My name is Christopher Schwartz. I am a writer, researcher, and journalist specialized in Central Asia. I work as the Editor-in-Chief of NewEurasia Citizen Media, Central Eurasia’s largest citizen journalism platform and publisher of CyberChaikhana: Digital Conversations from Central Asia. I am also a frequent guest lecturer at the International University of Kyrgyzstan, located in a delightful relic of Khrushchev-era Soviet Islamesque in downtown Bishkek. However, you’ll also often find me in the library of the Higher Institute of Philosophy in Leuven, Belgium, or roaming the streets of my hometown, New York City.
I really enjoy helping other people realize their ambitions. For instance, I have served as a business development consultant with several small firms, including the Tumar Art Group, Hertfordshire Press, and Van Amstel Diamond. I was one of the project architects of the Novellasia competition in Central Asia.
My work has appeared on the BBC and Al-Jazeera, and I have been published in languages that to the broader language are obscure but that I am fully convinced are quite awesome, such as Latvian, Kazakh, Kyrgyz, and Uzbek. However, I am much more proud of the work of several of the young European and Central Asian bloggers and journalists who I have trained or in other ways tried to help to launch their careers. You may not have heard of their countries or media agencies, but I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to assist their struggle to build a better future for our world.
I am a student of history and philosophy, with advanced degrees from La Salle University and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. I am currently doing my doctorate in “philosophy of journalism” under Prof. Dr. Bart Pattyn, author of Media en Mentaliteit. I am also a professional N00B with respect to encryption and counter-surveillance tools.
Religion is deeply important to me. I was raised in a joint Baptist-Methodist church by a Christian mother and a Jewish father from the Presbyterian and Conservative traditions, respectively. After exploring Islam for ten years, I ultimately joined the Bahá’í Faith and haven’t looked back since. At the same time, I keep the roots to my past alive, and in November 2014, I walked the Camino de Santiago, from Saint Jean Pied de Port to the Cape of Finisterre. My grandparents were under the sway of Averoës via Maimonides and Spinoza, so he is something of a patron spiritual saint as well.
I swear by the glow of sunset; by the night, and all that it brings together; by the moon, in her full perfection: that you shall all march onwards from state to state. — L’Être, Qur’an, 84:16