Finding Heritage in Tajikistan

A few summers ago, my sisters and I were in San Diego with my parents visiting a park. On the way, we saw a shop selling kites. My parents wanted to buy one to fly together but my sisters and I were apprehensive – we had never flown a kite. What if we spent a … Continue reading Finding Heritage in Tajikistan

The Living Tajiki Language (Tajiki vs. Farsi)

As one of the few ERLP students in Tajikistan studying Tajiki, I consider myself fortunate to be able to live life through my target language every day.  Like most other participants on the program, I came to Tajikistan with a background in Farsi, the Iranian dialect of the Persian language, but not in Tajiki.  While … Continue reading The Living Tajiki Language (Tajiki vs. Farsi)

Which Way Forward?

Tajikistan, a landlocked Central Asian country of 8 million people, receives few mentions in Western media outlets. Yet a cursory tour of the country makes it clear that it has become a battleground for outside powers. Iran, Saudi Arabia, China, Russia and the US have all spent millions on development projects in Tajikistan, visibly reshaping … Continue reading Which Way Forward?

Déjà Vu in Dushanbe

I was hit with an acute case of déjà vu as I disembarked from the plane at 4:30 am in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. This feeling was not without due cause, for 14 months earlier I had arrived in the very same spot when I first came to Tajikistan to participate in the U.S. State Department’s Critical … Continue reading Déjà Vu in Dushanbe

Host Families in Central Asia

After deciding to apply to American Councils’ Eurasian Regional Language Program in Tajikistan, one of the aspects of the program that made me a bit apprehensive, and about which my friends and family were most curious, was the requirement that all participants live with a Tajik host family. Of course, the reasons were clear and … Continue reading Host Families in Central Asia

Kuhistoni Badakhshan

At 6 am on September 21st, seven students and I crammed into two jeeps and headed east. Although it was still hot in Dushanbe, we carried backpacks filled with sweaters and jackets; we were told that it would be cold up on the “Roof of the World.” Our excursion to Badakhshan would take us across … Continue reading Kuhistoni Badakhshan