There’s an interesting article by Elinor Burkett in The Chronicle Review about her experiences as a Fulbright Professor teaching a journalism class in Kyrgistan and the hostility and misinformation she was faced with overcoming.
Over the past three years, I have often wondered how I would have explained such suspicion if I had arrived in Kyrgyzstan after September 11, 2001. Would I have simply assumed that the hostility was a result of the United States’ bombing of Afghanistan or its invasion of Iraq?
Nathan, a former Peace Corps volunteer in Uzbekistan, comments on her experiences in The Argus.
And you’d be asking the wrong question. There’s a very strong temptation to treat Central Asia as “like Afghanistan” or “like the Middle East.” Sure, it’s Muslim, but if you want to understand the structure of the society the Central Asians, especially urban ones, grow up in, look to the Soviet Union.