«Под общей редакцией: М. Абусеитовой, К. Исак, Л. Ерекешевой. Составители: Л. Ерекешева, А. Асадова. Составление резюме статей на англ. языке: А. Асадовой. Перевод с ...»
Professor Yuldasheva pointed out several initiatives of the Government of Tajikistan in the promotion of regional peace including the organization of the Institute of World Culture and Tolerance, active participation in the declaration of Central Asia as a nuclear-free zone, involvement at the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Eurasia, and other international efforts aimed at maintaining world peace and stability.
Based on the above-mentioned initiatives and today’s global issues, the UNESCO Chair prepared a new discipline “Intercultural Dialogue in the Contemporary World” within the curriculum at the Department of Culture at the Tajik-Russian (Slavonic) University.
The University has benefited from the establishment of the UNESCO Chair on Intercultural Dialogue in the Contemporary World on its premises, as one of its basic functions is the inclusion of the UNESCO key provisions in the fields of culture and education in the educational process.
According to Professor Yuldasheva, the aim of the curriculum is to prepare future culturologists for their professional activities who are able to analyze the development of global and national cultural issues and policies from the theoretical and methodological point of view. The curriculum teaches students i) to learn basic provisions of the UNESCO in the fields of culture and education; ii) to understand and comprehend the phenomenon of “culture” as a universal and widespread phenomenon in the history of global civilization aspiring to “the ability to live together”; iii) to appreciate the importance, significance, and relevance of intercultural dialogue at the current stage of cultural development; and iv) to grasp the contribution of the national Tajik culture to the global civilization through identification of multidimensional aspects of interaction and communication of arts culture.
The curriculum has a logical connection with other curriculums of the Department of Culture; the discipline’s cross-connection derives from its primary objective, which is to broaden students’ knowledge of world history and culture, theory and methodology of culture where all subjects are in line with methodology of “intercultural dialogue”.
The curriculum contains fifteen diverse themes dealing with both global and national cultural issues and policies. Here are a few examples of the curriculum themes:
1. UNESCO. Highlights and contributions to the development of the world culture.
2. Intercultural dialogue in the cultural history of the peoples of Central Asia.
3. “Avesta” as a monument intercultural dialogue among Aryan tribes.
4. Arab – Islamic culture and intercultural dialogue.
5. Contribution of the Samanid culture in world civilization.
Khasanov Akhadzhan Chairholder, UNESCO Chair on Comparatives Studies of World Religious at Tashkent Islamic University (Uzbekistan) Professor Khasanov presented six abstracts on the theme “Dialogue of Cultures and Civilizations in the Context of Diverse Global Outlook (through an example of the Republic of Uzbekistan).” 1. In the interest of international harmony, it is important that individuals, communities, and nations are aware of and respect the multicultural nature of the human community and religious diversity.
All nations, non-governmental organizations, religious bodies, and media (print and electronic) are called upon to support and promote global dialogue. Diversity is a value that can enrich cultural and spiritual heritage of the people.
2. Religions have always contributed to the development of spirituality, education, tolerance, and world civilization as a whole.
Without doubt that in order to live in peace and harmony with one another, people should not only fully understand others’ cultures and viewpoints, but their traditions, customs, and anxieties as well.
3. According to the Koran, the gates for spiritual perfection were open and prophets were given to the mankind from the very beginning of its history, Moreover, all people are given God’s love through grace, thus awarded with eternal salvation to live in Paradise. For the first time in the history of monotheistic traditions, the Koran declares diversity of people’s beliefs according to their will and destiny. As stated in the Koran, diversity should contribute to the human solidarity, harmony, and mutual enrichment.
4. Since gaining independence, Uzbekistan has fundamentally changed its attitude towards religion, seeing it as part of the culturalspiritual tradition of the country and an important tool for mobilizing masses. While approaching the question of religious traditions, a degree of differentiation is needed such as historical account of a specific country or a group of countries. Although Uzbekistan is an Eastern country, the relationship between state and religion cannot be absolutely identical to those of foreign countries or even to its close neighbors in Central Asia. Today, when the country undergoes an intensive process of self-identification, reviving spiritual values and tolerance has risen to the level of state policy.
5. Currently in Uzbekistan, there are 2,250 officially registered religious organizations of 17 various denominations, of which 2, are mosques. In comparison, in 1989 only 89 mosques existed.
During the years of independence, more than 50 thousand Uzbeks participated in the Hajj pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. In comparison, until 1990 about 16-20 people from all over the Soviet Union traveled to the holy places. Nowadays, more than 120 representatives of religious communities go on pilgrimages to their holy sites annually.
In addition, hundreds of churches, synagogues, and prayer houses were built and restored.
