Gulnara Karimova
Uzbek businesswoman and social activist
Gulnara Karimova
Gulnora Islomovna Karimovais founder and the chairperson of the Forum of Culture and Arts of Uzbekistan Foundations Board of Trustees and a number of NGOs focused on cultural and social aspects She is the eldest daughter of the President of Uzbekistan, Islam Karimov.
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Uzbek strongman Karimov still calls the tune
Yahoo News - almost 2 years
Uzbekistan's strongman leader Islam Karimov has kept a stranglehold on power in the Central Asian state for a quarter of a century, even at the expense of his own children. Long lambasted for brutally crushing dissent by rights groups, the former Soviet apparatchik -- in power since 1989 -- has reportedly placed his eldest daughter under house arrest after a bitter family feud, with her compared him to Stalin. The spectacular fall from grace of Gulnara Karimova -- a pop-singing, corruption-tainted socialite once seen as his possible successor -- has shown just how much her father intends to maintain his vice-like grip on power. "Without a strong government there will be chaos in society," Karimov told a small group of voters ahead of a weekend presidential election he won with more than 90 percent of the vote.
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Yahoo News article
Uzbek leader's daughter targeted in French laundering probe
Fox News - over 3 years
French authorities are investigating a money laundering case that targets Gulnara Karimova, the Uzbek leader's daughter, among others, a judicial source said Friday.
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Fox News article
TeliaSonera boss quits over Uzbekistan allegations
Fox News - about 4 years
TeliaSonera's CEO Lars Nyberg says he is resigning after an independent review found the telecommunications company had failed to carry out a proper background check on an Uzbek partner. The review found that TeliaSonera was not guilty of bribery in Uzbekistan — allegations that have dogged the company — but it did conclude that managers failed to conduct due diligence on Takilant, the Uzbek partner firm. Takilant is believed to have been connected with Gulnara Karimova, daughter of Uzbekistan's autocratic ruler, Islam Karimov. The firm helped TeliaSonera enter the lucrative Central Asian market in 2007 after the two sides signed a 2.3 billion kronor ($350 million) deal that included the purchase of a 3G operating license in the lucrative Central Asian mobile phone market. Nyberg says the translation was legal.
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Fox News article
Alex Simons: Uzbekistan: Traditions of the Past, Visions of the Future
Huffington Post - about 4 years
My friend and I had coffee last week during which she told me about a cultural event within the heart of Central Asia. In the city of Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan, beats a quickening pulse of creativity, fashion and art. In ancient times, this region of the world was the meeting place of East and West, where travelers from China and Europe came to trade silks, spices, and exotic goods. The spirit of exchange and commerce still thrives here, though in the more modern, refined industries of art and high fashion. On December 20 the Fund Forum -- Central Asia's largest and leading cultural foundation, created in 2004 and patronized by diplomat Gulnara Karimova, presented its annual report in the form of a real-time online dialog with public on the This digital conference became a platform for discussion of the cultural and social life of the country. 4277 questions on 611 projects implemented by the Fund Forum and partners in the past year, have been given t ...
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Huffington Post article
Michal Shapiro: A Bakhshi in Central Asia
Huffington Post - almost 5 years
He was singing his heart out in front of a yurt especially set up for the inauguration of a new music center in the city of Nukus, Uzbekistan. It was Karakalpakstan's turn to host the Asrlar Sadosi Festival, this year taking place under the ancient eyes of the Tuproq Kala fortress, many miles out in the desert. The festival had brought along a definite buzz, as tourists and various VIPs mingled with the citizens of this normally quiet and remote capitol. The dedication of the new center required many speeches, (mercifully short) and along with them, to elevate the occasion even further, a special performance by a bakhshi was in order. And that is how I first saw and heard Tingel Khalibayev, amidst the cameras and diplomats, attentive residents and under a strong sun. As is sometimes the custom with bakhshis in Uzbekistan, he was accompanied by a gijak and balaban backing him up as he played dutar and sang the great poetry of Central Asia and specifically Karakalpakstan. H ...
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Huffington Post article
Uzbekistan: Has London Rejected President’s “Hated” Daughter as His Emissary?
