From Kingston to Kyrgyzstan
While Rahim Moloo, Artsci’02, was learning about life sciences in the classroom, it was his involvement in a diverse range of extracurricular activities at Queen’s that ultimately set him on the path to a career in international law and a once-in-a-lifetime job as the University of Central Asia’s General Counsel.
“I definitely learned as much outside the classroom as I did in class,” he says. “My extracurricular experiences — with the AMS, as President of the Main Campus Residents' Society, and as a member of Queen's International Affairs Association and the Debating Union — allowed me to develop skills that I would not have ordinarily had the chance to hone until much later in life and helped me to realize my passion for oral advocacy and for politics.”
Rahim had also spent the summer between his first and second years volunteering in an Afghan refugee camp — an international development experience that he notes influenced his decision to pursue his current position.
After completing his Master’s degree in International Law at NYU, Rahim practised international law in Washington, DC, representing sovereigns and private parties before international tribunals. In March 2010, he and his family—wife Emily and their two young sons, Iliyan and Kyam — relocated to Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan so that Rahim could pursue the position of General Counsel.
“The University of Central Asia was established by an international treaty among Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and His Highness the Aga Khan, with the mission to promote the social and economic development of the region, particularly in its mountain communities,” explains Rahim. “Professionally, the position as General Counsel was a compelling opportunity to implement an international treaty that has such a noble objective and to advise the international organization established by that treaty on matters of international law.”
Life in Bishkek is both challenging and adventurous. Rahim also frequently travels to Kazakhstan and Tajikistan — the other two founding countries that have University of Central Asia campuses.
“Shortly after we moved to Bishkek, there was a revolution in the country and the government was overthrown. That was a tense time, and we were obviously concerned for our safety,” says Rahim, “but the work is extremely compelling, we’ve managed to make some great friends in Central Asia, and we already have many good memories of our time here. I’m lucky to have the support of Emily and my extended family, without which I wouldn’t have been able to pursue this opportunity.”