A photo of Aizada Almazbekova, taken by her in her home in Osh, July 2020

Aizada Almazbekova has a lot on her plate. Her mornings start at 5–6 a.m. She has a schedule full of university courses, working shifts and meetings.

“It is really cool to be busy,” says Aizada, “I am happy that I have a lot of work. I do not have time to think about stressful things.”

Aizada is 21 years old and in her second year in Anthropology and International Development at the American University of Central Asia (AUCA). She moved from her hometown Osh to the capital of Kyrgyzstan, Bishkek, where the university is located.

According to her, this major…


Since the spring of 2020, a lot of aspects of day-to-day life have changed. As Bulgaria closed its borders, as work shifted away from the offices, as clothing factories started sewing face masks, as toilet paper companies gained more revenue, life took a different shape — one with clearly defined limits. On the 13th of March, the Bulgarian government announced a state of emergency. This meant that our civil rights were taken away except for the basic right to live and not to be tortured. The officials could establish new temporary laws. And they did. …


A photo of Pavel Nestorov, taken by his sister, in front of the Liberty Memorial in Shipka, on Bulgarian Liberation day, March 3, 2019

Many young people in Bulgaria dream of living abroad. Some argue that you cannot find happiness and success if you stay here. Pavel Nestorov disagrees.

Pavel has lived in the USA for eight years and has decided to come back to Bulgaria where he was born. “Million times I have been asked why I returned,” says Pavel. And the answer is clear to him. “The way of life [in America] is way more stressful than here. Yes, you can earn more money but it comes with many more problems and stress and issues.” As a son of immigrant parents, he…


The Covid-19 pandemic is affecting journalists’ health in ways that call for change in treating media workers. On the verge of anxiety and depression, journalists are not supported enough by their employers and are unable to cope with the stress of reporting the pandemic and staying physically safe and mentally sane.

Photo by hosny salah from Pixabay

These are the main takeaways from an international survey by the Journalism and the Pandemic Project. The report of the survey was published in October 2020 as collaboration between the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) and the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University. …


Photo by Dariusz Sankowski from Pixabay

In an online speech to a TEDx audience, the best-selling author Pico Iyer talked about defining home in the multicultural dimensions of today and standing still amidst the constant movement of the world.

“Home we know is not just the place where you happen to be born. It’s the place where you become yourself,” said Iyer.

He shared his own story of finding where he belongs. Although his ancestors are from India, he was born and educated in Britain. …


Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pixabay

In a video on YouTube, the American journalist and filmmaker Johnny Harris pointed out the intricate balance between being fair in journalism and gaining economic profit, and the contrast between tradition and innovation in the contemporary world of media.

The Washington-based creator shared some of the key lessons that he had learned from his seven years in the field.

One of his insights was being fair to both sides of a story. Journalists, like all people, are naturally biased, so objectivity in media is a myth. Every journalistic piece is the result of decisions made by humans, and thus it…


Elena Ilieva painting the heart in April 2021, a photo taken by her mother

It is close to midnight in a small room in Sofia. The desk is crowded with paints in different nuances of blue, red and violet. Elena Ilieva leans over to find scissors in one of the drawers. She cuts a piece of paper in the shape of a heart. It is the biological one, with all of its chambers, arteries and veins.

For the past four years, Elena has studied a lot of biology and this is reflected in her art. “I like drawing organs and things related to biology — heart, bones, lungs, brain as well as eyes, chromosomes…


Image from wikipedia.org

According to the 2020 World Press Freedom Index (WPFI) report, published by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Madagascar, the island close to the southeast shore of Africa, was ranked 54 out of 180 countries. Madagascar’s position in the list has been relatively stable in the past five years.

The ranking was done by RSF, a French non-governmental organization that aims to defend the freedom of expression and information. Every year, it issues the WPFI report that classifies 180 countries on the independence of their media and the safety of their journalists.

In Madagascar’s case, there has not been a major change…

Nikoleta Stefanova

Figuring out life day by day, standing still, moving and creating myself.

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