Monday, April 24, 2017
Today I went to the Amna Suraka prison and museum. The political prison designed by the East Germans specialized in the torture of Kurds accused of having contact with the Peshmerga during the later years of the Baathist dictatorship under Saddam Hussein. The tour takes you through the various prison cells and torture rooms. The blood has been washed off the walls and floors. But, they have preserved the charcoal writings by prisoners on the cell walls. There are also halls devoted to the victims of the Anfal genocide in 1988 and the mass exodus to the Turkish border in 1991. May all the victims rest in peace.
Sunday, April 09, 2017
Today I got up at 5:00 am. But, fortunately I went to bed at 9:00 pm so I got enough sleep. I took the 7:00 am bus to work and ate a breakfast of lentil soup, ayran, and scrambled eggs. Then I helped another faculty member proctor a test. That was immediately followed by proctoring my own test with the help of two upper class men. Then I had a lecture on the failure of socialism in Africa. Now I am on lunch break. After lunch I have to proctor another two tests. Then I can go home.
Friday, March 31, 2017
Sunday, March 19, 2017
I thought Stalin's construction of socialism causing the premature and excess death of over 15 million people was near the top of inhumanity by Marxist regimes. But, I just finished reading Frank Dikotter's Mao's Great Famine (2010) and he puts a credible estimate of 45 million premature excess deaths in China due to the GLF alone from 1958-1962. A lot of the book goes into detailed descriptions of how these people died and how others managed to survive. Overall a very depressing book.
Wednesday, March 08, 2017
Today I took a taxi to the bank and then strolled to the bazaar. At the bazaar I had a falafel roll and ayran for lunch. Then I walked to a money exchange, a tea vendor, and the book store that carries English language titles. After buying a book I went to two more tea vendors before taking a cab back home.
Today is the 73rd anniversary of the deportation of the Balkars by the NKVD to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. I don't have a lot new to add so here are some posts from previous years.
Tuesday, March 07, 2017
March 8th is International Women's Day. I have the day off for other reasons. But, after living in Kyrgyzstan I am always shocked at how little attention this holiday gets outside of the former Soviet bloc. In Africa and the Middle East it doesn't seem to register any more than in the US.