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GCRF COMPASS Research in Action Workshop, Bukhara, Uzbekistan

GCRF COMPASS Cambridge together with The Coordination and Methodological Centre on contemporary history under the Uzbekistan Academy of Sciences organised a three day workshop entitled 'Research in Action' on 8-11 April 2019. It was designed to engage with varied research cultures, interdisciplinary research, and methodologies of research while considering the most current concerns in Central Asia, wider Eurasia and globally. It was organised with support from the Embassy of Uzbekistan in the UK, Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan, the Academy of the General Prosecutor’s Office of Uzbekistan, and the Institute of Contemporary History under the Academy of Sciences in Uzbekistan, University of World Economy and Diplomacy. This workshop provided the basis for research capacity building, a core goal of the COMPASS project, in academia, government and media. The workshop focused research methodologies across development paradigms and encompassed sustainability, multilateralism, scientific and cultural diplomacy, international relations, political economy, industrial policy and technology, science and education amongst other areas.

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Roundtable on Dynamics and Dynamisms of the Emerging Global Order

CCAF in collaboration with GCRF COMPASS and Centre of Development Studies organised a Strategic Ambassadorial meeting on 8 March 2019. The panel consisted of HE Jawad (Ambassador of Afghanistan), HE Khalifzoda (Ambassador of Tajikistan), HE Shaykhov (Ambassador of Uzbekistan), Mr Annayev (Embassy of Turkmenistan), and Mr Sydykov (Embassy of Kyrgyz Republic). Senior Cambridge academics like Prof Lord Mair, Prof Nolan and Mr Ray were also part of the panel with Prof Shahidi (TNU) and Prof Korosteleva (Uni of Kent, PI GCRF COMPASS). The meeting was chaired by Dr Saxena and attended by students, early career researchers and colleagues from University of Cambridge. The roundtable was followed by a cultural evening to celebrate Navroz (New Year).

Uzbek and Turkmen Pavilions at Expo 2017 in Kazakhstan: Pave way for 'New Energy' Revolution for a Global Impact

Dr Saxena's article on the Astana Expo 2017 and regional cooperation. "The energy comes forth at Astana Expo in two forms. One is the realisation that dependence on oil and hydrocarbons is just not fashionable anymore! And, for more than two decades Western analysts have been busy predicting implosion, collapse and a dire future for the Central Asia Region. Indeed, being landlocked it has challenges and simplistic economic thinking could set one against the other and/or create a regional hegemon. However, acting together the countries in the region can make an impact globally, as each country brings something more nuanced to the table."

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CCAF Navroz 2019, 8 March in Jesus College Chapel

CCAF in collaboration with Jesus College organised Navroz 2019 on 8 March. The event marks the 18th year of celebrating the Central Asian New Year in Cambridge. Prof White (Deputy Vice Chancellor), Prof Lord Mair, Prof Nolan and Dr Saxena welcomed and wished everyone a Happy Navroz. HE Khalifzoda (Tajikistan), HE Shaykhov (Uzbekistan), HE Jawad (Afghanistan), Mr Huseynov (Azerbaijan), Mr Annayev (Turkmenistan), Mr Sydykov (Kyrgyz Republic) and Cambridge University Kazakhstan Society were present and welcomed this momentous occasion especially since it coincided with International Women's Day. The evening showcased the wonderful varieties of dance, music and cultural experiences that Central Asia and wider Eurasia has to offer. The audience (200+) was enthralled with the beauty and grace of children, men and women representing their countries in the oldest chapel in Cambridge.

GCRF COMPASS Project Launch (22-23 May, Belarus)

The University of Cambridge along with its partners – University of Kent, ADA University (Azerbaijan), Belarusian State University, Tajik National University, and University of World Economy and Diplomacy (Uzbekistan), launched the Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) “COMPASS” Project (ES/P010849/1; 2017-21), on 22-23 May 2018, Minsk, Belarus.

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'Making The Kyrgyz' Book Lauch

Dr Saxena with Her Excellency Dr Iskakova (Ambassador of the Kyrgyz Republic, UK) launched the book, ‘Making the Kyrgyz’ at the ABRN, Borderlands Spaces: Ruins, Revival(s) and Resources at the American University of Central Asia in the Kyrgyz Republic on 13 August 2018. The multi-author volume comes out of a seminar to celebrate 25 years of Kyrgyz independence in Cambridge.

