UNICEF hosts hackathon, talks at EXPO 2017

ASTANA – Team Insaai from Kokshetau, which developed an ethno-style mobile gaming app in three languages, took first place at the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) “Innovating for Children in the Urban World” hackathon. The Aug. 18 announcement was followed the next day with the organisation hosting UNICEF Talks, a platform bringing together tech experts, civil society leaders, policymakers and academics to discuss the topic “Advancing the Rights of Children through Innovation.”

“We are overwhelmed with emotions. When we heard ‘Insaai,’ we could not believe it. We looked at each other and then realised that it was us,” said team member Aigerim Sagyndykova.

The top three apps also include Flash team with the QamCare app and the 3D Alippe app.

Hackathon, which serves to promote children’s rights through innovation, was dedicated to the theme of urban solutions. The event, the third organised by UNICEF and International IT University, joined experts from the world of technological innovation and the science, private, non-governmental and public sectors in Kazakhstan and other countries.

The participants had to offer innovative prototype solutions to the multiple, evolving challenges of urban children – ranging from tackling air pollution and improving safety to ensuring accessible transportation. The main ideas proposed were apps and games that aim to help children in disaster situations and tips on living in big cities.

“We plan to continue to work with all the teams, not only with the finalists and winners. We welcome everyone in the UNICEF Innovation Laboratory, which is located in IT University. The laboratory is open to all; we provide opportunities that enable us to translate ideas into finished products,” said jury member and IT University Professor Beibut Amirgaliyev.

“Around the world, innovations are making a difference in the lives of many, yet their potential to help the most vulnerable children and their families has yet to be realised. This hackathon encourages young people to use their skills for good, beyond just designing and creating innovations. As a result, we have some great prototype solutions benefiting children. We now also have a pool of young programmers willing to make a difference,” said UNICEF Deputy Representative in Kazakhstan Fiachra McAsey.

UNICEF earlier announced it would consider investing and developing in the best and most inventive prototypes either through UNICEF Innovation Lab in Almaty or the UNICEF Global Innovation Fund. UNICEF in Kazakhstan established the lab, hosted by International IT University in Almaty, in 2016.

Innovation has always been at the heart of UNICEF’s work both globally and in Kazakhstan, according to UNICEF Representative in Kazakhstan Yuri Oksamitnyi.

“Being innovative is not simply about using new technologies, but about working with new partners and trying new approaches to solving everyday problems. This is what we look forward to hearing at this unique meeting,” he added.



African countries celebrate National Day with energetic dances, coffee and tea tastings

ASTANA – The African countries participating in EXPO 2017 celebrated the continent’s National Day Aug. 15 by featuring dance and musical performances as well as extensive discussions between young people from Kazakhstan and Africa.

The African Plaza stretches across 2,700 square metres representing 25 countries and their approaches to green energy development.

National Day was marked by individuals talking about tourism, renewable energy and the role of youth in global processes. It also included energetic African dancers performing Kara Zhorga, the Kazakh national dance, and singers presenting their original songs in Kazakh. Famous for its coffee beans and tea, the African Plaza also offered tastings.

In his welcoming speech, Kazakhstan’s expo national commissioner Rapil Zhoshybayev highlighted Africa’s increasingly important role for the country and in the international arena.

“Kazakhstan pays special attention to African countries. We have established diplomatic relations with 45 countries. In 2016, the trade volume between Kazakhstan and African countries reached $250 million and $145 million between January and May of this year. Thanks to the active support of the African states, Kazakhstan has become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council and won the right to host the expo,” he said.

Zhoshybayev noted the African Plaza is one of the most visited pavilions, as its “rich cultural programme, rich cuisine and interesting exhibits” attract visitors.

“I believe the participation of African countries will give an impetus to the development of relations and scientific and technological exchange between Kazakhstan and Africa,” he noted.

Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs Kairat Abdrakhmanov joined the celebration later in the day, asserting the new prospects which the expo unveiled for Kazakh-African cooperation.

