Interview with David an American living in Khujand, Tajikistan and working as an English Language Fellow. He teaches English at Khujand State University. And here I would like to present the interview that was conducted with him.

First of all, Mr. David I would like to welcome you to Tajikistan.

Tank you Firdavs

What is the aim of English Language Fellow program?

The aim of this program is to put qualified American English teachers into countries and institutions that want them. My job is to teach English here in Khujand. I teach classes at the foreign languages faculty of Khujand state University, and I also have free classes at the American Corner. I also want to help Tajiks better understand about the U.S., and when I return to the U.S.I will teach Americans all about Tajikistan’s history, culture and people.

Did you choose to come to Tajikistan?

Yes, I choose to come here. I did not know very much about Tajikistan before I came here so I wanted to learn more about this country and this part of the world. I used to live in the Republic of Georgia from 2002-2004 so I know what former Soviet Union countries are like. I’m glad I have had the opportunity to come here because most Americans know very little about this country.

What do you do in the U.S.?

In the U.S. I’m a high school English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher. Last year I taught students from 13 different countries. I teach all four levels of ESL from beginning to advance. My goal is to get the students as quickly as possible out in to the regular English classes. I enjoy my job, but it is a lot of work. I plan to return to this same job in September.

What about the teacher’s salary in the U.S.?

Teachers in the U.S. generally work very hard and get paid a low to medium range salary. The amount of money a teacher makes depends on where they live and how many years they have been teaching. For example, teachers in New York City will make more money than those living in Montana because the cost of living higher in New York City than in Montana. I have traveled all over the world and it seems as if teachers are never paid fairly. That’s why I believe in the saying: “Teachers are not made they are born”.

What is your opinion of our teachers here in Tajikistan?

I’ve worked with a lot of hardworking teachers here. Many of them are eager to learn new methods and ideas despite the fact that their salary is low and the conditions are sometimes poor .The teachers here want to make their lessons better and that’s why I’m here. I have conducted teacher training workshops for local teachers. My workshops have introduced new and better teaching methods to the teachers. I frequently have teachers attending my lessons because they want to see me teach so that they can learn how I teach. I believe that for this country to develop it needs good, qualified young teachers to shape the minds of the next generations.

How the students are are different from the students in the U.S.?

I believe that young people are all basically the same throughout the world. So students here have many more similarities with American students than differences. However, I have noticed here that students are more afraid to try new ideas. American students are always trying new ideas and searching for what is best way. American students are taught from a young age to ask a lot of questions and to think critically for themselves. Tajik students though are generally very polite and hardworking. I have many students here who have very strong desire to learn English. It’s difficult for them to learn English here because they don’t have enough speaking practice. Some days I feel overwhelmed here because so many students want to talk to me and practice their English.

How is a U.S. university different than a Tajik university?

In the U.S. students can graduate after four years, but here in Tajikistan students have to study for five years before they can graduate. Another difference is students here are given homework almost every night, but in the U.S. students only have two or three big projects or tests to do in semester or quarter. Also in the U.S. attendance is not always taken. Students don’t have to come to class if they don’t want to but they still have to pass all tests and do all the assignments. One similarity though is that both U.S and Tajik university students have to buy their own book.

Mr. David, what do you want Tajiks to know about Americans?

I want Tajiks to know that all Americans are different. Most Americans are not like what you see on TV or in the movies. Americans are usually hardworking, caring people who want to make the world a better place. I think Tajiks are the same as Americans in these ways.

Mr. David, thank you for sharing your opinion on this issue, wish you all the best.
You’re welcome, the same to you.

