I know Nurzhan for a few years now and I really wanted to include her in this project. I hope one day she will also write a book and share more of her life story.

“I am from Kyrgyzstan and I moved to the US almost 15 years ago to do my Master Degree in Anthropology and Gender Studies.”

Traditional Kyrgyz tapestry

“At this point of my life, I don’t think I belong to one culture or nationality. I think I am a blend of Kyrgyzstani and US, sprinkled with some elements from other cultures.”

Nurzhan wearing a traditional Kyrgyz jacket

“I would like to share the stories of Kyrgyz women to show the world their plights, pains and struggles, but also their strengths, spirit and perseverance.  


The US allowed me to see what is possible for women. Seeing strong women speak up, fight back and change things in their lives and communities, is inspiring me to step up, be brave and do the same things for women in my community and in my country.”

 “I was on my usual walk on a summer day in July 2021, when I felt so sad and lonely in Lake Oswego. The feelings were so overwhelming that I could not stop crying. Without thinking, I opened my facebook page and typed on Lake Oswego Moms group, "Are there any foreign-born moms in Lake Oswego?".

The response was overwhelming. More than 60 people from all around the world heard my call and replied "yes". That's how the Lake Oswego International Moms group in Oregon was created. It was created out of one vulnerability I was able to share in that moment. Today, this group has grown into over 150 member moms who are connecting and supporting each other. This story showed me the power of vulnerability and women's connections. Every time we meet, every time someone reaches out or replies to comments, we are connecting and taking courageous steps into creating meaningful relationships. We find that we have more in common than we realize. We are learning that we are not alone in our experiences. It warms my heart every time I see us gather around. I truly believe magic happens when women gather and begin sharing their stories and experiences.”

“I am very grateful that I have the opportunity to live in the US, try new things and explore my potential as a person. I appreciate how human rights are protected and how I have the freedom to say and do anything I want. Not every woman has this opportunity and I would like to acknowledge that and make sure we appreciate what we have. Many women before us fought really hard for us, women, to vote, to work, to be treated equally, to wear whatever we want, to marry whomever we want, and I want to show gratitude toward those women before me, who allowed us to have this freedom and equality that we have right now. There is still more work and fight to do, and I hope we can continue their work through following our own passions and doing good in this world.”