“This opens new opportunities to expand cooperation between Kazakhstan and Africa in various fields. African countries can access advanced technologies in green economy development,” he said.

Joining Zhoshybayev in delivering the opening remarks, Sierra Leone General Commissioner Phillip Conteh thanked Kazakhstan for providing a platform and bringing countries together to seek sustainable energy solutions.

“On behalf of all the African states participating in this truly global event, let me congratulate Kazakhstan and Astana in particular for hosting such a memorable event, EXPO 2017, with its theme Future Energy that means so much for us in the African continent,” he said.

Africa is the next investment frontier growth, he added, with last year’s average 2.5-percent GDP growth expected to reach 3.4 percent in 2017 and 4.4 percent in 2018.

“Africa is ready and willing to do business with the world as a reliable, equal partner in a dynamic and globalised world,” he said.

Thirteen African countries already celebrated their national days and more are yet to come. The events turn into a vibrant celebration for the entire plaza, according to South African pavilion Deputy Commissioner Mirranda Mohapi, who believes the expo will eventually result in fruitful cooperation.

“African and Kazakhstan people as well as people from other pavilions gathered today to talk about Africa as a continent to invest in. There were very good discussions and it seems that very good cooperation might come out of it in areas of technical exchange, scholarships and student-to-student exchange, so something big will come out of this expo for Africa and for Kazakhstan,” she noted.

Mohapi’s time in the Kazakh capital is coming to an end and she recalled the time spent there with warmth.

“It was fabulous. I had a good time. Warm people, very beautiful culture. I think the warmth of the people is not very far from our people. For me it was a very eye opening experience, because I did not know much about Kazakhstan,” she said.



Chinese Kung Fu masters dazzle EXPO crowds

ASTANA – EXPO 2017 management has spoiled Kazakh crowds with multiple concerts with the likes of Limp Bizkit and David Guetta, shows such as Cirque du Soleil and numerous other performances during the international exhibition.

Hence, the capital audience, which has the choice to attend any or every show, is particularly difficult to please. The Aug. 11-13 Kung Fu Revelations show “9 Scrolls,” however, absolutely astonished and inspired them.

“There were real masters in the show and all their moves had such well-worked-out touches,” city resident and show guest Ilyas Avdeyev told The Astana Times.“[The show] has submerged me back to my childhood – to those kind times when we were dreaming to grow up and become as quick and fierce as Bruce Lee or Jackie Chan.”

The colourful 50-minute performance comprises elements of martial arts, philosophy and religion, manager Yang Hui told the press in the capital.a39eb0cb-8f64-46ed-9a3e-6dad86811bb8

“It’s not just a sporting discipline, but an imitation. This is philosophy, religion. Don’t think that this is just a fight or amusement – this is pure philosophy. Kung Fu is a traditional Chinese sport; we wanted to show the revelations of Kung Fu, we wanted to express Chinese philosophy and traditional thought,” he said.

“For me personally, Kung Fu is not just a sport that is good for health, but a practice for the soul that helps people find a way in life from which people can improve themselves. Simply put – to find the meaning of life,” he added.

Thirty-five Chinese warriors showcased their prowess and agility with bright props such as trees and a large screen and projector with various multihued backgrounds to give the show a more realistic feel and thematic.

“It is no doubt that the best fighter of all of them, no offense to anyone, was the little boy,” said Avdeyev. “He is very skilful and was just loving every second and every move and the stage. He was the centrepiece of the show. I also liked the ending when the numerous masters, in sync, were dancing together. This was more than Kung Fu; this was more like ballet.”ec8f6110-74e5-4058-ac17-f9eff6cae7b6

The youngest performer was 8 years old; the eldest, 30, according to sputnik.kz

The nine scrolls stand for the nine parts of the performance, each with its own name: purification – motivation for meditation; sutra – mercy; industriousness – understanding that everything is achieved through daily and continuous work on oneself; spirit – tempering of the spirit; obedience – expression of gratitude; form – understanding the essence of meditation; penetration – meditation without barriers; balance – the ability to remain unshakable in the heart, and bliss – withdrawal from bitterness and gaining joy.



