Emil Gasimli

Unlocking CAMCA: Reflecting on an Eye-Opening First Visit to Central Asia

Emil Gasimli

It was not until last year that I made my first friends from Central Asia, Afghanistan and even far-flung Mongolia. Born in Azerbaijan, educated in the West and later employed by a large national energy company, in mapping out countless trips both for business and pleasure, western destinations always seemed like an easy extension from my country. 

I never imagined that an experience I would have in March of 2016, as a Fellow of the Central Asia-Caucasus Fellowship Program sponsored by the Rumsfeld Foundation, would suddenly propel such a strong desire within me to seek out a deeper understanding of the people and cultures of other post-Soviet countries whose histories I had only read about in school books. 

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