American gives impressions of EXPO 2017 and personal ideas behind power of blogging

ASTANA – What is this trend known as blogging? What is its main aim compared to how corporate journalists write on a day-to-day base? Are they the independent media or a little bit more?

Some say bloggers are simply writers who have a yearning for uncensored self-expression of their surroundings, as well as a personal, unadulterated opinion on any given topic that sparks their mind.

The Astana Times chatted with blogger Izabel Trizlova, a native of the United States and seasoned world traveler. She shared her ideas about what it is to be a blogger and why she decided to volunteer for EXPO 2017.

“First of all, I had the rare opportunity to work for the USA pavilion at the expo and overall I had a general interest in Kazakhstan,” she said.

Before coming to Kazakhstan, Trizlova knew the geographic location of the country but little about its culture. Everything changed when she learned she was accepted into the volunteer programme.

“First, coming here I didn’t know what to expect in regards to the country, in addition to the tasks I would be doing here and how the people would accept me as a foreigner. And to my pleasant surprise, everyone here has been so cordial; I really felt true Kazakh hospitality and it is hard to believe that I have these great moments so quickly because this is just the beginning of my journey here,” she said.

Trizlova spoke about her impression of blogging.

“Being a blogger has a lot to do with expressing one’s overall writing about their experience that has happened to them or shaped their character. In turn, we can share these events with other people around the world. The ultimate possibility is that we can be the facilitators that can inspire people with our words and which can reach the hearts of people,” she said.

“I haven’t had so many experiences so far, because I haven’t yet got to venture out of the expo because of the sheer amount of work I have to do around our pavilion. But I can tell you that I have had the unique opportunity to talk to locals and head over to other foreign pavilions. There have been some memorable engagements with them and I have had some really good close connections in such a close knit social atmosphere that we built here,” she added.

Trizlova noted why she chose to spend her summer far from home.

“My mission statement is to get as much as I can out of this experience, learn about the expo, discover the true meaning behind the Kazakh culture and venture out to see many different cities and places which will open up my cultural pallet even more,” she said.

Even though Trizlova has been working at the USA pavilion each day, Kazakh citizens are more than happy to give her daily inspiration on what kind of steps she can take on her personal blog journey within the Land of the Great Steppe to make it the most rewarding.



Young man overcomes tragedy, gets inspired to help people with disabilities

ASTANA – A car accident left 19-year-old Yeldos Bayalyshbayev disabled years ago. He had a neck bone fracture, paralysis of limbs and a bedridden life. At least that was what doctors told him. But persistence, family support and care not only got Bayalyshbayev up on his feet again but also inspired others like him to do the same at a rehabilitation centre he built and has been successfully running.

Yeldos Bayalyshbayev. Photo credit: 365info.kz

“Motivation happens when you make your ideas come to life and it helps people, makes their life easier. When I see happy looks on their faces, this is the strongest motivation for me and I want to work even more,” Bayalyshbayev said in an interview for this story.

After years of daily trainings, he was able to sit down, then crawl on all fours and finally get up and walk small distances with help. Bayalyshbayev held strong and optimistic in spite of difficult and traumatic moments.

“When Yeldos sat down in a wheelchair, we believed we had a real chance he will be able to walk. We were convinced that exercises give efficient results. We took all seating furniture out of the living room and placed parallel bars and bolsters. We started teaching him to crawl but this wasn’t easy. Two and half hours went to make it from one side of a room to another. He would start over and go on until late night,” Bayalyshbayev’s parents said in an interview on 365info.kz.

Photo credit: 365info.kz

Bayalyshbayev decided he wants to help others get up on their feet and opened a sports rehabilitation centre for people with disabilities. Back then Akim (Mayor) of Taldykorgan Yermek Alpysov supported this idea and allotted more than 300 square metres of premises for this purpose.

“I took part in the Business Road Map 2020 programme and won a three million tenge (US$9,582) grant. We produced rehabilitation exercise equipment, but they are copies of Swedish rehab training equipment. All training devices were handmade,” Bayalyshbayev said.

“At our Asar Centre for people with special needs, we try to make everybody get up on their feet and become independent. Thanks to special training equipment that we made in three years, more than 280 people from the entire Kazakhstan have gone through rehabilitation at our centre,” he noted.

