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Spotlight: Shodmon Hojibekov

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Shodmon HojibekovShodmon, on the right, checking a document.
Click to enlarge photograph
Shodmon Hojibekov (ISP 07-08) has an MA in International Development Management from the University of Bradford and is working as the Manager of the Evaluation and Learning Unit of Aga Khan Foundation Tajikistan.

I was born in a village in Gorno Badakhshan, Tajikistan.  We were a relatively small family, with my grandmother, a primary grade teacher, my mother, a medical doctor, my father, a lecturer of history at the local university, and my brother and sister. I am the oldest son in the family.

Like other boys in the Soviet era, my ambition was to become a cosmonaut.  However, when I was in my teens, at the time of the civil war in our country, I was very much influenced by literature and history, by the books that were available in our house and which I read during the long, cold autumns and winters. Consequently, I planned to become an Orientalist.  Since there was not an appropriate faculty at Khorog State University in this field, I had to change again and decided to study Economics.  It was not easy for me but with long hours studying math and geometry I became comfortable in my new field and finished my studies with distinction.

My first job after university was as a free-lance interpreter for tourists and academics from Western universities conducting research in GBAO. I had a hard time finding a permanent job and was on the point of emigrating to Russia to look for work, when thanks to my translations, I was recruited in 2004 to work on the Health and Nutrition Survey being carried out by the Aga Khan Foundation in GBAO.  Once the survey was finished, I was offered a job with AKF’s Evaluation, Learning and Communications Unit, first as an Administrative Assistant.  Then as I became more proficient and enthusiastic about research work, I was made a Research Assistant, a Programme Officer and finally Manager of the Unit.

In 2007, I was awarded the Aga Khan Foundation’s competitive international scholarship and left for the UK to study International Development Management at the University of Bradford. Now I am back in Dushanbe at my old job with the Aga Khan Foundation.

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