Eurasia - almost 5 years
Rumors are circulating that London has rejected the daughter of Uzbekistan’s strongman Islam Karimov as his ambassador to the Court of St. James’s. Gulnara Karimova, the self-styled glamorous society queen, has already served as Uzbekistan’s ambassador to Spain and representative to the United Nations in Geneva. If true, the rebuff could spell trouble for Britain’s Afghanistan exit plans. Though the idea Gulnara would seek such a sinecure is not far-fetched, for now the main source seems to be Craig Murray, a scandalous former British ambassador to Tashkent known for his debauched parties and long-standing hatred for the Karimov regime. In an interview published April 19 with the BBC’s Uzbek service, Murray, citing “friends” in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), insists London has not agreed to Tashkent’s request. BBC: We have asked the Foreign Office about the possible appointment of Gulnara Karimova as ambassador to the UK, but the Foreign Office said there had been ...
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Eurasia article
Due Diligence, Googoosha, and Komen for the Cure
Registan - almost 5 years
On Tuesday, I reported on the Susan G. Komen Uzbekistan Race for the Cure and the apparent relationships between Susan G. Komen for the Cure in the US and various charities run by Gulnora Karimova, including Fund Forum. A representative from Komen contacted me yesterday to correct what she described as inaccuracies in that original report. Komen’s representative stressed that their agreement is with, and only with, the National Breast Cancer Association of Uzbekistan, and that under the agreement, they provide technical assistance and allow some level of co-branding. They emphasized that they believe the National Breast Cancer Association of Uzbekistan to be a “credible organization doing good work” and that they are supporting the organization’s efforts along with the United Nations and Europa Donna, the European Breast Cancer Coalition. They also clarified that they responded to a request for assistance from Uzbekistan’s National Breast Cancer Association and that all other orga ...
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Registan article
Susan G. Komen foundation teams up with Uzbek dictator's daughter
Foreign Policy - almost 5 years
Given that it's still reeling from the controversial, and eventually reversed, decision to suspend funding to Planned Parenthood -- fundraising is reportedly down 30 percent for some of its events --  you'd think breast cancer advocacy group Susan G. Komen for the Cure would want to steer clear of potential political controversy.  Evidently not. As Nathan Hamm notes at Registan, Komen is partnering with Fund Forum, a charity run by Gulnara Karimova, the socialite, part-time pop star daughter of Uzbek President Islam Karimov, to sponsor a series of charity runs in Uzbekistan. In addition to her dad's atrocious and well-publicized human rights record, Gulnara herself has been implicated in a range of illegal business practices, including essentially taking over rival companies at gunpoint. Then there are disturbing reports of widespread forced sterilizations of women in Uzbek hospitals and evidence that's it's being encouraged by the authorities.   You might expect this sort o ...
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Foreign Policy article
Uzbekistan: GooGoosha Using Islamic Art as Opening Act
Eurasia - almost 5 years
Gulnara Karimova, culture warrior.  Before announcing the release of her latest disco pop album yesterday, the daughter of Uzbek dictator Islam Karimov – who records under her father’s pet name for her, Googoosha – has been traipsing the globe promoting Uzbek culture, including her country’s Islamic heritage.  Under the auspices of her Fund Forum, an exhibition, “Masterpieces of Eastern Calligraphy and Miniature Art: Traditional Culture of Uzbekistan,” opened last week in Dubai with works borrowed from the Institute of Oriental Studies at Uzbekistan’s Academy of Sciences, the Spiritual Council of Muslim of Uzbekistan, and private collections. Fund Forum, an organization claiming to promote art and culture within Uzbekistan and abroad, published an accompanying book – "Models of Eastern Calligraphy and Miniatures."  Some might find it odd that as Karimova publicizes the role of Islam in Uzbek art, her father bans religious clothing, installs cameras to keep track of w ...