EXPO 2017 receives 2.5 million visitors, boosts national economy, executive says

ASTANA – EXPO 2017 recently reached 2.5 million visitors one month ahead of its closing, according to a report presented by Astana EXPO 2017 national company Chairman Akhmetzhan Yessimov to Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

“The number of exhibition visitors was expected to reach two million in three months. To date, this number hit 2.5 million. We also anticipated five million visits to international pavilions; now the indicator has already reached 20 million. Kazakhstan’s pavilion, the Nur Alem Sphere, is the most popular pavilion among visitors. As of today, it has been visited by 831,000 tourists. The figure is expected to reach the one million mark by the end of the expo,” Yessimov said during an Aug. 15 meeting with Nazarbayev.

The expo has also hosted 68 national days and 106 high-ranking guests, including 19 heads of state, 16 prime ministers and their deputies, 11 heads of parliaments and their deputies and 60 ministers and their deputies, according to Yessimov’s report He also noted that countries spent about $100 million preparing their national pavilions.

The number of hotels and hostels in Astana has grown 27 percent due to the expo and their occupancy has increased 60 percent, he reported.

“The expo has positively affected almost all the sectors of the economy. There are more tourists in hotels and public catering places. This resulted in additional funds flowing into Astana’s budget. New jobs have been created. The exhibition complex’s construction involved 196 Kazakh companies, which is approximately 200,000 people. Now there are about 21,000 people contributing to the expo’s operation,” said Nazarbayev.

Yessimov also said that expo’s 452 billion tenge ($1.4 billion) construction costs were well below the 816 billion tenge ($2.5 billion) projected earlier.

He also voiced proposals for the post-exhibition use of the expo’s facilities, including the location of the Astana International Financial Centre (AIFC) and an IT startup park as well as the preservation of some exhibition pavilions as a legacy to the event.



Sword of Kenessary Khan to be delivered to EXPO 2017

ASTANA – The Days of the South Kazakhstan region are coming Aug. 29-Sept. 3 to EXPO 2017. Artists from the southern part of the country will offer a colourful concert and programme, demonstrate historical and cultural heritage and present rare exhibits such as the sword of Kenessary Khan.

Photo credit: inform.kz.

Hundreds of unique exhibits will be delivered to the capital from the South Kazakhstan Regional Museum of Local History. Among the exhibits are weapons and carpets, natural minerals and rare photographs, ancient books and even a besik, a national cradle dating to the 18th century. The cradle, in which young women lulled their babies more than 200 years ago, was made without a single nail. The display will also include jewellery, household items and samples of clothing worn by men and women during the period.

“Kazakh national dress differs in cut, shape and design in each region of Kazakhstan. We show the clothes of young men and women at the end of the 19th century. In addition, we will present the complete decoration of the yurt exactly in the way it was in our southern region,” said museum excursions and information department head Bibi Koshanova.

One of the museum’s most valuable exhibits is the sable of Kenessary Khan, an iron sword with a handle made from bone and skin. The weapon measures 70 centimetres, the handle is 15 centimetres and the blade is about 3-4 centimetres wide. Together with the scabbard, it was donated to the museum by Kenessary – Azimkhan’s grandson in 1931.

Expo visitors will also witness photos and short films detailing the patriotism of famous Kazakh wrestler Kazhymukan Munaitpasov. The display will include his personal belongings, including 48 gold and silver medals won at world championships, sports equipment and heavy stones used in training.  He was 74 when he participated in an event in 1945 dedicated to the 100th anniversary of great poet Abai Kunanbayev and the clothing he wore will also be presented.

“The museum of Kazhymukan Munaitpasov is our pride. We want expo guests to see what the legendary Kazakh wrestler was famous for,” said regional culture department head Nurbolat Akhmetzhanov.

Munaitpasov’s personal belongings will be delivered to the capital from the regional museum of sports named for him in the village of Temirlan, Ordabasy district.



