How Students From Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan Live After the Border Conflict

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Some of them continue to study at their native universities, some were forced to leave, but they all say that they do not feel bad attitude towards themselves.

Before the border conflict, Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan, on the basis of government agreements, annually allocated quotas for the education of Kyrgyz students in Tajik and Tajik students in the universities of Kyrgyzstan. Students were happy to come to study in a neighboring country. But after the conflict, much has changed in the lives of these guys. 

We found several such students and learned their stories.

“After the conflict, it became a bit problematic to come to Tajikistan”

Azizbek Teshabaev, a 4th year student of the Tajik National University of the Faculty of “Languages ​​of Asia and Europe”, is a citizen of Kyrgyzstan and came to Tajikistan to study under an international quota. 

He lives in a hostel at the university. 

According to him, he immediately liked the country and Dushanbe: he quickly made friends, and both before and after the conflict, the attitude of those around him remained positive. 

– During the border conflict, the dean of our faculty personally invited me to his place, told me to contact the dean’s office if there were any troubles from students and teachers. But for all the time there were no barbs from the Tajiks about my nationality. 

But there are still difficulties. On trips.

– Before the conflict, it was very easy to come from Kyrgyzstan to Tajikistan. Crossing the border became more problematic after the conflict, he says. – I used to cross the checkpoint, which is located in Isfara. But after the conflict, I was afraid to use this road and began to look for new ways. I decided to come through Uzbekistan, arrived at the Oybek border (the border between Uzbekistan and Tajikistan) and successfully crossed it.

But, according to Azizbek, after the aggravation of the situation on the border in 2022, the Oybek border checkpoint became inaccessible for citizens of Kyrgyzstan – Tajik border guards did not allow citizens of Kyrgyzstan to enter the territory of Tajikistan. 

Photo from the personal archive of Azizbek


Then he had to buy a ticket for the flight Tashkent – Dushanbe.

– Starting from the 2nd year to the 4th year, I tried to come to Tajikistan, using almost all the ways and borders. This hit my budget really hard. But, fortunately, they let the train Tashkent – Dushanbe and back, that’s how I come to Dushanbe and leave back, – the student explains.

Due to these numerous problems, the guy had a desire to transfer to a Kyrgyz university, but it was very expensive.

According to him, he loved life in Dushanbe very much, but he is still glad to leave for his homeland this year and get rid of the problems associated with crossing the border. 

“I like living in Kyrgyzstan”

19-year-old Sabrina, a native of the city of Khorog, lives and studies in Bishkek. She is a student at the American University of Central Asia, majoring in Social Entrepreneurship and Design Thinking. 

As Sabrina says, she feels quite comfortable in Kyrgyzstan, she met many people there who turned out to be open and friendly.

– I like living in Kyrgyzstan. Bishkek is a dynamic city where there are many opportunities to learn something new and meet interesting people. In addition, I get a higher education in one of the most prestigious universities, which is a very important factor for me, – says the girl.

Source: asiaplustj