How often do you see someone rising from the midst of adversity to become an advocate for change? But then, there are people like Geysar Gurbanov who make it their mission to make a difference in the world despite all challenges.
Born in Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, Geysar Gurbanov is a renowned U.S.-based peace activist and journalist with several widely acclaimed stories on politics, religion, and immigration. His articles have appeared in leading publications including The News Tribune, The Bellingham Herald, The U.S. News & World Report, The San Antonio Express-News, The Baltimore Sun, The News & Observer, The Duke Chronicle, and The Harvard Crimson.
His drive to become a peace activist can largely be attributed to the atrocities he witnessed during his early childhood years in war-torn Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic that was gripped in a political and economic crisis apart from the misery inflicted by the military conflict.
While most people fondly look back at the memories of their childhood, Geysar is still haunted by the memories of Russian tanks invading his town, coup d’états and crime caused by the huge influx of refugees. But it was these very experiences that sparked his desire to become the catalyst for change.
With a clear mission in mind, he pursued the requisite education and skills to chart the right course for himself. After graduating from high school, Geysar earned a Law degree from Baku State University in Azerbaijan. In 2005-2006, he studied Administration of Law and Justice in the United States through the fellowship program of the U.S. Department of State. More recently, in 2015, he earned a Graduate Certificate in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from Duke University, in Durham, North Carolina.
In the past, Geysar, as a consultant, was advising Council of the European Union on matters concerning human rights and political issues in Azerbaijan. He also took up a month-long mission in Poland via the European Volunteers Service to volunteer in the Chechen refugee camp located in Warsaw, Poland. The experience moved him deeply and helped enhance his knowledge about ethnic conflicts, refugee issues, and peacebuilding. Geysar has also actively contributed to “Europe’s Next Avoidable War: Nagorno-Karabakh” published by Palgrave MacMillan.
In 2013, he earned the distinction of becoming a Rotary International Peace Fellow. Then, in summer 2014, as part of his Applied Field Experience (AFE), he continued his studies at Harvard University, where he researched the conflict in Ukraine at the Center for Government and International Studies.
Geysar permanently immigrated to the U.S. in 2011 after the Cablegate episode, when his name appeared on the Wikileaks website among 250,000 classified diplomatic cables. Currently, Geysar Gurbanov lives in Tacoma, Washington, where he owns an investment business (Argus Investment and Trading LLC) and works on his upcoming book. He also serves his community via Rotary International and local non-profit organizations in Pierce County.
IMAGE SOURCE: TWITTER