On January 17th of this year at the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress in Washington DC, with the initiative of the Embassy of the Republic of Tajikistan in the United States of America the joint event on presentation of “The Tajik Golden Heritage” book, which is published by the Minister of foreign affairs of Tajikistan Mr. H. Zarifi, took place.
The event was participated by the guests and high level governmental officials, representatives of the private and cultural sector, especially Geoffrey Pyatt- Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs, Roberta Shaffer- The Associate Librarian of Congress, Dr. Frederick Starr- Chairman of the Central Asia – Caucasus Institute, John Hopkins University, H.E. Zalmai Khalilzad- former US Ambassador to the UN and Iraq, Dr. Ahmad Karimi-Hakkok- University of Maryland, G.Howard- President of Jamestown Foundation, Honorable John O’Keefe- Executive Director of the Open World Leadership Center, Dr. Gerard J. Janco- President the Eurasia Center, Ms. Marina Barnett- Program Manager Russia and Eurasia Program Carnegie Endowment for international peace, Victor Shibli- Editor-in-chief of “The Washington Diplomat”, scholars, researchers, foreign diplomats, Head of Tajik associations and representatives of the media.
Mary-Jane Deeb- Chief of African Middle Easter Division of the Library of Congress opened the event and thanked everyone for participating at the very special event of presenting to the Library of the Congress a new book of “The Tajik Golden Heritage”.
Roberta Shaffer- The Associate Librarian of Congress during her introductory speech noted “I want to welcome you and tell you how delighted we are to celebrate the receipt of this wonderful book here at the Library of Congress. We are very excited about this event today and it is a great pleasure to have a program, that is sponsored with the Embassy and it enables us to build ties with Tajikistan. We consider, embassies across the world are critical to the mission of the Library and as well as an important partner in ensuing our collections, which are over 60% representative of languages, cultures and nations from around the globe.
In this particular instance, in the case of Tajikistan we have materials that take back to the beginning of the Soviet Union and we have materials in all formats: newspapers, newspapers on microphone, monographs, dictionaries, grammars, maps, photographs and even sound recording and films. So our collections ran deep and may be very accessible to people across the World.
The particular note for us, in terms of our holdings is a collection of the writers Union Journal, which dates back to its beginning in 1954, but in addition to this we have 124 Tajik books that are published in Arab script. We also have significant related materials in Russian, German and French.
We really believe that we are capable of supporting a wide verity of research interest and certainly depth of scholarly interest. The manuscripts, which you will hear and talk about in just a few minutes, are particularly of interest to us, because they embody a local tradition that comes from Tajikistan”.
During his intervention Geoffrey Pyatt- Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs said, “It is particularly great pleasure for me to be here with you today. It is so nice about the book that is being presented today, that reminds us of the very long cultural traditions that Tajikistan enjoys and reminds us that the Silk Road idea is not something that was brand new, when we started to talk about it a couple of years ago, but rather rests on the foundation of this very strong cultural traditions.
I would like to acknowledge Mr. Zarifi’s book “The Tajik Golden Heritage” as really an essential reminder of Tajikistan’s reach heritage, so there is now better home for this kind of publication at our cultural treasure- the Library of Congress.
The United States and Tajikistan have an extremely strong bilateral relationship. We are proud to have been one of very first countries to have recognized Tajikistan’s independence”.
Also, he indicated that Ambassador Z.Khalilzad, who is participating at the event today, knows more about the history of the region and positive role of Tajikistan in establishment of peace and stability in Afghanistan. The role of Tajikistan in this issue is notable, indicated G.Pyatt.
Ambassador of Tajikistan to the United States of America Mr. N.Shamsov,with regards to the achievements of Tajikistan in the sphere of development of culture and art of Tajik nation during the independence period, has indicated that owing to continuous care of the Government, hundreds of cultural entities – theatres, concert halls, museums, libraries, unique historical monuments are renovated and dozens of modern cultural facilities are constructed.
In his Address to the Parliament the President of the Republic of Tajikistan Mr. Emomali Rahmon noted that “Culture as a great, an invaluable and impactful phenomenon of social life, consistently plays a remarkable role in the history and spiritual development of a modern society of Tajikistan”. Opening of the National Library and the National Museum in the capital of Tajikistan as great centers of science and culture are among the important events and achievements of independence era.
During the event, Ms.Yasmeen Khan, Library of Congress’ Conservator spoke on the book culture of Tajikistan and cooperation with Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan.
Former Ambassador of the United States to the United Nations and Ambassador to Iraq – Zalmai Khalilzad noted “Today it was a pleasant day, because in Washington at the Library of Congress a book about the Tajikistan’s civilization has been introduced. I personally benefited enjoyed and learned this civilization, and indeed as a part of the civilization of the region it is golden.
When Europe lived in its Middle Ages, this region was the center of the civilization of the entire world, but regrettably, people around the world have less knowledge about historical culture of this region. It is a good chance, through this book people of America and all others, who use this Library, may learn about the culture of the region. I would like to congratulate people of Tajikistan, President of the republic and the Minister of foreign affairs and people of the region, who are part of this civilization, with publication of this book.
Dr. Frederick Starr- Chairman of the Central Asia – Caucasus Institute, John Hopkins Universitywith regards to the book during his interview noted, “This event is really an achievement of the Foreign Minister Mr. Zarifi and a wonderful new Ambassador Mr. Shamsov and I think that it is celebration of Tajik civilization. It is not as a branch of something else, but as strong identity of its own- the ancient heritage of the Persians, East Iranian culture, going back 3-4 thousand years and it includes Islamic and pre-Islamic elements and the elements of daily life, as well as high culture. It is very impressive book and it is very timely, nice symbolic between the United States and the Republic of Tajikistan in 2013”.
Dr. Ahmad Karimi-Hakkok- University of Maryland expressed his views about the book “I am very happy to participate at this event at the Library of Congress; truly it is a presentation of the Golden Heritage of Tajikistan. I would like to congratulate Minister Zarifi, who worked on this book with this achievement”.
Honorable John O’Keefe- Executive Director of the Open World Leadership Center expressed that “The book that Mr. Zarifi, Foreign Minister has produced is extraordinary. One of the things that it really shows is the deep and abroad influence of Tajik culture throughout the entire Region and the fact that is drown from so many museums and profound institutions around the World shows that these wonderful artifacts of Tajik history, Tajik Culture, Tajik literature is everywhere. Tajik people should be very proud of their rich and deep history”.
At the end of official part of the event slide show with display of pages of the book and presentation of the copies of the book to the Library of Congress took place. Also, at the end of the event the copies of the book have been distributed among the participants.