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Kazakhstan Crossroads

David F Williams, PhD, DSc, FREng, FLSW
Author, Scientist & Consultant

A short visit to Kazakhstan, to give some lectures, just before the long, hard winter set in, revealed just how far this former Soviet country, in the Steppes of Asia, has come since independence, but raised questions about contrasts between old habits and oil-fuelled progress.

Kazakhstan Crossroads

Between Nepal and the North Pole
Midway Moscow and Mongolia
Shaped by old mosque domes
Oiled by new moguls’ wells
Where Russian rockets reached for rendezvous
And Soviet steppes still stand
A Dubai without sun, Doha its sheiks
Bright seeds of Astana sprout tall

Smooth young faces vie with gnarled age
Imported fashion edges cossack furs
Uncertain snow now pushed aside
Not allowed to dampen the fever
Feel the pulse of the Eurasian heart
New blood and oil course through the veins
Mixing together in the vortex of life

Twenty years free of the Kremlin
Not quite yet of the age of maturity
A crossroads of Clapton dimensions

Waiting to see the signs
Let it grow, let it grow
Where young minds yearn and blossom
Emerging from the long Siberian night

Astana, Kazakhstan, November 2011

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