Dushanbe, Tajikistan — Tajik national heroes on the Writers’ Union building in Dushanbe: Omar Khayaam, Saadi, Firdausi, Avicena… . They are the same as the national heroes of Iran, Afghanistan and Uzbekistan. National borders are recent and artificial in this part of the world. And this is not to mention that the borders are just plain odd. My friend Larry, who’s been to more countries than anyone I know and who spends a lot of time looking at maps, explained it like this:
- Parts of Tajikistan are north, south, east and west of Kyrgyzstan
- Parts of Tajikistan are north, south, east and west of Uzbekistan
- Parts of Uzbekistan are north, south, east and west of Tajikistan
- Parts of Uzbekistan are north, south, east and west of Kyrgyzstan
- Parts of Kyrgyzstan are north, south, east and west of Uzbekistan
- Parts of Kyrgyzstan are north, south, east and west of Tajikistan
“If you go,” says Larry, “don’t forget your multiple-entry visas and a good compass.”
azabc asked: Hello!
I didn’t expect to get an ask for my Tajikistan tumblr. How are you and how can I help you?
Anonymous asked: Hi Caroline! This is a long-shot but I found your blog looking for farsi speakers in Tajikistan... I'll be there for about 5 months starting in January '13 b/c of my husband's work and I am trying to find a good tutor (I'm a Persian student, about high-intermediate). If you have any recommendations for a tutor I could contact around Dushanbe, it would really help! Thanks so much for your help with this random request! Catherine
Well, looking through tumblr isn’t the best solution because it turns out that there aren’t many Tajiks on tumblr. I found maybe one during the summer, but she was from Khojand.
ANYWAYS, I would recommend the office where my program was held at Dushanbe! The American Councils office is located at 86 Tolstoy Street which is near the Ped Institut (if you as a local for where Ped Institut is, they should be able to direct you to it relatively easily). At the office, there are 3-4 teachers who work there who have fantastic knowledge of Persian as well as Tajik, Russian, and even Dari. I’m not entirely sure if they would want to tutor privately, but there’s no harm asking!
When you go there, I would particularly recommend Khurshed (I’m not sure about his last name XP) and Faridun Kamoliddinov. They are both wonderful teachers.
As for other people, I did have a peer tutor/conversation partner, but she wasn’t particularly reliable because she was also a student.
Good luck with moving in, and I hope you have a wonderful time in Tajikistan! :D If you have any other questions, feel free to send me a message!
Well, I am back in Texas.
This past summer has been one full of ups and downs.
Almost literally when we were traveling through the Iranian tunnel which has crazy potholesXD There were moments when I wished nothing but to come back to Texas, but also times when I absolutely loved being in Tajikistan. Now that I’ve reached the end, I don’t think I would have changed a thing. This past summer has been incredible and showed me how much I could achieve if I truly wanted. Tajikistan has also been incredible! Although the food was oily, the days were boiling, and the roads were dusty…leaving Tajikistan was bittersweet. Tajikistan itself is endearing in a strange way, and I hope to return someday.
For those considering studying abroad in Tajikistan, it is definitely worth the experience. Central Asia is absolutely beautiful, so if you DO study abroad in Tajikistan, try to travel to another part of Tajikistan like Panjakent, Khujand, or Chehelocheharcheshma. Of course, if you’re in Tajikistan right now, I would leave the Pamirs alone for awhile.
For those trying to decide between applying to CLS or American Council’s ERLP, know what both programs offer. Both are incredible programs, but they ARE different.
-CLS houses students in apartments, AC with host families
-CLS classes are taught at the American Institute of Iranian Studies, AC classes are taught at the Dushanbe American Councils Center
-CLS pays for everything, AC can provide a small scholarship but will not pay for everything
-AC also hires peer tutors/conversation partners that are paid to speak your target language with you for 3 hours each week
All in all, I loved my experience in Tajikistan. I don’t know if I learned as much as if I stayed in Austin and did the Summer Language Institute, but this program was worth more than the language classes. Encountering a new culture has been incredible, and I am very happy that I chose to go.
So until next time (whenever that might be), khodahafez!
p.s. I’ll probably update this blog with other Tajikistan news every once in awhile, and I’ll upload my summer video once I finish it!
LEAVING TAJIKISTAN IN LIKE…3 DAYS
GOING TO GULI MAIDA/VARZOB AGAIN TOMORROW
WHY IS THIS ENTIRE MOMENT SO BITTERSWEET?
AND WHY DOES THIS FEEL SO WEIRD TO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO AFTER MY TEST?
Day 56 (Sunday): In the morning, my group went to visit the Ismaili Center in Dushanbe. Truthfully, it reminded me of mega-churches in Texas and California.
So…I also feel bad about this because I thought that I was allowed to take pictures of the inside of the center…but partway through the tour that I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of the inside of the center. Anyways, now I have a few pictures of the inside of the center that they didn’t really notice me take.
It was quite fun to go look around the Ismaili Center.
Day 57 (Monday): Classes. Last week!
Day 58 (Tuesday): I went to Korovon with Katie and Sarah and bought a corta for my mom and my sister. Then we went to Tsum and Sarah and other Katie bought Soviet posters.
Day 59 (Wednesday): Classes. No homework these days because we have finals this Friday. Tomorrow I’ll be going to Korovon again with Jessica b/c she hasn’t gone yet XD
Until next time, khodahafez!
What’s going on in the mountains of Tajikistan? - Christian Bleuer
I’m not quite sure, but I’ll attempt a short analysis with what little information there is. To be honest, being here in Dushanbe is about as useful as being back in Australia. Dushanbe is very far removed from where the fighting is taking place in the mountains to the east (in the town of Khorugh and nearby). To get yourself up to speed, quickly check out these two articles (here and here).
…Click photo for article