France’s EXPO pavilion sets event records, displays energy saving technologies

ASTANA – France is using EXPO 2017 to showcase innovative approaches to meeting future energy demand. The country is the owner of one of the largest pavilions at the exhibition, measuring 1,084 square metres, and is hosting major subject-related panels and discussions. Through the end of July, 300,000 people have visited the pavilion.

Pascal Lorot

The Astana Times spoke with French National Commissioner Pascal Lorot to learn about the country’s participation in the expo, its partners and programme.


France is presenting three key themes, including renewable energy sources, to provide information and present new eye-opening technologies, smart cities, smart buildings and eco-mobility.

A portrait of Marianne, the national symbol of liberty, was created by street artist Yann Dalon to welcome visitors to join in the festive and energetic atmosphere of the pavilion.

“We were one of the first countries in the European Union that signed a strategic partnership agreement with Kazakhstan many years ago. Our country has always actively supported Kazakhstan,” said Lorot.

The pavilion is set up in eight different spaces, conceived and created by its partners under the supervision of the French High Commissariat.

“Many visitors coming to the pavilion are quite surprised because there’s a lot of innovation. It’s not only a mix of know-how technology, but also art and culture. We have put some cultural background and cultural figures who contributed to the advancement of the human being on the world scale between innovative and technology tools. France is a land of culture and history and we want to bring a small piece of culture and history to a broad environment which is mainly dominated by energy innovation,” he added.

Companies and partners at expo

Pavilion partners include well-known French companies and organisations including Total, Syctom, Agency for Environment and Energy Management (ADEME), Veolia, Peugeot, Vicat, Saint-Gobain and ITER. Each provides different sources of energy to reduce energy consumption and draw the attention of the international community to the process of climate change.

Sorokina Elena

From (L) to (R): Ambassador of France to Kazakhstan Francis Etienne, France’s Commissioner for EXPO 2017 Pascal Lorot and Astana EXPO 2017 Board Deputy Chairperson Yerbol Shormanov. Photo credit Yelena Sorokina


“Most of our partners brought some new concepts, design and innovative ideas. Vicat presents a translucent concrete which opens a large room of innovation for architects and urbanism. It is exclusively presented here. There is also a vegetalised wall and solar panels encapsulated in concrete,” said Lorot.

Total uses interactive wheels with animation and pictures to convey information on future energies, bio-energies and solar energies. The section devoted to Saint-Gobain shows how different isolation materials can lead to variations in comfort and energySorokina Elena optimisation. Syctom proposes different forms of waste retreatment, including producing heat and electricity from waste incineration.

“ITER is a big international organisation which is based in the south-east of France. They show what the energy revolution will be within three or four decades,” he said.

The pavilion has been designed, developed and managed by team of five, including the commissioner.

“We have some trainees coming from France and Kazakhstan who support us and participate in the life of the pavilion,” he added.

France’s commitment to renewable energy

“The exhibition is an opportunity to meet people and to talk about innovative subjects. Future energy is the important theme as well as new technologies, environment preservation and other issues. It is a broad theme which is strategic for the future of humankind. I’m confident that this will have some outcomes after the exhibition. It is a tradition of Kazakhstan to gather people from different places to start talking in order to make a more peaceful world,” said Lorot.

France adopted a law for energy transition towards green growth in August 2015, which states that more than one-third of all the energy produced will come from renewable sources by 2030.

“We are not only focusing on the main renewable energy issues, but we also need to find new processes so we focus a lot on small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We have many projects in France to support SMEs working in the field of renewable energy. As an example, ADEME has a special project which is named Investments for the Future and in terms of renewable energy, since 2010 till now we have given more than 2.5 billion euros to support small projects,” he said.

Event schedule

Whether it’s a celebrSorokina Elenaation of World Music Day (Fête de la Musique), Bastille Day or thematic seminars, a diverse programme of events is attracting an audience to the pavilion.

“Between June 10 and the end of July, we have organised events on average every two days. We organised seminars on reorganisation of housing in terms of noise, heat, safety and efficient and professional waste retreatments. We plan to continue a series of economic seminars as we try to develop cooperation between French and Kazakh companies and institutions. All the events were organised in partnership with local partners,” said Lorot.