Colossal results took place within this period of time, according to Bayalyshbayev. Fifty-five attendees stood up and began walking with the help of a walking frame, 50 learned crawling, 60 to 70 people were able to work with training machines on their own.

Apart from improving their health, many were developing their creative skills too.

“We began arranging performances. While during trainings, we had our own team formed and we began performing on concerts. Turned out, our centre had many talents, someone can sing well, another person composes poems and some can dance. We even have our own KVN [comedy and game show] team and they had already placed high on a regional level and are at a national level now,” Bayalyshbayev states.

Photo credit: 365info.kz

He has been involved with swimming from early childhood. Bayalyshbayev was travelling to Lake Alakol every year after his trauma as he believes the lake and its famous curative mud have health benefits; salty waters are good for joints and musculoskeletal system recovery and water rich with minerals has a whole Mendeleev periodic table in it.

“Having visited the lake I noticed one can rarely meet people with disabilities resting on the shore and I fell to thinking ‘what is the matter?’ The issue was that there wasn’t an access to the shore. Platforms are needed for people on wheelchairs to get around with ease. Many boarding houses for tourists are available there but not one of them fits people with disabilities,” Bayalyshbayev said.

He had an idea at that moment to make it more accessible and have a specialised boarding house. To make that happen, Bayalyshbayev prepared a business plan and applied for the Startup Bolashak contest. He landed 2nd place after beating thousands of other contestants and made his plan come to life.

“Not just people with disabilities used this platform but also retired people. All were thankful,” the young man mentioned.

One of the biggest wins was a grant contract for $82,818 at an international contest in 2017. The money went to purchasing advanced training equipment for rehabilitation from Italy, Poland, Germany, the U.S. and China. This, according to the entrepreneur, moved the rehabilitation process up to a new level and quality.

“My motto is one does not need to wait when someone will do it but take matters in own hands, solve this problem and help the government to contribute to society! Many opportunities are available now to realise your idea. There are grants, contests and so on. Only don’t sit still at one place or take pot luck especially at a young age but work on your goals!” Bayalyshbayev added.



Kazakh scientist develops refinement system for polluting emissions

ASTANA – Kazakh scientist Alexander Borisenko has developed a refinement system for polluting emissions that can purify any processed gas. The technology has been successfully operating at his factory for a year.

Photo credit: inform.kz

“As this technology didn’t exist, it is always hard to create something that doesn’t exist. Many people don’t understand and the working process is still to be explained. We have seen the processes that occur in nature and we have learned to catalyse them, meaning we do what nature does. It cleans the same way,” he told Kazinform.

Borisenko, who is also the head of Absalut Ecology, established a complex in his factory that burns trash without discharging harmful substances into the air. The gas transforms into clean air when exiting and no reagents are used. The technology can be used in cars, large industrial plants and central heating and power plants.

Many people are suspicious about the technology, as it contradicts classic science, said Borisenko. In addition, the system is so flexible there is no need to change the technological process. The size of the complex and its price depend on the amount of the enterprises’ gas emissions.

Photo credit: inform.kz.

Photo credit: inform.kz.

Borisenko believes such technology could start a revolution in waste recovery.

“There is an opportunity today not having to create polygons. Waste can be sorted right away while burning a useless part of it without harming the atmosphere. I think this is the most basic field our technology can be applied to. But the technology allows utilising everything that was dumped into an atmosphere and turn it into harmless chemical elements without polluting the environment,” he said, according to the news report.

Fifteen years of hit-or-miss work were needed to develop the technology. The company currently has a foreign partner and Borisenko is ready to present his invention during EXPO 2017.

His second invention is an advanced air ionising technology designed to saturate air with light negative air ions, compensating for the lack of them in homes and workplaces. It neutralises harmful chemical compounds and unpleasant odours while eliminating dust, microbes and bacteria.

The refinement system provides a long life and safe operation period with no more than 100 watts in energy demand. Circulated water serving as high cost filters is the main feature in the device.



18-year-old Kazakh genius defends master’s thesis

ASTANA – Eighteen-year-old Rakhat-Bi Abdysagin recently defended his master’s thesis at Kazakh National University of Arts (KazNUA), reported tengrinews.kz.

