Mera dil hai Tajikistani..? Part I

Cultural, Creative Industries

Mera dil hai Tajikistani..? Part I

McComb, Jessie F.


A few months ago I received an unexpected visitor at work. A fellow NGOer from Paris was in New York and had found his way up to Hartford to talk about Central Asia, one of the regions that I cover. He had spent several years in Kazakhstan and Tajikistan working with both cultural and craft projects. His visit was perfectly timed since I was preparing for a trip to the region in a few months. He was able to provide advice, contacts and of course, stories. After a successful afternoon of networking, he departed with a thank you and the following remark, “Once you set foot in Central Asia, it will be in your blood.” I was intrigued by his statement but not worried. The true indo-phile in me balked at the suggestion that any adopted blood other than India could ever course through my veins.

A few months later I found myself on a 30-hour plane ride that touched down in London, Moscow and finally Dushanbe. The transition from America to Central Asia left me in a fog that was the result of a little more than jetlag. After a night of sleep, a little Soviet hospitality and a reunion with my fellow travelers, the fog was gone and my sense of adventure awoken. However, the next few days only proved to stifle this sense with waiting, bureaucracy and then more waiting; all typical of emerging nations. Our original plan was to tr...
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