On 8 February 2018, the SCO Secretariat hosted the Day of Afghan Culture. Addressing the guests and participants of the event, the SCO Secretary-General thanked top leadership and the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan for all-around support in organising the Day of Culture.
“Afghanistan is populated by wonderful and courageous people, descendants of ancient ethnicities who cherish their sacred traditions, lifestyle, unique culture and art,” Rashid Alimov said. “The entire SCO family strongly and unanimously supports the Afghan government and people’s efforts towards a peaceful, stable and prosperous state. We believe this day is near and wish the brotherly nation of Afghanistan peace, happiness and prosperity.”
In his remarks, Afghan Ambassador to China Janan Mosazai expressed his deep appreciation to the SCO Secretariat for organising the Day of Afghan Culture. “Events like this strengthen the Shanghai spirit in the growing SCO family,” he noted.
The main event of the programme, a concert of traditional Afghan music, delighted the guests with charming melodies from the ‘country of peaks and legends.’ The programme was presented by ten talented musicians from the Afghanistan National Institute of Music led by its founder and director Ahmad Naser Sarmast.
The guests also enjoyed a display of amazing colourful masterpieces of Afghan carpet weaving art, which goes back more than 2,000 years. A special photo exhibit showcasing the uniquely beautiful nature of Afghanistan and the rich legacy and contemporary life of its people was also very popular. The guests had a taste of the traditional Afghan cuisine.
The event was attended by extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassadors of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Turkmenistan, Syria, Bahrain and Singapore, as well as representatives of diplomatic missions, EU ambassadors, Chinese and foreign media.
The Day of Afghan Culture took place as part of the SCO Is Our Common Home programme.
Some 40 types of carpets were displayed at the Mosaic of Afghan Carpets exhibition. Afghan carpet weaving is known for distinct colours and traditional geometrical ornaments.
Russia, Egypt Launch the Year of Humanitarian Cooperation
Russia and Egypt have opened the next chapter in their bilateral relations as the Assistant Foreign Minister for Cultural Relations, Ambassador Mahmoud Talaat, described the launch of the Russia-Egypt Year of Humanitarian Cooperation as a “bright spot” in the history of joint relations.
Addressing the launch ceremony on behalf of Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry, Talaat said the event comes within the framework of strategic relations between the two countries that reflected in a humanitarian exchange document, which was signed by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Sochi.
Both officials reviewed Cairo-Moscow distinguished relations that have been growing in all fields, mainly at the political, economic, scientific, cultural and social levels. They pointed out to the close historic ties binding both counties and their peoples.
Russia’s Deputy Minister of Culture Olga Yarilova who led the Russian delegation in the meeting emphasized the strength of relations between Cairo and Moscow. She added that the agenda of the Cairo-Moscow year of human exchange will include several cultural, tourism, sports, youth and educational events and activities among the two countries’ cities and regions.
Culture Minister Enas Abdel Dayem and Russia’s Deputy Minister of Culture Olga Yarilova jointly launched the kick-off event at the Cairo Opera House, in the presence of Chairman of the Cairo Opera Magdy Saber, alongside a number of ministers, ambassadors and leaders of the Ministry of Culture.
Beryozka (Berezka) Dance Ensemble, one of the internationally renowned and oldest Russian dance troupes, presented a number of artistic shows on Russian folklore. The Ensemble is a troupe of female dancers founded by Russian choreographer and dancer Nadezhda Nadezhdina in 1948 in the Soviet Union which specializes in performing in long gowns and moving across the stage as though on wheels or floating.
It is worth mentioning that Russia has been chosen as the guest of honor for the Ismailia International Festival for Documentary and Short Films, set for June 16-22.
The Egyptian culture and foreign ministries and Russian bodies concerned have prepared an agenda, including 23 cultural and artistic events throughout the whole year, with the participation of the culture ministry’s sectors and authorities. The cultural programmes will run till May 2022, and as part of the preparations for the second Russia-Africa summit planned for next year in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“Kharibulbul” festival represents a multi-ethnic, multi-confessional and multicultural Azerbaijan
As a country of multiculturalism, Azerbaijan promotes the cross-cultural dialogue inside the country, but also at the regional level. The modern Republic of Azerbaijan regards the existence of a people as the result of the civil and political self-determination of the peoples in Azerbaijan. For the time being, Azerbaijan is populated by representatives of over 30 national minorities such as Talysh, Kurd, Lezghi, Tat, Russian, Ukrainian, Georgian, Inghiloy, Tatar, Avar, Ahyska Turk, Jewish, German, Greek and others. All of them enjoy the cultural societies. Representatives of three main religious confessions – Islamic, Christian and Judaic communities participate jointly at various public ceremonies and cultural events. Support and preservation of the cultural diversity are reflected in the State policy of Azerbaijan.