The agreement between Pavlodar Oil Chemical Plant and Air Liquide Munay Tech Gases strengthening relations between Kazakhstan and France was also signed at the pavilion.

“Our mission is to show the best of technologies of France in regards to the theme of future energy. We are fully committed to a complete success of the exhibition because we know it’s very important for Kazakhstan. I would like to stress that the expo in Kazakhstan is very well organised. Consultations and positive discussions held here have been shown to have a higher chance of success,” he said.






Astana prepares rich cultural programme as EXPO 2017 passes halfway point

ASTANA – EXPO 2017 may have passed its halfway point, but there are still numerous opportunities to enjoy the exhibition. A rich cultural programme of concerts and theatre performances in August and early September awaits capital residents and visitors, offering everyone a chance to get the most out of the expo.

Limp Bizkit fans should mark Aug. 12 on their calendars, as their favourite band will arrive in Kazakhstan to perform their popular hits at the Saryarka Cycle Track. Tickets are still available, with prices ranging from 10,000 tenge (US$30) to 28,000 tenge (US$85).

Italian music star Eros Ramazzotti will give a concert Aug. 19 at the same venue. Tickets are available for 6,000 tenge (US$18.20) up to 28,000 tenge (US$85).

A world class MTV concert is scheduled Aug. 18 at the expo amphitheatre. Headlining the open-air show will be Akon, John Newman, R3wire & Varski, the Nova Twins and Kele Le Roc. Visitors need only purchase an expo ticket to enjoy the great show.

The event is a unique one for Kazakhstan, as MTV International will be making its first visit to the Central Asian country. The concert will be streamed live on all MTV international channels.

Jazz fans are welcome to enjoy Jazzia 2017, an international festival slated for Aug. 15-17 at Energy Hall. World-famous music groups including East Drive Band, Bill Evans Quartet, Shai Maestro Trio, Billy Cobham Band, Lee Ritenour Band and Marcus Miller, are ready to rock the stage. Tickets are 1,000 tenge (US$3) and visitors will also need to purchase an entrance ticket to the expo.

Classic art lovers will appreciate the cultural programme, as the Kurmangazy State Academic Orchestra of Folk Instruments continues its concert series. Founded in 1934 by famous Kazakh composer Akhmet Zhubanov, the orchestra led by talented young conductor Arman Zhudebayev will present The Songs of the Great Steppe. Tickets for the Aug. 13 programme can be purchased for 1,000 tenge (US$3) up to 3,000 tenge (US$9).

The musicians will also perform Aug. 14-15 at Ethno Aul complex. Entrance is free of charge.

Capital residents and visitors have yet another opportunity to witness a bright collaboration of talented musicians from the State Woodwind Quintet, whose concert is scheduled for Aug. 15 at the Astana Opera House. The performance will feature compositions pertaining to different styles and epochs. Tickets are 2,000 tenge (US$6) and a very small number remain.

The London Contemporary Orchestra will visit the city Aug. 12 to present Under the Skin: Live in collaboration with Kazakh musicians at the Kazakhstan Concert Hall. The concert will present soundtracks composed by Mica Levi.

The movie was not distributed in Kazakhstan, so it is a chance to experience harmonic orchestra tones led by British conductor and violist Robert Ames. Ticket prices range from 2,000 tenge (US$6) to 5,000 tenge (US$15).

The capital will also welcome soloists, the chorus and symphony orchestra of the world-renowned La Scala. Members of the opera company visited the city in 2014 to participate in Astana Day celebrations.

Giuseppe Verdi’s comic opera “Falstaff” is scheduled for Sept. 1, 4, 6 and 8, followed by Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 on Sept. 7 and 9. Tickets are available from 1,000 tenge (US$3) to 30,000 tenge (US$91).

All tickets may be purchased online at tickets.expo2017astana.com or at official ticket offices.






