Four stories from Tajikistan
AKDN Hosts Reception In Tajik Capital To Celebrate Navrouz
AKDN teams with Tajik and Afghan governments in organizing Tajik-Afghan cross-border Navrouz celebration
Another Tajik-Afghan Bridge To Be Built In Gorno Badakshan
UCA, Tajik Institute Of History Jointly Publish A New Book About Gorno Badakshan
AKDN HOSTS RECEPTION IN TAJIK CAPITAL TO CELEBRATE NAVROUZ
31 March 2008 Asia-PLUS Daily Blitz # 059 (2460) English (c) 2008 ASIA-Plus Information Agency. All Rights Reserved.
DUSHANBE, March 31, Asia-Plus /Bahrom Mannonov/ — To celebrate Navrouz, the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) in Tajikistan hosted a reception for representatives of the Tajik government, members of the international diplomatic community, and public dignitaries on March 30. This event, planned as part of the celebrations commemorating the Golden Jubilee of His Highness the Aga Khan, took place at the Indian Center for Cultural Relations in Dushanbe. Ms. Sitora Shokamolova, Communications Officer, AKDN Dushanbe Office, said that the event included an exhibition of children’s artwork on the theme of Navrouz. The art-pieces were created by children at specially organized master-class workshops led by preeminent Tajik artists. Traditional Tajik handicrafts were also exhibited. The main feature of the event was a ceremony recognizing the 2006 Grammy nomination of the Academy of Maqam in Dushanbe. This is the first ever nomination of Tajik musicians for this acclaimed international
The Academy of Maqam was nominated in the category of “Best Traditional World Music Album” for their CD recording entitled “Invisible Faces of the Beloved”; it is a performance of Maqam-I Rast, one of the six maqams that make up the classical Shashmaqam repertoire. The disc is part of a 10-volume “Music of Central Asia” series that is co-produced by the Aga Khan Music Initiative in Central Asia (AKMICA) and the Smithsonian Institution Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage. AKMICA, a program of the global Aga Khan Trust for Culture, also directly supports the Academy of Maqam and other music schools and talent centers throughout Central Asia. The recognition ceremony was followed by performances of the Academy of Maqam and other traditional music and dance groups. This reception is part of a series of events organized by the AKDN to celebrate Navrouz this year. On March 20 and 21 Cross-Border concerts were organized in Tajik and Afghan Badakhshan. The concerts brought musicians from both sides of the Panj River together in the spirit of mutual cooperation and sharing of cultures and traditions. The concert in Afghanistan was attended by approximately 10,000 people, who came from throughout the province, most of whom were participating for the first time in an event of this kind. The Academy of Maqam was founded in 2003 by Abduvali Abdurashidov, a leading music scholar and celebrated performer classical music (Shashmaqam). The Academy offers comprehensive training to highly qualified students in historical, theoretical, and practical elements of Shashmaqam. Currently, eight students are enrolled in an intensive four-year course of study, and another six students have completed a portion of this program and remain professionally involved in performing and teaching Tajik classical music. Students who qualify for graduation earn a diploma validated by Tajikistan’s Ministry of Education. The Academy’s curriculum includes fifteen different subjects ranging from vocal technique, performance on musical instruments and music theory, to the history of world religions, analysis of classical poetry, and Persian language. Students in the Academy are active participants in the AKMICA’s Touring Program The Aga Khan Music Initiative in Central Asia (AKMICA), a program of the Aga Khan Trust for Culture, was created in 2000 by His Highness the Aga Khan to contribute to the preservation, documentation, and further development of Central Asia’s musical heritage. These goals include revitalizing important musical repertories by helping tradition-bearers pass on their knowledge and craft; building sustainable cultural institutions that can eventually be maintained by local organizations and communities; and supporting artists who are developing new approaches to the performance of Central Asian music. Worldwide, the Music Initiative strives to increase knowledge about Central Asia’s music and culture, particularly among students, and to nurture collaborations among musicians from different parts of Central Eurasia and beyond. The Grammy Awards are presented annually by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences of the United States for outstanding achievements in the recording industry. The awards ceremony features performances by prominent artists, and some of the more prominent Grammy Awards are presented in a widely-viewed televised ceremony. The current President of the Academy is Neil Portnow. The Grammys are considered the highest music honor, and is the U.S. recording industry’s equivalent to the Academy Awards (Oscars) for motion pictures.
AKDN teams with Tajik and Afghan governments in organizing Tajik-Afghan cross-border Navrouz celebration
20 March 2008 The Times of Central Asia English (c) 2008 Asia Pulse Pty Limited.
DUSHANBE, March 20 (TCA) — The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) has teamed with the Government of Tajikistan and the government of Afghanistan in organizing Tajik-Afghan cross-border concerts to celebrate the Navrouz holiday. Concerts are being held today in Khorog, the main town of the Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (Gorno Badakhshan or GBAO) and in neighboring Afghanistan’s Badakhshan province.
Today,singers and musicians from Tajikistan will be crossing the border at the site of the Friendship Bridge in Khorog and performing traditional songs and dances for audiences on the other side of the Panj River.
Tomorrow, Afghan performers will hold a traditional concert program in Khorog. Ms. Sitora Shokamolova. Communications Officer, AKDN Tajikistan, noted that a group of more than 20 musicians including Umar Timurov and Faizali Hasanov, national singers of Tajikistan, and the local Badakhshani Ensemble headed by Sohiba Davlatova will perform in the open-air area near the Teacher’s Training College in the village of Bashor, Afghanistan. Afghan performers will join Navrouz celebrations in Khorog and perform their traditional program in an open-air area in the Shosh-Khorog neighborhood.
