Irna Hofman (Oxford) Malik Kadirov (Media Analyst, Tajikistan) Salimjon Aioubov (Director of RFE/RL's Tajik Service) round table discussion
Abdumalik (Malik) started his professional career as an interpreter \ translator in Iraq (1978-1979) and later in Syria (1982-1987). From 1987 – 1990 he served as a journalist \ political analyst in Tajik State Television. Following the dismissal for his critical reports (1990) Malik joined the Democratic Party of Tajikistan and served for some time as a chairman of its Dushanbe branch. Abdumalik has spent several years investing in scientific research and development of the pharmaceutical product as a co-founder of Zand Ltd, a small Tajik pharmaceutical company. After the end of Tajikistan’s civil war of 1992 – 1997 Malik joined the NGO sector as a volunteer for a local NGO, then served for several international NGOs and foundations such as Counterpart International and Open Society Institute. From 2001 – 2009 he served the US Embassy to Tajikistan as a grant manager with the overall portfolio of $700 K. From January 2011 – April 2016 Malik served as Country Director of the Tajik branch of the Institute for War and Peace Reporting (IWPR), a British NGO that supports journalists in the risky areas around the globe. From May 2016 until January 2021 Mr. Kadirov led an American media supporting non-profit organization Internews in Tajikistan as Country Director. Currently Malik is a Secretary General of the association of journalists Media – Alliance of Tajikistan. Malik is a member of the Union of Journalists of Tajikistan and a well – known political analyst who often provides comments on various in-country and regional sensitive socio-political topics to local, regional, and international media in Tajk, Russian, and English. Abdumalik was awarded with the US Embassy’s Meritorious Honor Award for exceptional meritorious performance as a Grant Officer; European Congress of Tajik Journalists and Bloggers’ Tajik Journalism Award-2020. Malik is married and is a father of four daughters.
Salimjon Aioubov, Director of RFE/RL's Tajik Service based in Prague. Previously, he was Project Director for RFE/RL's Central Asian Newswire and the Editor-in-Chief of the first independent newspaper in Tajikistan “Charoghi Ruz”, author of several books, most recently, “A Hundred Colors: Tajiks in the 20th Century".
Dr Irna Hofman graduated from Wageningen University and Research in the Netherlands, with a major in Environmental Sciences and minors in respectively Rural Development Sociology (B.Sc.) and Rural Sociology (M.Sc), and received her Ph.D. from Leiden University in January 2019. Her dissertation was titled “Cotton, control, and continuity in disguise: The political economy of agrarian transformation in lowland Tajikistan,” for which she conducted long-term fieldwork in rural Tajikistan.
Irna has rich research experience in and on Central Asia. Before initiating her doctoral research on Tajikistan she studied the political economy of agrarian transformation in Uzbekistan, in her role as junior researcher at the Center for Development Research (Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung (ZEF)), an institute of the University of Bonn.