Firdavsi Azam

The problem of youth in Tajikistan

Youth are as a matter of fact considered as a most powerful, reliever, promoter of affairs and resolver of difficulties in society of all countries of entire world. And their contribution in all area of public life is considerable. Perhaps it is not true to consider them
In this article I would like to draw your attention about youth of Tajikistan, Central Asia. It is necessary to stress that 70 % of Tajikistan’s population is covered by youth, with of course possess their own problems and issues. Each of them has their own point of view about their life and future. But unfortunately concern for well-educating the people in particular the youth is not in the center of Government’s attention. Government needs to focus on their problems and has to understand that only through this young generation we possibly can reach to the bright and foreseeable future. But, however, it is mostly on the contrary. They just do not care what’s going on with them. Meanwhile special attention must be paid to the role of youth in society. Today the young people of other countries (Europe, America) are more broad-minded, well-educated, capable and vigorous. They are all set for action and look for a chance to show their worth in all areas of public life. And their authorities almost do every thing to support and encourage them, whereas in Tajikistan this process is not felt and the number of such youth is very less and countable.
The youth in Tajikistan have two sides. I mean on one side in comparison with Soviet times the youth have a vast, a great deal of opportunities to develop themselves. For instance if in seventy’s or eighty’s there were no job places or education opportunities or other opportunities, today thanks to Independence and thanks to the measurements are being undertaken by government, youth have all kinds of chances to get a education, relaxation, entertainment in short to be active in developing the civil society. And now on other side, unfortunately not all youth understand and do not appreciate sufficiently and do not use these advantages.
Alijon Boimatov an expert on issues dealing with youth problems in the case of youth and education claimed:” Since the young people are the future of any country, good education is the good issue of any developed and developing country. I would like to advise the young people to get a good education. Recently, many good measurements have been undertaken but the government and other international organization. If ten years ago the text books and their building were not in appropriate, but today most of the school building and facilities are better than those years. I want to say that education facilities are going to be better. Of course there are problems, but they do not upon the students, the young people should not suffer or are not expected to suffer on this aspect, it’s government’s responsibilities.»
Yes, education is like a shield that protects us from bad and evil forces. But in this transition period gaining a good education is not an easy thing. Certainly good education costs money and if she/he invests some money her/ his money will reinforce. Because good education will give him a chance to get good jobs and always to be a good employed and to earn more money, therefore if a student spends sufficiently some money let him not regretted.
They say youth is back bone to the nation, and it’s true, they can change the future of society with their well-being and courageous behaviors. But as it is obvious they are not as courageous as they should be, they are neither active nor courageous and brave.
Thereby empowering and fortifying their participation and engagement in all spheres of states is urgent and it should be admitted that their matters are extremely burning hot issues and it does not need to be avoided, rejected and or even neglected. Nowadays in all civilized countries the role of this social force (young generation) is highly regarded and their position in society is appreciated and valued by the competent authorities.
Unfortunately in Tajikistan in comparison with other CIS countries this process of involvement can not be widely brought up for discussion. I’m just perplexed why they are so reluctant concerning these matters.
I think it is Government’s responsibilities to get control of this problems; they have to motivate them with special training programmed and tech them responsibility and goal-setting and improve their behaviors in order to become more active, more vigorous and more productive. But it surely does take some time. Sometimes we are not right o blame Government but also at the same time we can not blame the youth too. That is demand of society. But society should first pay a great attention to their problems. For many reason to shirk the responsibly is to harm for it self. it is clear that no revolution can be victorious, no future can be glorious and not tomorrow can be obvious without the effective education, organization, and mobilizations into political action. Their role in social, economical, development and political issues is huge. And they should be able to participate actively in implementing projects dedicated to improving living condition, developing the sense of responsibility and solving-problems, issues. Shahnoza Mamadova a fifth year student of Faculty of Foreign Languages (FFL), Khujand State University is not satisfied with youth’s activities and she complained:

