A Discourse of Complaint: Precursors to a Mass Women’s Movement in Tajikistan

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Since going to Iran in 1966 to teach high school English as a Peace Corps volunteer, I have been speaking Persian and conducting anthropological research about Persian culture and social dynamics. Because of the Iranian Revolution of 1979, I had not been able to return to Iran for some 25 years. Therefore, I began working with Iranians in the Bay Area just south of San Francisco, California. I focused on aging and the elderly and worked with the older Iranians who had moved to Northern California to be with their adult children working here and/or to get away from the Islamic Republic of Iran. After several years of working among the Iranian American elderly in the Santa Clara Valley or the "Silicon Valley," as this computer centered area has been nicknamed, I was delighted with the opportunity to look into issues of aging and the elderly in Turkey, Iran, and Tajikistan. In summer 2003, I was able to spend two months in Tajikistan.1 In order to conduct research for my project about "Iranian, Turkish, and Tajik Elderly: Finding Meaning in a Transforming World", I lived in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, and traveled to surrounding areas as well as to the cities of Panjikand and Khojand.

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