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Kazakh Woman Tries to Save Her Home by Covering It in Portraits of the President


In a creative effort to protect her home from demolition, a woman living in Astana, Kazakhstan’s capital, plastered her house with portraits of President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

Nesipkul Uyabaeva’s home is located inside a former horticultural co-op. She says she printed out 91 portraits of Nazarbayev and glued them to the outside of her building to scare off demolition crews.

“Why did I hang these portraits? Because state officials aren’t afraid of God or anybody, so let them fear our president. Our president sticks to his policy that the people should live better, that our future is better and everything improves, but here they’re throwing us out into the streets, seizing our own land,” Uyabaeva told the U.S. news agency RFE/RL.

Translation: How do you save your home from demolition? Glue portraits of the president to the walls.

Uyabaeva says there are currently seven people living in her home, including two minors. The Kazakhstani government has reportedly offered to compensate her roughly $15,000 (up from an original offer of just $400), but she says this amount still isn’t enough to afford new housing.

Ahead of the 2017 Expo international conference, President Nazarbayev recently complained that many older buildings in central Astana will spoil visitors’ view of the city. The international exposition will take place from June 10 to September 10, and will focus on future energy issues.

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