«There are a lot of problems concerning youth, the majority of them are not active, and they are not interested in political issues and unaware of their rights and freedoms. The school, children of today only care and think about and for their own benefit. They do not have any plan or programs for the future. And our government always claims that they are doing that and this, but I can’t see any result or improvements»
I’m afraid these carelessness, reluctances and impartiality one day are going to bring bad and dangerous consequences for the society of Tajikistan. Well, Government above all must take it seriously and do something, or else it will certainly find itself in trouble.
With respect to this matter an expert on political issues Nabiyulloh Sunnati said:
«Actually refusing and not to believe to the youth’s power and labor force is not to the profit and benefit of society. Today in Majlisi Namoyandagon (House of Government of Tajikistan) they are old deputies and their minds are full of old -fashioned ideas and false plans and schedules. Well in this case we are unable to see any prosperity and improvements. These legislators body adopt laws and orders that can not meet the young’ demand. I think it would be good for youth to have position and places in Majlisi Oli» (Parliament of Tajikistan) and other state departments
.The old deputies must be exchanged and replaced.»
As a matter of fact young people have to have position in Parliament. In developed countries youth certainly do have position, but those old -fashioned are afraid that by the time when youth take their place and tasks, they surely make differences and change the course of society with their modern ideas and make them lose their projects. Meanwhile, in neighbor countries in Central Asia young people are very active and willingly attend in political social movements, while in Tajikistan it is not the same. There is, but less care and attention from Government and despite the fact every year more than one million people leave their family and native homeland for a piece of bred for CIS countries and there are bunch of qualified people among them. It is really frustrating.
They contribute all their labor force and power and knowledge to alien countries and I think it should alert the authorities of country to take an action. It seems nobody is there to see and observe it. They actually are witness, but never show any effort for prevention. This immigration process draws their attention from study and family and homeland. It keeps them away from study.
We know that 70 % of people live in rural areas. It includes: Asht, Ganchi, Istaravshan, Kanibadam,Mastchoh, Zafarabad and many others. There are not enough enterprises, plants or factories to offer jobs for young people. Because of this lacking many young people are unemployed. They just don’t know how to earn money; therefore one of the representatives of the family has gone to Russia 10 years ago and invites one another. And the numbers of immigrants are increasing because there is a sort of association in one place. As Alijon said: “I know a place in Moscow, there is a market where about 50 people are working and living in one village. They are hiring there officially and do have their registration, but do not have enough money to get a good flat.”
The living condition is very bad and poor, but they don’t have any choice, they are forced to do that, because they need to come back to their villages and family in order to build a house, to do some wedding for their sons and daughters. Generally in order to support a family some body should work, otherwise there is no any source of earning money in villages.
Nabiyulloh Sunnati complained: “Sadly, nowadays our future generation leaving country for the sake of a small pittance from seeking employment abroad and our highly qualified personnel are in the interest of their employers. I think if Tajikistan brings all them together, unite them, and provide them with job and opportunities of having a good place of work, surely and without any hesitation expect a bright and prosperous future of our country. But I doubt if Government ever do that.”
Today every body is going to Russia, no matter how old he is, no matter how bad the situation seems like. Both students and teachers.
But Shahnoza Mamadova thinks this way: ”To Russia goes a person who does not have a Diploma or higher education and knowledge.” But, nevertheless young people are trying being an active one. Shoira Sharipova a young teacher of FFL said: “I think our youth are better and active than previous times. But they have countless problems and I think it is their responsibility to struggle against their own problems. Because there is no one to care about them. For example I’m trying to get myself involved in all sorts of negotiation, association, seminars and conferences in order to obtain a good knowledge, a better experience, skill and information on specific spheres of my life and the occurrence of the world. And in a near future I’m planning to leave Tajikistan for Scotland to participate in a youth assembly.”
One of the other problems is just the unemployment percent. Unfortunately the officials say there are a lot of job places. But if a student graduates or gets a higher education for instance in law, economics and computer technology or other spheres, there are not any good job places, or if yes, the salary is too poor. And he certainly needs to leave country, that’s why this is problem for young people. And of course this is the issue of Government.
Hopefully in nearest future job places will be more and more and young people will not need to migrate to other countries in search of jobs. Actually it is possible to have or find a good job here in Tajikistan for 200-300 somoni, but the wages are not sufficient to support one family consisting 5-6 children.
And this migration process does have good advantages as well. If one of them is to bring more money to Tajikistan, the other is to provide a family with first needs and the provisions and another is able to set up a wedding ceremony. So Russian money is circulating and coming back to our country that people are able to lead their life further.
Another problem which so sternly confront our society is the lower level of young people’s knowledge of legality and civic. It’s painful that good deals of young people are not well aware of their own rights, obligations and freedom that are adopted by the State Constitution. And they even though do not make any effort to get to know them. They are just a bit lazy. According to the constitution of state “Citizens have the right to associate, the citizen has the right to participate in the creation of political parties, including parties of democratic, religious and atheistic character, trade union and other public association.”
Concerning this matter Alii Fariduni an expert on this case pointed out as following: “Legislative body of Republic of Tajikistan provides people with laws and orders, but not knowing them is not state’s fault, and we are not entitled to shift this burden on Government and blame it. If teenagers and youth do not their rights it is their mistakes not knowing them. It is obvious that they don’t’ know “Law about information”, “Law about culture”, “Law about Mass media”. I think if we know these laws there are not going to be any problems.
We have to take into consideration that illiteracy is the death of nation and prevention the nation from this phenomena is depends on every body’s will and initiative. It is common knowledge that illness should be prevented rather than cured. And we all commonly have to struggle against it and I think to promote the interest of young people, encouraging and supporting them is one of the important factors that all appropriate organs of the state must think over it and share their contributions. And youth’s voice should be heard by politicians and sociologist and the intelligentsia.
Generally impartiality and carelessness towards all these above –mentioned problems that are really threatening our society brings nothing but illiteracy and social revolution. In order to prevent and stop this chaos and revolution from occurring, above all, the entire competent authorities and appropriate organs of Tajikistan should be requested to provide the young generation with necessary opportunities and facilities of gaining political, economical and social knowledge and wisdom of modern age. And all the organs of Tajikistan must be on the youth’s side because being on their side is giving them courage, love, hope, and support, effort and countless advantages. And they have to educate them, in all sorts of ways, provide them with all basic needs and better condition for study, and I’m sure if we do this , it will certainly affects their status and position in society and it makes them to become optimists. And again it is good idea for them to get involved into political and social movements in order to get a better knowledge of the life Interests of people, and a better understanding of the points of views of different parties on the solution of major international problems.
We should do some thing and I guess it is right time to get up from our long deep sleep.

