Children welcome the Father Frost and his grand-daughter also at theaters, which according to tradition, prepare bright, interesting and new performances. Having enjoyed himself, sung good songs and danced with the children, Father Frost presents the children with his main gift – a New Year’s fairytale.
A good tradition has it that children, participants of the “Tomosha” Theater Studio, play the main roles at the “main New Year three” of the country, organized at the initiative of the President for the pupils of “Mekhribonlik” orphanages. They told their peers a story about aliens, who had arrived on our planet Earth to save it from a dangerous virus of “enmity”. Children’s dance ensembles “Bulbulcha” and “Javokhir” took part in the performance. All in all, about 130 children performed roles, recited verses, and sang songs; in a word, they presented a true holiday to themselves and their peers.
The original fairytale was staged by the troupe f the State Academic Boloshoi Theater of Opera and Ballet named after Alisher Navoi. Almost the entire troupe is involved in the play “The New Year Megabyte Fairytale at the Bolshoi”. Doctor Eye – evil and cunning ruler of the never-ending computer game kingdom, had come up with a cunning plan – to destroy the New Year. His objective is a global computerization of childhood. The terrible ruler captured the good fairy tale characters and lured Julia into his virtual country. And Julia has a wish-fulfilling magic star. But the only thing which the girl wants to do is to play computer games. Through deception Doctor Eye entices Julia’s promise that exactly at 12 o’clock she would break a New Year Star, then a fairytale would come to an end, and she would not be able to return from the world of virtual games. Father Frost and Little Martin, symbol of the upcoming year, come to the girl’s assistance. Young spectators and the main character face a difficult dilemma – what to choose: computer games or live communication with their friends and reading interesting books.
Another play “Cinderella”, which is staged at the Academic Russian Drama Theater during the winter holidays, is called upon to distract children’s attention from iPhones and iPads. Neither a video, or movie, nor games are capable to present same emotions as the contact with the beautiful – fabulous costumes, magical scenery, and a good mood. The roles are played primarily by the students, who study at the studio under the theater, and they brought into the play a drive of the youth and frolic mischief; while popular melodies processed by Alexey Zarovsky provided the play with an appropriate background tunes. Chief producer Bakhtiyor Khamidov that work was planned to be continued on Schwartz’s play. “Cinderella” will be included into the Theater’s repertoire and will be the first staged performance for children.
The main heroes of the New Year performance at the Circus are smart Fixicos from the cartoon of the same name. They fight against Bugiman, a character from another cartoon entitled “Dreams Keeper”, who had stolen a New Year tree, so that there was no holiday, and conquered the planet and the world plunged into darkness. But as in any fairytale, the good defeats the evil. Fixicos adventures are accompanied with breath-taking stunts, flights on the carpet-plane, faeries’ performances with doves and small dogs, and with a present from the Snow-maiden – two monkeys’ turn. Spectators will be able to see for the first time a dangerous but spectacular combination of air and ground tricks in one circus turn. And the meeting is crowned by favorite clowns Oh-la-la and Roma.
More than 10 thousand tickets will be distributed for free among “Mekhribonlik” orphanage pupils, children from low-income families and representatives of the older generations.
Every family with all its members may go to the “Istiqlol” Palace in early January, where for three days is going to be staged the musical “The Snow Queen” by Andersen. The authors will present their vision of this well-known story’s happy end. Composed specifically for this project original compositions will be performed by young talented musicians Sardor Milano, Jassur Mirsoghatov, Saida and Kamilla.
Another musical – “The Extraordinary Musicians” is staged at the Theatre-Studio Silk Route Marionettes. Same characters as in the classical fairytale – Donkey, Dog, Cat and Cock march towards their dream. They come across robbers and overcome various difficulties. True, they sing different songs, not those which the spectators know by heart since their childhood, but the ones written by our compatriot Sukhbat Aflatuni and composer Aleksandr Aleksandrov.
The heroes’ musical preferences correspond to their characters – Cat prefers blues, Donkey sings opera arias, Dog loves country music, while Cock is a rocker. The musicians’ talents draw even the robbers into the “bright” side, assures producer Farkhat Mirzayev.
Through this fairytale the authors appeal to the audience to follow their dream-line, teach them to overcome any barriers on the way to their goals and objectives. They also make a hint to parents that they have to be more attentive to their children and support all their beginnings.
Two different performances in the Uzbek and Russian languages with a common idea are staged at the Samarkand Regional Puppet Theater. The maskharabozes (clowns), a Monkey and a She-Goat treat Barmalei with the elixir of kindness, so that the latter turned into a good guy. And a New Year Three literally falls from the skies during the performance, which arouses huge excitement with the young spectators.
And these are only an insignificant part of presents, which creative groups of the Republic have lovingly prepared for children for their miraculous holiday. Having created a fairytale the adults too dip for an instant into their own childhood.
ATHLETES OF UZBEKISTAN IS PREPARED FOR THE OLYMPICS
This year, most international tournaments did not only dole out medals, but also provided Olympic licenses. Twenty-six athletes from Uzbekistan have already obtained a license to Rio in 2016. A correspondent from Uzbekistan Today has met with the press secretary of the National Olympic Committee of Uzbekistan, Shukhrat Jalilov.
