Atyrau (Kazakh: Àòûðàó), known as Guryev until 1991, is a city in Kazakhstan, and the capital of Atyrau Province. It is located at the mouth of the Ural River, 2700 kilometers west of Almaty and 350 kilometers east of the Russian city of Astrakhan. Modern Atyrau is famous for its oil and fish industries. It has 154,100 inhabitants (2007, up from 142,500 (1999 census)), 90% ethnic Kazakhs (up from 80%), the rest being mostly Russians and other ethnic groups such as Tatars and Ukrainians.
Getting to Atyrau
Atyrau has a small airport with a few international flights that don’t all operate on a daily basis. There are frequent flights to Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan, where the airport is much larger and services a wide range of destinations.
The wooden fort at the mouth of the Yaik River was founded in 1645 as Nizhny Yaitzky gorodok (literally, Lower Yaik Fort) by the Russian trader Gury Nazarov, a native of Yaroslavl, who specialized in trade with Khiva and Bukhara. The fort was plundered by theYaik Cossacks, leading the Guriev family to rebuild it in stone (1647–62). Tsar Alexis sent a garrison of Streltsy to protect the fort from Cossack incursions. Despite these efforts, the Cossack rebel Stepan Razin held the town in 1667 and 1668. The fort gradually lost its strategic significance and was demolished in 1810. Between 1708 and 1992 the city was known as Guriev.
Atyrau (together with Aktau) is Kazakhstan's main harbour city on the Caspian Sea at the delta of the Ural River. Atyrau city is approximately 20 meters below sea level. The city is considered by many to be located both in Asia and Europe, as it is divided by the Ural River.
The city is a hub for the oil-rich Caspian Depression; because of this, many oil wells have been drilled in the Tengiz Field and Kashagan Field areas. A pipeline runs from Atyrau to Samara, where it joins the Russian pipeline system. A separate oil pipeline runs from the Tengiz field to the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiisk.
Atyrau’s southern location near the Caspian Sea means the climate is warmer than that of Astana. Winter temperatures average at -10 or -15 degrees Celcius, whereas summer temperatures average at about 30 degrees, though 40 degrees is not unheard of.
With a population of about 240,000 people, Atyrau isn’t exactly a huge city. That said, there are some interesting museums, nice cafes and restaurants, and lively nightlife among the ex-pats who live or work in Atyrau. There are a number of cultural sights reflecting the diverse ethnicities in Kazakhstan, as well as relaxing places to sit and enjoy the atmosphere of the city.
Language Link in Atyrau
The centre opened its doors in October 2011 following much preparation and renovation of the premises in close proximity to the local government administration building in the centre of the city. The school boasts 6 modern classrooms with white boards and audio/video equipment. Teachers have access to a resource library, photocopier, Internet and e-mail.
The school teaches an array of students ranging from young learners to adults with beginner through advanced levels of English. Classes may also be held in-company.
Salary and Benefits
Teachers receive a competitive net monthly salary in tenges (FYI: 148 tenges = 1 USD), school provided accommodation in shared flats located within walking/ bus distance of the school, provision of health care, full visa and work permission support, reimbursed airfare to contractual maximums, paid holiday and on-going academic support.
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