Tajik known poet Bozor Sobir has celebrated his 79th birthday in the United States.  

“Bozor Sobir wanted to return to Tajikistan in early November but illness prevented him from doing this,” a source at Tajik Writers’ Union told Asia-Plus on Monday.

“However, Bozor Sobir intends to return to Tajikistan after a full recovery and publish a collection of new verses here,” the source added.  

Born on November 20, 1938, Bozor Sobir completed his studies in Tajik philology at Tajik National University in Dushanbe in 1962 and had worked for the magazines Maorif va Madaniyat (Education and Culture) and Sadoyi Sharq (Voice of the East).  During the Soviet period his verse was widely translated into Western languages and even published in Iran.

With the advent of glasnost he became actively involved in the political and cultural movements for an independent national identity.  Four major collections of his verse were published in the 2000s.   

Bozor Sobir was also a prominent member of the Democratic Party of Tajikistan until his resignation from the party in November 1992, reportedly because of disagreement with the party leadership.

On 26 March 1993 Bozor Sobir was arrested at the Dushanbe airport, where he had gone reportedly to send a parcel to his son who lived that time in Moscow.  On April 5, 1993, Bozor Sobir was charged with "incitement to illegal deprivation of freedom" and "attempting to inflame interethnic discord."  After release from jail, Bozor Sobir in December 1994 left Tajikistan for the United States, where he resided for 19 years before he returned to Tajikistan in May 2013.