Nahaar Dybdyr did his north2north exchange in Umeå, Sweden in 2006-2007, where he spent five months studying and learning about public health. After the exchange, he decided to take a winter bicycle trip from Sweden to Russia in February – a 700 km trip with 14 nights of sleeping outdoors. According to Nahaar, his whole exchange experience opened him the chance to become a Circumpolar Studies student and helped him make future life choices. As he puts it, his “life arrow flew to Far North”, and indigenous people and the circumpolar world became the topics of his research.
After postgraduate medical studies and internship, he continued to the Momsky district of the Sakha Republic as the only general surgeon of the region. He continued to improve his field medicine skills, and at the same time did field research on the small indigenous population’s health in 2009-2010. In 2010 he moved to the Even-Bitantay indigenous district where he now works as a doctor; a remote place where conditions can be difficult and the equipment lacking. Altogether, Nahaar has worked in three Far North districts of Russia (Momsky, Even-Bitantay and Alliakha) as the only surgeon and reanimatologist. Studies within the UArctic network have helped him in his work as a doctor, in social work as the president of the Even-Bitantay public organization Behind Healthy Lifestyle, and also in journalistic activities. Nahaar sends a "large THANK YOU!" to the Swedish Institute and North-Eastern Federal University for a great opportunity to study in Sweden, and to UArctic staff for useful and very interesting Circumpolar Studies.
He also published a photo essay recently in which he highlights the beauty of the region but also the high costs and risks of living there. Below is the preface to the book, written by Kathleen Osgood from the Center for Circumpolar Studies.
Prologue to a Journey to Inspiration
From the time he first was a student online studying the circumpolar world with the University of the Arctic, Nahaar (Petrov) Dybdyr has struck me as a young man of great intelligence, compassion and artistry. He completed his second course with me while also working as a newly-minted physician in the remote Even-Bytantai region of the Sakha Republic. Internet access was sporadic, and there were many instances where a failing pregnancy or a near-fatal accident took all of his attention, especially in the absence of normal medical facilities like a trauma center or even rudimentary oxygen equipment.
In this impressive photo essay about the realities and difficulties of one of the world’s most inaccessible and remote places, Dybdyr relays to us the beauty and the peril of the Even reindeer herders and Sakha cattle breeders on the taiga. There is the stark contrast of pure, unsullied waters with the lack of sanitary conditions, of gorgeous landscapes and bootleg liquor. With the eye of a hunter, Dybdyr focuses his camera. With the mind of a surgeon, he lances the wounds of a society struggling in a globalizing world. With the soul of a poet, he tells us the real needs and potential of his adopted world – the Even-Bytantai Region of the Sakha Republic.
Nahaar is currently compiling the 3rd and improved edition of "Even-Bitantai: The Journey to Inspiration". Copies of the 2nd edition are still available; for more information, contact Nahaar Petrov (firstname.lastname@example.org).