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Tatar-Bashkir Report: September 2, 2005

2 September 2005
Two Kazan Students Found Safe In New Orleans
Two Kazan students in New Orleans who hadn't been in contact with their families for several days following Hurricane Katrina have turned up safe, Tatarinform reported on 1 September, quoting the Russian consul-general in Houston. , Elfiye Nasyrova and Yulia Salekhova had last called their parents five days ago to inform them that they were on the roof of a house and saw the hurricane coming. A consular official told the news agency that the girls are in a safe place and have reserves of foodstuffs and drinking water.

Fifteen other students from Kazan remain in the flooded zone, "Kommersant-Daily" reported on 2 September, citing the same consul-general. All went to the U.S. under an international exchange program, Work and Travel. The daily quoted deputy consul Sergei Meston saying the students have foodstuffs and potable water reserves and are barricaded in a residence. They have refused to leave the area of the disaster until they are paid their wages, Meston said. Meston added that at least 109 Russian citizens were in the area of the disaster, 12 of whom are still missing.

Shaimiev Praises Putin's Tatar Pronunciation
In an interview with RTR's "Vesti Podrobnosti" program on 28 August, Tatar President Mintimer Shaimiev said the fact that President Vladimir Putin delivered part of his speech in Tatar during Kazan's millennium celebrations "displays the deepest respect...for our people, [and] our language" and is "a signal that the Russian president treats with respect all languages and peoples' traditions." Shaimiev said Putin "displayed quite good and very clear pronunciation." Shaimiev also said Tatarstan and Bashkortostan have always claimed special status, before and after the 1917 revolution. "Those are big republics with strong and well-trained intelligentsia," Shaimiev said, adding that it is no coincidence that in Soviet days the heads of Tatarstan's and Bashkortostan's legislative bodies were members of the USSR's Supreme Soviet Presidium, alongside leaders of the union republics. "But we understand our role and our responsibility toward the formation of the democratic federative state" and "make our constructive contribution" to it, Shaimiev said.

Kazan Streets Given Tatar Names
The Kazan administration announced on 1 September that several streets in Kazan will be named after Tatar public figures and the historical Tatar names of other streets will be restored, Tatarinform reported the same day. Specifically, the list includes the names of publicist, theologist, and political figure Musa Bigiev; historian Khadi Atlasi; public and political figure Serder Weisov; and religious and public leader and Mokhemmedie madrasah founder Galimjan Barudi. Novo-Kremlevskaya and Klara Tsetkin streets will be renamed to Tashayaq and Bishbalta streets, respectively. Yarmarochnaya Square will receive the name Millennium Square.

Kyrgyz Airline Opens Route To Kazan
The Kyrgyz airline Anikai-air is preparing to launch regular passenger flights between Bishkek and Kazan, Tatarinform reported on 1 September. Kazan international airport managers said the flights will likely be in high demand, as trade and economic relations between Kazan and Kyrgyzstan are growing and representatives of Bishkek's large Tatar community often visit the Tatar capital.

Compiled by Gulnara Khasanova