Delegation from the Institute of Oriental Studies in Moscow visits IIS
A three-member delegation from the Moscow-based Institute of Oriental Studies (IOS), visited the IIS on 28 February 2008 to explore possible areas of collaboration between the two institutions. The delegation comprised the Director of IOS, Professor Rastislav Rybakov, their Academic Coordinator, Dr. Nadejda Yemeliyanova, and Mr. Davlat Khudonazarov, who is a Research Fellow at the IOS.
The trip aimed at crystallising some ideas to chart out a future course of action to strengthen the collaboration based on shared intellectual interests. Professor Rybakov, who is also the Rector of Oriental University Moscow, expressed a need to have a framework of partnership by listing the steps for widening the research Russian Orientalists have conducted on the Ismailis of Central Asia.
The Central Asian Studies Project at the IIS facilitated the visit of the Russian delegation to the UK. The group also visited the AKU-ISMC to discuss future scholarly undertakings.The delegation’s visit corresponded with an important phase of the development of the Tajik Ismaili community in Russia, establishment of the Ismaili institutions in that country and a growing interest of the Russian academic institutions in Muslim cultures and civilisations.
The IOS is engaged in studying Ismailism and Ismaili communities in the former Soviet states for over ten years, particularly in Tajikistan's Badakshan province. Since 2001, IOS scholars have undertaken a number of expeditions in both the Afghan and Tajik sides of Badakhshan; they studied the conditions of the Ismailis living there and their coexistence and interaction with other communities in Afghanistan and Tajikistan. In 2003, a Pamirs study group was established at the IOS whose research has become a part of "Ethocultural Interactions in Eurasia". Here scholars study how different peoples and their cultures adapt to the environmental, social and technological changes around them. Findings of these studies have been published as academic articles in a number of Russian scholarly journals.