The embassy of Kazakhstan in Ashgabat hosted on Thursday (20 February 2020) a briefing for the local and foreign media.
Here is the translation of the text of the speech of Ambassador Yerkebulan Sapiev:
Dear representatives of the media! Ladies and Gentlemen!
First of all, let me express my gratitude to all of you for participating in our event. Today’s “roundtable” is organized to inform the journalistic community of Turkmenistan about anniversary celebrations celebrated at a high state level in the Republic of Kazakhstan in 2020, as well as to familiarize them with the schedule of information, image and cultural events of the Embassy for the coming period.
This year is rich in significant dates that are important for the history of our country. First of all, this is the 1150th anniversary of world-famous scientist and philosopher Abu Nasr al-Farabi, as well as the 175th anniversary of the great Kazakh poet and enlightener Abay Kunanbaiuly. By the decision of the respected President of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kassym-Zhomart Kemeluly Tokayev, state commissions have been created to prepare and conduct these significant events. National plans for organizing international, state and regional events dedicated to these anniversaries have been approved.
Kazakhstan attaches great importance to these events, since the great personalities of al-Farabi and Abay demonstrate to the world community that education and science, culture and literature have long been developing in the Kazakh steppe. For us, this is an enduring historical value and a great responsibility.
At the same time, it should be noted that the anniversary year of Al-Farabi is celebrated on an international scale. In particular, the 1150th anniversary of the outstanding thinker of the East is included in the Calendar of Memorable Dates and Events of UNESCO and will be widely celebrated on international cultural sites with the support of ISESCO, OIC, TURKSOY and other authoritative organizations.
We believe that the celebration of the anniversary of Abu Nasr al-Farabi on such a scale will give a powerful impetus to the study and understanding of the great scientist’s legacy both in our country and abroad.
In Kazakhstan, in the name of al-Farabi is named the largest educational institution – Kazakh National University. Therefore, it is no coincidence that the official celebration of the anniversary year began on January 29 of this year with the international presentation of the Al-Farabi Center, a large library opened at this university. KazNU is constantly working to study the heritage of Al-Farabi. The university has a museum of the great thinker, his books have been published, and the International Farabi Readings are held. The university also successfully implements the unique project “Al-Farabi University smart city”, which is based on a symbiosis of technological and spiritual-moral platforms.
As part of the festivities, from March 30 to April 7, 2020, the international scientific expedition “Following Al-Farabi’s Footsteps” will be held; it is planned for the territories of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Iran. Members of the expedition will follow the historical places where the outstanding philosopher of the East was born, raised, educated and worked. The expedition included 54 people representing the scientific and academic sphere of Kazakhstan.
During the stay of the expedition in Turkmenistan, Kazakh scientists will visit the historical sites of the ancient Merv, where al-Farabi lived, studied and worked. The next day in the capital, Ashgabat, it is planned to organize an international scientific-practical conference “Following Al-Farabi: Merv” with the participation of representatives of the media, the diplomatic corps, and the creative and scientific intelligentsia of Turkmenistan. Both Kazakh and Turkmen scholars studying the heritage of Al-Farabi will speak at the conference.
I take this opportunity to invite you to take direct and active part in the broad coverage of this important international event in order to familiarize the Turkmen public with the results of modern scientific research on the life and work of our great common ancestor.
Along with the anniversary events, on May 27, 2020, in the capital of Kazakhstan, under the auspices of UNESCO, TURKSOY and ISESCO, the International Scientific Symposium “Al-Farabi and World Civilization” will be held with the invitation of leading Kazakh and foreign scientists, university leaders, etc. The issue of participation is currently being worked out in the work of the symposium of Turkmen scholars-farabi-scholars.
This year, an art festival will be organized in the Turkestan region, accompanied by artisans fairs, national games competitions and holiday concerts.
In Paris, under the auspices of UNESCO, an international conference is planned on the heritage of al-Farabi, with the participation of leading world experts in the field of humanities.
Historical cultural objects will also be reconstructed, the scientist’s works published and translated, a series of documentaries will be created, and al-Farabi centers will open in different countries of the world.
The whole complex of the mentioned events is aimed, first of all, at popularizing the ideas of the “second teacher” (after Aristotle) among the young generation and the world community, as al-Farabi is called, who made an invaluable contribution to the development of world science and civilization.
