April 23, 2019

Uzbekistan and the IWC Usher in the New Year Together

On the picture, H.E. Mr. Dilyor Khakimov, Ambassador of Uzbekistan.

By Catherine van der Loos.

Last Monday, January 14, the Marriott Hotel in the Hague was the venue for a festive cultural event presented by H.E. Dilyor Kakimov, the Ambassador of Uzbekistan to the Kingdom of Belgium and Head of Mission to the E.U. He is also credited to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The event featured a musical performance and cultural and culinary programs. Uzbek artisans were also invited to display a wonderful array of handcrafted products from the center of the ancient silk road, which were also available for purchase.

IWC’s members attended in numbers.

Ambassador Kakimov was invited to open the New Year, on behalf of his country, at the January monthly meeting of the International Women’s Club (IWC), by IWC President, Marian Kools-Biezen, and other members of the IWC Executive Board.

His Excellency briefly informed the members about the many recent economic developments being made by his President Shavkat Miriziyoyez; emphasizing his government’s openness to international cooperation in order to achieve these goals. He also noted that Uzbekistan is a secular state which recognizes equal rights for women and further noted that these rights are set forth in both the country’s Constitution and many other legal instruments.

Featuring Uzbekistan at IWC Monday conference.

Club members turned out in large numbers to enjoy the ambassador’s program which focussed on tourism. The country’s first Ïnternational Tourism Investment Forum, a two day event, was held in November of last year and was attended by business representatives from some 48 countries.

Earlier this month, Diplomat Magazine has reported on these recent developments here and here.

Minister Counselor Ulugbek Agzamov.

To further the development of international tourism, which doubled last year over the previous year, the ambassador announced that the government will introduce a 30 day visa-free travel to EU member states, on February 1, to further promote the country’s globalties.

The ambassador’s announcement received an enthusiastic round of applause from the members, some of whom had previously visited the country. In response to the warm reception he received from the members, the ambassador was quick to invite questions from the many ladies attending the event.

Uzbek market at IWC conference.

Minister Counselor Ulugbek Agzamov, presented a short program showcasing the country’s major tourist destinations which include Tashkent, the nation’s capital with a population of three million people; the silk road cities of Samarkand, Khiva and Bukhara; the ancient center of Buddhism in Termezand the Fergana Valley.

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Khiva, an ancient open air museum city, is home to some 51 monuments and, in 1990, became the first Word Heritage Site in Uzbekistan to be recognized by UNESCO. Khiva is also noteworthy as having been the birthplace of Al-Khwarizmi, the renowned 9th century scholar, geographer, astronomer and father of Algebra.

Agzamov explained how to best arrive in Uzbekistan and also made note of the country’s modern high speed inter-city rail network. Uzbekistan Railways, Afrosiyob, utilizes the Spanish Talgo-brand trains, to connect Tashkent with Samarkand.

Following the presentations, club members were invited to enjoy a complete buffet luncheon featuring plov, the national dish, paired with a sampling of regional wines.

Seultanova Geulnora, Uzbek pianist.

Music was provided by Uzbek concert pianist, Seultanova Geulnora, who performed three pieces. The first was inspired by the sound of the Dutor, meanining “two strings”, a traditional two stringed musical instrument common to the peoples of Uzbekistan and Central Asia.

She chose to play a second piece, composed by a woman, much to the delight of her overwhelmingly female audience.

Tasting Uzbek flavours.

Both Ambassador Kakimov  and Minister Counselor Agzamov warmly encouraged everyone present to visit Uzbekistan at any time of the year—even for skiing, walking and other off-season outdoor activities!

The program’s success was clearly apparent by the number of women who lingered to shop, exchange their impressions of day’s event with each other and to admire the crafts exhibition which was open until 6pm.

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