Diplomatic Dispatch

Astana Embassies End 2014 with Concerts, Cultural Events, Receptions

  • Belgian Embassy Organises Sax Concerts in Kazakh Capital

As part of the bicentenary anniversary celebration of Adolphe Sax’s birthday, the Belgian-born creator of the saxophone, the Belgian embassy in Astana organised two concerts in late November, in Astana (Nov. 24) and Bishkek (Nov. 26). Two Belgian musicians, saxophonist Stéphane Mercier and pianist Vincent Bruyninckx, came from Belgium especially for the occasion. The cultural events were possible thanks to the financial support of the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Agency Wallonie Bruxelles International, as well as sponsors, Air Astana and Shymkent Pivo, a local brewery.

The concert in Astana, organised in the Radisson Hotel, had more than 250 attendees. The musicians interpreted a rich and varied repertoire with great talent and originality, including compositions by some of the most talented Belgian musicians such as Jacques Brel, Toots Thielemans and Stromae. Their performance was met with success, as the musicians were enthusiastically welcomed by the audience.

At the official reception following the concert to mark Belgian King’s Day, celebrated annually on Nov. 15, the invited guests had an opportunity to meet the two musicians, who were particularly welcomed by the young Kazakh attendees. A cocktail reception allowed for a dynamic and interesting exchange between the musicians and numerous fans of jazz and music in general.

  • St. Petersburg Meetings in Astana

As part of the Russian Federation’s programme assisting the country’s compatriots living abroad, St. Petersburg’s Committee for External Relations with the support of the Russian Embassy in Kazakhstan held a two-day cultural and educational programme “Petersburg Meetings in Astana.” The occasion was aimed at deepening and strengthening the cultural and educational relations of St. Petersburg with Kazakh cities.

The events were held at several venues in the capital, including the Russian Centre of Science and Culture in Astana, the National Gallery of Astana, L.N. Gumilev Eurasian National University and Gorky State Academic Russian Drama Theatre.

The meetings covered four thematic areas: Russian language, cultural exchange, Russian culture for children of compatriots and a special educational programme. A photo exhibit, talks with activists of Russian compatriots and performances by soloists of the St. Petersburg State Russian Orchestra and Stanichniki, Astana’s national Cossack Choir, were included in the Petersburg meetings.

The students of the Eurasian National University met Dec. 10 with the guests from St. Petersburg State University led by Taisia Aleksandrova. The discussions were held on the subject of St. Petersburg and its residents, which allowed the students to become more closely acquainted with the cultural capital of Russia.

  • Qatar’s Embassy Celebrates Qatar National Day, Hosts Reception

Qatar’s Ambassador to Kazakhstan Abdullah bin Ahmed Al Mutawa hosted a Dec. 19 reception on the occasion of Qatar National Day. The reception was attended by Deputy Minister for Economy and Budget Planning Marat Kussainov, Senate Vice Speaker Kairat Ishchanov, senior officials at the Kazakh Foreign Ministry and heads of the diplomatic missions accredited to Kazakhstan, in addition to representatives of governmental, private and academic organisations, civil society, religious organisations and Arab communities in the capital of Astana. Al Mutawa delivered a speech on the occasion in which he extended sincere congratulations to Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani and the Qatari people.

In turn, Kazakh Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Askar Mussinov congratulated the State of Qatar on the auspicious occasion and told the audience about the major milestones of bilateral cooperation between Kazakhstan and Qatar. Since the first days of independence, he stressed, the relations between the Republic of Kazakhstan and Qatar have been based on mutual trust and understanding.

  • German Embassy Announces Erasmus Mundus EuroPhilosophy Scholarship

The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Kazakhstan announced on its website that the Erasmus Mundus EuroPhilosophy programme is offering the opportunity for Kazakh students, along with students from other countries, to benefit from scholarships of $51,075 and $53,519 to participate in the German-French master of excellence in philosophy.

The programme provides prestigious scholarships to study the master’s programme at European universities. A citizen of any country (other than European nations) with a graduate degree may apply for a scholarship provided that he/she has the appropriate certificate of education and excellent academic achievements. Erasmus Mundus provides scholarships that cover the cost of tuition, accommodations, meals and training materials.

The participants will complete their education in two years, attending three of seven European partner universities and spending one to two semestersat each university. Upon successful completion of the programme, students will receive a master’s degree shared by all three universities in which they were trained.

All applications should be sent by e-mail and by post before January 26, 2015 to Universität Toulouse 2 Le Mirail, EuroPhilosophie – ERASMUS MUNDUS Pavillion de la Recherche (bureau R219), Herrn Jean-Christophe Goddard, 5, allées Antoni Machado, 31058 Toulouse cedex 9.

More detailed information regarding the scholarships is available at http://europhilomem.hypotheses.org.