Winners Announced in «Kazakhstan through the Eyes of Foreign Media» Int'l Journalism Competition

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ASTANA. KAZINFORM - On the eve of the Astana Day, the Kazakh Foreign Ministry and the Union of Journalists of Kazakhstan announced the winners of the second international journalism contest "Kazakhstan through the eyes of foreign media."

The contest attracted 55 participants from 35 countries, with five regional prizes awarded to journalists representing the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), Europe, America, Asia and Oceania, as well as the Middle East and Africa.

Central Asian Dialog journalist Alo Khodjaev from Uzbekistan won the top prize among CIS journalists for his article "Locomotive of Progress," which highlighted a plant for production of electric locomotives in Astana as an example of Kazakhstan's economic diversification.

Bartosz Mendyk of Poland who writes for NaWschodzie.eu won among European journalists for his story "Nurly Zhol is the Path to the Future."

Evelin Armella from Argentina won for her article "A Place to Discover: Kazakhstan."

The winner among Middle Eastern and African journalists was Ahmed Abdu Tarabek, a journalist from Egypt, recognised for his article "Astana, a Modern International Metropolis," published in the Pens and Books newspaper.

Marwan Zubaidi, representing Radio Republik Indonesia, took the top spot among journalists from Asia and Oceania for his article "Kazakhstan Inspires the World, Including Indonesia."

In addition, two runners up from each region were selected for awarding merit certificates.

The winners were chosen by a panel featuring Kazakh Minister of Foreign Affairs Erlan Idrissov, President of the Union of Journalists of Kazakhstan Seitkazy Matayev and MFA Chairman of the Committee for International Information Roman Vassilenko.

The five winners will be rewarded with a trip to Kazakhstan, including visits to Astana, Almaty, the Burabai resort area, sightseeing activities and a cultural programme, along with interview opportunities with Kazakhstan's senior government officials and leading academics and journalists.

The number of participants of the contest increased by one third over the last year and the number of countries of origin of participants increased by more than 50 percent.

Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov noted an increase in participation in the contest this year. For comparison, 41 journalists from 23 countries took part in the first contest last year. The number of applications increased by one third, and the geography of the contest by more than a half.

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 added.

Matayev said the Kazakh media community welcomes projects that enhance Kazakhstan's image as a hospitable country open to the world. "We are glad to meet and get acquainted with colleagues who exhibit such a genuine interest in our country while adhering to high standards of professionalism in coverage of international issues," Matayev said.

Partners and sponsors of this year's contest were JSC Transaero Airlines, Almaty Bid Committee for the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2022 in Almaty, hotels Hilton Garden Inn Astana and Rixos Borovoe, national railway company Kazakhstan Temir Zholy JSC and transport company Argymak.

Last year's winners were journalists from Belgium, Malaysia, Qatar, Guyana and Ukraine. From September 15 to 20, 2014, they took a trip to Kazakhstan, in the course of which they had a series of meetings organised at the Foreign Ministry, the Secretariat of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, the National Press Club, and Kazmedia Centre among others. They also toured Astana and Almaty, Kazinform refers to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Kazakhstan.

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