Oct 16 @ 2:30 PM – 6:00 PM
GW’s Central Asia Program and RFE/RL are happy to announce the launch of Not in Our Name, a research and documentary project developed by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) to help communities in Central Asia understand and prevent the spread of violence and extremism.
According to recent estimates, countries of the former Soviet Union are the largest single source of foreign fighters in the Syria/Iraq conflict – more than neighboring states in the Middle East. Although they share no cultural or language ties to Syria or Iraq, it is estimated that more than 4,200 Central Asians have joined the conflict. Communities across the region will feel the effects for decades as those exposed to the horrors of war and extremist ideology return. The challenge Central Asian communities face from extremist groups is real, but so is their determination to fight back on a social and state level.
Not In Our Name, produced by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), is the first regional counter-extremism project ever produced for Central Asia. Staff traveled to diverse areas within the region, exploring and reporting on how residents can work together at the local and national level to prevent the spread of violence and extremism. This unique project collected video portraits of individuals who lost family members in Syria and Iraq, and presented those portraits to young people from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, asking them to share their experiences and perspectives.
RFE/RL’s goal is to use journalism to empower communities to stand up to violent extremist recruiters that claim to represent them. Town halls were held in each country with two different audiences–those directly affected by extremist recruiting and those who have not been impacted. A final session brings all participants together to share their very different experiences and learn from one another.
Uzbek, Kazakh, Tajik, and Kyrgyz participants from all ten town halls agreed there are no simple answers. This film follows them as they come to a deeper understanding of the challenges they face and consider what they can do together to form strong communities that take a stand and declare Not In Our Name.
2:30-3:30pm. Panel 1. Research Results
Noah Tucker (Executive Editor Not In Our Name and CAP associate), Serik Besseimbaev (Lead Project Moderator, Project Design Consultant Not In Our Name), Asel Murzakulova (Project Deputy Editor, Producer Not In Our Name)
3:30-4:10pm. Film screening
4:30-6:00pm. Panel 2. Violent Extremist Mobilization in Global Context: What Works (and What Doesn’t) to Prevent Recruiting?
Peter Bergen (New America Foundation), Daniel Kimmage (Global Engagement Center, US Department of State), Haroon Ullah (US Agency for Global Media/BBG)
Registration for this event is required.
Oct 18 @ 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM
Author Marina Abrams
Author Marina Abrams introduces Central Asia through children’s literature in her new book Orange and Blue: The World of Barzu. The story is told through the young boy, Barzu, who lives in the mountains of Tajikistan, and who visits his grandmother. The book is vibrant, featuring the work of prominent Tajik artist Farrukh Negmatzade. Colorful depictions of clay ovens, sun-dried fruit, delicious bread and grandmother’s tale of the merchant Faiz who travels to Hindustan, invite children and all readers into Central Asian lifescapes.
Please join us along with Central Asia diaspora representatives: Dr. Togzhan Kassenova, Non-resident fellow, Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Nodir Zakirov, Board of Directors, Uzbekistan Youth Association in America; and Firdavs Nazarov, Outreach Manager, Tajik American Cultural Association for an afternoon celebrating Central Asia culture. Light refreshments will be served.
Marina Abrams was born and raised in Kazakhstan, has lived in Tajikistan and Russia, and traveled extensively around the Eurasia region. She is an international policy professional with fifteen years of experience in multi-disciplinary projects and nonproliferation initiatives dealing with terrorism, the physical protection of former nuclear and biological warfare (BW) facilities, and employment issues for former BW scientists in Russian Federation and Central Asian states. Prior to founding Barzu World, Marina worked at the Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey, CA and Global Green USA (Washington D.C.).