The Vatandosh Institute for Central Asian Research (VICAR) has been established as the academic arm of Vatandosh to conduct pure research and apply the results of VICAR research and that of other institutions to the projects in which Vatandosh Connect is engaged, both in Uzbekistan and in Central Asia as a whole.
The creating of the Institute will be mean that the research and practical work that Vatandosh has previously undertaken without the benefit of academic professionals will now have the benefit of a community of scholars. It will be particularly important for the continued work of Vatandosh that there is a presence within the organization of personnel who have expert competency in the cultural and religious dimensions of Islam, Judaism, and other religions in Central Asia and Uzbekistan in particular and who can advise projects outside the Institute as well as initiating projects on its own.
Vatandosh has been fortunate enough to secure the colleagueship of Dr. Rahimjon Abdugafurov, who is currently a member of our Council of Advisors. Vatandosh has submitted an application for an H1-B visa for Dr. Abdugafurov; as soon as that is granted, Dr. Abdugafurov will be hired as the first Director of the Vatandosh Institute for Central Asia Research. As a member of the Board of Advisors, Dr. Abdugafurov has, in that volunteer capacity, been advising Vatandosh on the cultural and religious aspects of our work.