ASTANA – A ceremony to honour the five regional winners of the second “Kazakhstan Through the Eyes of Foreign Media” contest took place in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan on Aug. 25.
The contest was initiated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Union of Journalists of Kazakhstan last year, and this year saw more entrants from more countries around the world – journalists from 35 countries took part, up from 23 countries for the first iteration of the contest, according to Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Idrissov.
Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov (C) poses with winners and sponsors of the “Kazakhstan Through the Eyes of Foreign Media” contest on Aug. 25.
Five regional prizes were chosen from among this year’s 55 entries, with winners being selected from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Europe, the Americas, Asia and Oceania, and the Middle East and Africa.
According to the Foreign Minister, the geographical expansion of the contest “reflects the international community’s growing interest in Kazakhstan.”
“I am delighted that the Foreign Ministry’s initiative is wholeheartedly backed by the Union of Journalists of Kazakhstan, and this, in my opinion, is a good example of constructive cooperation between public authorities and civil society,” Idrissov said at the ceremony.
In his opening speech at the ceremony, Idrissov emphasised the kindness and hospitality of the people of Kazakhstan, calling the country’s population “very pragmatic in the Western way and at the same time, very kind, generous and hospitable in the Oriental way.”
He also pointed out the dramatic development of Kazakhstan and Astana, and said that “Journalists play a very important role in promoting peace and prosperity in the world.”
“The progress of technology in mass communication has allowed media to reach every corner of the world more quickly, with vivid graphics. Therefore, global media plays a very important role in international relations. Media targeting a foreign audience are a vital part of a country’s public diplomacy infrastructure, since they contribute to showcasing the country’s culture and traditions and help to channel its policies with the outside world,” Idrissov said. ...
A Princeton PhD, was a US diplomat for over 20 years, mostly in Eastern Europe, and was promoted to the Senior Foreign Service in 1997. For the Open World Leadership Center, he speaks with
its delegates from Europe/Eurasia on the topic, "E Pluribus Unum? What Keeps the United States United." Affiliated with Georgetown University for over ten years, he shares ideas with students about public diplomacy.
The papers of his deceased father -- poet and diplomat John L. Brown -- are stored at Georgetown University Special Collections at the Lauinger Library. They are manuscript materials valuable to scholars interested in post-WWII U.S.-European cultural relations.
This blog is dedicated to him, Dr. John L. Brown, a remarkable linguist/humanist who wrote in the Foreign Service Journal (1964) -- years before "soft power" was ever coined -- that "The CAO [Cultural Affairs Officer] soon comes to realize that his job is really a form of love-making and that making love is never really successful unless both partners are participating."