East of Paris Bookstore

Friday, April 30, 2010


After two days in Almaty and a number of Google searches, I figured out why I was not able to get to my Blogspot blog or even read any blogs that use Blogspot.  According to an April 13, 2010 Reuter’s story, here, the government of Kazakhstan blocks Blogspot.  Apparently, among the thousands of bloggers using Blogspot, there are some who criticize the government and its president.  The latter can’t handle the former, ergo censorship.

Ironically, the other morning the President of Kazakhstan and his daughter are opening the Eurasian Media Forum, being held at our hotel.  There were lots of fawning young journalists milling about the registration area; soldiers are patrolling the lobby the outdoor areas of the hotel; suddenly all the fountains are gushing water jets and the lawn looks freshly combed.

The Blogspot website was also blocked in Kyrgyzstan.  Now, writing out of Uzbekistan, I can reach this and other websites that were blocked; on the other hand, internet connections are iffy.

P.S. I have not had to deal with censorship since childhood, when my mother put certain books, magazines, and TV shows off-limits until I was “older.”  Naturally, I scoured the pubic library to read all those off-limits books and magazines; and at my friend houses I only wanted to watch the programs I was not allowed to see.  Of course, my friends who did not have parental censorship couldn’t care less. 

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