American University of Central Asia - AUCA - SPOTLIGHTS


Alina Murzaeva

International and Comparative Politics '07

In Perpetual Motion

Alina Murzaeva is a product of the International and Comparative Politics department class of 2007. She completed her Master of Science degree in International Humanitarian Law from the London School of Economics and in Public International Law from the Diplomatic Academy under the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Kyrgyz Republic. Currently, she serves as the Communication Legal Officer at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), where she contributes to the promotion and implementation of international humanitarian law in Kyrgyzstan.


How come you chose to promote and strengthen humanitarian law and work in the sphere of international relief?

It has been a long journey. I have tried several different careers, starting from banking and editing a so-called "glamour" magazine. However, I feel in a very comfortable place now. International law is the passion of my life. Actually, public international law was my minor at AUCA, and I should say that I left my heart at the law department. Also, though often criticized, I do believe in the humanitarian values that international law aims to deliver, and this is exactly the reason why I am with the ICRC.

At the same time, it is really a great pleasure to work with students. I often come to the international humanitarian law classes at AUCA, and to be frank, it was a shot from out of the blue to see how talented our students are. Each of them possesses individuality and a fantastic personality. I am very happy to have an opportunity to continue targeting students by providing support and various opportunities.


How would you describe yourself in 5 words?

Hate it or love it, I am still number one. A bit more than five words, but I do not like limits anyway.


Sounds very ambitious! I ask all my interviewees the following question: what are your key ingredients of success?

I think there is no single "right" recipe of success that is valid for everyone, since it is a matter of personality. As for me, I am sure that no success can be reached without passion for what you do. Personally, I am crazy about my job, where you clearly see the added value one can deliver. So let us say a little bit of luck multiplied by self-dedication equals success. 


And what principles of success you have got from your alma mater?

The most important thing AUCA taught me is to think. Our wonderful professors made me broaden the scope of my consciousness and urged me to stay critical, which allowed me to graduate with honors. In addition to that, I have clearly learned how important it is to be an effective and strong leader, yet stay a team player. These kinds of investments are priceless, and one day they will bring in revenue.

If  talking about personal growth, our university provides a strong and firm foundation for future development. For me AUCA is, indeed, a special place, since I have met the people who became my life comrades here.  That is the greatest gift the university could have presented me.

Even now I often reminisce about my graduation day. It was a dreary, yet warm feeling. I remember standing in line for my diploma and I was thinking, "This is probably it. Now you will receive this beautiful paper stating that childhood is leaking away. But I damn like that!" I looked at the faces of my classmates and professors, and I realized how dear they are to my heart; I spent four years of life with them, and I confess that it has been a great journey.


Do you have any regrets?

No regrets at all. You know Richard Aldington once said, "Live and make mistakes, because this is the life". This is why I just live with mistakes, which I actually love.


Since you mentioned Richard Aldington, what actually motivates you in your life?

I am afraid to get bored of life, and that keeps me moving, exploring and discovering. The more you achieve, the higher another goal is being set up for you. Perpetum Mobile is my credo. Otherwise, the danger of being stuck in between would be inevitable.


Never thought of changing anything in your life?

I would not change any little thing. I should say that for some unknown reason I was granted, from above, the wonderful life I have. I am a happy person, and I am thankful for that every single minute. But if I would need to change one thing with a magic wand, I would have transmitted Bishkek to Issyk-Kul, since Issyk-Kul is my soul.


Someone has strongly influenced your life views…

That is definitely my mom. She is the most amazing person in this world. My modest brain just cannot understand how a person can combine so many huge features in one. My mother is a brilliant businesswoman, but my younger brother and I have always been surrounded by her love and care. At the same time, she is the perfect wife for my daddy, with dinner ready and ideally ironed shirts. Always stylish, she never stops on what she has already achieved, because this woman learns something new every day. 


Is she the only person who has influenced you to be who you are today?

First of all, I want to thank my dear parents for being my foundation, my support and my driving force. All I do in this life is dedicated to my mom and dad. Secondly, I want to express my gratitude to friends just for being the way they are. Thank you for being crazy sometimes, just like me. And last, but not least, I would like to say thank you to my professors who contributed to the formation of my personality and to my life in general. The lessons you have taught me are priceless! Wish you all the best, and thank you very much for everything!


Besides saving the world, what else you do in your spare time?

The two most important things in my life, and, I believe, in the life of every person, are friendship and love.

What can I say?  I am an unbelievably lucky person. I have the best of best friends ever, who make my life so bright and beautiful. Friendship by itself is a rare phenomenon, and it is hard to underestimate how fortunate I am to have my real friends around me. Real relatives might grow under different roofs, and this is true for me, because all of the people I call "friends" are my family. Thus, I dedicate most of my free time to my friends and of course to my little sweet doggy Masya. In between, I am trying to continue playing tennis and drawing. Meanwhile, I am madly waiting for the first snows to come, so that the snowboarding season will be opened.


As a member of the AUCA Alumni Board, how do you see the role of alumni in supporting AUCA?

To be frank, AUCA alumni are not playing the very role they should be playing in the life of our alma mater. Given the strong moral ties, alums have to be more involved in the activities of the university. Here, I believe, the administration and the Alumni Board have to cooperate closely. Surely, there are many brilliant ideas of how to make the AUCA family a home for everyone. Alums can provide the bridge between the students and AUCA management, representing the practical example of what an American University student can achieve. I look forward to being engaged in this kind of work. I communicate a lot with alumni of different classes of graduation, and all of them are willing to contribute to the development of our university. 


by Kemel Toktomushev

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