Abdysagin became a student at the Kurmangazy Kazakh National Conservatory at 13, while simultaneously studying piano under maestro Konstantin Bogino at Accademia Musicale S. Cecilia di Bergamo in Italy. After graduating from both schools four years later, he entered KazNUA. He then brilliantly defended his master’s thesis, receiving the maximum score of 100. Abdysagin, who began writing music at age 10, is the author of more than 100 pieces, including large-scale symphonic and chamber works.

“I have been doing things I love. I did not hurry to defend my master’s thesis; it all happened naturally. I focused on research in the field of modern art and contemporary classical music in my work. My master’s thesis offers many new approaches and new methods of analysis of the latest music, introducing new concepts in music and analysing a huge number of contemporary composition techniques. The commission recommended publishing it in the form of a monograph as a completed stage of scientific research,” he said.

While a student at KazNUA, the young talent held several concerts at home and abroad. In addition, he was awarded with an honorary badge “For merits in development of culture and art” by the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) Interparliamentary Assembly.abdysagin

“As it is known, time is relative; everything depends on the natural pace of each individual person. For example, Mozart wrote his first work at the age of five, Czerny started performing concerts from 10 years and Mendelssohn acted as a pianist when he was nine. … There are similar examples in modern times; for example, Alma Deutscher wrote her first work at the age of six, now she is 11 years old. Alan Walker created his first electronic composition at 15 years old,” said Abdysagin.

“The fact that I started composing symphonic music from the age of 10 and at the age of 18 I defended my master’s thesis is my current of time. I am not ahead of anyone; I have my own time in my own coordinate system. How it relates to others is a rhetorical question,” he added.

Abdysagin’s works are distinguished by a special organisation of time and space, a sensitive sense of timbre and fine, listened and filigree work with sound matter, noted Tchaikovsky Moscow State Conservatory Professor Yuri Kasparov.

“Modern methods of playing the instruments become bearers of the artistic image. Compositional techniques and form create a single whole with content in the general breathing of time. Reliance on the eternal and unshakable values of art is the point of attraction. … The spectrum of his work is wide, encompassing many genres, styles and directions,” he said.



Kazakhstan-born producer turns family ties into film

ASTANA – Family has emerged as a major theme in Kazakhstan-born Anatoliy Kim’s body of films. His “Siblings” was a hit at the Middle Coast Film Festival, and now his new short film, “Grandpa Arnold,” promotes love of one’s grandparents and calls viewers to spend as much time with their elderly relatives as they can.

But Kim’s own family’s plans for their son did not include Hollywood. “I’ve always been passionate about telling stories and conveying emotions through movies. But my father wanted me to become an engineer since I was really good at math,” Kim explained in an interview with The Astana Times.

“I got accepted to Karaganda State Technical University on a full scholarship to study Transport Equipment and Technology. Every day I spent there made me realise that this was not the career for me. I wanted to take my talents into filmmaking. After I graduated in 2012, I flew to the U.S. to pursue my dream,” said Kim.

Kim’s love for film hadn’t died. “I was constantly watching movies, reading reviews and sharing my opinions with my friends. I became friends with many creative people who pursued their dreams no matter what. You could see passion like a fire in their eyes. I convinced myself that I could accomplish anything if I put my mind to it,” the producer explained.

Arri S 16mm film

It was difficult to adjust to being so far from home in his first months in the U.S., Kim said, but he kept pushing. “Ever since I was a kid, I wanted to make movies. It was something that had seemed unattainable. I thought that it would only remain a dream. Dreams only stay as dreams unless you put actions toward them.”

Kim earned a Master’s Degree in Filmmaking from the prestigious New York Film Academy (NYFA), making five movies and collaborating on more than 30. “It gave me invaluable knowledge and opened many doors for me,” he said. “Working with world-class filmmakers has made an immense impact on the professional I am today. The best ‘behind the camera’ and ‘in front of the camera’ talents are here. I guess it’s one of the key reasons why the films ‘Grandpa Arnold’ and ‘I Did It for Me’ have been very successful films,” he said.

