It all began with a blog, Flying Carpets and Broken Pipelines in 2008. I was an analyst with a Berlin-based think tank European Stability Initiative splitting my time between Turkey and Azerbaijan. At the time, I was doing research on Azerbaijan's history of women's rights and gender equality. Traveling around Azerbaijan, speaking with ordinary people, observing the growing inequality between economic classes, and watching people struggle on daily basis, due to lack of opportunities, and fair conditions, led me to write. First on my blog, soon after as a correspondent for OBC Transeuropa and gradually for other platforms.
Over the years, I spent time working and living in Turkey, Azerbaijan, the Czech Republic, and the US.
Some of my work led me to speaking engagements across the world, while others, allowed me to work as a trainer with communities at risk, activists, non-governmental organizations, political parties, and others.
In 2014, I was selected as one of five Vaclav Havel Journalism Fellows at the Radio Free Europe. The same year, I was named one of BBC 100 Women Changemakers in the world. In 2016, I spent six months as the Central Asia Program fellow at George Washington University. In 2018 my interest in how repressive states use technology to censor and surveil the internet took me to the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard where, as Open Technology Information Control fellow I researched how Azerbaijan was deploying technology to crack down on its civil society. The same year, I started research for Generation Breadcrumbs - a political memoir about a lost generation of civil society activists in Azerbaijan [work in progress].
I have spent most of my time writing for publications as OpenDemocracy, IWPR, OBC Transeuropa, OC Media, and others.
In 2019, I launched Azerbaijan Internet Watch. AIW is an online resource platform tracking and mapping internet censorship and surveillance in real-time in Azerbaijan. The project has been possible with the support of the Open Technology Fund and project partners Qurium and OONI.
For a full bio please visit the LinkedIn profile.