Join us for the screening of a documentary film Not In Our Name, followed by a Q&A with its director Noah Tucker and and lead project moderator Serik Beisembayev.
Not In Our Name is a research and documentary project developed by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) to help communities in Central Asia understand and prevent the spread of violence and extremism. It is the first regional counter-extremism project ever produced for Central Asia. The challenge Central Asian communities face from extremist groups is real. According to recent estimates, countries of the former Soviet Union were the largest single source of foreign fighters in the Syria/ Iraq conflict, providing more recruits than neighboring states in the Middle East. Although they share no cultural or language ties to Syria or Iraq, it is estimated that more than 4,200 Central Asians joined the conflict, many with their families. Communities across the region will feel the effects for decades as individuals exposed to the horrors of war and extremist ideology return to their homes, and families struggle to understand the losses they have suffered, while confronting the recruitment efforts of new and resilient extremist groups. About the Project.
Noah Tucker, Executive Editor for Not In Our Name, is Senior Editor for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s (RFE/RL) Uzbek Service, known locally as Radio Ozodlik, and an associate at George Washington University’s Elliot School of International Affairs Central Asia Program. He was previously Managing Editor at Registan.net and a researcher for the multi-year Harvard/Carnegie Islam in Eurasia Project. He has worked on collaborative projects to identify the way social and religious groups affect political and security outcomes, and headed a team that tracks social media use by Uzbek violent extremist organizations and their effect on the Uzbek-language internet. His most recent publications include Islam, Society and Politics in Central Asia, edited by Pauline Jones (University of Pittsburgh Press 2017) and “The Evolution of the Uzbek Jihad” in Constructing the Uzbek State: Narratives of Post-Soviet Years, edited by Marlene Laruelle (Lexington 2017). Noah has an MA from Harvard in Russian, East European and Central Asian Studies, and has spent a total of five years living and working in in the region, primarily in Uzbekistan.
Serik Beisembayev, Lead Project Moderator and Design Consultant for Not In Our Name, is a PhD candidate in sociology at Astana’s Eurasian National University, focusing on issues of violent extremism, nationalism and public policy in Kazakhstan. In 2015-2016, he completed an internship in the Central Asia Program at George Washington University. He has worked as a sociologist and analyst for the independent social and political research group Strategy in Astana, in addition to conducting years of sociological fieldwork, including dozens of in-depth prison interviews with convicts imprisoned on extremism charges. He is a co-founder of the expert discussion platform “PaperLab: Public Policy Research,” which is dedicated to facilitating exchanges between young regional specialists on critical social and political issues.