July 11-July 18, 1998



  1. Flood in Shahimardan wipes out villages
  2. Central Asian Council meets in Cholpon-Ota
  3. An old man's gift to President Karimov
  4. National Bank is listed second secure bank in the world
  5. Boxers's progress in World Cup
  6. UzDaewooAuto marks its second year
  7. Disabled sculptor wants to see Bill Clinton




Flood in Shahimardan wipes out villages


An awful flood killed around 100 people in the eastern part of Uzbekistan. The flood was a result of thawing ice and snow in the neighbouring Kyrgyzstan mountains that caused the Shakhimardan river to break its banks and rush into Uzbekistan. 12 people died on the Kyrgyz side whereas several villages near the densely populated Uzbek town of Ferghana were wiped out. The river's water levels rose three to four meters above normal. Rescuers, police and soldiers have evacuated around 14,000 people. In a statement released by the Central Asian mission of the International Red Cross Federation, four hundred people from 53 families had lost absolutely everything. The Uzbek officials blame Kyrgyzstan meterological services for not informing the Uzbek side about the water movement on time. President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov visited the disastrous area and promised aid to the victims of the flood. He also expressed his condolences to the families of the perished. 600 more people are still thought to be missing or dead. The disaster area is a resort place and at the moment of the flood thousands of people from all over the country were spending their vacations here. Leaders of a number of countries have sent President Karimov their messages of condolences this week. A humanitarian aid was given to the residents of Shahimardan region by various organizations. The Tashkent province administration sent 108 trucks loaded with food, medicine, clothing and construction materials. Individuals from all over Uzbekistan came here to help rescuers and to reconstruct the area. All the mosques of Uzbekistan devoted the Friday prayer to commemorate those killed by the flood.




Central Asian Council meets in Cholpon-Ota


The Central Asian council held its scheduled meeting on Friday in the Kyrgyz town of Cholpon-Ota. Prime Minister Utkir Sultonov led the government of Uzbekistan. Originally President Karimov was supposed to go to Cholpon-Ota. The Central Asian Council, a regional economic organization was originally designed to reinforce their collective economic future, Independent of Russia. Established in January 1994 by the Uzbek and Kazakh presidents as an economic union, it acquired its third member, Kirgizstan, in April of that year and four years later added Tajikistan to its fold. Friday's meeting gave Tajikistan its first chance to participate in the council's meeting as a full member. At the council the presidents of the three states and the Uzbek Prime Minister signed documents to agree to alert each other during extraordinary situations like the one in Shahimardan when the Kyrgyz metereological service didn't warn the Uzbek side about the danger of a flood.




An old man's gift to President Karimov


A resident of Denau region in Surkhandarya oblast decided to make a gift for President Karimov. He is one of the 250 thousand people in Denau. But he is one of the few residents respected by all for his age, wisdom and care. He has 11 children and 30 grandchildren. He says he owes to the President for his good deeds and wanted to express his gratitude by presenting him a pedigree horse. He says he's been dreaming of making a present to the President. Local officials gave the elderly man President Karimov's gifts.




National Bank is listed world's second secure bank


The popular financial publication "The Banker" listed 1,000 prestigious banks of the world in its July edition. The National Bank of Uzbekistan with its authorization fund of 514 million dollars and assets of 3.4 billion is ranked 503, 73 positions higher than the last year. Also according to the listing, the largest bank in Central Asia and one of the largests in CIS, the National Bank of Uzbekistan holds second place as one of the most secure banks in the world based on the coefficiency of its capital.




Boxers's progress in World Cup


Almost in every World Cup Uzbek athletes try to upset the world's strongest boxers - Cubans. This time in China Lorenzo Aragojti dissapointed his fans by losing the finals in 63.5 weight class to Mahamadqodir Abdullaev from Andijan. Another boxer from Andijan Tulqin Turghunov received the silver medal. On Friday both athletes were honored at the Andijan oblast khokimiyat - the gold medalist was awarded a Nexia car and the silver medalist was given Tico both made in Uzbekistan.




UzDaewooAuto marks its second year


Tomorrow the Uzbek-Korean automobile joint venture UzDaewooAuto will mark second year of the start-up of its plant in Asaka. Within these two years the plant has sold 90,000 cars in Uzbekistan and about 20,000 vehicles to some CIS states. The joint venture employs 12,000 people, 3,500 of which went through trainings in South Korea. The number of Korean experts fell from 400 to 12 people. This month prices for all three brands of locally-made Daewoo vehicles have dropped.




Disabled sculptor becomes model for youth


Qosim Mirzarakhimov is a disabled sculptor. He lives in Tashkent He can move only his left arm. He's been bed-ridden since he was 12 when his right knee was affected with bone tuberculosis. It was winter. In the hospital Qosim told his roommates that he would leave by summer. Unfortunately the complications paralyzed his left leg and then the right arm as well. So he spent seven more summers in the hospital. Doctors said his case was hopeless and he would have to remain the rest of his life in bed. But he didn't give up. He would spend his time by drawing pictures and making small statues from wood and clay. In the early 60's he became a student at an arts school. Skeptical of his ability to do anything, his friends and teachers would nevertheless come to his home to help him with his study. Then Qosim told his teachers he wanted to make sculptures from porcelain and believed he would be the first china-sculptor in the world. He completed his studies and began a career that has brought him international acclaim. In different parts of the then-Soviet Union at exhibitions visitors couldn't imagine that these great pieces of artwork were made with only one hand. Today Qosim Mirzarakhimov is 73. He continues creating sculptures, in which he sees his own reflection. "My sculptures move. Their hands, their legs...When I look at them I feel like moving myself. Then I become so happy," says the elderly artist. His favorite genre is portraits of state leaders. He created the busts of Tansu Ciller, Francois Mitterand, Indira Gandhi, Fidel Castro. Some of them he presented to his heroes personally or through embassies. He never accepts money for his gifts except for one time when Turkish President Suleyman Demirel insisted on paying him one thousand dollars. His last work was Bill Clinton. The elderly artist likes Clinton and wants to give the sculpture to the U.S. President whenever he may visit Uzbekistan. He doesn't keep himself busy with this, simply because he is bored and has time to spend. He has a goal: "My goal is to be a model for young people to coax them into work, life and arts. I say, "love the life as I do". Work creates will." This man is not in the pursuit of glory. The only thing he wants is to make people like him believe that they can achieve anything they want, if they have a strong will.


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