Now I would like to let you have some information regarding The Mevlevi Brotherhood.Please concentrate on the following topic.
Mevlana and Mevlevi
The Mevlevi Brotherhood is founded compeletely on love and tolerance। The Exalted Mevlana is a saint of love; he gave his heart to the Creator and he taught us to speak always of love and to love all creation as being from the Creator। He asks, If you fill a jug from the ocean, how much can it hold? One day’s supply। Thus, just as the ocean can only fill the jug to its capacity, so Mevlana can only fit into words and our perception in proportion to our capacity. In any case, Mevlana is beyond the highest and finest conception. He said, Be a lover, a lover. Choose love that you might be a chosen one. To give up one’s own existence and become non-existent in God, that is, to bind one’s heart completely to God, is the shortest way to God. Whoever has given his heart to the Divine Truth has no “self” left. It is God Who moves every particle of him. In this way that person no longer acts in accordance with his ego, doing the bad things that would cause harm to others. He has become enfolded in the moral principles of God. The Exalted Mohammed and the Exalted Mevlana are examples of these qualities for us. Mevlana is a limitless being, unable to be contained by this world. He is the Divine Voice giving the good news to those seeking beauty, truth, goodness, light, and Divine Truth. He is the voice of mercy offering consolation to those under tyranny. He is the breath of healing, bestowing health on those crying out in separation. He is the teacher of humanness to humans. He teaches that every thing is within the human being and that the whole universe is under man’s command. Mevlana is a great lover of the Divine Truth. He is the master of love. He himself is love. To those who asked what love was he answered thus: Be like me and know; whether in light or darkness, until you have been like this you can’t completely know love. Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi is an illustrious being, a Divine Light, a spiritual sun who brought a brand new message to human thinking; who offered the ideas and system of Islamic thought and articles of faith within the triangle of spirit, mind and love; who opened new horizons to man by adding excitement to the way of morals, religion, wisdom, and knowledge. The greatest message he brought to human thinking is Love, Divine Love and Unity. Rumi brought enthusiasm to hearts with his saintly characteristics; he was a saint, a spiritual master, whose human mind had been bathed in light; he cleanses hearts and minds of impurities and rescues them from duality. He rejects nothing but rather unites, perfects, and causes love. He is prejudiced toward none because he knows that everything is the manifestation and actualization of God and he reflects this as a spiritual state to the mind and heart of man. Mevlana is a superior and saintly master. He is a system in himself, a life and an order. He is a monument to spirituality who, through his sublimity, displayed his moral values, his knowledge, wisdom, love, intelligence, perception of God, behavior, everything. He is the true representative of the prophets, the highest element and realization of love and intelligence. Man is the most honorable of all creation. is one of his maxims. The Exalted Mevlana embraced those of every language, creed, and race or colour; he is the symbol of love peace, brotherhood, and tolerance.