Roundtable on Silk Roads: Prospects and Perspectives

On the occasion of Navroz celebrations in Cambridge, the Cambridge Central Asia Forum organised a roundtable on the Silk Roads: Prospects and Perspectives in Jesus College. The event was graced by the presence of Her Excellency Ms Iskakova (Kyrgystan), His Excellency Mr Shaykhov (Uzbekistan), His Excellency Mr Jawad (Afghanistan), Head of Mission from Tajikistan to the UK Mr Qurbonov and First Secretary Mr Annayev (Turkmenistan). The Deputy Vice Chancellor and Master of Jesus College, Professor Ian White opened the roundtable with a welcome speech. Professor Nolan and Dr Fennell along with other academics from Cambridge, UCL and University of Kent gave brief talks as well.

International Conference on “Silk Road Travellers’ Texts from the 13th-14th centuries: Bibliography and Research”, held in Zhejiang Normal University, China

Scholars from Cambridge were invited to participate in an International Conference on “Silk Road Travellers’ Texts from the 13th-14th centuries: Bibliography and Research”, held in Zhejiang Normal University, China on 15 December 2018. Dr Sally K Church presented a paper entitled “Illuminated Texts Presented to the Mongol Khans by 13th-14th-century Western Travellers”, Yasmin Faghihi, Head of the Near and Middle Eastern Department, Cambridge University Library, presented a paper on “Paper: A Commodity and its Impact on Cultural Expressions”and P. Kalra's paper on "Silk Road and the Political Economy of the Mongol Empire: Yuan and Ilkhanid exchanges in the 13th century" was also presented. Dr Church, Y. Faghighi and P. Kalra's works appeared in conference proceedings.

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GCRF COMPASS Workshop on BRI and the Silk Road on 15 March 2019

GCRF COMPASS Cambridge organised a one day workshop on BRI and the Silk Road on 15 March in the Centre of Development Studies. This workshop was a continuation of the workshop on BRI organised in the University of Kent by our GCRF COMPASS partners in Kent. The workshop included presentations and talks by Prof Peter Nolan, Dr Sanghera (Uni of Kent), Dr Radivojevic (UCL), Dr Satybaldieva (Uni of Kent), Dr Kudaibergenova (Cambridge), Dr Safdar, Prof Baichorov (BSU) and P. Kalra. The workshop was moderated by Dr Saxena.

GCRF COMPASS Roundtable on Community Dialogue and Democratisation in Uzbekistan

On 15 November 2018 the Cambridge team in the GCRF COMPASS project hosted a delegation from Uzbekistan. The event was organised by Cambridge Central Asia Forum, Jesus College, University of Cambridge, GCRF COMPASS UK, Centre of Development Studies and the Independent Institute for Monitoring Civil Society in Uzbekistan, Embassy of the Uzbekistan in the UK and the OSCE Office in Uzbekistan. The head of the delegation was Prof Obdumuradov, Head of the Sector of the Presidential Administration in Uzbekistan. Nick Ray, Convenor of the Cambridge Central Asia Forum Committe was also present. Prajakti Kalra(GCRF COMPASS Events and Communications Officer), Dr Kudaibergenova (GCRF COMPASS PDRA) and Dr Waljee (GCRF COMPASS Affiliate) were present.

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Turkmen Government signs an agreement with Cambridge University

The start of 2018 marked further strengthening of bilateral relations between Turkmenistan and the United Kingdom. The government of Turkmenistan has signed an agreement with two departments of Cambridge University, to enhance the teaching and learning of English in Turkmen schools.

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Celebrating Strong Links with Central Asia

Some of the best graduate students from Central Asia will be able to study at Cambridge thanks to a co-funding scholarship agreement signed last week between the Cambridge Overseas Trust and the University of Central Asia.

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The Trust renews partnership with University of Central Asia

A CCAF initiated project gets renewed! A senior delegation from the University of Central Asia visited Cambridge on 9 November, to sign a renewed agreement with the Cambridge Trust for a programme of co-funded PhD scholarships. Leading the delegation was Dr Shamsh Kassim-Lakha (pictured, right), accompanied by Dr Bohdan Krawchenko, Director General and Dean of Graduate Studies at UCA, and Dr Salim Sumar, Head of the UCA Central Asian Faculty Development.

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Cambridge Doctoral Scholarships for Scholars from Central Asia

A CCAF initiated project gets renewed! A senior delegation from the University of Central Asia visited Cambridge on 9 November, to sign a renewed agreement with the Cambridge Trust for a programme of co-funded PhD scholarships. Up to nine full scholarships will be available for students starting their research in Cambridge in 2018-19 and the two following years.