"Mountain populations experience extremes of poverty and isolation as well as constraints on opportunities and choice, but at the same time, they sustain great linguistic, cultural, ethnic and religious pluralism, and show remarkable resilience in the face of extraordinarily harsh circumstances. By creating intellectual space and resources, this University will help turn the mountains that divide the nations and territories of Central Asia into the links that unite its peoples and economies in a shared endeavour to improve their future well-being."
Statement by the Aga Khan at the signing ceremony establishing the University of Central Asia
International Year of the Mountains
The 5th of June 2002, World Environment Day, marked the International Year of Mountains. A Video News Release prepared by the Television Trust for the Environment and released worldwide featured footage of the Aga Khan Development Network's (AKDN) activities in the Tajikistan province of Gorno-Badakshan. For more information on AKDN activities in Tajikistan, please see the AKDN in Tajikistan page. For more information about AKDN activities in mountainous regions of Central Asia, please see the Current Projects of the Aga Khan Foundation page and the Foundation page. The University of Central Asia, for which the Aga Khan created an endowment of $15 million, is intended to serve 25 million people in the mountainous parts of the region. For more information, please see the University of Central Asia home page and related press release. AKDN is also playing a major role in planning and funding the Bishkek Global Mountain Summit, which will take place in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan from 29 October to 1 November 2002. The summit will promote "the conservation and sustainable development of mountain regions".
Aga Khan Foundation Receives Award for Excellence in International Development
The Canadian Council for International Co-operation has awarded its 2002 International Co-operation Award to the Aga Khan Foundation Canada for the Pakistan-Canada Social Institutions Development Program (PAKSID) in the category "Strengthening Civil Society". The award recognizes initiatives of the highest quality in international development. The recipients of the award are selected for their innovation in achieving sustainable human development and for their commitment to the elimination of poverty.
Smithsonian Folklife Festival Celebrates Music of the Silk Road
The 2002 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, to be held 26 - 30 June 2002 and July 3 - 7 2002 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C, USA, will feature 350 traditional artists - musicians, dancers, craftsmen, storytellers, artists, cooks, and more - from 20 nations, including Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, China, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, the United States and Uzbekistan. The Aga Khan Trust for Culture is the lead funding organisation and creative partner of the Smithsonian Folklife Festival and The Silk Road Project, Inc. At the same time the Trust is promoting Central Asian music in Europe and North America, it is also working through the auspices of the Aga Khan Music Initiative in Central Asia for the preservation and promotion of traditional music at the heart of the Silk Road.
Aga Khan Meets President Putin at Kremlin
His Highness the Aga Khan and President Vladimir Putin of Russia discussed the potential for expanding activities of the Aga Khan Development Network within the Russian Federation and reviewed together the context in which the Network has established and grown its development initiatives in Central Asia and Afghanistan. For more information, please see the press release.
Trust Starts Major Urban Development Projects in Kabul
Mausoleum of Timur Shah. The Aga Khan Trust for Culture will lead a project to revitalise the historic Bagh-e-Babur garden - which was destroyed during the years of conflict - as a major public open space. Babur, founder of the Mughal Empire, is buried in the gardens. The other project in Kabul is the restoration of the Mausoleum of Timur Shah (18th century founder of modern Afghanistan). Joint conservation work will be preceded by the clearance and maintenance of an area within 20 metres of the monument and will include relocation of temporary structures as well as urban planning for the vicinity of the mausoleum. Besides developing a master plan, facilitating technical and material support, and overseeing restoration work, the Trust, through its newly created local entity, Aga Khan Cultural Services (Afghanistan), will help the Government and the Municipality establish a trust fund to enable revenues from any commercial outlets in the neighbourhood to be reinvested so as to assure sustainability of the projects. For more information, please see the press release and accompanying photos.
Aga Khan Award for Architecture Opens Nomination Procedures for 9th Cycle
The Aga Khan Award for Architecture has begun the confidential nomination procedures for the Ninth Cycle of the Award. Eligibility criteria focus on projects completed during the twelve-year period from 1991 to 2002. Accordingly, eligible projects must have been completed and in use for at least one full year between the period 1st January 1991 and 31st December 2002. The Award seeks out the broadest possible range of architectural projects that serve Muslim communities. Restoration and social efforts are considered, as are contemporary design projects and those demonstrating the use of appropriate technologies. Protection of the built and natural environments, new approaches to the need for shelter, the changing role of public urban spaces, workplaces and factories, are all considered during the Award cycle. In addition to the nomination procedures, the Award has developed a project identification programme which is open to all persons or institutions who wish to bring projects to the attention of the Award. Projects received through the identification programme are forwarded to nominators who may choose - but are not required - to nominate them for the Award. For more information or to register a project in the identification programme, please visit the Award home page.
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