Archive for April 11, 2010

Surviving a Kyrgyz Revolution and Resulting Damage

I am finding out on FB that those friends of mine who live in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan survived the revolution and are back to rebuilding normalcy among the wreckage of what is so terribly broken.  One friend stated that “Fatboys” restaurant had re-opened which is where we met John several years ago when we visited Bishkek.  Another friend, Otto, who works in the American university wrote this in his blog on how he fared:

“Since the afternoon of 7 April 2010 I have been without internet access. But, the local internet cafe is now open and Blogger is unblocked. At 1:30 in the afternoon on the 7th I was sent home from work in order to protect my safety. A rather large crowd of riot police had already gathered in front of both the parliment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs next to the university. As I walked home I saw a large crowd of people marching with flags along with the trucks that were later rammed into the gates of the White House on Chui. I did not see anything else until the next morning, but I heard the mob of looters ransack the Vefa Center. We had just gotten a new Beta Store to replace Ramstor a week ago. Now the entire mall is in ruins.

The next day my girlfriend, her son and I walked down to see the White House. There was a large crowd of people wandering in and out of the building. From the upper stories of the building people were throwing out a large number of documents. There was an impromptu memorial at the gate for the people who had died the previous day. We left when the leader of Ata Meken started giving a speech to an ever increasing crowd of people.

A large number of stores and kiosks were looted and burned during the night of the 7th. The police force simply disappeared that night. The looting continued the next night. It was not until Friday the 9th that I saw any police in Bishkek.

Today everything seems quite normal. I took the little guy to the park to play. The little bazaar behind us is doing a brisk business. I purchased hamburgers for lunch. Except for the ruins of Vefa things have pretty much returned to normal in Yug-2.

According to the local television news the toll for 7-8 April 2010 in Bishkek is 79 dead and 75 destroyed businesses. Almost all of the big and medium grocery stores got completely looted. A number of them were foreign owned. For instance the Vefa Center near me with its new Beta Store anchor was owned by Turkish investors.”
I’m still waiting to hear from two American couples who are friends of ours who have lived and served the Kyrgyz people  in Bishkek over 18 years. I wonder how they are doing.

Comments (1) »