June 18, 2019

Well known British scientist Shirin Akiner (1942–2019) was born to a Pakistani diplomat and Welsh mother. Brought up in a British school and spoke and wrote impeccable English.

As a scientist always interested in Uzbekistan, after an excellent degree in Russian with subsidiary Turkish, Shirin turned mainly to study of Central Asia, becoming a Research Associate at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies.

She presented papers in more than 20 countries on a vast number of topics, including Islam, ancient manuscripts, gender, political transformation, conflict and ethnicity, and was a frequent broadcaster on TV and radio.

However, for those who knew her, Shirin will be remembered for the warmth of her personality, particularly towards young people; her incredible knowledge and appreciation of Central Asian, Turkic and Persian cultures and languages; her humour; and her relentlessly upbeat spirit, even during the courageous fight against her final illness. The hallmark of her life was her indomitable spirit and energy.

As Chair of BUS (British Uzbek Society) in London, she worked passionately to promote the people, culture and the country of Uzbekistan.

Dr Akiner’s latest article, which was written in March 2019, just before her death, was dedicated to Uzbekistan’s media image.

The Editorial office of FLEDU.UZ has an honor to publish it for the first time (

B. Alimov

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