DUSHANBE (TCA) — On May 25, a new American Space opened in Dushanbe where locals can improve their English, learn new skills, lead their own programs, watch American films, and meet Americans. The modern facility is over 700 square meters in size with nine programming zones, including an innovative “Maker Space” studio where visitors can enhance their engineering skills, a broadcast media lab for bloggers and amateur journalists, a full library of books to improve one’s English, and the fastest free internet in Tajikistan. The American Space is located in the Poytakht commercial center in Dushanbe. Entrance to the space and all programs are completely free, the U.S. Embassy said.
The embassy opened the new space on May 25 with participation of U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan, John Mark Pommersheim, and the First Deputy Minister of Education and Science Salohiyon Muhammaddovud Qayum. Calling the American Space, “a gift to the people of Tajikistan,” Ambassador Pommersheim noted in his remarks that the Space is, “a shining example of our partnership, and embodies our motto – “forward together”. This space brings our people together – and forward – through learning English, gaining skills, and sharing our cultures.” Ambassador Pommersheim invited all Tajik citizens to visit the American Space to develop their skills and join a supportive community. Speaking to Tajik youth attending the event, the Ambassador said, “I trust that you will use this Space to grow as leaders as you also lead Tajikistan into the future.” The Ambassador noted that the opening of the American Space is the first of many activities planned over the coming year to mark the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the United States and Tajikistan.
The new American Space in Dushanbe is part of a network of eight American Spaces supported by the U.S. Embassy in Tajikistan, which are located in Dushanbe, Khujand, Isfara, Bokhtar, Kulob, Khorugh, Gharm, and Panjakent. The first American Space in Tajikistan was opened in 2005, in Kulob. The American Spaces are a joint initiative between energetic Tajiks and Americans who have a shared vision for positive change. In September, American citizens will arrive in Tajikistan to organize educational programs and lead English discussion clubs at the American Spaces. All spaces have active social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter where you can learn about their schedule of events and participate in some virtual sessions. The American Spaces engaged entirely through virtual programming during the pandemic, but have transitioned to in-person programming in recent months.
The U.S. government supports these Spaces to increase mutual understanding between the United States and Tajikistan, and to increase opportunities for Tajik citizens to gain global skills. The American Space network is just one of the many U.S. Embassy programs that provide educational opportunities for Tajikistan’s citizens. The U.S. government offers 25 different exchange programs for Tajik students, schoolchildren, and professionals, and more than 5,000 Tajik citizens have participated in U.S. government exchange programs. Since 1992, the U.S. government has provided $1.8 billion in assistance to Tajikistan, including $100 million in educational assistance.