Alumna Rowena Abdul Razak’s Book ‘The Russians in Iran’

Alumna Rowena Abdul Razak’s Book ‘The Russians in Iran’

Class of 2006

Doctoral candidate in Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford

GIS is delighted  to present our Alumna Ms. Rowena Abdul Razak who has contributed a chapter for a book. ‘THE RUSSIANS IN IRAN’. Let’s see what Rowena had to say about her experience in writing the said book..

Hi! My name is Rowena Abdul Razak and I did my Sixth Form at Garden International School in French, History and English Literature, graduating in June 2006. I am currently a Doctoral candidate in Oriental Studies at the University of Oxford. My research focuses on British policy in Iran, from 1941 to 1946.

A few years ago, I was invited to contribute a chapter in a book on Russian-Iranian relations. I wrote on the early relationship between the Soviet Union and the Tudeh Party, a socialist party in Iran. I’m happy to announce that the book, was published by IB Tauris in December 2017. I’ve published in academic journals before but this was my first experience writing for an edited book, which was quite different. I had two wonderful editors, who advised me on focus and content. As an aspiring academic, it was a real honour to work with them and to be a part of a book that features well-known scholars.


What’s your best memory of GIS?

The wonderful teachers. They were really inspiring, particularly my History teachers – who taught in a really imaginative manner. Iremember being taught about the rise of Hitler with a puppet show (or rather pictures of key figures taped onto plastic spoons) – genius!

How did GIS shape who you are today?

It helped build my confidence and guide me on my academic path.

What inspires you?

A double espresso every morning.   

Describe GIS in three words…

Motivating. Welcoming. Challenging.

What advice can you give to current students in GIS?

Enjoy your time at school and try to strike a moderate balance between work and play. Be patient and flexible enough when life doesn’t go according to plan. No matter how hard you work, always remember to enjoy the simple joys of life!


GIS Alumni Office would like to thank Rowena for staying in touch  as well as congratulate her for the recent success and wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

“A day will come when the story inside you will want to breathe on its own. That’s when you start writing” – Sarah Noffke