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Eurasia article
Uzbekistan Launches Its Own Facebook, Except It's Not For Everyone - RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty
Google News - over 5 years
Another RFE/RL staffer posted some comments praising the president's daughter, Gulnara Karimova, and their profile has remained active. But is it likely to catch on? A week after what seems to be a soft launch it has 1700 users
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Google News article
Uzbekistan Weekly Roundup - EurasiaNet
Google News - over 5 years
Then in May 2010, Zeromax, rumored to be associated with President Islam Karimov's controversial daughter Gulnara Karimova, was put into bankruptcy for alleged tax debts, and various projects, including some involving German and other foreign investors
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Google News article
A Russian Media Player to Watch - Transitions Online
Google News - over 5 years
There, CTC Media operates a TV production firm in a joint venture with a company reportedly controlled by Gulnara Karimova, the eldest daughter of the Uzbek president, Islam Karimov. What worries me is the muddle of the group's ownership
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Google News article
Oxus Gold employee convicted in Uzbekistan of espionage -
Google News - over 5 years
It is now clear that after the collapse of Zeromax GmbH, whose owner according to authoritative sources is Gulnara Karimova, the elder daughter of the Uzbek President, the Uzbek authorities decided to get rid of all its partnerships including the one
Article Link:
Google News article
Uzbekistan: Dictator's Daughter Expected at New York's Fall Fashion Week - EurasiaNet
Google News - over 5 years
Once again, Gulnara Karimova, the controversial daughter of Uzbekistan's President Islam Karimov, will be on the runway during Fashion Week in New York City this fall as she was last year. Mercedes Benz, sponsor of the Fashion Week September 8-15,
Article Link:
Google News article
Zeromax GmbH creditors to meet in Switzerland -
Google News - over 5 years
The true owner of Zeromax GmbH, according to several reliable sources, is Gulnara Karimova, the elder daughter of the President of Uzbekistan. The company's failure means it was never able to realise its most ambitious project – the construction of the
Article Link:
Google News article
Traffic penalties used to subsidise cost of building of Bunedkor stadium -
Google News - over 5 years
According to reliable sources, including the US Embassy in Uzbekistan, Gulnara Karimova, the elder daughter of the President, was one of the owners of the company. In May 2010, Zeromax filed for bankruptcy with debts of hundreds of millions of dollars
Article Link:
Google News article
Uzbekistan: Tashkent Democratization Campaign Masks Behind-the-Scenes Scrum - EurasiaNet
Google News - over 5 years
According to Umarov and others, a power-struggle among Uzbek patronage networks intensified after Karimov's daughter Gulnara Karimova – long discussed as a possible successor to her father – departed the political scene
Article Link:
Google News article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of Gulnara Karimova
  • 2015
    Age 42
    In 2015, an investigation by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project reported that Karimova had taken over $US1 billion in bribes from Scandinavian and Russian telecoms companies wanting involvement in the Uzbek market.
    More Details Hide Details Karimova is also under investigation in Uzbekistan on charges of corruption, although she denies any wrongdoing. Karimova graduated from the Youth Mathematic Academy in Tashkent in 1988.
  • 2014
    Age 41
    In March 2014, the Swiss Prosecutor's Office announced that it had extended a money laundering investigation to include Karimova.
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  • 2012
    Age 39
    In June 2012 Karimova released her self-titled debut album in the US and other countries on iTunes.
    More Details Hide Details The album was also expected to be released in Asia, Russia and a number of other European countries. However, early reviews by critics have panned the debut album thus indefinitely halting the release in those markets. In March 2009 Karimova presented her own special jewellery collection "GULI for Chopard", designed for renowned Swiss company Chopard. Reportedly her royalty for design from sales of the collection will benefit the "Yangi Avlod" (New Generation) Children's Festival. As of June 2016, the Children's Festival has yet to receive any monetary proceeds from the sales. In September 2010, Karimova presented her fashion line "AutoKrat" featuring Uzbek fabrics and designs based on the traditional Uzbek long coat, at New York′s Fashion Week. In September 2011, Karimova′s planned spring 2012 fashion show at New York’s Fashion Week was banned after Human Rights Watch and other organizations had drawn attention to her connection to her father’s government and its record on torture, and child and forced labour. According to Human Rights Watch, up to two million Uzbek children are forced to leave school each year for two months to pick cottona fabric woven throughout Karimova’s designs.
    In April 2012 Karimova announced that she had initiated the establishment of a new NGO, the “Forum of Socially Responsible Citizens of Uzbekistan”, which focuses on support of Uzbek citizens’ social initiatives.
