Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan

City of Small Medium Enterprises

Bishkek is the capital of Kyrgyzstan. 2 out of the 5 million people in the country live in this russified city.

Corruption permeates all of government, business and society, even in the university system. Except for 2-3 top universities, grades and degrees can be bought for a price.

Despite overall poverty, the economy has been growing until recently, when the country joined the Customs Union in 2015. The capital sport new high rises and malls, and private healthcare facilities have become available. But the city's infrastructure is outdated and ill managed.

In recent years, one could hear the call for prayer from the increasing number of mosques in the capital. Head covers for women are uncommon, but more visible now. There is one international church of under 150 people. But church buildings do not have a cross or sign on them.