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Celebrating the Uzbek-British Partnership in Education and Culture

A celebration of the Uzbek-British partnership in the fields of education and culture was held on the 21 January 2015 at the Embassy of Uzbekistan in London. The event was jointly organized with the British Council (BC) and the British-Uzbek Society (BUS). It was attended by a delegation headed by HE Alisher Vakhabov, Minister of Higher and Secondary Special Education of Uzbekistan, who was in London to take part in the World Education Forum-2015, as well as representatives of the Parliament, Government, public, business, expert, cultural circles and mass-media of the United Kingdom.
 
In his greeting speech, Ambassador of Uzbekistan Otabek Akbarov noted that at present the State is going through an important phase of its development – the Elections to the Oliy Majlis (Parliament) and local councils took place in December 2014. In accordance with their results, a new bicameral parliament was formed by experienced MPs as well as many young and dynamic people, who grew up and were educated in the years of Independence. A detailed information was given on the upcoming Presidential Elections in Uzbekistan (29 March), where candidates from four political parties intend to participate.
Ambassador also made an emphasis on the achievements of Uzbekistan in the sphere of education, in particular the National Programme for Personnel Training, which was based on traditions and well-known heritage of the Uzbek people, as well as leading international standards. It was mentioned that currently the country has a wide range of universities, institutes, colleges, lyceums and schools, where young people are trained in order to be able to contribute to the country’s political, economic and social development.
In this context, he provided information on current status and prospects of cooperation in this area with the United Kingdom, in particular, with the British Council, the Universities of Cambridge, Oxford, Birmingham, London Metropolitan, Bath, Liverpool, Nottingham, as well as with the London Academy of Diplomacy and International Governance at Loughborough University.
In view of the upcoming birthday of  our great ancestor Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur (February 14), participants of the event were also presented with a cultural project entitled "Inspired by Our Ancestors: Khandani Babur", initiated by the British-Uzbek Society, together with the Franco-British company «Zoraste Joaillerie» and supported by the Embassy.
The project aims to study the early life of Babur, which is less known to the general audience in the UK, and share the results of British and European researches of the Baburid dynasty to the Uzbekistan’s public. An important part of the project is the study of historical marks left by Babur and members of his family, as patrons of art and culture.
 
The Director of the British Council in Uzbekistan Mark Crossey highlighted the achievements of the Republic in the sphere of education and a high level of cooperation between the two countries in this area. "I was lucky to get the position of Director of the British Council in Uzbekistan, and I intend to make every effort to further the fruitful cooperation with the Uzbek partners in the development of the teaching of English language and other areas". He noted that during the visit of Minister Alisher Vakhabov to London a range of important projects and the next steps of cooperation in the field of quality assurance in higher education, reforming the secondary special education, as well as development of contacts between researchers and scientists of two countries were discussed. One of the new areas will be a partnership in the field of art, which will soon be marked by the opening of an exhibition by a British artist and a sculptor Henry Moore in Uzbekistan.
 
Zohra Docksey, Owner and CEO of Zoraste Joaillerie noted that the life and legacy of the Great Babur and his dynasty for centuries has been attracting the attention of historians, linguists and artists in the UK and Europe as a whole.
Along with the public and literary activities, Baburids also made their mark in history as the finest aesthetes and strongly supported artists and craftsmen who created unique clothing accessories, jewellery and palace interiors. Some of these artefacts can be found in the collections of Victoria and Albert Museum and the British Museum.
She said it was a rich historical heritage, as well as various exhibitions on the Uzbek culture and arts held by the Embassy of Uzbekistan in London, that inspired her to create an exclusive collection of jewellery art that combines Eastern and Western cultures. The work, which took one year, also included the study of symbols, shapes and patterns of the Uzbek and other Central Asian nations.
In partnership with Dr. Rahima Abduvalieva, Zohra Docksey drew cultural parallels and correlated the pieces of her collection with the names of women of the inner circle of Babur, in particular, his mother Qutlugh Nigar Khanum, sisters Hanzoda Khanum and Apiqa Bega, wives Aisha Sultan Begum and Zainab Sultan Begum as well as his famous daughter Gulbadan Banu. This collection in the form of sketches of the items was presented to the guests of the Embassy.
 
The journalist of the British magazine "Diplomat" Jonathan Fryer expressed his admiration for the exhibition and noted that he had learned a lot of new interesting facts about the legacy of Babur and his dynasty. He warmly recalled his visit to Uzbekistan in 2013 with trips to Samarkand and Bukhara with a group of tourists in the framework of a tour of the Silk Road where he was struck by the beauty of architectural monuments, culture and a warm hospitality by the Uzbek people. 
 
 
             Minister Vakhabov and Ambassador Akbarov greet the guests
 
                 Zohra Docksey, Owner and CEO Zoraste Joaillerie
 
 
                  Ambassador Akbarov with Zohra Docksey (in the middle) and
                        Dr Rahima Abduvalieva, Director of Aitmatov Academy
 
                                                Guests of Event
 
  Mark Crossey, Director of British Council in Uzbekistan
 
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