Shodmon, on the right, checking a document.
Click to enlarge photographShodmon 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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Dilrabo Jonbekova (AKDN-Chevening 05-06) (ISP 06-07) obtained an MA in Human Resource Management from the University of Leeds, after which she worked as the Coordinator of the Central Asian Faculty Development Programme of the University of Central Asia in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.
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