Pharmacy Perspectives - Graduation 2019 - 5
G R A D UAT I O N 2 0 1 9
Graduating pharmacy student Yeva Khavasova poses for a photo with husband Ariel Aminov and children, Ezra, left, and Ahron, right. Photo provided by Yeva Khavasova.
YEVA KHAVASOVA: ДОРУПАЗ MEANS
'PHARMACIST' IN BUHKORI
BY SANDY GRAHAM
eva Khavasova walks in two worlds.
In May, she will receive
her PharmD degree from
the University of Colorado
Skaggs School of Pharmacy
and Pharmaceutical Sciences. Khavasova also
is a wife, the mother of two young boys, and a
Bukharian Jew. She knows of only a handful of
women in her community who have pursued
Bukharian Jews inhabited Central Asia
for at least 2,000 years. The name comes from
the Emirate of Bukhara, which existed from
1795 to 1920 in what today is Uzbekistan,
Khavasova's birthplace. With the collapse of
the Soviet Union in 1991, most Bukharian Jews
moved to the United States or Israel.
Khavasova's parents joined the exodus in 1993.
The family first lived in New York, and then moved
to Colorado in 1997 when Yeva was 6. The Denver
area has a sizeable Bukharian Jewish population.
"We have a very, very strict, super-tight community," she recalls. "I went to a small Jewish
high school. I was going to school, coming
home and participating in few extracurricular
activities." American teens saw her as different.
"But I knew I didn't want to let my parents
down," she says.
The idea of being a pharmacist was planted
when she was 10 and her mother's parents
moved to Colorado. Khavasova was their
translator and helped them understand how
to take their medications. In high school,
she volunteered at a Russian community
pharmacy. Fluent in Russian and English
and semi-fluent in Hebrew and Bukhori (a
dialect of the Tajiki language), Khavasova
enjoyed helping customers with their needs
"I really began to understand what pharmacy was all about. It was like a light bulb going
off. I could totally see myself here," she says.
Love stepped in. Khavasova, now 27, met
her husband, Ariel Aminov, 36, at synagogue.
He is a Bukharian Jew from Tajikistan. They
were married in January 2013.
"My parents were not excited about me getting
married," Khavasova recalls.
They were concerned that she would become
pregnant and not finish her undergraduate degree.
But the newlyweds had agreed that Khavasova
should pursue her dreams and explained this to
both sets of parents.
Aminov "was 100 percent on board" with her
plans, she says. In the Bukharian Jewish tradition,
Khavasova would have hosted lavish Shabbat dinners each week, cooked her husband a fresh meal
every day, and immediately had children. Some
people in her community were "shocked at how
nontraditional we were," she says.
After a couple of years of marriage, they decided
it was time to start a family, although this meant
that Khavasova was pregnant when she interviewed
at CU Pharmacy. Her first child, Ahron, now 4,
was born the day she received her acceptance email.
Ezra was born two years later, two weeks after her
"During my interview at the pharmacy school,
they mentioned that they were family friendly and
offered many resources such as listening to lectures
online, daycare on campus (there is a waitlist), and
an in-office advisor to best help and support students during the four years," Khavasova says.
However, she found that classes or exams sometimes conflicted with important religious holidays
- not just the holidays themselves but the dayslong preparations that went with them. "That was
a big challenge and the school did work with me,"
Khavasova says. She was able to move her exams.
And there were the challenges that face every
working parent For example, her childcare provider
quit two weeks before Khavasova's final exams
during her first semester of school. A friend filled
in for four weeks. Working with her preceptors,
Khavasova was able to adjust her work schedule so
she could pick up her sons from daycare.
Aminov, despite owning and running his barbershop full-time, took on many responsibilities
and Khavasova's mother was her ultimate cheerleader, never letting her stumble along the path.
Both Khavasova's and Aminov's parents stepped
in at times to provide additional support.
After graduation, Khavasova is looking at a few
career options. She might return to the pharmacy
where she volunteered in high school. She also has
been offered a position in a soon-to-open Russian
compounding pharmacy. She says her goal is to
eventually be in an ambulatory-care-like setting
to help patients manage multiple diseases.
Khavasova still remembers her grandmother and
her rabbi talking to her parents about attending
pharmacy school and getting married. "She can
do this," her grandmother said.
And she has.
Pharmacy Perspectives - Graduation 2019
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