To Support �Millenium Children�


ALMATY, Jan 31


On Monday, January 31, the results of the event �Real money for real children� announced by the Public Charitable Fund Demography on the eve of the new millenium, were summed up in Almaty. The event was held to render charitable aid in the amount of 100,000 tenge to first 2,000 infants who would be born on first days of the New Year.

The main objective of the event was to attract attention of the society to the demographic situation in Kazakhstan. Recently the rate of birth and the increase of the population have abruptly fallen. Last time the high birth rate was observed in 1988. The most part of the increase of the population was observed in the rural regions.

According to the head of the Department on Protection of the Reproductive Health of the Kazakhstani Public Health School Saule Nukusheva, expected infants were born within 2 days and 8 hours all over Kazakhstan. The southern Kazakhstan oblast, where 402 babies were born, was acknowledged as the most �fertile� region. Then the Almaty and Zhambyl oblasts came. 53% of infants are boys, 47% of them are girls.

The age of their mothers varies from 25 to 29. The weight of infants was 3 to 3.5 kg. One baby weighted below 2 kg. His mother rejected him.

Among those infants 7 were rejected by their parents. For these people the Fund will open deposits in Kazcommertsbank. When they come of age, they will be able to withdraw money from the account. Among those infants 14 were twins. Each of them will receive 100,000 tenge.

According to the demographer Makash Tatimov, 70% of the infants are born in Kazakh families, 15% - in Russian families and the rest 15% - in families of other nationalities. The death rate of the Russian population exceeds the birth rate twice. According to Tatimov�s prognosis, if the situation does not improve, the same will happen to the Kazakhs.

Radio Liberty

Who makes a Hudj to Mecca?

The holy Muslim month Ramadan has ended. The holiday Oraza-ait has been celebrated. Soon it will be time to make a Hudj to Mecca, as Kurban-ait is forthcoming. For Muslims all over the world this is time to clear themselves from sins and to forgive offences. Kazakhstani people who for the last 10 to 15 years turned to Islam are eager to follow all canons of the religion. It is impossible to get rid of atheism that stricken roots in people�s consciousness propagandized during the Soviet epoch. It will take some time to change the situation. Every year hundreds of Kazakhstani Muslims make a Hudj to Mecca and Medina. Every year these pilgrimages cause many rumors and scandals. For example, as if people who never read Namaz go to the holy places. there are a lot of different rumors. Obviously this time we will also hear some. Evidently, the generation that grew during the Soviet epoch and atheism, will make mistakes turning to the religion. In the last issue of SolDat newspaper the President of the religious union �Kazakhstan Kazhylary� Baktybai Ainabekov touched this problem. Ainabekov himself is a TV journalist, who often illuminated religious issues. He is a Muslim who made a Hadj. We may call this man Hadji. During one of his Hadjes he saw the above-mentioned absurdity. He is especially resented by indifference of the country�s Muslim leaders who try to get more personal profit from pilgrimages. Reminding the 1999 Hadj, he gives the following example: �The Saudi Arabia king sent 400 free tickets for Kazakhstani pilgrims. As we have neither any religious committee nor a Minister dealing with religious issues, these tickets were submitted to the Ministry of Information and Public Consent. The Ministry gave a part of these tickets to the Muslim public union, and almost 90% of the tickets were given to people who had nothing to do with Islam, who even did not know what Namaz was. The famous scientist Sabetkazy Akatai wrote that among them were people who even had not passed the cutting rite. These people turned the pilgrimage into common tourism. They spoilt the image of true Muslims and Islam.� Giving these facts, Ainabekov asks: what does the Muslim Ecclesiastical Department of Kazakhstan do?

Instead to avoid incidental people they used hospitality of the king Fahd for their selfish ends. �Leaders of the Kazakhstani Ecclesiastical Department gave tickets to the wife and daughter of the chief mufti, to the wife and brother of the naip-mufti Asylkhan Omirzakov, as well as to their other relatives and friends,� Baktabai Ainabekov writes. In his opinion, the Kazakhstani mufti could have used these tickets in a different way, instead to send their relatives and friends to Mecca, they could have sent imams from different oblasts or students from the Almaty Islamic University.