“I remember when I got a call from Middle Coast Film Festival. My film, ‘Siblings’ officially got selected. I was jumping up and down with a huge smile on my face in my tiny room in Brooklyn. It was a small victory but a victory nonetheless. Someone really appreciated my work and it was all worth it. I felt a huge surge of energy. I began working even harder,” the producer said.

He would revisit the theme of family in “Grandpa Arnold.”

“In today’s world, young individuals tend to forget about their grandparents. They do not spend as much time with them as they did in the past. We don’t know when they’ll leave our lives forever. I hope that the short film ‘Grandpa Arnold’ will make young people recall their grandparents and pay them an unexpected visit. That would be the best present for them and the film hopes to inspire people to make that simple, but very important decision,” he said.

While in his home away from home, Kim also has the opportunity to introduce people to Kazakhstan. “When I say that I am from Kazakhstan, most people ask few polite questions about the Soviet Union, what language we speak and so on. Usually Gennady Golovkin comes up in conversation … which is very cool,” the producer said.



Doctoral student from Almaty gives practical classes at university in Zurich

ASTANA – Alexander Nigai, a 24-year-old doctoral student from Almaty, is teaching practical classes at ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich) reported Inform.kz.

Photo credit: inform.kz

“I am a doctoral student, but doctoral candidates are also staff in this university… Teaching is my duty and the university pays for it. We do not pay a tuition fee accordingly. … I was teaching operating system roughly three hours per week; it is one of the subjects for computer skills,” he said during a visit of Kazakh journalists to the university, according to the news report.

“I do not deliver lectures; only professors can deliver lectures at the university. We conduct practical classes, but this is a broadly accepted practise in this university,” he added.

Nigai sparked interest in studying and using supercomputers. He now works at the university’s IT supercomputing laboratory, the only one of its kind in Europe. Along with his colleagues, he attempts to make supercomputing easier and more efficient.

“Weather forecasting is the closest use of supercomputers to life. Nowadays, forecasts are done on supercomputers. In the main, they are used by scientists for modelling physical processes. Physicists use them for modelling the formation of stars, for example. Pharmacists study how drugs interact with the human body,” said Nigai.

He can work at the institute up to six years, during which he may try to complete his doctorate. Nigai has not yet selected a topic for his thesis, as he began the programme six months ago and is still gaining experience. He noted there is no hurry to confirm a topic and can therefore deal with the specifics a little later.

“Life in Zurich is expensive, but wages here are accordingly high, too. Some things even remind me of my native land. As a matter of fact, it seems to me that the city is very similar to Almaty, especially in terms of climate. Even the grass is the same as in our city. Lilac grows nearby my house. It smells like a lilac in Almaty,” he added.

Nigai does not plan to live abroad and will be ready to consider possible job offers from Kazakh companies.

“I would not want to live overseas permanently. I am used to living here and was studying in Edinburg for a year before, but I don’t feel like it is home anyway,” he said.



San Mir Astana company grows organic apples under Agrobusiness

ASTANA – Astana-based private company San Mir Astana grows organic apples as part of the Agrobusiness – 2020 programme to develop the agro-industrial complex in the country.

Initiated by the company’s business consultant Yermek Beisembayev, a memorandum with a Hungarian company Holland Alma Kft was signed in 2015 to plant apple tree gardens in southern Kazakhstan, not far from Almaty.

“Generally, the company’s line of work is housing and the utilities sector. An organic apple orchard start is one of our new activities. It is the first in Kazakhstan of such scale; 20 hectares of soil was reclaimed. Five kinds of apple species are being grown and 80 percent of seedlings were planted as of now. We are waiting for a first crop this year,” Beisembayev shared with The Astana Times.

Both extensive and intensive methods are applied in planting the apple orchards. Apart from regional apple kinds, new varieties distinguished in resistance to weather conditions and harvest volume are being developed. An ecologically clean product is the main principle, according to company information.

“Our territory allows us to plan developing the famous Aport apple plants in future. Another advantage is when a land plot is located 900 metres above sea level, practically 70 percent of all basic pests die because it is not a comfortable environment for them,” Beisembayev stressed.

According to him, this is the main problem when it comes to growing a bio garden because there is a need to fight parasites with the help of chemicals, for example.

