The ancient city is getting ready to celebrate its 2750th anniversary.
At the 33rd session of the UNESCO General Assembly, which was held on October
20, 2005, a resolution to celebrate Samarkand's 2750th anniversary was adopted.
This resolution signaled not only another confirmation of the universal tribute
of humanity to one of the centers of civilization, but also a confirmation of
the stable role that the ancient city continues to play the life of Uzbekistan,
the region, and the world.
Afrasiab, Shakhi-Zinda, Gur Emir and other architectural monuments have been
recognized by the UNESCO as "world heritage sites." Many of them are being
restored and are regaining their original beauty within the framework of the
celebration. Samarkand, the eternal symbol of Uzbekistan, and a number of other
cities such as Khiva, Bukhara, Karshi, Shakhrisabz, help the nation to
confidently look into the future.
The city has served as a venue for important intergovernmental meetings. In
particular, in early August of 2005 a summit meeting between the Presidents of
Uzbekistan and Russia took place. As political scientists have defined it, a
"spirit of Samarkand" has formed in the Uzbek-Russian relations and this is
characterized by sincerity, mutual trust, and purposefulness for a long-term
perspective of cooperation.
Samarkand has been famed as a center of science and art since early times. The
pictures on the walls of ancient Afrasiab that have been preserved to this day,
feature images of musicians and singers. The works dedicated to the theory and
history of music which were created by outstanding Uzbek people such as Abu
Yusuf Yakub inb Iskhak and Abu Nasr Farobi made a great contribution to the
development of national and world music culture.
To expand the popularity scope of the Uzbek people's ancient culture and unique
art, in the mid 90s President Islam Karimov came up with a proposal to organize
in Samarkand a festival of the music and art of the peoples of the east. This
proposal was approved by the UNSECO. In 1997 Samarkand hosted the first
International Music Festival "Sharq taronalari". Its success surpassed all
expectations. The festival has become traditional and is held every two years.
The first festival featured participants from 29 countries while in 2005, 45
countries sent their masters of art and experts on music. 2007 is expected to
see the sixth festival "Sharq taronalari."
History is what spirituality is based on. And these words bear the lofty essence
of the originality and mentality of the Uzbek nation. Samarkand is a fabled and
legendary city. In 329 B.C. Alexander the Great said. "All I have heard about
Marakanda is true except that it is a lot more beautiful than I imagined."
By Abdulla Khakimov Uzbekistan Today ?. 3 (14) January 19, 2007