In general, there are a lot of talks around the pilgrimage of our citizens and the Muslim Ecclesiastical Department. For example, Baktybai Ainabekov writes: �to make a Hadj people from Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan need maximum US$ 1000 to 12000. Our muftiat collects US$ 1900 from each man, and when they arrive to Mecca it collects another USU 100, as a donation. Apart from amounts paid in tenge, the total amount in US$ is 2000. Pilgrims from Tashkent and Bishkek who arrived by tourist vouchers stay at comfortable hotels, while our compatriots stay at premises that are empty all the year round, where there are no beds. They have to sleep on a mattresses on the floor.� Thus, Ainabekov concludes: �According to the Kazakh ancient saying, �fear people who do not fear god.� Hadj is the last duty of Muslims. True Muslims, who consider Islam the main religion, are to make the Hadj. The inscription before the entrance to Mecca and Medina says that only Muslims are authorized to come into� What will happen if the king Fahd knows this? Or if neighboring countries know this? Won�t it compromise Islam in Kazakhstan? To compromise Islam that our forefathers appreciated, to send worthless people to make a Hadj is a serious indelible sin.�

We cannot say that people do not know about the situation with the pilgrimage in Kazakhstan. They know, as it has been repeatedly discussed. But neither the muftiat nor the state made any conclusions. Maybe, that is why SolDat and Ainabekov consider this topic again.


THE GLOBE based on materials from the Kazakh Service of Radio Liberty

(Translated from Kazakh by THE GLOBE, full text)

Kazakhstani-American Project

Agreement �On Fraternizing� Gave a Powerful Incentive to Establishment of the Women�s Health Center

ALMATY, Jan 31


On the previous week the Kazakhstani-American joint Women�s Health Center (WHC) was officially opened in the city Reproduction Center. It was established in the southern capital under the hospital partnership Almaty-Tusson (Arizona) under support of the American International Health Union (AIHU) and with bilateral financial aid by the US Agency on International Development and the Almaty Akimat. The Center is based on the model worked out by the AIHU working group on protection of reproductive health.

WHC was established in November 1997 to render medical services to women of different age. The first US lady Hillary Clinton opened the Center during his tour in Central Asian countries. According to the Almaty Akim Victor Khrapunov, that time the press called the establishment of the Center timed to the arrival of the US President�s wife, a window-dressing .

Apart from the city Akim, the US Ambassador to Kazakhstan Jones� wife, the director of the Almaty Health Department Vasily Devyatko and the AIHU executive director James Smith were present at the official opening of the Center.

The objective of the Women�s Health center is to protect women�s health, planning of the family, children and teenagers� gynecology.

According to the director of the Center Tamara Dzhusubalieva, from the moment when the Center was established the number of abortion in Almaty reduced by 28.5%, while the number of patients� visits doubled today. The Center has the informational service �Red Apple� that renders anonymous consulting services and Lamaz school allowing men to be present while deliveries. The Women�s Health Center is one of 20 similar centers in the CIS, including one of the two in Central Asia.

OSCE. Kazakhstan. Election

OSCE Assesses the Results of the Parliamentary Election in Kazakhstan

Jan 31 (KazAAG)

The Kazakhstani representation in international organizations in the Austrian capital, where the next meeting of the OSCE Constant Council was held, announced this.

The main topic of the meeting was the report by the director of the OSCE Bureau on Democratic Institutions and Human Rights the Ambassador Schtudman. He touched the development of the election processes in some OSCE countries in details and characterized elections held in these countries.

According to the director, democratic reforms in Kazakhstan are fruitfully developing. Despite mistakes in some regions made during the last Parliamentary election, the election process has significantly improved. The Parliamentary election in Kazakhstan was the great step to meet the corresponding OSCE standards. He also expressed gratitude to the Kazakhstani authorities, the Central Election Commission, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the diplomatic representation of Kazakhstan to Austria for a great work in this direction. He is confident in further fruitful cooperation between OSCE and Kazakhstan.

At the meeting the parties also expressed their opinion on the recent decision of the Turkmen People�s Council on unlimited power of President S. Niyazov, as well as on the recent Presidential election in Uzbekistan.

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