Coleman Barks Rumi's translator

Coleman Barks Rumi's translator

Coleman Barks

Coleman Barks was born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He attended school at the University of North Carolina and the University of California at Berkeley. He taught poetry and creative writing at the University of Georgia for over thirty years until 1976, when after meeting Robert Bly, he began translating the 13th century mystic Rumi. His first publication of the Rumi work, Open Secret: Versions of Rumi, was awarded the Pushcart Writer’s Choice Award by William Stafford. His later work with Rumi was collected in a definitive best-selling anthology, The Essential Rumi, and re-issued in 1997. He has also won the New England/Breadloaf Quarterly Narrative Poem Prize and the Southern Poetry Review’s Guy Owen Award. Barks is the father of two grown children and grandfather of three. He is now retired and living in Athens

Sufi mystic poet Rumi

Sufi mystic poet Rumi

Rumi and the world
Rumi was born in Balkh (in present-day Afghanistan), then a city of Greater Khorasan in Persia and died in Konya (in present-day Turkey). His birthplace and native language/local dialogue indicates a Persian (Tājīk) heritage.[7] His poetry is in Persian and his works are widely read in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and in translation especially in Turkey, Azerbaijan, the US, and South Asia. He lived most of his life in, and produced his works under, the Seljuk Empire.[8] Rumi’s importance is considered to transcend national and ethnic borders. Throughout the centuries he has had a significant influence on Persian as well as Urdu and Turkish literatures. His poems have been widely translated into many of the world’s languages in various formats.
After Rumi’s death, his followers founded the Mevlevi Order, better known as the «Whirling Dervishes,» who believe in performing their worship in the form of dance and music ceremony called the sema. Listen to the reed and the tale it tells
Today Rumi is very well-known in America and all countries of the world.He is much more appreciated and today in this complicated world of modern Rumis’ words are anwsers to all questions that human being is looking for.And Today Rumi is very popular with his profound works like Masnawii Ma’navi, Divani Shams and wonderful odes.he belongs to the wolrd and wolrd is his slave.
Here I would like to present one of his poem that love and adore.For those who love the poetry and stories of Jalal al-Din Rumi, the 13th century Sufi Mystic.

«What is to be done, O Moslems?
for I do not recognize myself।
I am neither Christian, nor Jew, nor Gabr [Magian], nor मोस्लेम
। I am not of the East, nor of the West,
nor of the land, nor of the sea;
I am not of Nature’s mint, nor of the circling heavens।
I am not of earth, nor of water, nor of air, nor of fire;
I am not of the empyrean, nor of the dust, nor of existence, nor of entity।
I am not of India, nor of China, nor of Bulghar, nor of Saqsin;
I am not of the kingdom of ‘Iraqain, nor of the country of Khurasan।
I am not of this world, nor of the next, nor of Paradise, nor of Hell;
I am not of Adam, nor of Eve, nor of Eden and Rizwan।
My place is the Placeless, my trace is the Traceless;
‘Tis neither body nor soul, for I belong to the soul of the बेलोवेद
। I have put duality away, I have seen that the two worlds are one;
One I seek, One I know, One I see, One I call।»

