Samir passed away in February 2011. He was a John Smith Fellow of the 2009 year group and worked for Transparency International Azerbaijan.
Transparency International is a non-governmental organisation that coordinates anti-corruption activities in more than 90 countries of the world through its national chapters. The chapters are independent local NGOs free to develop their own polices. Samir worked as a PR and Media Specialist in the head office of Transparency Azerbaijan, managing their media profile and ensuring coverage for TI activities. He also prepared electronic content for the TI website. It was clear, precise and well presented and he would regularly send updates to JSMT on the key cases and issues he was following.
Talking about Samir, JST Academic Programme Director Brian Brivati writes:
"I always felt he had a sense of disappointment that things had not turned better politically in his country but this was tinged with a strong sense of hope that things would improve. His feeling of disappointment could sometimes come through as anger and frustration with the pace of change, but he loved his country. He was a nationalist in the best sense of the word, not a narrow patriot but someone who simply loved his country and his people and wanted better for them. He was always saying that I should stay longer in Azerbaijan so he could take me to his village and to the countryside and then I would see the real country. Baku was not Azerbaijan; the land was the real country.
His loss to the Trust is huge, he was universally popular with the alumni. The loss to his family must be unbearable. But his country has lost a patriot and a fighter for freedom, a man of immense dignity and quiet determination who had only just begun to make a difference and had a life time of service ahead of him. We will all miss him and his country will be poorer and emptier without him." February 2011