What to see in Kazakh National Museum during EXPO 2017

ASTANA – The National Museum of Kazakhstan is hosting several exhibitions within the EXPO 2017 cultural programme. Most will last until Sept. 10 – so don’t miss the chance to visit the exclusive displays.

East and West – Old Weapons from the Collection of the State Hermitage

Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Terracotta Army, which opened in June, is a display of four terracotta statues, as well as different weapons, household items and jewellery. He was China’s first emperor and the army is composed of sculptures depicting his warriors and horses. Built in the third century BC, each of the 8,000 statues has its own features. All were buried with the emperor to accompany him in the afterlife and discovered in the 1970s. The Terracotta Army is part of the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage List.

Sultan Baybars and His Epoch gives visitors a peak at the life and history of one of the most eminent sultans of Egypt and Syria, where he ruled from 1260-1277. Known for his military campaigns and administrative reforms, Baybars, who was of Turkic descent and hailed from the steppes of what is today Kazakhstan, was largely responsible for establishing the Mamluk dynasty that ruled the region for several centuries and made Egypt the political and religious centre of the Muslim world. The display, which features the collection of the Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo, will close Aug. 10.

Masterpieces of Russian Art from the collections of the United States 2

Masterpieces of Russian Art from the collections of the United States

Another must-see exhibit is East and West: Old Weapons from the Collection of the State Hermitage, which will be showcased in the national museum until Sept. 20. The display contains approximately 80 battlefield and hunting implements, parade arms and armour from France, Germany, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Spain and Turkey. The oldest exhibit is a set of 16th-century German tournament armour; the youngest, a sabre made by Kubachi craftsmen in Daghestan in the early 20th century, according to the Hermitage website. The collection also includes items that belonged to Napoleon and Russian Emperors Alexander I and Alexander II. The exhibits offer an opportunity to evaluate the contribution made by weapon makers in the development of decorative and applied art, as well as demonstrate their technical perfection. While the items no longer serve their original purpose, their characteristics show the talent and skills of the armourers of the past.

Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Terracotta Army

Emperor Qin Shi Huang’s Terracotta Army

A unique international exhibition of original Scythian gold artefacts presents more than 200 of the artifacts of the Scythian culture of the 7th-11th centuries BC from the collections of the National Museum of Kazakhstan and Orenburg Governor’s Regional History Museum, as well as the findings of Kazakh archaeologist Krym Altynbekov. The exhibit represents the treasures of the artistic culture of the ancient nomads and gives an opportunity to feel the spirit of the past, noted the national museum’s website. The display will be held until Sept. 1.

Piece of the Sultan Baybars and His Epoch exhibiton

Piece of the Sultan Baybars and His Epoch exhibiton

For the first time, Kazakhstan is hosting Masterpieces of Russian Art from the Collections of the United States. Visitors can view 35 masterpieces, including the works of world-famous painters such as Aivazovsky, Burliuk, Ekster, Goncharova, Harlamoff, Korovin, Larionov, Makovsky and Shukhaev. Each played a significant role in the history of 19th-20th art and the exhibit is being held through the ABA Gallery in New York with the support of the Kazakh Ministry of Culture and Sports, sponsors and U.S. private funds.

In Search of Shambala: Masterpieces from the Nicholas Roerich Museum New York, on display in Kazakhstan for the first time, includes 37 works created by the artist from the 1920s through the 1940s. Roerich travelled frequently and hundreds of his works were painted during the Central Asian expedition to Chinese Turkestan, Mongolia, India, Tibet and Altai, including a 1926 trip to East Kazakhstan. Throughout his life Roerich created about 7,000 paintings, many of which are presented in well-known galleries of the world. The display will be available through the end of the expo.







64-year-old volunteer enjoys her EXPO 2017 experience

ASTANA – EXPO 2017 visitors learn not only about future energy opportunities, but also about the inexhaustible human energy. Native of Kokshetau Batima Kussainova, 64, volunteered to participate in the large-scale event.

