KU News Release

Nov. 16, 2011
Contact: Heather Anderson, Dole Institute of Politics, 785-864-1422

Youth activist, blogger final speaker in Dole Institute's Soviet Union series

More Information

LAWRENCE — The Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas will present the fourth and final installment of the series “The Fall of the Soviet Union: 20 Years Later,” titled “The Future of the Post-Soviet Region,” with guest speaker Arzu Geybullayeva.

A revolutionary blogger, youth activist and women’s advocate, Geybullayeva will talk about the key role youth activists played in the Color Revolutions and focus on the future of the region from a young person’s perspective. The program will take place at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 28, at the Dole Institute. The event is free and open to the public.

“So often in history we have accounts of major world events from the perspectives of historians,” said Dole Institute director Bill Lacy. “It’s wild to see how internet access has changed the immediacy of action in nations all over the world, and through which bloggers, such as Arzu, have been able to inspire others and directly affect change.”

As one of the few English language bloggers writing on Azerbaijan, Geybullayeva’s success grew quickly after starting her blog in September 2008. The experience led her to provide training to others in the region on leadership and new social media, with specific focus on the strength of blogs, websites, online campaigns, Twitter and Facebook. Over the last two years, she has been involved in a number of projects geared toward building dialogue between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Currently, she is with the Imagine Center for Conflict Transformation and is one of the associate editors at an online publication, “Caucasus Edition, Journal for Conflict Transformation.” She also writes for an Italian online publication, “Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso.”

Geybullayeva has a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Bilkent University in Ankara and a master’s degree in global politics from London School of Economics and Political Science. Previously she worked as program officer at the National Democratic Institute in Baku/Azerbaijan, where she was involved in drafting the Emerging Leaders Program for Azerbaijan and providing consultant work with the political parties in the run-up to the parliamentary elections. Prior to NDI, Geybullayeva was with a Berlin-based think tank, doing extensive research on Azerbaijan’s political, economic and social development with a focus on women and gender equality in the country.

“The Fall of the Soviet Union: 20 Years Later” is a four-part series that has hosted expert KU faculty, a documentary on the Orange Revolution, former president of the Ukraine, Viktor Yushchenko, and now an international blogger. The series also includes a photo exhibit on elections in the former USSR that will be in place until the end of the fall semester at the KU. All events in this series are co-sponsored by the Center for Russian, East European & Eurasian Studies and the Center for Global and International Studies at KU.

For more information on these or any Dole Institute programs, visit www.doleinstitute.org and sign up for our weekly emails, follow us on Facebook and Twitter or call (785) 864-4900. The Dole Institute of Politics is dedicated to promoting public service, civic engagement and politics. It is located on KU’s west campus next to the Lied Center.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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