Skip to main content Skip to footer site map
Middle East Forum

Mark Reese

Deputy Director, Center for Middle East and Islamic Studies

M.A. Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Washington


Central Asian Subject Matter Expert with nineteen years of experience in region. Eight years regional field work in activities ranging from program management, academic research, to combat mission support. Current areas of research focus include social, political and cultural issues in present day Central and South Asia as well as translation of Uzbek literature into English.

  • FP486: Central Asian Politics
  • FP130: American Government


Central Asian Academic Research:

Academic research and translation projects focus on current social, political and cultural environment of the Central and South Asia, Jadid literature, Central Asian Sufism and Islam as well as 19 century Central Asian and Caucasus resistance movements. 

  • Current research has expanded from the Ferghana Valley Uzbekistan into the larger “Turco-Perso-Indo” world to consider how migrations of Central Asian youth and disaffected populations have created a common narrative in South Asia and the Russian Far East.
  • Currently conduct research on changing demographics in the Ferghana Valley. Uzbek migration patterns presently affect watershed cultural changes in neighboring Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan that allow in roads for Hizb ut Tahrir.
  • “O’tgan Kunlar” by Abdulla Qodiriy: Translated and preparing final redaction of the first novel written in the Uzbek language. Written by a Jadid writer who was repressed in 1938, the novel is set on the eve of the Tsarist Russia’s invasion of Tashkent and is long considered an attempt to reform Central Asian society in the face of colonial encounter. O'tgan Kunlar has long been considered the national novel of Uzbekistan and is highly regarded by all levels of Central Asian society.
  • Central Asian Religious Studies: through DOS ECA grant worked closely with Central Asian professors to develop materials and curriculum for implementation in Uzbek universities. Professors researched new materials on Sufi groups and the history of Islamic thought in Central Asia. Work provided insight into current spiritual world view of Uzbek leadership.
  • Liaised with Spiritual Board of Uzbekistan and the Mufti’ ate of Uzbekistan through a monthly meeting to discuss religious movements in the Ferghana Valley and their views on religious extremism.
  • Resistance movements of Central Asia and the Caucusus: conducting research on primary sources outlining the origins, ethnic makeup and history of the Basmachi movement in the 19th century Ferghana Valley and Chechen rebels- most notably the Kists of Pankisi Gorge- in the Caucusus.
  • University of Washington and Tashkent Institute of Oriental Studies: Assisted Islamic Studies professors at the University of Washington in teaching and research functions. During fellowship to TIO established the largest English language Religious Studies Library in Central Asia. 
go to Top