Despite a common linguistic and cultural heritage between inhabitants of the Tajikistan and Afghanistan, social and economic connections between them have been minimal for the past seventy years. The Cross-Border Concert is an experience and culture sharing initiative intended to foster regional cooperation. Better understanding amongst the peoples of neighboring countries is seen as a cornerstone of future stability throughout Central Asia. Cultural relations are regarded as a way of building confidence and trust that can in turn lead to wider cross-border cooperation on alleviating poverty and promoting economic growth.
The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) is a group of private, non-denominational development agencies working to empower communities and individuals to improve living conditions and opportunities, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, Central and South Asia, and the Middle East.
The Network’s nine development agencies focus on social, cultural and economic development for all citizens, regardless of gender, origin or religion. The AKDN’s underlying ethic is compassion for the vulnerable in society. Its annual budget for philanthropic activity is in excess of US$ 300 million.
UCA, TAJIK INSTITUTE OF HISTORY JOINTLY PUBLISH A NEW BOOK ABOUT GORNO BADAKHSHAN
14 March 2008 Asia-PLUS Daily Blitz
DUSAHNBE, March 14, Asia-Plus /Bahrom Mannonov/ – The University of Central Asia (UCA) and the Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography (IHAE), Academy of Sciences of Tajikistan jointly published a new book, “An Archaeological Map of Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast: the Western Pamirs” by Dr. Meera Alexseevna Bubnova.
Ms. Sitora Shokamolova, Communication Officer Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) Tajikistan, noted that the publication is part of the “Archaeological Map of Tajikistan” series. The book focuses on the Western Pamirs, which includes six administrative districts: Darvoz, Vanj, Rushan, Shugnan, Roshtqala and Ishkashim. The map contains information about existing monuments from the Stone Age through the 20th Century, as well as those that are completely destroyed, if any information about them exists.
In general the book presents the results of research on ancient monuments from the 18th Century through 2007. It makes an important scientific contribution to the rich archaeological history for specialists, historians, archaeologists, tour operators, and anyone interested in the history of Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Region (Gorno Badakhshan or GBAO) Oblast, and it is expected to serve as a textbook for students.
A copy of the book can be obtained from the School of Professional and Continuing Education (SPCE) in Khorog and the SPCE Learning Centre in Dushanbe. The book will be available at half price at the book launch. It will be made available for sale in the other outlets.
UCA was founded in 2000 by the Governments of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan, and His Highness the Aga Khan. It is the world’s first internationally chartered institution of higher education. The International Treaty and Charter establishing this secular and private University was signed by His Highness the Aga Khan and the Presidents of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan, ratified by the respective parliaments, and registered with the United Nations. UCA is constructing three campuses in Tekeli, Kazakhstan; Naryn, Kyrgyz Republic; and Khorog, Tajikistan, creating Central Asia’s largest and most ambitious constriction project.
The Institute of History, Archaeology and Ethnography was established in 1951, the year that the Academy of Sciences in Soviet Tajikistan was founded. The Institute was created as a multi-profile scientific Institution, working on the problems of the history and culture of the Tajik people from ancient times to the present. The Institute closely collaborates with the Institutes of Archaeology, History and Material Culture, Universal History, Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the State Hermitage (Saint-Petersburg), and international scientific organizations in Germany, France Italy, Japan, China and other countries.
Dr. Bubnova Meera Alexseevna is a leading research officer at IHAE, corresponding member of the Engineering Academy of Tajikistan, and an honorary citizen of Gorno-Badakhshan Autonomous Oblast. Dr. Bubnova started archaeological research in GBAO at the beginning of the 1960s. Under her leadership, 20 expeditions were conducted in the Western Pamirs beginning in 1962. During this time, supplementary research was undertaken about known ancient monuments and new research began on fortified settlements, countryside farmsteads, temples of fire, Buddhist monasteries, mines and metalworking settlements, ancient excavations, and calendar systems. Dr Bubnova published over 100 scientific and popular-scientific papers, including textbooks for schools and universities devoted to the protection of natural and cultural places in the Roshtqala and Ishkashim districts of GBAO.
ANOTHER TAJIK-AFGHAN BRIDGE TO BE BUILT IN GORNO BADAKHSHAN
13 March 2008 Asia-PLUS Daily Blitz
KHOROG, March 13, Asia-Plus /Shonavruz Afzalshoyev/ — Construction of a new bridge across the Panj River will start in GBAO’s Vanj district in late March.
The Khorog open joint-stock company (OJSC) Road-Building Directorate # 8 has been granted a contract to construct approach and temporal ramps for building ferry to the beds of the future bridge both on Tajik and Afghan side.
Mavlonazar Ghoibnazarov, an engineer-in-chief with the Khorog road-building directorate, said that a tender for this lot had been held by Aga Khan Foundation’s Mountain Societies Development Support Program (MSDSP) recently. The estimated budget for this project is $789,000, according to him.
The bridge that will be constructed in the Khumroghi area in Vanj will be the fourth of a series of bridges across the Panj River in Gorno Badakhshan that will consolidate permanent overland links between Tajikistan and Afghanistan.
Like the previous three bridges, this bridge will also be built under financial support of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN). The first Tajik-Afghan bridge was inaugurated in Gorno Badakhshan on November 3, 2002.