Frequently Asked Questions

We are a group of Central Asian scholars headquartered in Washington, DC, but part of a global network of experts located around the world.

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By Central Asia, we refer to the five post-Soviet countries of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan, and the areas of modern-day China currently known as Xinjiang, but historically referred to by its inhabitants as East Turkestan. While these six areas are our core focus, we recognize that Central Asia is deeply interconnected with neighboring states such as Russia and China, and increasingly so with its neighbors in the Indian subcontinent and East Asia. Our organization aims to position Central Asia within the changing geopolitical boundaries of the emergent “Asian Century” and seeks to re-assess the region’s culture, politics, and history from this standpoint.

We take our name from the Amu Darya river, which flows from the Pamir mountains across the heart of Central Asia to the Aral Sea, which in antiquity was known as the Oxus. Historically, the region itself was known as Transoxiana, a term popularized by Alexander the Great, the land beyond the Oxus. This was a space where cultures met and knowledge and goods were exchanged – a sentiment we strive to replicate in the 21st century.

We are a nonprofit corporation registered in the District of Columbia. We have 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status with the Internal Revenue Service of the United States.