Friends and comrades,

We got started with this website last June with the goal of publishing interesting content about the region and giving writers and artists a new platform for their work.

It’s been, undeniably, a tremendous success. Our content has slowed up significantly in the past few months, but that’s been for good reason. I am happy to announce that The Tuqay is joining forces with Ajam Media Collective and is subsuming itself to the Ajam name.

The first question I’ll answer is what this means. In the coming months, all of our content at The Tuqay will be copied and migrated over to Ajam’s website, Ajam is undertaking an overhaul during this time, and The Tuqay will remain live. Once the overhaul is complete, will redirect to The Tuqay will remain standing as a website even though there will be no new content.

Ajam Media Collective focuses their content on covering new ground and perspectives in Central and West Asia. I am their Caucasus and Central Asia editor, and much of the same stories that we’ve told on The Tuqay will be told over at Ajam. I have even already spoken to a few of you about new projects. If you have any things you would like to pitch, let me know!

The bad news, for those writers/artists/general creative types is that Ajam and our work is unpaid. This is frustrating, I know, but there simply is no money there for us and therefore no money with which to pay others. The Tuqay could afford to pay because I was at a particular point in my life where I could afford to. That time has passed. I will not insult anyone’s intelligence by telling them their work should be a “labor of love” or whatever, I simply send my regrets that it there is no money in it for the time being and we will let you know if and when there is.

This means that there will be no payments for any pitches or stories from this time forward. If you believe you are still owed some money, please contact me and we can see what is owed.

The second question is why. The simple answer is: Ajam Media Collective is an incredible organization with farther reach than The Tuqay could do on its own. If we really want to tell these stories to a receptive audience, Ajam is the medium through which to do it. There are seven very tenacious, very brilliant individuals running the website and dozens contributing to it. Ajam has a social networking footprint in Twitter, Facebook, and Tumblr that The Tuqay could not even dream of comparing itself to. And most importantly, Ajam has a clarity of vision and a broad aspiration that I am very excited to be a part of. They – that is, “we” – are young people trying to do something very special, to tell the stories of the region for its own sake and from its own perspective. To be proudly Ajam; different, strange, and wonderfully so. It is going to be a very good time telling very good stories with the Ajam Media Collective.

There will be some cosmetic and infrastructural changes on both and in the coming months, as well as on our affiliate sites. If you have any questions during this process, you can always get a hold of me at my e-mail address below.

I would like to thank you all for being part of this project with me. It was truly a dream project, and I could not imagine it turning out any better than the way it has. I wish you all the best, and I cannot wait to hear again from you soon.