Contrasting Marathon Responses in Central Asia

27 Apr

There have been contrasting responses to the Boston marathon bombings in Central Asia. While Uzbekistan has decided to cancel its marathon, Kazakhstan has decided to press ahead with its event in Almaty on 28 April.

The Almaty marathon will begin with a minute of silence for the Boston victims. The charity marathon is being run for the second year running and it’s expected to attract around 5,000 participants.

Meanwhile in Uzbekistan, the organisers pulled the plug on its race because of unspecified security threats. The marathon was being overseen by organisations close to Gulnara Karimova, the eldest daughter of President Islom Karimov.

Instead, a charity concert will be held – although at the time of writing it was not clear if Gulnara’s alter-ego, GooGoosha would be taking to the stage.

These two reactions show the contrasting natures of the Central Asian neighbours – Uzbekistan always plays up threats to its security and is spooked by terrorism, whereas Kazakhstan seems to be opting for the path of not giving in to terrorists.

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