From July 18 through 20, the Kyrgyz resort town of Cholpon-Ata hosted the celebrations of the wedding of Aidar Akaev and Alia Nazarbaeva. They are the son and daughter, respectively, of Kyrgyz President Askar Akaev and Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbaev. Famous Kyrgyz novelist Chingiz Aitmatov presided over the ceremony. It was handled mostly as a family event, unlike last week’s engagement ceremonies in Kazakhstan with their clear political overtones. The newlyweds will live in the United States, where both of them are university students–a telling symptom of cultural reorientation and prestige perceptions at the top of Central Asia’s ruling elites. (Russian agencies, July 21; and see the Monitor, July 16)–VS
UN OBSERVERS ASSASSINATED IN TAJIKISTAN.