Cyber Café and Friendship Center

Hundreds of thousands have enjoyed the exotic beauty of the Teahouse that Dushanbe presented to the people of Boulder.

In 1987, Boulder Mayor Linda Jourgensen and Dushanbe Mayor Maksud Ikramov concluded an agreement which included the exchange of gifts: a Tajik Teahouse for a Boulder-style Café or restaurant. In 1989, Dushanbe gave the beautiful Boulder-Dushanbe Teahouse to the citizens of Boulder. It opened in May, 1998.

Boulder-Dushanbe Sister Cities made plans to present a Cyber Café (now called the Cyber Café and Friendship Center) to the people of Dushanbe, a place where both physical and technological access to the rest of the world is difficult. The Cyber Café would be a restaurant, an Internet portal, a learning center, and a place to have fun. Our gift to Dushanbe reflects the culture, style, sensibilities and resources of Boulder: its technology, Western openness, and education. The Cyber Café and Friendship Center will provide a valuable resource to the people of Dushanbe.

Local architects helped kick off the process with a design brainstorming session. They were led by Boulder architect David Barrett who was hired to design the Cyber Café and Friendship Center and produce the building you see here on the website. Barrett thought deeply about the purpose of this project and his work is a true reflection of our goals.

WHERE WE ARE TODAY

Construction was started in Spring of 2007, but with a harsh winter in Dushanbe (2007-2008), there were delays. Major construction was completed over the summer of 2009. It was presented to the people of Dushanbe on September 23, 2008, with the opening pending final approvals of the City of Dushanbe. U.S. Ambassador Tracey Jacobson and Boulder Mayor Shaun McGrath helped present the gift on behalf of BDSC and the people of Boulder.

The City of Dushanbe selected an operator for the Cyber-Cafe Friendship Center in 2009. After various delays in Dushanbe, the center opened in fall 2009 relying heavily on the solar systems…the photovoltaics have been particularly helpful as Dushanbe has had problems with electricity supply this past year.

Boulder-Dushanbe Sister Cities Received Award for
Cyber-Cafe Solar Energy Features

Boulder-Dushanbe Sister Cities was selected to receive the 2009 “Innovation: Sustainable Development-Energy Award” by the Sister Cites International Awards program for cities with populations of 100,000 to 150,000. The award acknowledged the innovative use of solar energy in the Cyber-Cafe and Friendship Center in Dushanbe. The Innovations Award was also sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy and was accompanied by a $1,000 cash award.

Thanks to Bella Energy  for providing the major contribution of solar energy systems.
The solar systems are monitored by Fat Spaniel Technologies which send and receive periodic status updates via the Internet indicating that everything is running nicely!

SEPTEMBER 23, 2008 PRESENTATION CEREMONY

CONSTRUCTION FROM SUMMER 2008

CONSTRUCTION FROM SPRING 2008

CONSTRUCTION FROM WINTER 2008

CONSTRUCTION FROM FALL 2007 AND EARLIER