On March 22, 2012 the Embassy of Uzbekistan hosted a reception to mark the spring holiday of Navruz. In his speech Ambassador HE Mr. Otabek Akbarov said that Navruz is the most ancient and beloved national holiday in Uzbekistan, as well as in many other countries of the region. Meaning “New Day”, it heralds the awakening of nature, generosity and new hopes for the future. In 2010 the UN declared International Day of Navruz to be celebrated annually and Navruz was also included into the “List of Cultural Heritage of Humanity” by UNESCO.
A photo exhibition “Uzbekistan through the lenses of Roland Kemp” was presented during the reception. Mr. Kemp is a professional photographer, well known in diplomatic and cultural circles. He participated in an “info-tour” to Uzbekistan in November 2011, during which he took more than 1000 photographs. 45 most attractive of them were shown at the exhibition.
Addressing the guests, Mr. Kemp said that he had an unforgettable time in Uzbekistan, visiting the beautiful cities of Tashkent, Samarkand, Bukhara and Khiva. He saw excellent examples of unique architecture and was impressed by the culture, traditions and customs, as well as the cuisine of the Uzbek people. He encouraged the guests to visit Uzbekistan and see its beauty by their own eyes.
Along with this, Dr. Shirin Akiner, senior fellow at the Cambridge Forum for Central Asia, presented a new book “Fund Forum: an option of the practical model of civil society”. As one of the co-authors of the book, she noted that this work became a result of two years of joint activity of scientists, art experts, analysts and representatives of public organizations, united by the Fund Forum. This book reveals a unique example of a model of civil society, which is worth paying attention. This book is the first edition of such level, released in Uzbekistan by a public non-governmental organization for the past 20 years. During a presentation at the Embassy, its copies were given to 10 prominent representatives of Parliament, Government and public organizations of the United Kingdom.
Guests were also shown a video of state festivity dedicated to Navruz, which was held in Tashkent earlier that day. The “oriental table” was set in the Embassy with Uzbek national food – palov, samsa, kebab, norin, chak-chak, sumalak, as well as drinks, brought specially for the reception from Uzbekistan.
Ambassador HE Mr Otabek Akbarov welcomes the guests
Dr Shirin Akiner and Mr Akmal Saidov
present a new book of Fund Forum
Mr Roland Kemp presents his photoexhibition
Ambassador Akbarov with Lord and Lady Sheikh
Lord Hameed (left) and Mr. Walker
The Earl of Clanwilliam (left) and Mr Nigel Peters,
Director of British Expertise
Mrs Nisa Akbarova and Raine Countess Spencer
Professor Charles Melville with his daughters
Charlotte (right) and Josephine
Venetia de Blocq van Kuffeler,
Editor of Diplomat magazine, and Mr Roland Kemp