Protests and unrest in Kazakhstan, a huge but relatively unknown country

Protests and unrest in Kazakhstan, a huge but relatively unknown country

In the past, Kazakhs were Islamic nomads who were forced by Soviet leader Stalin to settle somewhere. Now the country is mixed population. However, about 70 percent of Kazakhstan’s population remains Muslim.

Nature and space travel

Kazakhstan does not attract tourists, but it is not the most popular country in the region in this regard, says Wim van Ginkel, owner of Dim Sum Risen. He organizes numerous trips to Kazakhstan and neighboring countries. “It’s a huge country, which means the distances are often too big for the tourists,” says Van Ginkel.

The tourists who are there, they come mainly for the sake of nature. It’s endless and versatile, says Van Ginkel. “From the mountains to the deserts, everything is there to see.” According to Van Ginkel, most trips go to the area around Almaty, the large city in the south of the country.

Almaty is popular not only among tourists, but also among the residents of Kazakhstan. It was the capital of Kazakhstan until 1997. This title then went to Nur-Sultan, according to Van Ginkel, a more formal city. “They were looking for a capital in the center of the country. This is where the government and civil servants live. But on weekends, many of them were at home in Almaty, for example.”

Another attraction is space travel, which already put the country on the map during the time of the Soviet Union. The first space traveler Yuri Gagarin left Kazakhstan nearly 61 years ago. Russia won the space race against the United States. Missile launches continue in Kazakhstan.

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