“Licenses in which sports were the most expected?”
“The athletics federation of Uzbekistan already has seven representatives in the national team for the Olympics. The first license was obtained by Sitora Hamidov on April 26th. She ran the marathon in just 2 hours and 41.4 minutes during an international tournament in Warsaw. This started the race for the licenses among our athletes. Marina Hmelevskaya beat Sitora’s time by 3 minutes during a tournament in Germany. The marathon is the second most popular sport in the country after football. Track and field sections and clubs are coached by experienced trainers, some of which have even returned to the republic after working abroad for prolonged periods of time.
Boxing provided great results. We already have five licenses in this sport. The specialists are placing high hopes on Hurshid Tadjibaev, Bektemir Melikuziev, Fazlitdin Gaipnazarov, Muradjon Ahmadaliev and Elnur Abduraimov. The republics rowing and canoe school is the best on the continent. Aleksey Mochalov, Gerasim Kochnev, Vadim Menkov, Serik Mirbekov and Olga Umaralieva, have all won gold medals at the end of the season during the Asian Championship in Indonesia. The heavyweights have also reinforced their status.”
“It is more evident through comparison. What were the results of the NOC prior to the Olympics in London?”
“Prior to London we had a total of 23 Licenses for our national team. Maybe some of you may think that we have very little improvement, but if I was you, then I would refrain from jumping to such conclusions. In this qualifying cycle the federations have raised the minimum required bar for all athletes. For example let us look at athletics and swimming. The level of the athletes are different that is why the federation had two difficult and complexity categories the Category A and B. Before, even athletes that completed category B requirements could obtain a license even during the national championship. Now the licenses are given only to the strongest athletes that have shown outstanding results on the international arena.”
“We have licenses in some sports, but the NOC has yet to announce the names of the owners of the licenses. What is the idea behind this action?
“The reasons are different. For instance, based on its successful performance at the world weightlifting championships, Uzbekistan entered the top 10 in the team rankings. This allowed the team to choose five representatives for the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. In taekwondo WTF we have two very talented athletes in Dmitriy Shokin and Jasur Baykuziev, and the coaches must choose the best among these two as we have only a single license. The heads of the federations are not in a hurry to announce the holders of the licenses, as in the next few months the athletes will participate in several competitions. The Judo Federation of Uzbekistan decided to go with the world rankings and choose the highest ranked Uzbek athletes for the Olympics right before its start.”
“Can the amount of licenses increase?”
“Certainly! For example the swimmers still have seven qualification tournaments prior to the Olympics. The rating of our judokas is very high in the world standings. We also have high hopes for football, the trampoline, athletics, and other sports disciplines. We believe that in 2016 around a 100 athletes can be representing our country!”
IRMATOV: REFEREE OF THE YEAR
Ravshan Irmatov has been saluted as the best referee of the year with a Globe Soccer Award in the UAE. He had to vie for the accolade with a number of referees from UEFA, CONNEBOL, CONCAF and other football federations.
Irmatov was accepted by FIFA at the age of 25. He had a great debut. The same year, in 2003, he refereed matches at the Juniors World Championship with flying colors. After four years he was allowed to referee matches of the Youth World Cup and a year later he refereed the final game of the World Club Championship.
The football star has refereed dozens of matches for the Asian Cup and the AFC Champions League. He was awarded with the title of the best referee in Asia, and also became the first ever to receive this award four times in a row.
In 2010, Irmatov became the third person in history that refereed five matches at a single World Cup. This happened during the World Championship in South Africa. After its completion, Irmatov received the honorary title of ‘O’zbekiston Iftixori’ (The Pride of Uzbekistan).
2011 was also a memorable year for Irmatov, as he was named one of the best referees in the world by FIFA. Never before had anyone secured the title of the best referee in the world at the age of 34.
At the Olympic Games in London, Ravshan Irmatov refereed three matches, including the one for third place. Then he participated in the Confederations Cup and refereed matches at the World Championship in Brazil.
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
The first report was dedicated to Gur-e Amir Mausoleum. One of the beautiful monuments to see is the mausoleum of the ancient ruler Amir Temur. Samarkand was the capital of Temur’s large empire until his death in 1405.
Euronews’ Seamus Kearney reported: “The inside of the mausoleum is also impressive. The gold-decorated room where Temur and his sons and grandsons were laid to rest is a real treat for visitors.”
Perfect examples of 14th and 15th century decorative art can be found inside the mausoleum, which was originally built for one of Temur’s grandsons.
Parviz Ismatullaev, a Samarkand guide, told Postcards: “The dark green tomb, which is standing in the middle, belongs to Amir Temur.
“It is made of one of the largest pieces of jade in the world. The other tombs are made from marble and onyx.”
The mausoleum is just one of many historic buildings with blue domes and minarets that visitors can enjoy in Samarkand.
The Youth and Women’s national team of Uzbekistan defend the honor of our country and won the prizes in the Southeast Asian Handball Championship, held in Singapore.
According to the National Olympic Committee of Uzbekistan, the women’s national team of Uzbekistan defeated all rivals and won the gold medal. In the final match, our athletes won team of Japan with a score of 30:28. Youth team of Uzbekistan won the silver medal.