A Traveler’s Personal Story of Her Return to the North Caucasus

A Traveler’s Personal Story of Her Return to the North Caucasus

When MIR traveler Susanna Markiewicz McNeil signed up for MIR’s Return to the North Caucasus small group tour, she was – literally – returning. Susanna was born in a village in Dagestan, an out-of-the-way region her Polish parents fled to during the atrocities of WWII. Prior to her departure, Susanna shared with MIR that her family had once lived in Dagestan, and that she was actually born there. MIR worked diligently with our Tour Manager and local MIR guide to find a way for her to visit her birthplace and reconnect with her roots. We used our destination expertise and on-the-ground connections to make it happen. We are grateful to have Susanna share her story of her very personal return to the North Caucasus, and to the small town where she was born and lived the first few years of her life. Read More


South Caucasus Travel: Jewish Heritage in Azerbaijan

South Caucasus Travel: Jewish Heritage in Azerbaijan

Jewish heritage is not always easy to trace in an Islamic country; it may have been covered up, forgotten, or forcibly erased. The South Caucasus country of Azerbaijan is different. Though nominally a Shi’a Islamic country, Azerbaijan has had a historic tolerance for its Jewish communities beginning in the 5th and 6th centuries. That’s when people now called “Mountain Jews” began arriving from Persia. Read More


Jewish Heritage in Russia: Travel to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Birobidzhan

Jewish Heritage in Russia: Travel to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Birobidzhan

Russia has changed a great deal since the fall of the Soviet Union. A new generation of Russians is reconnecting with Jewish heritage and welcoming those who want to explore their ancestry. MIR is an expert at hand-crafting itineraries for travelers searching for their roots, or their relatives, in Russia. For those interested in traveling to Russia to explore Jewish heritage, here are some places you could include on your trip… Read More


Dancing in Khiva, Uzbekistan: The Khalfi Family (VIDEO)

Dancing in Khiva, Uzbekistan: The Khalfi Family (VIDEO)

The revolving troupe of performers in the Khalfi family (featured in our video) has been singing, dancing, and drumming for years now in Khiva, Uzbekistan. As the younger generation grows up and moves on to other pursuits, there always seem to be more little ones ready to join their relatives and add to the fun of the performances. Read More


Holocaust Center for Humanity Museum: Objects from Auschwitz

Holocaust Center for Humanity Museum: Objects from Auschwitz

Five artifacts will be arriving in Seattle from Auschwitz, transported by travelers on a journey sponsored by the Holocaust Center for Humanity, and partially operated by Seattle’s MIR Corporation. They will find a home in Seattle's new Holocaust Museum. Read More