Pitzer Spotlights

Raumene Rahatzad, Pitzer's First Fulbright to Azerbaijan

Raumene Rahatzad
Raumene Rahatzad '06 will be going to Azerbaijan to research religion as it affects Azerbaijan's national identity.

Raumene Rahatzad graduated on Sunday, May 14, and received the wonderful news on the following Tuesday that he was awarded a Fulbright to Azerbaijan, a country located in Southwest Asia. He will research religion as it affects Azerbaijan’s national identity.

Azerbaijan's literal translation is “the land of eternal flames” and is a country with deep Zoroastrian roots, a majority Muslim population, and a country in search of its identity since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Rahatzad will complete a four month training program of intensive Azeri to assist in his field work, and he will complete Azeri language courses at Western University in Baku. His research will focus on documented observations and interviews with locals in Baku.

An active student leader at Pitzer, Rahatzad was the Founder and President of the Iranian Students Association of the Claremont Colleges from Fall 2005 through Spring 2006; co-founder of the 5-C organization Itihad: Middle Eastern Cultural Advocacy and President, Fall 2004; founder and co-president of the student organization Justice for Israel and Palestine from Spring 2004 through Spring 2006; worked in the Fletcher Jones Culture and Language Lab; and volunteered with CCCSI at Camps Afflerbaugh/Paige, Spring 2003.

During his junior year at Pitzer, he studied abroad in Amman, Jordan, researching how westernization has affected traditional notions of Arab beauty as expressed in classic literature and poetry. He graduated with honors in International/Intercultural Studies with a focus on the Middle East.

—Susan Andrews