In October 2018, GW’s Central Asia Program and RFE/RL launched Not in Our Name, 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.
According to recent estimates, countries of the former Soviet Union are the largest single source of foreign fighters in the Syria/Iraq conflict – more 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 have joined the conflict. Communities across the region will feel the effects for decades as those exposed to the horrors of war and extremist ideology return. The challenge Central Asian communities face from extremist groups is real, but so is their determination to fight back on a social and state level.
Not In Our Name, produced by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL), is the first regional counter-extremism project ever produced for Central Asia. Staff traveled to diverse areas within the region, exploring and reporting on how residents can work together at the local and national level to prevent the spread of violence and extremism. This unique project collected video portraits of individuals who lost family members in Syria and Iraq, and presented those portraits to young people from Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan, asking them to share their experiences and perspectives.
In this video, the project editors discuss the research results: Noah Tucker (Executive Editor Not In Our Name and CAP associate), Serik Beissembaev (Lead Project Moderator, Project Design Consultant Not In Our Name), Asel Murzakulova (Project Deputy Editor, Producer Not In Our Name)