    More Details Hide Details In 2004 on her initiative was created “YangiAvlod” Festival which supports children in arts disciplines. Also in 2009 the news have spread internationally that two of the worlds' most famous football strikers Cameroonian Samuel Eto'o and Portuguese Cristiano Ronaldo agreed to support Gulnara Karimova's new initiative launching a children's project. Both of the players evidently have signed Memorandums of cooperation with the Fund Forum. Another project of Karimova, the Kelajak Ovozi Talented Youth Contest, has reportedly been attended by 388,000 young people in Uzbekistan since 2005, with projects and ideas ranging from IT, through architecture and design, to social innovations and poetry. Sting performed in Uzbekistan in 2009, giving his concert as part of the annual Art Week Style.Uz project initiated in 2006 by Karimova. Earlier, he had participated in an Yangi Avlod-arranged festival. After his concert, several commentators accused him of hypocrisy for playing in that country and supporting Karimova. The singer justified his action in an October 2010 interview, saying that there is no cultural embargo on Uzbekistan and "if this were to happen, the Uzbek society would become more paranoid, more aggressive towards us. Art, journalism, business, circulation of ideasand I believe in the power of musicare all things that are good to countries with totalitarian regimes. As for Karimova, she will probably run the country one day, and is much more sensitive to culture.... So why not?
    In 2012 Karimova is reported to donated over 25 million sum to the National Breast Cancer Association to purchase cancer medication during the marathon.
    More Details Hide Details In 2013 the race attracted 7,000 runners.
    The probe, launched in 2012, had initially focused on four of Karimova’s allies.
    More Details Hide Details In 2005 Karimova established and promoted the "Centre for Political Studies", the first independent think tank. which focuses on scientific-applied research on present-day issues of internal and foreign policy of Uzbekistan, regional security, economic development and international cooperation. The Centre prepares informational, analytical and prognosis materials on these subjects. Today the Centre for Political Studies cooperates with more than 25 institutions worldwide. Karimova is a chief-editor of the monthly published the Information-Analytical Bulletin “Uzbekistan & Central Asia”. Under Karimova's supervision five NGOs have been established in Uzbekistan. In 2009, two of the foundations, the Social Initiatives Support Fund (SISF) and the Women's Council Public Association, organized a conference on "Medical aspects and role of Public Organizations in breast cancer problems solutions". In 2006, under the SISF, Karimova took on initiative of micro-credits for women farmers in rural areas of Uzbekistan.
    In 2012 Karimova was honoured with the "Silk Road and Humanitarian Cooperation" Award of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
    More Details Hide Details According to US diplomats in Uzbekistan, Karimova "bullied her way into gaining a slice of virtually every lucrative business" in the country and is viewed as a "robber baron". Karimova was believed to control Uzdunrobita, Uzbekistan's national mobile telephone network, as well as the country's healthcare, and media sectors. However, since June 2007 Uzdunrobita has been totally owned by Mobile TeleSystems OJSC (“MTS” - NYSE: MBT), the largest mobile phone operator in Russia and the CIS. December 2009, the Swiss magazine "Bilanz" described Gulnora Karimova as one of the ten richest women in the country. In the interview to the Swiss economic magazine Bilan, Karimova denied her involvement into mentioned cases stating: “I have never considered the opportunities of doing business in Switzerland.... These references are insinuations of my opponents. My name has been mentioned earlier several times in relations to companies such as Zeromax in Zug, Interspan, Oxus Gold, Wimm-Bill-Dann of Russia, Carlsberg and many others.”
  • 2010
    Age 37
    In June 2010 the Fund Forum in cooperation with other foundations engaged in humanitarian aid to those affected by the events in neighbouring Kyrgyzstan.
    More Details Hide Details In 2010, she initiated the organization of a charitable marathon, “In the Name of Life” under the auspices of the Fund Forum, the Women's Council and the Uzbekistan National Breast Cancer Association. 100,000 people across the Uzbekistan have joined the marathon since its launch.
    In May 2010, Karimova was at the center of a scandal surrounding her attendance of the annual "Cinema against AIDS" gala fundraising event organised by amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research during the Cannes Film Festival.
    More Details Hide Details AmfAR faced criticism from NGOs such as Reporters without Borders, with claims that it would be hypocritical for AmfAR to accept the attendance of Karimova given her country’s refusal to take AIDS treatment seriously. Just months before the Cinema Against AIDS dinner, a 27-year-old AIDS activist, Maksim Popov, had been sentenced by an Uzbek court to seven years in prison for distributing information to stop the spread of HIV-AIDS. The Uzbek court deemed the information to be against society’s moral standards. It has been reported by the BBC, based on a letter and a sound recording from Karimova (received in March and August 2014, respectively), that she is currently under house arrest.
