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Toby A. Cox is a 2017-2018 Fulbright-National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellow exploring the story of Islam and religious identity in Kyrgyzstan. She will spend the next 9 months conducting interviews in all seven regions of the country, gathering stories on how the Kyrgyz people perceive the role of Islam and Islamic values in Kyrgyz culture.

Through this fellowship, Toby aims to learn more about how Kyrgyzstan’s history has impacted the religious identity of individuals and the multidimensional Kyrgyz identity. She will use writing, videos, photos, and maps to offer insight into the religious landscape of Kyrgyzstan, simultaneously shedding light onto the diversity of Muslim identity.

Toby studied Foreign Affairs and Middle Eastern Languages at the University of Virginia and is a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer from Jordan and Kyrgyzstan. 

Exploring Identity in Kyrgyzstan

To be 26 years old – an age between young adulthood and actual adulthood and a time when many begin to ask themselves questions like “who am I?” “what defines me?” “where am I going?” more frequently. As a 26-year-old, I ask myself these questions everyday, usually 20 times a day before noon, as does…