Uzbekistan: Will the Real @Gulnara Please Tweet Yourself?
Gulnara Karimova, the unconvincingly glamorous daughter of Uzbek strongman Islam Karimov, has entered the twittersphere. But so has her shadow. The neweurasia blog platform has a fun post about two twits competing for the most elegant username in Uzbekistan.
@GulnaraKarimova “from Jaslyk, Uzbekistan,” describes herself: “Fashion is my passion, dahling! Don’t believe the lies about our family in Uzbekistan. We don’t really boil our critics to death as often as they say we do.” Well, that’s not what we’re hearing about Jaslyk, scene of Uzbekistan’s most notorious prison.
“I’m often asked how I stay looking so young. No, it’s not bathing in blood of little peasant girls as some say. We need them to pick cotton,” she announces in one of her first tweets.
@GulnaraKarimova seems obsessed with the hashtag #boiling. Is she trying to give her followers some advice for dealing with their foes? She has weighed in on the assault charges facing the former IMF director: “Mr Strauss-Kahn seemed so smart but what a basic mistake! If you want to assault people, put them in police custody first. Silly boy!”
Her rival, @GuliKarimova, helps identify herself as (probably) the real thing in her seventh tweet: “I hate this guy,” she opines, linking to a blog about Uzbek oligarch Alisher Usmanov and his billions. Perhaps the real GooGoosha is just jealous? A link to her tacky website offers more proof of her identity.
Both socialites love jewelry and all that glitters, but the faux Gulnara has won more followers since both joined Twitter on May 15. That must be hard to stomach. Then again, Uzbekistan’s princess of #bling probably has bigger concerns. Kid sister Lola is facing an uphill battle in her quest to sue a French news website for calling daddy a “dictator.” Lola doesn’t seem to realize that the rules work differently in free countries, and probably didn’t expect her crusade would throw cold water on Gulnara’s jet-setting.
So far @GuliKarimova hasn’t mentioned the case, but she is eager for friends: “I don't know why didn't i start twitting earlier! #uzbek #karimova,” [sic] the real thing tweets. Maybe you just can’t escape the boiling clutches of daddy’s kingdom, dahling.
David Trilling is Eurasianet’s managing editor.