One for all, all for one

Statue  of Liberty

Statue of Liberty

In the end of winter 2007, I have fulfilled a long –held dream to visit the United States of America for the first time and especially be a part of high spiritual atmosphere in a community, which is called Lyric.
So I lived in a community where every body is nice, kind and sincere to each other and is thankful for tiny things they do for each other, that I can surely state that I have learnt the secret of appreciation.
I have found out the appreciation is one of heart-opening practices. It just can take only a few seconds to express that.
Here developmentally disable people, their innocence, inner purity, joys and beings continually teach me lots of lessons every day, and every moment.
Therefore I consider them as the teacher of life and torch for our darkness sides of life. And I’m so happy and satisfied that I’m living my valuable life in service to them. Plowshare has served for me as a book that its pages have opened numerous new outlooks for my view and certainly new paths to explore. The mentioned community is truly based on human being’s value and dignity. I just have learnt too much more than in my university. I have to mention that I’m learning a lot up here, sometimes without knowing that I’m doing that. It should be noted that my pencil is unable to describe all beauty, natural landscape, sceneries and splendid views that are delightfully surrounding us and developing our inner intimacy toward nature. Beauty is a healing tool.
Well, the other thing that I have just gone through is people here when they interact or communicate with one another; they behave in a way that as if each individual is a holy thing, because truly and indeed we are. Every one of us is special and unique. On other hand in philosophy term I can say that there is a dialogue not monologue.
In addition, working and living at the community which is a life sharing community is based on the method of “One for all, all for one.” That’s what I could say. Every one lives and works side by side and affects each other. In this case I’m just developing and changing and becoming more of myself through them.
I remember so well and vividly one day while I was working with Peter Wells, while the sky was cloudy and I turned to him and asked: “Peter, do you like rain?” “Yes, I do because it helps the grass to grow”- said he. From his reply and reaction I have comprehended how aware he was of importance of rain. I’m happy (as Emily always says) living among all these warm-hearted people, who care about each other, who are ready to help each other. Thus in relationship that we have got, the little things are the big things.
“The best way of getting to know people is visiting them in their own houses with their cultures and tradition” once said my father. And indeed it was my proud to be a participant of American traditional holidays such as Halloween, Thanksgiving Day, New year and others that we all have so much enjoyed being together for that time of celebration.
In conclusion I’m warmly thankful and grateful for Kimberly and Donat, who let me be a part of such a spiritual community Plowshare.
USA, New Hampshire 03047,


комментариев 6

  1. I know that you can not live without Rumi and he is always with you in any time and in any where.When you were in america we had talked about him alot and I have learnt about him as you were reading his works for me. I remember we had a discussion on him and it was wonderfull.Any way i wish you great achievment and huge and huge success in the journey of discovering Rumi’s inner world.
    Peace be with you!

  2. Dear Brandon!
    thank you very much for visiting my blog.It’s my pleasure to have you here on my page.Regarding Rumi, I’ll do all my best in oredr to do something on and about him.My target is to introduce Rumi to the World, although every body knows him.
    Thanks again and I appreciate your time to spend on writing this wonderful words.

  3. Every where there is Rumi, I love him.And thank you Firdav for your contribution.

  4. Firdavs ,

    Let me be frank and tell you that you are doing a wonderfull job and i am sure you will reach all your goals on this regard as Rumi has done a lot not only in his period but for present and for Future. Reading Rumi’s writing is just pleasuer for person who understands poetry world.
    So, wish you only success in that.

  5. Dear Sayora!
    Thank you very much for your commenting on this page. I’m glad and pleased that you have visited my blog. I hope you liked it and found it a bit worthy of reading. To be honest with you Last year as it was Rumi’s year, I decided to resaarch on him and I did it and have fond him very popular in America and all over the world. You can easily find his works and book elswhere, in every book-store and book shop and library.He is concidered as a master of Sufisim and master of love and purity in America .American people believe that Rumi belongs not only to muslim people, but to all over the world, to allnationalities and countries. So He is a one who regards and sees every body like himself,he was hummble, kind and tolerant.His horison and outlook was beyond the knowledge, but despite this, he regarded himself nothing but an ordinary human.

  6. rgiggyjsbdex

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