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Release: Immediate

Five political leaders of former Soviet republic meet with UI educators

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- Five political leaders from Tajikistan, a country of the former Soviet republic, will visit the Iowa City area Wednesday, June 25, through Friday, June 27, as part of the Council for International Visitors to Iowa Cities (CIVIC) program.

The guests, who represent different political parties in Tajikistan, will meet with University of Iowa educators, local political leaders and others in the community to gain a sense of grassroots political organizing. Among those meeting with the visitors are UI faculty in the departments of political science, journalism and communication studies; state Rep. Dick Myers; and members of the Johnson County Republican Party Central Committee

Tajikistan, a country slightly smaller than the state of Wisconsin, has had a recent turbulent political history. The visitors are: Mahmadali Haitov, press secretary of the United Tajik Opposition, Gharm District; Mohiniso Horisova, chairman of the Socialist Party of Tajikistan, Regional Department of Khojand; Nuriddin Sadriddinov, a member of the Presidium of the National Movement "Rastokhez" and a neuro-pathologist with the Asht District Clinic; Sayfullo Safarov, an advisor to the president on political parties and ethnic relations; and Abdunabi Sattorzoda Sattorov, deputy chairman of the Democratic Party of Tajikistan, Almaty Faction.

CIVIC is a community organization of volunteers "serving and hosting international visitors as a means to promote international understanding on a person-to-person basis," according to Tom Baldridge, CIVIC executive director. It's one of two such organizations in Iowa that accommodates the U.S. Information Agency's International Visitor Program. The other is in Des Moines.

Since its inception in 1985, CIVIC has hosted more than 850 visitors, representing 120 different countries. This year, an estimated 90 to 100 visitors will come to the community through CIVIC, bringing in $210,000 annually to the local economy.

CIVIC also is looking for volunteers to help arrange itineraries of international visitors. For more information, call the CIVIC office at 335-0351 or Jeanne Cadoret, CIVIC board president, at 644-2746. The CIVIC office is in Room 128 of the UI's International Center, located at the south end of Ferson Avenue off of Park Road.

(Editors Note: Arrangements to interview or photograph the guests during their visit can be made by calling Tom Baldridge at 335-0351 or Carol Spaziani at 338-6140, who have more information about the CIVIC itinerary.)