Young Women With Good Prospects

by Nathan Hamm on 4/20/2004 · 1 comment

It appears that at least some of the women involved in last month’s Tashkent attacks were educated, middle class young women that appeared to have a relatively good shot at success in life. Like I said yesterday, the real war isn’t fought with bullets, but with ideas.

Young women like Zahro’s daughters from well-to-do Tashkent families do not fit the profile of the average Islamic radical, who might be expected to come from the ranks of the marginalised, under-educated poor, so desperate that dying for the cause would be a realistic option.

But analysts say the decision of these young, middle-class women to get involved in the activities of Islamic militant groups is a symptom of problems entrenched deep in Uzbek society.

Prior to her disappearance, Shahnoza was in her second year studying economics at Tashkent’s institute of irrigation. Her sister Dilnoza was a computer programmer, and enrolled at the Tashkent police academy in 2001. Besides her native Uzbek and Russian, Dilnoza also spoke English, Turkish and Arabic.

And, for whatever it’s worth,

Dilnoza Holmuradova, Zahro Turaeva and Shahnoza Inoyatova had all been studying Arabic at the Egyptian embassy’s cultural centre in Uzbekistan.

There’s not necessarily any connection worth making, but it’s worth pointin


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– author of 2991 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Nathan is the founder and Principal Analyst for Registan, which he launched in 2003. He was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Uzbekistan 2000-2001 and received his MA in Central Asian Studies from the University of Washington in 2007. Since 2007, he has worked full-time as an analyst, consulting with private and government clients on Central Asian affairs, specializing in how socio-cultural and political factors shape risks and opportunities and how organizations can adjust their strategic and operational plans to account for these variables. More information on Registan's services can be found here, and Nathan can be contacted via Twitter or email.

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{ 1 comment }

upyernoz April 21, 2004 at 3:24 pm

as someone who is currently studying arabic, i’m usually pretty resistant to people who assume that somehow equals terrorism school (especially for me, a jewish atheist). but it’s hard to not see as significant the fact that all three attended the same class. i wonder if they met in class? or got involved in islamic thought together outside of class and then signed up together.

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