This symposium was the first of its kind to be held in the region ...


This symposium was the first of its kind to be held in the region. The Centre envisages to give it a continuation, as a series of symposia which would deepen the analysis by focusing on certain specific aspects of the theme. For example, as mentioned by Prof. İhsanoğlu in his concluding remarks at the last session, one of the future meetings can concentrate on the works of the outstanding intellectuals of the region who emerged at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th, and look into how they interacted with their Russian and Ottoman contemporaries.

H.E. President Mintimer Shaimiev received the Director General at the Presidential Palace. A highly constructive and fruitful meeting was held, during which the President evaluated the symposium, commending its aims and objectives, and emphasised the need to disseminate its highlights widely in order to inform the world academic community and the public opinion on its themes and topics. Subsequently, the President invited IRCICA to plan to participate actively in the commemoration of the millennium of Kazan city, scheduled to take place as a large-scale international cultural event in 2005. The president welcomed Prof. İhsanoğlu’s proposal that IRCICA coordinate the preparation of a comprehensive reference book to cover various aspects of the history and culture of the Volga-Ural region in general and Tatarstan in particular.

During the symposium period, IRCICA Director General Prof. İhsanoğlu, accompanied by Deputy Director General Dr. Halit Eren and senior researcher Mrs. Zeynep Durukal, had several meetings with the authorities of Tatarstan and the various cultural institutions which were all fruitful in paving the way towards a continuous cooperation and future joint activities. IRCICA’s delegation was also received by H.E. Mr. Ildus Tarkhanov, Minister of Culture of Tatarstan. The meeting addressed the general and specific aspects of the collaboration going on between the Ministry and IRCICA, particularly IRCICA’s prospective contributions in coordinating scholarly research on the history and culture of Tatarstan and the cooperation it can offer for the preparation of catalogues of the collections of manuscripts contained in the libraries and archives of Tatarstan. Other forms of collaboration were also discussed, all aimed at making better known, within and outside the Muslim world, the assets of cultural and intellectual heritage existing in this region.

The delegation visited the National Library of Tatarstan, where the Library’s Director Mr. Naili Akramovic Kambiev and his colleagues gave information on its rich and varied collections, its classification and service systems. Possibilities of cooperation were discussed, and it was agreed that the National Library and IRCICA shall remain in continuous correspondence and regularly exchange publications, data and information.

Kazan City Mayor H.E. Mr. Kamil Sh. Ishakov received Prof. İhsanoğlu in his office, where extensive talks were held on activities to be undertaken jointly by the two parties, mainly: IRCICA’s participation in the State Program for the preparation of the 1000th anniversary of the foundation of Kazan city, the program of which has been approved by the Government of the Russian Federation; studies in the fields of history, culture and art; IRCICA’s taking part in the conference "The Great Volga Way" (5-16 August 2001); and, an exhibition on 'Arts in Islam' from the collection of the State Hermitage to be held in Kazan under the auspices of IRCICA.