Address of H.E. Kamil Iskhakov, Mayor of Kazan, Chairman of Kazan Council of People’s Deputies

INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON ISLAMIC CIVILISATION IN VOLGA-URAL REGION, 2001

Dear Mr. President of the Republic of Tatarstan, dear Director General of IRCICA, dear guests,

It's not by chance that the city of Kazan has become the hosting party for the conference. Tatarstan is the northernmost area of the spread of Islam and Kazan is historically the center of this region. The pleiad of bright scientists: theologians, historians and writers emerged in Volga-Ural region. The names of imams, scientists and enlighteners are respected here. Unfortunately, in latter times a lot from the Muslim heritage and experience of Islam were lost in our country. Today we are trying to revive interest in the Islamic religion, to promote its study, and we also make efforts to strengthen relations with Muslim peoples. We are restoring the mosques of Kazan; the Kazan Kremlin Kul Sharif Mosque is being restored at the moment. The Russian Islamic University was recently opened in Kazan. The scientists of the city led by the Russian Academy of Sciences conduct work towards the study of Islam. With the purpose of reviving Islamic studies and Oriental studies, the Institute for Oriental Studies was opened within the framework of Kazan State University. With the assistance of the leaders of the republic we annually hold international scholarly conferences, dedicated to subjects relating to the study of the history and the culture of nations across the Volga-Ural region. We hope that this conference will give the opportunity to highlight the riches of Islamic culture existing in our region. Today we are holding one of the important events in the course of the preparations for the celebration of the millennium of the foundation of Kazan city. For the first time in its history, the heads of state V. Putin and M. Shaimiev are chairing the commissions in charge of preparing the commemorative events. The program of the preparations and the federal program of preservation and development of Kazan were adopted by governmental decrees. Today's event is part of the federal program for the preparation of the celebration of 1000 years of the foundation of Kazan and it covers various aspects of the Islamic heritage of Volga-Ural region. We are most grateful that the International Symposium "Islamic Civilisation in Volga-Ural region" is conducted under high patronage of the president of the Republic of Tatarstan M. Shaimiev and under the aegis of OIC and IRCICA. On behalf of the organising committee, I wish you a fruitful work and a pleasant stay in our city.