By Sarah Stuteville
June 28, 2006
ALMATY, Kazakhstan — The sounds of construction are ubiquitous in Almaty. Pounding jackhammers, whining saws and lumbering bulldozers are at work on almost every block of this green, mountain-rimmed Central Asian city. This breakneck development takes place alongside expensive bistros and Mercedes dealerships that cater to a new generation reveling in the riches of recently discovered oil and gas reserves, giving this city — once considered a sleepy Soviet outpost — a powerfully wealthy and cosmopolitan veneer.