Al-Farabi’s life is a unique example of the pursuit of knowledge, understanding of the world and the meaning of life. On the thoughts and spiritual foundations of the great philosopher, you can educate a person as a person, and strengthen the true humane values. The wisdom of the great teacher is very relevant and has great meaning today.
As I already mentioned today, this year is also marked by the 175th anniversary of the outstanding poet and thinker of the Kazakh people Abay Kunanbayuly. The official opening ceremony of the celebrations dedicated to the anniversary of the Great Abay took place in our capital on January 21, 2020 with the participation of the country’s top leadership.
This year it is planned to hold major international and national socially significant, cultural and educational events and media projects.
The calendar of the anniversary year includes such large-scale projects as the presentation of the works of Abay widespread in the world, an international scientific and practical conference at UNESCO headquarters in Paris with the participation of famous Abaev scientists, representatives of creative and scientific intelligentsia, and events at the Museum of the University of Cambridge. Among international events, a ceremonial meeting and the staging of the opera “Abay” at the most famous theater venues in the world are also planned.
On August 14, 2020, in the city of Semey, Kazakhstan, together with UNESCO, is planned to hold an international scientific-practical conference “Abay’s legacy and world spirituality.” The Embassy is currently working on the issue of participation in the conference of Turkmen Abay scholars.
As part of the jubilee, the museum will also include museumification of the State Historical, Cultural and Literary Memorial Museum-Reserve “Zhidebay-Borili” in the homeland of Abay and the carrying out of scientific and restoration work on objects of historical and cultural heritage associated with the name of the great poet.
In order to popularize moral guidelines praised by the great thinker, open classes, contests of expositions and expressive reading of Abay’s works will be held in all educational institutions of Kazakhstan. For the purpose of mass involvement of youth, festivals, a biennale, installations, performances and other creative events are provided.
The philosophy of Abay has become an integral part of the culture and national identity of the Kazakh people. He was ahead of his time and formulated a system of views that, in difficult periods of history, were able to unite people around the national values of their native language and culture.
The poet’s heritage will be valued as an eternal will, is also testified by the words of the respected First President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Abishevich Nazarbayev: “Despite the changing times and changing worlds, our people continue to consult with Abay, each time discovering new facets for themselves, and the depths of his greatness. “Abay will always be with his people, over the centuries, urging Kazakhstanis to conquer new heights.”
The President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Zhomart Tokaev, in his article “Abay and Kazakhstan in the XXI Century” published on January 9 this year, noted the importance of the work of the Kazakh thinker for the whole of humanity: “The merits of Abay cannot be overestimated. His instructive life and genuine creativity are a role model not only for the Kazakh people, but also for the whole world. Abay’s ideas about man and society, education and science, religion and traditions, nature and the environment, state and government, language and communication have not lost their significance for centuries, because the poet’s legacy is the spiritual source for all mankind.”
This year, the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Turkmenistan also plans to organize a number of events dedicated to the celebration of the 175th anniversary of Abay and the 1150th anniversary of al-Farabi.
In addition to the international expedition and the scientific conference “Following Al-Farabi’s footsteps,” it is planned to hold thematic meetings at the Academy of Sciences of Turkmenistan with Turkmen scientists, as well as round tables at the National Library of the country for representatives of creative and scientific intelligentsia dedicated to the heritage of Abay and al-Farabi and its significance in the modern world.
One of the most important events in this direction should be the translation, publication and solemn presentation of the book of Abay Kunanbayuly in the Turkmen language, as well as the opening of the corner of Abay in Turkmen State University named after Makhtumkuli.
In addition, the Embassy is considering the organization of a concert of the honored artist of Kazakhstan K. Myrzhykbay with the program “Abay and the Great Steppe” in Ashgabat.
Among the cultural events of the Embassy in April of this year it is planned to hold Days of Kazakh cinema in 3 cities of Turkmenistan: Ashgabat, Turkmenabat and Mary. We also invite you to attend this event and get acquainted with the work of modern Kazakhstani directors.
At the end of the year, the Embassy traditionally organizes an annual press briefing for representatives of the media, the diplomatic corps and the local community on the socio-economic development of Kazakhstan, internal political processes, the main directions and priorities of the country’s foreign policy, as well as the results of the work of the Embassy for 2020.
I take this opportunity to invite representatives of the media working in Turkmenistan to take an active part in covering all the designated events of the Embassy planned for the current year.
Thank you for attention! /// nCa, 21 February 2020