“Therefore, a natural parasites control and soil fertilisation goes on an area of our garden. Cultivation, processing methods, everything is natural,” he said.

San Mir Astana cooperates with Nestle and other companies that produce food for children. As part of the memorandum, Beisembayev noted that Japan is their main partner in terms of selling and product control while their planting stock is supplied from Hungary.

Up to 45 hectares of land is planned to be developed and up to 100 people to be provided with jobs by 2020, the company states.



New York-based streaming platform Filmatique releases Nariman Turebayev’s “Adventure”

ASTANA – Filmatique.com, a New York-based online streaming platform, released Kazakh filmmaker Nariman Turebayev’s FIPRESCI (International Federation of Film Critics) prize-winning film “Adventure.” Ursula Grisham, who is responsible for the website’s acquisitions and content, shared her impressions of the film with The Astana Times.

Nariman Turebayev. Photo credit: pascaleramonda.com

“Nariman Turebayev’s ‘Adventure’ is a singular portrait of a night-time security guard that transports audiences into the nocturnal landscape of contemporary Almaty. Many filmmakers have adapted Dostoyevsky’s ‘White Nights’ to the screen, such as Bresson and Visconti. However, Turebayev has both managed to preserve the source material’s enduring topic of urban loneliness and ennui and update the story to include universal elements of modern life such as the atomising nature of capitalism,” she said.

While some government-sponsored cinematic works such as “Nomad” (2005), focusing on a proud nomadic history, “The Gift to Stalin” (2008), showing the challenging era of Stalinist Kazakhstan, or “Kelin” (2009), centring on a philosophical interpretation of a pre-Islamic Kazakh world, “Adventure” “reminds us that identity and citizenship are comprised of the everyday struggles of ordinary people,” according to an essay by Dr. Rico Isaacs for Filmatique.

2A still from Adventure film. Photo credit-pascaleramonda.com

A still from Adventure film. Photo credit: pascaleramonda.com

The film’s main character is Marat and his life demonstrates how “identity and nationhood can be encountered in the ordinariness of the everyday, in the small seemingly insignificant moments of existence, in the quiet emotional and psychological reflection of personal journeys of transition to new states of being,” it adds.

“Marat’s isolation in the bustling city – his quietness, solitude and loneliness – evoke the everyday struggles of ordinary people. In this way, Turebayev captures the reality of day-to-day life in Almaty: bus journeys, cleaning shoes, shopping at the supermarket, drinking tea, work and sleep,” wrote Isaacs.

Filmatique is a collective specialising in the curation and digital distribution of contemporary world cinema, art-house and festival films. Its mission is to expand and inform audiences of “films representing communities rarely depicted in commercial cinema,” notes the website.

A still from Adventure film. Photo credit-pascaleramonda.com

A still from Adventure film. Photo credit: pascaleramonda.com

Grisham explained why “Adventure” was chosen for streaming on the platform and commented on the feedback.

“Filmatique’s mission is to promote diverse cinema by releasing films that portray ways of life historically underrepresented in mainstream media. ‘Adventure’ is a perfect example – while U.S. audiences can certainly connect with the protagonist’s journey, most of them are unlikely to be acquainted with Almaty or ways of life inside modern-day Kazakhstan,” she noted.“‘Adventure’ is performing well on the platform and we have received positive feedback from both audiences and academics,” she added.

“‘Adventure’ is performing well on the platform and we have received positive feedback from both audiences and academics,” she added.

Turebayev is a Kazakh screenwriter, editor and director. His first feature film, “Little Men” (2003), premiered at the Chicago, Locarno, Tallinn Black Nights and Thessaloniki film festivals. His second work “Sunny Days” (2011) also premiered at Locarno, where it won Best Film.

“Adventure” premiered at the Karlovy Vary, Turin and Eurasia International in Almaty film festivals, where it won the FIPRESCI Prize, noted filmatique.com.



Kazakh scientist creates unique catalyst for oil

ASTANA – PhD and Senior Lecturer of the Kazakh National Research Technical University (KazNITU) and the Kazakh-British Technical University (KBTU) Khadichakhan Rafikova has discovered a greener form of rhodium-iridium catalysts for oil refining.