The ongoing clashes near Nagorno-Karabakh started after Armenia attacked Azerbaijani civilians and military on September 27. Azerbaijan won its historic Victory in 44 days, liberated its lands, dealt crushing blows to the enemy, and defeated Armenia. As a result of this defeat, Armenia was forced to sign capitulation and surrender. Thus, Armenia’s 30-year policy of aggression has come to an end. During this time, the glorious Azerbaijani Army has liberated many settlements from the enemy. Thousands of citizens have volunteered for military service across the country to fight Armenia’s increased military aggression. The volunteers come from various ethnic, religious, social backgrounds and are united around the cause to restore the country’s territorial integrity as well as justice.
Despite all this, Azerbaijanis are not the enemy of the Armenian people. Azerbaijan is a multinational state. Thousands of Armenians live in Azerbaijan, primarily in Baku. Armenia, which has created a society intolerant towards other nations and religions, has tried to completely erase the ancient Albanian, Orthodox, Muslim religious and cultural heritage that historically existed in the occupied territories of multi-ethnic and multi-religious Azerbaijan. It has either completely destroyed cultural and spiritual heritage of the Azerbaijani people or falsified their history and origins by Armenianizing and Gregorianizing it. In the occupied territories of Azerbaijan, mosques, temples and cemeteries, historical monuments, museums, libraries have been destroyed and looted, Caucasian Albanian Christian temples and Russian Orthodox churches have been Gregorianized, mosques have been turned into barns and subjected to unprecedented insults such as keeping animals forbidden in Islam in them. The Armenian regime, which has been pursuing aggressive policies for years, has ignored the norms of international law and international humanitarian law, has committed environmental crimes in the occupied territories through fires, the use of phosphorus bombs, poisonous substances and mines. Today, Armenians living in Nagorno-Karabakh region, also they can normally live only within the Azerbaijani state. The Azerbaijani people are tolerant.
It is also well known by the world public that the Republic of Azerbaijan, diverse in terms of ethnic and religious background, fought to liberate its historic territories from occupation that had nothing to do with Christianity. Secondly, Muslims, Christians, and Jews – representatives of all nations and religions living in our country – fought alongside Azerbaijanis in the armed forces of Azerbaijan. These people were united around the “ Karabakh is Azerbaijan!” slogan by Mr. Ilham Aliyev, Commander – in – Chief of the victorious army, and not false religious appeals. Among them are those who displayed unequalled heroism falling martyrs, wounded, and awarded with supreme orders and medals of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
As with the beginning of the conflict, there are lots of officers and soldiers – representatives of the nations and religious communities living in Azerbaijan – who serve in Azerbaijan’s national army and display outstanding valor in liberating our country from occupation. Azerbaijani nation doesn’t discriminate between its heroic sons and martyrs on ethnic and religious background.
Mr. President Ilham Aliyev, who played a major role in this historic victory of Azerbaijan, said the followings: “Our advantage lies in the fact that representatives of all nations living in Azerbaijan feel themselves as comfortable as in their families and motherland. The fraternity and friendly relationships between various nations is our big wealth and we have to protect it. Our policy will also be pursued in the future. Representative of all the nations living in Azerbaijan displayed outstanding courage and heroism in the Second Karabakh war, falling martyrs, fighting for the cause of Motherland, and embracing death under the Azerbaijani flag. This is the society we have in our country and it is our big wealth».
For your information, “Kharibulbul” music festival, bearing the name of symbolic flower growing in Shusha, was first organized in Shusha’s fabulous Jidyr glade in May 1989. 30 years later on May, the 12th “Kharibulbul” music festival in Azerbaijan’s cultural capital Shusha was organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and will be held every year hereafter.
Musical creativity of different nations living in Azerbaijan on Jidyr glade within the festival was introduced devoted to “ Multiculturalism in Azerbaijani music” as a program comprising folk and classic musics.
Representatives of various nations living in our country demonstrated stage performance. All nations living in Azerbaijan have contributed to our joint victory. The Patriotic War once again proved that all nations live in fraternity, friendhips, and solidarity in Azerbaijan and there is national unity and solidarity in the country.We are sure that Shusha will host numerous music festivals and international conferences.
Priyanka Banerjee exposes the harsh realities of rape culture in India in her short film “Devi”
Priyanka Banerjee is the writer and director of the award winning film “Devi”. Devi as a film explores ideas related to rape culture in India. The entire short film is shot inside a theatre style single room. All the women in the film are sitting together in a room after their death and discussing how crowded the room is getting. The plot soon reveals that all these women have been raped.
