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Central Asian leader, UVSC produce book

Professors edited collection of president's essays, talks

"Tajikistan and its Role in Globalization" analyzes the country's role in world economy.
"Tajikistan and its Role in Globalization" analyzes the country's role in world economy.

OREM — A book written by the president of Tajikistan and co-published by Utah Valley State College was released last week.

"Tajikistan and its Role in Globalization" includes more than 200 pages of essays and speeches by Imomali Rakhmonov on the Central Asian country's role in the new world economy.

UVSC co-published the book with Global Scholarly Publications in New York.

UVSC professors edited the book and helped with translation. The book was printed off-campus, said Rusty Butler, UVSC associate vice president for international affairs.

People who are interested in politics and world economics will read the book, Butler said.

"Particularly types that are involved with international, Central Asian in general and the Middle East (politics)," Butler said. "Tajikistan is a fundamentally secular Islamic nation. So I'm sure that people who are involved in what's happening in the Islamic world will find this of interest as well."

Rakhmonov and UVSC scholars communicated by e-mail and telephone while they worked on the book.

But a UVSC official presented the book last week in New York, where the Tajikistan president and most other heads of state are attending the opening of the U.N. General Assembly, at which United Nations reform will be discussed.

The publishers presented Rakhmonov a copy of his book at a dinner with Brad Cook, UVSC's academic vice president; executives from Global Scholarly Publications; former Utah Gov. Olene Walker and husband Myron Walker; and other international diplomats.

The Republic of Tajikistan gained its independence in 1991, at the breakup of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. A civil war followed, according to information from the U.S. State Department.

A peace was negotiated in the late 1990s and implemented by 2000. The country has been slowly rebuilding itself, although the most recent elections in 1999 and 2000 were deemed by critics "flawed and unfair but peaceful," according to the State Department.

Rakhmonov approached UVSC officials about doing a book. The college has published books by the former president and first lady of the Kyrgyz Republic. UVSC also has had its name on a book about China. The books are published in English.

"We arrange for them to be translated out of whatever language," Butler said. "Most of them seem to be Russian."

UVSC officials reached out to Central Asian leaders in the 1990s to enhance the college's scholarly network. Many people in Central Asia are linked by a Turkic heritage. There are also political similarities among the countries.

"(Rakhmonov) knows of our relationship in Central Asia with people in that region of the world and our interest as well in the Middle East, basically in the Islamic world," Butler said. "I think we have a good reputation, not just us but Brigham Young University and the University of Utah. There is quite a bit of warm feelings in Central Asia and the Islamic world generally speaking, among those who know, toward institutions in Utah."