“When I came to the expo organising committee in February, I was accepted with great pleasure out of the competition and awarded the title of Golden Volunteer. From that time, we have been trained in all nine major exhibition sites. Officially, this is my first experience of volunteering,” Kussainova said.

According to her, the volunteer’s work allows developing communication skills, revealing one’s potential and gaining new experience.

“Throughout the world, the volunteer movement is gaining momentum, including in Kazakhstan, and this is not a youth or student movement. There is no age in volunteering; on the contrary, many things in the work are easier for me. Volunteering is a great experience,” she added.

Kussainova has been working as a volunteer since the opening of the expo. Over this time, she has repeatedly visited all the pavilions and venues of the exhibition.

A few months before the exhibition, she began to study foreign languages. Now the motivated student knows simple word-combinations to communicate with exhibition visitors.

“Communicating with the young guys, I realised that our young people are wonderful. Every day I work with them, I am charged with their enthusiasm and energy. Our children are fluent in several foreign languages, they are technically savvy, benevolent and very capable. I also became an advanced user of social networks; we have our own chat room where we actively discuss many topics. They have become my family,” the volunteer said.


Kussainova says every new day at the exhibition is like a holiday. She is always ready to help where necessary.

“I understand that our citizens perceived the exhibition ambiguously, but with confidence I can say that having come here, seeing the whole planet on one site, people change their minds. The expo site offers necessary conditions for a comfortable stay on the territory of the exhibition,” she said.

Speaking about the secrets of such an optimistic life position, Kussainova insists that the person is the smith of his own happiness and each of us creates his own mood.

“It happens that many people do not receive enough in their family, their surroundings, but this does not mean that they cannot be a leader. We need to change our attitude, not to be afraid, to open up and to be interested in. Every year we do not get younger or healthier, but if you do not move and think about illness, then it will not be better. I do not accept sitting on the bench and seeking pity for my age or myself. While we are alive, we must be energetic, rejoice at every new day,” she believes.

The expo volunteer intends to work on other international venues, also helping people and sharing with them the energy of good and true Kazakh hospitality.



EXPO 2017 reaches halfway point, welcomes one and half millionth visitor

ASTANA – Halfway through EXPO 2017, the international exhibition has welcomed one and a half million visitors, according to an expo national company press release.

Almost two weeks earlier, on July 11, the exhibition welcomed and identified its one millionth visitor. That visitor was a math teacher from Astana who received gifts and recognition. This time the visitor remains unknown.

According to statistics, in the period from July 13 to July 23, the expo was attended by 285,300 people, which is 40,757 visitors a day on average. During the first days of the exhibition, the number was approximately 23,000 people per day.

The total amount of visits since June 10 until July 23 was 1,295,991. That includes the summary attendance of all the exhibition facilities, according to the Astana EXPO 2017 national company’s press release.

The most visited pavilions are Plaza Africa, Egypt, India, Russia, Turkey, Japan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Thailand and Turkmenistan, reads the statement.

The most visited facilities of the exhibition complex are Nur Alem, commercial pavilions, Shell’s Children’s Lab, Children’s Park, Cirque du Soleil, Amphitheatre, Creative Energy Area and Energy Best Practices Area (EBPA).

Nur Alem, which is a main sphere and the Kazakh pavilion, attracts approximately 10,000 people per day, according to the Khabar TV channel. The large spherical building has eight floors and visitors require approximately two to three hours to see everything inside.

“More than just a museum, Nur Alem must become an innovation hub of research and culture centre after the exhibition. Digital, multimedia and interactive technologies allow to expand the possibilities of perception of the exposition space, located on the floors of the museum of the future, where the main types of energy – space, sun, biomass, wind, water and kinetics are demonstrated,” reads the expo website.

Almost every day, expo celebrates national days of different countries, as well as cultural events and festivals. The most recent national days were those of Greece, Japan, Argentina, Papua New Guinea, Uganda, Singapore and Costa Rica.

The expo runs from June 10 to September 10, 2017. A total of 115 countries and 22 international organisations are presenting their achievements and ideas relating to the subject of the exposition, Future Energy.