The climax of the film catches all viewers off-guard and exposes them to the harsh realities of today’s India.
Tell us more about your journey as a director and writer
I have no formal education in writing and direction. I took theatre arts in school and got a little experience there and then started a theatre company, Leogirl Productions (today it does content and video for clients). Along the way, I taught myself screenwriting from online courses. Many people believe that films are very technical. However, I think that if you are curious enough, you can learn it on the job. My first short film was released in 2016. I did not then imagine that I would work on a film which will win the filmfare. The idea for Devi came along in 2018 and it took a while to work on the idea and bring it to the screen.
What inspires you to make films?
Movies are very relatable. I end up thinking of movies most often when I am having a moment – good or bad. I think of movie scenes which relate to how I am feeling all the time. I think movies are capable of leaving a deep impression on people and creating an impact. I want to create an impact on people via my storytelling and make films which people will remember.
What inspired you to write and direct Devi?
My very first draft was actually called candlelight. However, once the film was ready, our producer Niranjan Iyengar suggested we call it “Devi” and that immediately stuck.
When the Kathua Rape case happened a few years ago, I watched the news on television and felt numb. For the first time ever, I did not have a reaction to something that usually impacted me a lot. This scared me a little. Not having a reaction meant that rape news was normalised, I was desensitised. I wrote Devi with that frustration in mind.
I am someone who takes time to write and work on films. I started working on Devi in 2018 however, it finally only released in March 2020.
Why was Royal Stag barrel select short films chosen as a platform to launch Devi?
The producers generally choose which platform a film should release on. Royal Stag Barrel Short Films has a great collection of films and I am happy that the film found the right platform for release.
What strikes you as the most impactful scene in “Devi”?
I was deeply impacted by two scenes in the film, even as I was writing them. One scene was when the maushi told the medical student, “You are studying for an exam you are never going to give”. The second impactful scene is a more popular one. It was when the little girl walked into the room and the deaf girl signed and told her, “You are safe here”. The scene implied that the girl was finally safer after her death than while alive. Both scenes impacted me as I was writing them, and I’m glad they were received the same way.
What can be done to change rape culture in India?
I think rape is not so much about sex as it is about power. Many Indians’ sexual desires are repressed, desires are considered taboo, not to mention there is a total lack of empowerment even when it comes to education or employment. Therefore, they find empowerment is hurting another. Not to mention the total lack of sensitivity when it comes to how women are spoken of by the media, by politicians, by influencers in everyday life. Each of these things causes a systemic rot which has to be cleaned out with every generation. Awareness of these various aspects of what can take us to the root of the problem, I think.
Geopolitics For Giants And Dwarfs
Authors: Zlatko Hadžidedić and Adnan Idrizbegović June 2021 was far more than just dynamic in terms of global politics: President...
Say “hello” with the sixth generation of mobile network (6G)
The recent introduction of 5G across the globe has directed the interests of telecom experts to the development of the...
Human Rights violation in Palestine: A serious concern
Palestinians had long been victim of brutal Israeli assailant forces. The innocent Palestinians civilians and children are not only victim...
Centenary of the Chinese Communist Party: 100 years of Prosperity and Greatness
Since its establishment, the Communist Party of China has made many national contributions and has become the main engine of...
ACCCIM and ANBOUND Co-Hosted Forum on Digital City Development in the Post-COVID Era
After more than a year since the emergence of the Covid-19, our modern world faces unprecedented threats to our public...
Indonesia’s political will is the key to a successful carbon tax implementation
Authors: I Dewa Made Raditya Margenta, and Filda C. Yusgiantoro* A carbon tax should be overviewed as an oasis of...
Syria’s difficult rebirth
It is now ten years since a peaceful demonstration against Bashar al-Assad’s regime organised by students in Deraa was brutally...
East Asia3 days ago
High time for India to Reconsider the One-China Policy
Economy3 days ago
Beyond Being Friends: Russia and China Need an Exclusive Trade Deal
Americas3 days ago
Joe Biden’s European vacations
Economy2 days ago
Rise of Billionaires In India, Lobbyism And Threat To Democracy
Middle East2 days ago
Middle Eastern powers vie in shaping a next generation of Muslims
Middle East24 hours ago
Intelligence and Evolution of Democracy in Jordan
Economy2 days ago
The light side (SMEs) and the dark side (virtual currency) in post-covid Italy
Science & Technology2 days ago
Disintegrating Big Tech: What Future Holds for the American Technology Giants’?