    In January 2010, she was named Uzbek Ambassador in Spain.
    More Details Hide Details She is a member of the Cercle Diplomatique de Genève.
  • 2008
    Age 35
    In February 2008 she was appointed deputy foreign minister for international cooperation in cultural and humanitarian affairs.
    More Details Hide Details In September of the same year she became Permanent Representative of Uzbekistan to the United Nations and other international organizations in Geneva.
  • 2003
    Age 30
    In 2003, when Sodiq Safoyev was the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan, rumours about his marriage to Karimova surfaced in local and international media. Safoyev, a career diplomat and a divorcee as of 2001, was hinted to have been picked by the President Islam Karimov as his possible replacement, hence the marriage to his daughter.
    More Details Hide Details However, the allegations were denied by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the BBC, which published the story, was accused by then First Deputy Minister Vladimir Norov of intruding into the personal lives of Safoyev and Karimova.
    From 2003 until 2005 she was minister-counselor at the Uzbek embassy in Moscow, and served as adviser to the minister of foreign affairs from 2005 to 2008.
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  • 2001
    Age 28
    When the marriage started to crumble in July 2001, Karimova took the two children and left the United States for Uzbekistan.
    More Details Hide Details An Uzbek judge granted her a divorce, while a US court granted one to Maqsudi. When Karimova refused to accede to the US court ruling awarding custody of the two children to Maqsudi, an international arrest warrant in her name was filed with Interpol. In return, Maqsudi faced arrest in Uzbekistan, and some of his relatives were arrested and imprisoned. Others were driven to the Uzbek-Afghan border and released in Afghan territory, and Maqsudi had his business assets in Uzbekistan, particularly his interest in a joint-venture with Coca-Cola, taken away. According to The Guardian, as part of her divorce settlement, Karimova kept $4.5 million worth of jewellery and business interests worth approximately $60 million. On 9 July 2008, custody of the two children was fully given to Karimova, by a Consent Order signed by Judge Deanne M. Wilson (Superior Court of the State of New Jersey).
  • 1998
    Age 25
    In 1998 and from 2000 to 2003 Karimova served as counselor at Uzbekistan’s Mission to the United Nations in New York.
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  • 1995
    Age 22
    Between summer 1995 and autumn 1997 she was Adviser to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan.
    More Details Hide Details During this time she helped on with organizing the Tashkent International Conference "Central Asia Nuclear-Weapon-Free-Zone" (CANWFZ).
    Afterwards, from summer 1995 until 1996 she worked at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Uzbekistan at the department for political analysis and forecast, where she was assigned to write analytical reports for the State Security Council and the Presidential Administration.
    More Details Hide Details The next phase of her education took place after a few years of full-time work. Between 1998 and 2000 Karimova enrolled at the graduate level at Harvard University, where she was awarded a master's degree in regional studies. At the same time, she was enrolled at the University of World Economy and Diplomacy (UWED) in Tashkent, where in 2001 was "awarded" a PhD in political science. Since 2009 she has held a chair of political science at the UWED. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts in telecommunications which she received in 2006 from Tashkent University of Informational Technologies.
  • 1994
    Age 21
    During 1994-1995 she was intern-teacher at the political science department of the University of World Economy and Diplomacy in Tashkent.
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    Between 1994 and 1996 she was enrolled at Institute of Economy at the Uzbekistan Academy of Science where she pursued a master's degree.
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  • 1992
    Age 19
    In 1992 she completed a course of jewellery design in New York's Fashion Institute of Technology.
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  • 1991
    Age 18
    In 1991, she married Mansur Maqsudi, an American businessman of Afghanistan Uzbek origin.
    More Details Hide Details They have two children, a son, Islam, born in 1992 and a daughter, Iman, born in 1998.
  • 1989
    Age 16
    From 1989 to 1994 she attended Tashkent State University, where she obtained a bachelor's degree from the International Economics department.
    More Details Hide Details During her second year, she worked as a translator at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Uzbekistan.
  • 1987
    Age 14
    During 1987 she interned at the State Committee of Uzbekistan on Statistics.
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  • 1972
    Born on July 8, 1972.
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