Becoming Muslim in Soviet and Post-Soviet Kazakhstan

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This is an autoetnographic paper in which I, as an anthropologist, focus on my own experience of being a Central Asian Muslim from Kazakhstan. The paper consists of three main parts describing my spiritual growth and transformation over three periods in my life: my childhood in the late Soviet period, my youth during the early 1990s, and my path to maturity in the late 1990s and early 2000s. All three periods are partly shaped by the history of my family’s travels from the northern region of Kazakhstan to the south and overlap with such historically important processes as perestroika, the collapse of the USSR, and Islamic revival in the period of independence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)22-35
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - Aug 26 2022


  • Islam, Kazakhstan, Nationalism, Identity, Perestroika, USSR


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