BDSC History

Boulder-Dushanbe Sister Cities was initiated in 1982, when two Boulder women, Mary Hey and Sophia Stoller, decided they’d had enough of the rhetoric and unease of the continuing Cold War. By-passing bureaucrats unwilling to consider a proposal for friendship, they stubbornly made one overture after another until in 1987, the city of Dushanbe became Boulder’s Sister City.


  • Soviet Sister City Project is founded


  • Series of monthly programs on Soviet culture begins


  • Project representatives visit Dushanbe and Soviet Embassy to lobby for a sister city


  • First annual Boulder Festival of Soviet Film


  • Mayor Ikramov visits Boulder with Dushanbe delegation and signs sister city agreement with Mayor Jourgensen.
  • First Boulder-Dushanbe Sister Cities -sponsored tour goes to USSR.
  • Project is renamed Boulder-Dushanbe Sister Cities


  • Boulder Views, an exhibit of 40+ works donated by local artists and photographers, is sent to Dushanbe for permanent display.
  • Official delegation from Boulder visits Dushanbe


  • 21 Boulder area high school students participate in first exchange visit to USSR.
  • 4 Dushanbe physicians visit Boulder in first phase of physician exchange


  • 10 Dushanbe high school students visit Boulder
  • The Tajik teahouse, magnificent gift from the people of Dushanbe, arrives in   Boulder
  • 4 Boulder physicians visit Dushanbe
  • Dedication of Peace Garden along Boulder Creek to honor all of Boulder’s sister cities


  • In the third wave of our high school exchange, 16 Boulder area students visit Dushanbe for two weeks and stay with Tajik families
  • Boulder’s Kuhiston Foundation organizes US-USSR ecological expedition to Shirkent area; findings are presented to Tajik Parliament in order to establish a National Park
  • Tajikistan becomes an independent nation following break-up of the Soviet Union


  • Local ham radio operators ship equipment to Dushanbe colleagues
  • Civil war breaks out in Tajikistan
  • First humanitarian aid shipment to Dushanbe


  • Boulder-Dushanbe Sister Cities sponsors 2 Dushanbe ophthalmologists at post-graduate seminar conducted by Orbis International
  • Dedication of Teahouse site on 13th Street
  • Second humanitarian aid shipment


  • Third humanitarian aid shipment
  • Equipment sent to Tajikistan’s Mountain Rescue organization


  • Partnership between Community Hospital and Dushanbe City Medical Center forms under USIA auspices
  • Over 50 visitors from Tajikistan hosted in Boulder
  • Grant received from National Endowment for the Arts to bring artisans to Boulder to assist in Teahouse assembly
  • Surgical suture material sent to Dushanbe’s Emergency Surgery Hospital


  • Micro-lending/village banking program is launched by Kuhiston Foundation
  • “Hearth to Hearth” Tajik dance and arts events presented by Helander Dance Theater
  • Six young adults from Dushanbe who had hosted our student delegation visit    Boulder
  • Seven high school and post-graduate students from Dushanbe enroll in Boulder schools and the University


  • Construction of Teahouse begins
  • Boulder Rotary Club assists in forming the first Central Asian Rotary Club in Dushanbe
  • Five high school and post-graduate students from Dushanbe are enrolled in Boulder schools and the University
  • Sponsorship of several sessions of Donish, summer environmental camps for Dushanbe secondary school students


  • Grand opening of the Teahouse
  • Five workshops presented by Teahouse artisans are held
  • Participation in Boulder Sister City Festival at Jr. Academy


  • Boulder Flatirons School initiates “Sister School” project with Dushanbe School
  • BDSC delegation of 12 visit Dushanbe to participate in celebration of the 1,100th year anniversary of the Samanid heritage


  • Start of reciprocal gift effort
  • Planning and concept development for reciprocal gift


  • Delegation from BDSC visits Dushanbe, meets with mayor, initial site chosen for Cyber Café
  • Schematic design for Cyber Café completed


  • Annual Tajik New Year Celebration at Teahouse
  • Commencement of fundraising effort Cyber Café reciprocal gift


  • Annual Tajik New Year Celebration at Teahouse
  • Fundraising effort Cyber Café reciprocal gift


  • Delegation visits Dushanbe and is given new site for Cyber Café
  • Annual Tajik New Year Celebration at Teahouse
  • Fashion Tea fundraising event


  • Annual Tajik New Year Celebration at Teahouse
  • 2nd Annual Fashion Tea fundraising event


  • Annual Tajik New Year Celebration at Teahouse
  • Signing of decree by Mayor of Dushanbe for construction of Cyber Café
  • Official Groundbreaking for construction of Cyber Café
  • Commencement of final push of fundraising for Cyber Café
  • 3rd Annual Fashion Tea fundraising event

2007 to Present

  • See the Newsletters