Surat Toimastov was born in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, and graduated as a biologist with a degree from the Tajik State University. Before the civil war; Surat worked at the Tajik Academy of Science (Institute of Zoology and Department of Conservation). Later he became deputy chief in the National Department of Special Protected Areas and Hunting. Since 1989, Surat has been running his own tourism concern in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, where he specializes in giving guided tours of Tajikistan and the remote Pamir mountain range, which he has also been photographing for over 35 years. Known as the “Roof of the World,” the range contains some of the highest and most pristine peaks along with unique animals such as the Marco Polo sheep. Surat has photographed it all, and his works have appeared in books, magazines, reports, and tourism materials as well as being turned into postcards, calendars, and poster-sized prints.