Winners of Third Contest Among Int’l Journalists Reporting on Kazakhstan Announced

ASTANA – The Kazakh Foreign Ministry and Kazakhstan’s Chief Editors Club announced the winners of their third international journalism contest, “Kazakhstan through the Eyes of Foreign Media.”

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According to the Ministry’s press release from July 12, the contest attracted 60 entries from 29 countries, with five regional prizes awarded to journalists representing the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Europe, the Americas, Asia and Oceania and the Middle East and Africa.

The winners are awarded a trip to Kazakhstan in September, which includes visits to Astana, Almaty and the Borovoye resort area, as well as an extensive cultural programme.

Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov noted the quality of the applitcations this year and continued growing interest in Kazakhstan’s dynamic development and upcoming major events, such as the international specialised exhibition EXPO 2017 in Astana and Winter Universiade in Almaty.

“This year we were pleased to note an increase in numbers and, most importantly, quality of applications coming from all over the world. We are witnessing the constantly growing interest from foreign media in the socio-economic and political development of Kazakhstan and its international relations. I firmly believe that this is a result of the open policies that our nation has pursued under the leadership of President Nursultan Nazarbayev,” he said, according to the press release.

Marina Nabatnikova, a journalist with the Russian newspaper Argumenty i Fakty, was selected as the winner among CIS journalists for her article “Doomed to Growth – About our Trade Relations with Kazakhstan.” The story revealed issues of trade-economic and cultural cooperation between Kazakhstan and Russia by using the latest statistics through the prism of the former’s strategic programmes.

Pauline Gavrilov of France, who writes for, won among European journalists for her story “Astana 2017: What will be the Future Energy?”

“Kazakhstan has a long-term energy vision and it is definitely based on solid ground! By 2016, Kashagan oil field in the Caspian Sea has the potential to become the world’s third-largest producing reservoirs. Its subsoil contains 99 of the 110 components of Mendeleev’s periodic table. However, the country also wants to be a major stakeholder along the renewable energy transition,” read the article. “Kazakhstan intends to take part in the development of sustainable energy solutions and to play its geopolitical stabilising role.”

Among entrants from the Americas, Douglas Burton, who writes for The Washington Times, won for his article “Kazakh Studying Abroad in Ambitious ‘Future’ Programme Aims to Lift Former Soviet Republic.” He wrote about Bolashak Presidential Scholarship Programme student Shalkar Nursetov, who studied at George Washington University to pursue a Master’s degree in media and public affairs. The author chose an interesting approach for his article, because the Bolashak programme is a source of pride for the nation.

The winner among Middle Eastern and African entries, Mohammad Ghazal, published his article “Jordan, Kazakhstan Shares Vision of World Peace” in The Jordan Times.

“Diplomats, officials and law experts say Jordan and Kazakhstan share a common vision about global issues and are key players in initiatives and efforts to push for a world free of nuclear weapons. The two countries have also led initiatives to protect the image of Islam amid attempts by terrorist groups to tarnish the image of the religion,” it read.

Kürşad Zorlu of Turkey, representing YeniCag newspaper, took the top spot among Asian journalists for his article “The Key of Eurasia is the Development and Stability of Kazakhstan.”

“Kazakhstan demonstrates the multi-faceted and peaceful approach to foreign policy. Kazakhstan, which has about a 14,000-kilometre border with Russia, China and other neighbours, has strategic relationships with those countries and is gradually strengthening its ties with the United States, European countries and the Islamic world,” he wrote.

Last year’s winners, journalists from Argentina, Egypt, Indonesia, Poland and Uzbekistan, toured the same areas the 2016 winners will visit.

“A combination of fresh air and an outstanding view of the forest make me feel incredibly happy and relaxed,” said Egyptian Ahmed Abdu Tarabeik.

In addition to the winners, authors with outstanding publications will receive certificates of gratitude on behalf of the jury.

The contest was made possible through partnerships with Kazakhstan Temir Zholy, the Kazakh National Olympic Committee, Rixos President Astana and Rixos Borovoye hotels and Argymak Transport Company, as well as the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines which, as the Foreign Ministry’s press release reminded, presented its brand new four-times-a-week Amsterdam – Astana connection earlier in May this year.

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