6. The 15 years of independence in Uzbekistan were quite difficult.
All this time, extreme religious forces called for the creation of an
inherently theocratic state based on the dominance of one ideology. In such a difficult situation, the leadership of the nation has demonstrated restraint and tact to steadily pursue the establishment of a democratic and civilized society. The development of Central Asia after the collapse of the former Soviet Union, through an example of Uzbekistan, strongly proved that the achievement of interreligious harmony in multi-ethnic society can serve as a powerful lever to accelerate democratic transition.
Sivertsen Barbara (2) Program Director, Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief; Chairman, Norwegian Peace Alliance Group on Education for Teachers (United Kingdom /Norway) Ms. Sivertsen introduced the activies of the Oslo Coalition in her presentation titled “Lessons Learnt: Preparing the Individual for Dialogue, Building the Right Framework for the Dialogue, and the Dialogue Itself. Some Examples from Oslo Coalition’s Work.” She pointed out that of all the areas within cultural dialogue, interreligious dialogue is often the most sensitive, and also often the most political. Thus, a fruitful dialogue needs careful preparation that ensures that dialogue participants are motivated to use new knowledge to heal rather than to divide further. Furthermore, a fruitful dialogue needs a solid supporting framework that enables dialogue participants to act on positive emotions, ideas or even strategies that arise from the dialogue.
The Oslo Coalition works on three levels:
1) Preparing the Individual for Dialogue ensuring that those who engage in dialogue have or can develop right attitudes and are motivated towards healing. The Coalition has two projects that focus on enablement or empowerment as a preparation for dialogue: one that focuses on skills, the other on knowledge:
The Teaching for Tolerance Project prepares each individual for the great dialogue, encourages an open-mind, promotes curiosity about “otherness”, and celebrates differences.
Training Courses in Freedom of Religion or Belief (FORB) in Universities aimed at being a “training for trainers” course and currently present in Indonesia, Pakistan, and Turkey 2) Building the Framework around the Dialogue, where the work is performed on the society level or with politicians and/or other key people. There is a necessity for thinking about the framework around the specific dialogue, for ensuring that it is possible for positive actions to arise from the dialogue.
The China Project, where the Oslo Coalition prepares the groundwork for meetings between political and religious leaders through delegations, forums, and conferences.
The Azerbadsjan Project, where Oslo Coalition supports DEVAM, the local network of religious leaders that wish to promote interreligious solidarity and dialogue.
3) The Dialogue itself where the Oslo Coalition runs two types of direct dialogue projects:
Dialogue between religious leaders, an example is a roundtable conference for Muslim and Christian religious leaders in Georgia to discuss Muslim-Christian relations.
International dialogue between academics, for example, the “New Directions in Islam” project that is currently, as a part of the subproject entitled “Women and Islam”, facilitating a series of working sessions where internationally acclaimed academics from across the Muslim world come together to discuss Islamic family law. The objective, after 4 sessions lasting through 2 years, is to come to a consensus on guidelines. The first of these working sessions will take place in Morocco in November.
Central Asian Round Table on the Exchange and Sharing of Good Practices in Intercultural Dialogue and for the Promotion of UNESCO’s Declaration on Cultural Diversity 4-6 June 2007, Almaty (Kazakhstan) From 4 to 6 June 2007, a Central Asian Round Table on the Exchange and Sharing of Good Practices in Intercultural Dialogue and for the Promotion of UNESCO’s Declaration on Cultural Diversity was organized by UNESCO in Almaty, Kazakhstan, in cooperation with the Municipality of Almaty, the Assembly of the People of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Institute of Oriental Studies and the Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief.
More than 50 representatives, experts, resource persons from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and from abroad met to discuss, analyze, and exchange experiences and good practices for the promotion of intercultural dialogue.
Thanking the Municipality of Almaty, the Assembly of the People of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kazakh Institute of Oriental Studies, the Oslo Coalition on Freedom of Religion or Belief, the National Commissions of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan for UNESCO, the Central Asian Crafts Support Association and UNESCO for the successful organization of this Round Table, we, the participants of the “Central Asian Round Table on the Exchange and Sharing of Good Practices in Intercultural Dialogue and for the Promotion of UNESCO’s Declaration on Cultural Diversity,” agreed on the following:
Invite participating countries together with UNESCO, regional and non-governmental organizations and civil society to promote and facilitate intercultural dialogue and cultural diversity at all levels.
Actively promote the UNESCO Declaration on Cultural Diversity and its Plan of Action so that will help share national cultural policies in Central Asia and elsewhere.
Actively collect and disseminate information on good practices, such as those discussed during the Round Table.