Behind the Silk Curtain is about multiculturalism, adapting to new environments, socializing with people of different cultures, linguistic integration, gaining experience, and facing challenges. It is about friends and family, Kazakh traditions and the country’s mentality, charity and weddings, and many other fascinating contexts the wife of Kazakh diplomat and chairwoman of Kazakhstan diplomats’ wives community Gulistan Khamzayeva was involved in.
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Gulistan Khamzayeva is a chairwoman of Kazakhstan diplomats’ wives community. From 1993 to 2018 Gulistan has accompanied her husband, Almaz Khamzayev, a career diplomat, on diplomatic postings to Washington, London, Madrid, Rome, and Brussels. They have also been accredited to Greece, Malta, and San Marino.
Gulistan has written extensively about her life as the wife of an ambassador in her books, which she has presented in Kazakhstan, the US, Italy, Belgium, and Spain. Her first book, Leaving a Piece of my Heart behind, written in Russian, was published in 2009 in Kazakhstan and re-edited in 2011. It is about women who, due to their husbands’ jobs, had to leave their home country to follow their husbands, find their own way in the host country and learn about the duties of a wife of an ambassador. The book received many warm responses and comments from men and women of different ages and social status. The proceeds from the book sales went to support the Association of Parents with Disabled Children of Almaty, Kazakhstan.
Gulistan has over twenty years of experience as a senior lecturer of English, having taught at Abai Kazakh National Pedagogical University from 1979 to 1992 and as a senior lecturer at the Diplomatic Academy of Kazakhstan in Almaty in 1997-1999. Gulistan is fluent in seven languages: Kazakh, Russian, English, Italian, Spanish, French, and German.
She enjoys crafts and is fond of painting. She is a contemporary painter, having mastered an array of painting techniques and skills while living all over Italy. Her painting style is a synthesis of her poetic inclinations that draw on and evolve from her own everyday experience, and represents a merger of her cultural traditions with the thought and aesthetics of the West. She is a member of the Brussels Circle of Diplomatic Artists. In 2011 she received an award from AODI for her active participation in charity.
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