Photo credit: Andrei Lunin

“Today, we have a task to find a new efficient catalyst for petrochemical and organic synthesis processes in Kazakhstan that meet the requirements of green chemistry. I clearly understood the task of obtaining this type of catalyst. Despite the difficulties, it was possible to synthesise the catalysts, as well as to check their catalytic activity in hydrogenation processes. Highly qualified teachers and administrative staff of KBTU helped me in this issue. Professor of Research and Education Centre of KBTU Aleksei Zazybin and foreign scientific director Hamdi Temel (of Dicle University, Turkey) and his research team took part in the research,” Rafikova said.

The creation of rhodium-iridium catalysts based on phosphorus-containing ionic liquids is an absolutely new direction in the science of Kazakhstan, she said.

The development and catalytic tests took two years. Based on the results of this study, three innovative patents were obtained and four articles in high-ranking international magazines were published. Also on this topic, Rafikova won a grant for a trip to one of the leading U.S. universities, the University of Alabama, from the CRDF Global non-profit organisation, which promotes the development of international scientific and technical cooperation. The grants were awarded to 10 most promising scientists in Kazakhstan.

The team of researchers hasn’t presented the results of the research to oil companies and it is too early to implement them into oil production.

“The process of hydrogenation is one of the most important in petrochemicals. I think such companies as TengizChevrOil, Karachaganak Petroleum Operating BV may be interested in our catalysts,” she said.

The scientist plans to continue with the research.

“I would like to bring the results of Kazakhstan’s petrochemical research to the international level,” Rafikova said.




Kazakh businessperson creates clothing brand on French Riviera

ASTANA – Almaty businessperson Madi Sypatayev decided to change his life in 2011 by moving to France with his wife and three children. He later launched his own clothing brand with a marine motif and has ambitious plans to find his place in the market.

“In 2015, I registered the Marino MADI trademark and started a business in France. Marino means ‘of the sea,’ but here it already became sort of a nickname. The first collection went on sale in the summer of 2016,” Sypatayev told The Astana Times in a recent interview.

The line incorporates a marine style into sportswear for everyday life.

“Today our assortment is textile products, such as T-shirts, polos, shirts, dresses, jackets and trousers, as well as accessories, including hats, leather belts and jewellery,” he added.

The average price of an item is 100 euros (US$109) and the main market is currently the Riviera – the South of France and Italy’s Ligurian coast. The company’s office and store are located in Port Marina Baie Des Anges in the town of Villeneuve-Loubet, near Nice. Pieces are also distributed through shops in coastal cities like Cannes, Nice, Saint-Tropez and San Remo.14064114_1817830001781960_2936438415447351659_n

Marino MADI is available in Kazakhstan as well, including in Saks Fifth Avenue in Almaty and Keruen Mall in the capital. Patriotic feelings inspired Sypatayev to make a small collection for his homeland, though not everything is in a marine style. Russian customers can buy Marino MADI clothing in Fashion Marine stores.

“Sketches and the idea of the items belong to me, then the graphic designer makes them in an electronic form for the stage of production,” he said, adding textile items are currently produced in Portugal, while leather goods and accessories are made in Italy.

“I started with menswear and we have now launched lines for women and children. We intend to expand the line up to a full look. That means expanding to the production of shoes, accessories and outerwear for all,” added Sypatayev.

This month, the brand is launching an online shop with delivery from France. He admits the odds of supporting businesses in two countries.13770346_1808456359385991_4168562095561729328_n

“The creation, construction and maintenance of the brand and business in Kazakhstan and France is different, but not significantly. I can highlight the most significant moments. In France, all processes are much slower – from opening an enterprise, opening accounts to servicing. Also, in France I can add significantly high taxes and other costs like wages, maintenance and so on. There is high competition, very high in almost any sector of the economy, and even more in the fashion industry. But the pros are a way larger market and are the stability of the economy, currency and business as a consequence,” he said.

In the near future, the company plans to present the spring collection with the recently-added women’s and children’s lines and open its own stores in Nice or Cannes. The line is also seeking to find a way into the French department store Galeries Lafayette and expand the geography of distributors in the country and Italy.

In the next five to ten years, the company has set its sights on opening its own and franchise stores in Europe, Asia and America.