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Date: April 24, 2013

Venue: Aigine CRC

Participants:

  • Mr. Kebriyaizade Ali, the head of the cultural representation of the Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Kyrgyzstan,
  • Mr. Said Zoyhidi, deputy head of the cultural representation of the Embassy
  • Mr. Salimov Eshon, translator

Aigine CRC:

  • Gulnara Aitpaeva, Director
  • Erkaim Aitpaeva
  • Aibek Samakov
  • Ainure Turgangazieva
  • Meerim Aitkeeva
  • Diana Asanalieva (volunteer).

The main purpose of the meeting was to introduce and discuss the possibilities of bilateral cooperation. The initiator of the meeting was the Iranian side, which is building links with organizations and foundations in Kyrgyzstan working in the field of culture and education.

Description of the meeting

Gulnara Aitpaeva shared information about projects and programs implemented by Aigine  CRC, in turn, Mr. Ali Kebriyaizade told Aigine officers about  the cultural representation’s mission and acknowledged that he was impressed with the activities conducted by Aigine. During the conversation, the main emphasis was placed on the study of the sacred sites. Having seen a series of books about sacred sites in Kyrgyzstan published by Aigine, Mr. Kebriyaizade Ali said that tradition of visiting sacred sites is very strong  in Iran and that many people do pilgrimages to those sites. According to Mr. Ali Kebriyaizade many citizens in Iran avail themselves of every opportunity to visit the sacred sites. Every sacred site in Iran has a hudom, the guarding of this place (in Kyrgyzstan, sacred sites’ guardians are called shaiyk, karoolchu in Kyrgyzstan). Also, it was noted that Iran has a government agency that deals with protection, conservation and landscaping of the holy places. Funding for the holy places comes both from the state and from private donations. During the meeting participants brought up a topic of Muftiyat’s attitude to the tradition of visiting sacred sites. Aitpaeva Gulnara stated that there were several researches on it that revealed a spectrum of moldos’ attitude to the tradition of visiting sacred sites.  Participants agreed that the studies on the tradition of visiting sacred sites in the Islamic Republic of Iran can contribute to prevention and mitigation of conflicts between some branches of Islam and sacred sites’ guardians.

The following ways of possible cooperation were identified during the meeting:

  1. Conduct of cultural exchange “tours” for the guardians of sacred sites in Iran and Kyrgyzstan to the other country with the aim of sharing knowledge and experience.
  2. Publication of a  joint book on the sacred sites of Iran and Kyrgyzstan. This book would help the guardians and the general public both in Iran and Kyrgyzstan to learn about both countries.
  3. Comparative study of Manas and Shahnameh epic poems and further dissemination of the research results to educational institutions in Kyrgyzstan. This will lead to a more intimate acquaintance with the culture and history of Iran. As Mr. Kebriyaizade Ali noted, for the people of Iran, Shahnameh is as important as Manas for the Kyrgyz people.