It was a day on the Chesapeake Bay. Navbahor Imamova and her film crew from Voice of America came to Northumberland County, Virginia, population 12,000, to spend the day recording an interview with me and taping Imamova's weekly news roundup. The result is an in-depth interview that takes viewers through my home, onto my dock and to the nearby beach at Hughlett's Point, a protected beach along the Chesapeake Bay.
Imamova and I first met in Tashkent, Uzbekistan in mid-March, shortly after I'd arrived as a Fulbright Scholar. We spent three hours talking that first time and then went on to engage in multiple Telegram chats. Imamova is a wealth of information. She started her journalism career in Uzbekistan, and for the past twenty years has covered Central Asia for Voice of America.
From the time I landed in Tashkent, I continued to hear from journalists and people at the U.S. Embassy that I absolutely had to talk to Imamova. And when I did, I understood why so many people inside Uzbekistan and out think so highly of her.
That first chat, we had so much to talk about. I was in Uzbekistan to interview Uzbekistani journalists and determine what were the biggest challenges. Imamova offered her expertise and connected me with many journalists. I am deeply in debt to her for her assistance. Anyone paying attention to these pages knows that I found some very disturbing patterns with State Security Services (SSS) threatening, intimidating and forcing journalists to delete stories.
Check out the interview here. Even if you just watch the film with the sound down, the video captures the beautiful landscape of coastal Virginia. Imamova and her team did an amazing job.
Fulbright in Central Asia
From March, 2022 to January of 2023, I was a Fulbright Scholar with the U.S. State Department in post-Soviet Central Asia. My previous Fulbright was in Ukraine. For the past six years, I have reported on journalists from post-Soviet countries who have experienced retaliation for reporting the truth.