Preparations for the Tour

by Joshua Foust on 4/26/2007 · 1 comment

To follow up on a heated discussion of Louise Arbour’s human rights tour of Central Asia (and Nathan’s fascinating post on Americans and sports in Tashkent): – Residents of Andijan have been ordered to be jubilant about the victory of their fellow citizen boxer Ruslan Chagayev. Andijan residents had to line up along streets on the champion’s route and wave their hands happily.

Last Saturday, schools, lyceums, colleges and universities in Andijan received an order from somewhere on high: on Sunday, everyone had to go onto the streets to greet Ruslan Chagayev who had won the WBA heavyweight champion title, beating Russia’s Nikolay Valuyev.

The managements of educational establishments were ordered to ensure that their students are dressed up smart and hold big and small national flags of Uzbekistan, balloons and flowers.

The square outside the airport and streets along which the champion was expected to drive were divided into sectors with appointed officials and police officers to fulfil the orders. However, for some reason Chagayev did not come to Andijan on Sunday.

Everything repeated on Monday. Long before the famous compatriot arrived in the town students and pupils filled in the streets. Finally, a cortege of cars appeared and in the middle of it there was a cabriolet carrying Ruslan Chagayev and another champion from Andijan Muhamadkadyr Abdullayev.

Potemkin villages are so cute.

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This post was written by...

– author of 1848 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Joshua Foust is a Fellow at the American Security Project and the author of Afghanistan Journal: Selections from His research focuses primarily on Central and South Asia. Joshua is a correspondent for The Atlantic and a columnist for PBS Need to Know. Joshua appears regularly on the BBC World News, Aljazeera, and international public radio. Joshua's writing has appeared in the Columbia Journalism Review, Foreign Policy’s AfPak Channel, the New York Times, Reuters, and the Christian Science Monitor. Follow him on twitter: @joshuafoust

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{ 1 comment }

Zack April 26, 2007 at 1:49 pm

This is real stuff. I lived in Samarkand for the better part of a year in 2005-2006 and this really happens. I once even saw a mock-marathon, where runner ran less than 12 miles and were greeted at the finish line as if they had run the whole thing… most of the people there didn’t realize what was happening.

Kind of reminds you of the emporer’s clothers…

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