The Oxus Society is a DC-based non-profit organization dedicated to fostering academic exchange between Central Asia and the rest of the world.
The Oxus Society for Central Asian Affairs appears at the right time and with the right agenda and values, and it is driven by the right people. Highly talented and resourceful young scholars have already enriched the field of Central Asian studies. With the support of the Oxus Society, they can cooperate more and carry out ambitious joint projects, built on the principles of inclusivity and equity.
Central Asia is not merely an exotic region with a rich cultural heritage and ancient history, it is home to nearly 75 million people, facing complex political, social, and economic issues every day. The region deserves serious academic and professional attention, which should in turn generate deeper interest, hopefully leading to progress and prosperity. I hope the Oxus Society will be one of those essential interlocutors.A new generation of Central Asian thinkers will hopefully join the Oxus Society, challenging the established schools of thought and dominant narratives.
In these increasingly virtual times, my hope is that the Oxus Society functions in the way that the best universities do – bringing together people with different viewpoints, different backgrounds, different experiences, to share their observations and recommendations. Some might be tempted to say that the secret of the success of vibrant intellectual communities in the past was closely linked to precisely that secret recipe of openness, tolerance and curiosity, and even to point to cities like Merv, Samarkand, Bukhara or Herat to illustrate that point. There was a reason, after all, why locations such as these were home to the world’s best and most famous scholars in the past. How appropriate it will be, then, for the Oxus Society to become a 21st century version of one of these great Silk Roads hubs.
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