Saturday, 19 December 2009

Buzkashi the movie!

"Not everything about Buzkashi is action and danger." September 2010 an exciting docudrama about three Tajik Buzkashi (Ulak-Tartysh/Kökbörü) sportsmen is coming from Oxus Apertura Films. I can't wait to see it. Read more on the official site!

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Vitali Klitschko will help Ukrainian stray animals survive the 2012 European Football Championship

Mum is a great fan of Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko, the famous handsome heavyweight boxer brothers, so it's really about time that we write something about them.

Vitali was born in Belovodsk, Kyrgyz SSR, and Wladimir in Semipalatinsk, Kazakh SSR. Their father is an Air Force General. Later on, the Klitschko family moved to Germany, where the brothers began their boxing careers. On the side, they both studied in Kiev and got Ph.D's in Sports science. After presenting his dissertation in 1996, Vitali was apparently the first boxer to hold a Ph.D. Wladimir followed in 2001.

Wladimir currently holds the IBF, WBO, IBO and Ring Magazine world heavyweight titles. Vitali is the current WBC world heavyweight champion, and he is the fourth boxer to ever win a heavyweight belt three times, after Muhammad Ali, Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis.

The brothers are active in several charitable causes helping children around the world. Now Vitali has also stepped up to help furry children in need in his home town Kiev.

In his free time, Vitali is involved in local politics in Kiev. He is right now a member of the city parliament, and sits in the organisational committee for the 2012 European football championship.

The Football championship is something that deeply worries friends of animals in Kiev. The authorities have already organized mass killings of stray animals to "clean up" the streets for their international visitors, and animal rights activists are working hard to stop them from further mass killings.

Mass killing is not a sustainable solution, since it doesn't do anything about the root causes for strays, not to mention that it of course causes immense suffering. Neutering stray animals to prevent them from reproducing uncontrollably, and, most importantly, enforcing an Animal Protection Bill that would prevent most animals from getting to the point of being abandoned in the streets in the first place, are a much more sustainable solution.

The local animal rights organization Society for the Protection of Animals (SOS) has been in contact with members of the city parliament, among them Vitali Klitschko, to convince them of a humane and long-term solution to the problem with stray animals. Klitschko is now convinced that a humane solution to the stray problem is the right thing to do.

Recently he visited SOS's animal shelter with TV cameras in tow, in order to raise awareness about the work the organization is doing for animals in need. He was full of admiration for the people at the shelter, who work hard to improve the lives of stray animals in Kiev.

Find out more about the Society for the Protection of Animals (SOS), and what you, too, can do to help them.

Photos from Streuner in Kiew.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

We are all Majid Tavakoli

Majid Tavakoli is a student leader in Iran, who has been arrested several times by the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence, most recently on 7 December 2009, during protests over the disputed presidential election of 2009.

After his December 7, 2009 arrest, semi-official news websites published photos of Tavakoli dressed in women's clothing, taken while he was in custody. These media claimed he was arrested dressed in "women's clothing" to avoid the security forces while escaping Amirkabir University in Tehran. Eyewitnesses present at the time of his arrest have denied these claims and stated that he was forced to put the hijab on while in custody by the security forces, to discredit and ridicule him.

In solidarity with Tavakoli, some Iranian men are taking pictures of themselves while wearing the Islamic hijab, which is compulsory for women in Iran. They are calling for an end to Iran’s mistreatment of prisoners like Tavakoli. Their protest is also in solidarity with women in their fights for equal rights. One message echoed by many Iranian men is "Until Iranian women are free, Iran will not be free. Iranian men: let's begin wearing the chador in solidarity with Majid AND the WOMEN of Iran". (More at Wikipedia)

Women are also expressing their solidarity with Tavakoli by drawing moustaches and beards on their faces and putting on the hijab.

Join the protest on Facebook!

Friday, 4 December 2009

Bulat Gilvanov

Bulat Gilvanov is a painter from Tatarstan who works in a variety of styles. Many of his paintings are very stylized, almost surreal depictions of Tatar mythology and folkloristic subjects in gently glowing colours, often clashing faded pastel hues with a powerful indigo blue. You can view these works at the Natasha Akhmerova Gallery or the

Gilvanov also paints in a more realistic style, employing the same pearly shades to a different subject: Volga-Bulgar warrior women... Just to make us fall in love completely.

Visit his homepage for more galleries of beautiful and powerful paintings!

Friday, 27 November 2009

Nose-vember: Cold noses

The concept of using drift ice as a means of scientific exploration of the Arctic, on so-called drift ice stations, originated in the Soviet Union in 1937, when the first such station in the world, North Pole-1, started operations.

Flickr user Razbalex has posted a big archive of photos from the third drift ice station North Pole-3 (in operation April 1954 to April 1955).

See all of the photos in Razbalex's Flickr set.

Thursday, 26 November 2009

Man of the new East

Don't miss this article in the Uzbekistan art magazine San'at:
Lola Paizieva: Man of the new East. Portrait painting in Uzbekistan of the 1920s - 30s.

Unfortunately, the paintings above are not clearly identified in the article. They may be "Uzbek man. Samarkand" by famous Uzbek artist Ural Tansykbaev and "Collective farmer" by Alexander Volkov. Please correct me if I'm mistaken.

Monday, 23 November 2009


So on Cute Overload, "Nom-vember" won, but here on Chirayliq it's still "Nose-vember".

Here are some random noses I found on (click them for larger size):

"Now, let's come up with something ... :-)" by Макс5

"Bad, or good?" by M.Biakaev

"Gogi and Givi send their regards" by AV: pashis пашис

"Absolutely insane picture about how two Georgian aesthetes spent their leisure time in a cultivated manner" by Ираклий Шанидзе

"1946: Pashka, the artillery soldier" by Vojage-Vojage
"In the photo is Pavel Belyakov, who went through the war, survived, but became almost completely deaf (because of the guns), then served until around 1960-63. He had great success among the ladies. An interesting thing is that he never wore his medals, of which he had quite a number, when he was on duty. He was Kuban Cossack."