Author: Thaamira al-Shaban

Dubai (27/2) Tajikistan’s existential project to build the colossal 335-meter-high Roghun hydropower dam is proceeding apace, but costs are spiralling, and to a level that is making it hard to see where the government is going to find the funds needed to finish the work. To complicate matters for Dushanbe, this is happening against the backdrop of calls from environmental watchdogs for international development lenders to pause the allocation of any future funds to Tajikistan pending a fresh assessment of the project. The extent of the budget overshoot is striking In a press conference on February 16, Finance Minister Faiziddin…

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DUSHANBE — Exorcism is a key source of income for Sabohiddin Shodiev, a popular cleric in his rural community on the outskirts of Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan. Shodiev — not his real name — says that every week he treats about 15 clients who ask him to expel what they believe is an evil spirit, or jinni, possessing them, or to rid them from “an evil eye.”The 53-year-old cleric has been practicing exorcisms — which he learned to do from his father — for more than two decades. Most of Shodiev’s clients come from Dushanbe and nearby districts, but…

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The parliaments of Iran and Tajikistan signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Monday to expand cooperation between the two legislative bodies. The signing ceremony, reported by the Iranian Students’ News Agency, took place in Tehran, with Iranian Parliament Speaker Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf and National Assembly of Tajikistan Chairman Rustam Emomali leading the initiative. The agreement was further endorsed during a meeting between Emomali and Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, who emphasized the importance of this collaboration as a support for the political and economic partnerships between the two nations. President Raisi also highlighted the role of bilateral cooperation in combating…

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On the first anniversary of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan’s deadliest border war, marked in September, irascible Kyrgyz national-security chief Kamchybek Tashiev aired his frustrations at the slow progress in talks aimed at demarcating the disputed frontier. Tajikistan, said Tashiev, was making “territorial claims” against Kyrgyzstan in the talks. “But our answer is that there should be no such claims,” Tashiev fumed, noting ominously that Kyrgyzstan had found “new documents” related to the border. “Based on those, we know that many parts of Kyrgyzstan had been given to Tajikistan,” he claimed. “If [Tajikistan] does not renounce its territorial claims against Kyrgyzstan then…

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Dubai: The Dh1 billion Dubai Future District Fund (DFDF), a collaborative effort between Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and the Dubai Future Foundation (DFF), reiterated its commitment to enhance the Emirate’s venture capital ecosystem by driving sustainable finance and innovation on a global scale. Members of the DFDF Oversight Committee met Thursday to assess the Fund’s significant achievements and outline future strategies to enhance the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Dubai and the broader UAE. The committee reviewed DFDF’s completion of over 25 investments since its inception in 2022 and discussed the Dh1 billion Fund’s mission to enhance the Fund’s capabilities. DFDF…

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ALMATY, Kazakhstan — Friends who are old faces and friends in high places: Kazakhstan’s former leader Nursultan Nazarbaev has proven in recent months that he still has both. Does that mean the 83-year-old is mulling a political comeback? Kazakh officials loyal to his successor, Qasym-Zhomart Toqaev, are keen to dispel the notion. But the very fact that they are feeling the need to comment on the idea is indicative of the interest — and, in some quarters, alarm — sparked by the ex-president’s recent return to the national news cycle.The first week of January will mark the second anniversary of…

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Iraq’s government has said that several people who are alleged to have attacked the US embassy in Baghdad last week have links to the country’s security services. A spokesperson for the Iraqi prime minister on Thursday did not, however, provide details on which security services the alleged perpetrators were linked to. The announcement came a week after rocket salvos hit the US’s heavily fortified compound in Baghdad’s Green Zone, causing minor damage. The statement said Iraq’s security forces had arrested several people allegedly responsible for the December 7 attacks and were pursuing others. “Unfortunately, preliminary information indicates that some of them are…

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A salvo of machine gun fire, customary during funerals, illuminated the night sky as dozens of men converged in a dimly lit, unpaved alley on the edges of the sprawling slums of Sadr city to pay their respects. A giant picture of Ali Hassan al-Daraaji had been erected outside the family home in north-east Baghdad to announce his “martyrdom” in this week’s US airstrikes on Iraqi armed groups. The series of strikes left nine fighters dead, including Daraaji, the first Iraqi fatalities linked to the Israel-Hamas war. Even as a tenuous truce takes hold in Gaza, the pace and intensity of…

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It was a day that shattered Israel’s sense of its own invincibility and military might, undermining the security felt by every one of its citizens. But it did not seem so extraordinary at the start. When I saw the early morning “red alerts” on my phone warning of incoming rocket fire from Gaza, we had no idea of the scale of the assault. I messaged my colleagues – some of whom were away for the end of the Jewish holidays – to say that I would head to the office. Soon I was struggling to absorb the impact of what…

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Berlin (05/11 – 40) The international transport corridor “Tajikistan-Europe” will be expanded. The initiative for the implementation of the “Crossroads of the World” project was announced at the IV International Tbilisi Silk Road Forum, which concluded in the capital of Georgia. The project envisions the development of connections between Armenia, Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Iran. This means that the Silk Road, which once passed through the North Caucasus, will now be connected to the South Caucasus hub. “In this way, another node is added to the multimodal corridor ‘China – Tajikistan – Uzbekistan – Turkmenistan – Iran – Turkey – Europe’,”…

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