An exhibition of the European and American maps of the Kazakh state of the XVI-XIX centuries and a lecture on the past, present and future of Kazakhstan were launched at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, Kazinform reports.
The British community got a unique chance to learn about a rich heritage of the Great Steppe.
Organized by the Kazakhstan Embassy in Great Britain, the exposition enabled the academic and expert communities of Oxford, students and businessmen to embark on an exciting journey to the past of Kazakhstan.
The maps made by English, Dutch, Italian, French, Swiss, Belgian and American map makers were taken from the atlas-book “Uninterrupted History of Nationhood in Kazakhstan. The Kazakh State on European and American Maps of the 16-19th Centuries. Atlas” authored by Professor Mukhit-Ardager Sydyknazarov.
The exhibition clearly illustrates the ideas of Europeans about our region in the medieval period. Each of these works by the best map makers of the Age of Exploration is not only an important source of information for travelers, but also a reflection of that time stereotypes about Eurasia.
The maps show how Europeans perceived and what they expected from the distant Kazakh state named as "Kosaki Orda," "Kassakki Tartari," "Kasaccia Horda" several centuries ago in the Old World. The map makers of that time not only applied it to maps, but also clearly depicted its borders and sizes.
A day before the opening of the exhibition, Kazakhstan’s Ambassador to Great Britain Magzhan Ilyassov gave a lecture on "Kazakhstan: Past, Present and Future," unveiling rich cultural heritage of the Great Steppe and technological innovations created in its territory thousands of years ago.
The historical excursion from the ancient nomadic Saks to today's Just Kazakhstan, acquainted the foreign public with the key milestones of the formation of the Kazakh state, which continues its development in uninterrupted stream of history.
Magzhan Ilyassov underscored tolerance of Kazakhstani society, peaceful coexistence of representatives of different religions and the Congress of Leaders of World Religions held in Astana.
The fundamental role of the Kazakh state’s foreign policy, the aspiration to protect its sovereignty and the natural sense of justice among the Kazakh people became a core of the lecture.
“The Centre is keen on development of its relations with Kazakhstan. It was very important for the Oxford audience to hear the ambassador's point of view, as he reminded us of the great historical contribution your country made to world civilization,” Dr. Farhan Ahmad Nizami, Director of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, said to Kazinform correspondent.
“We must know our history, we must understand the present and only then can we can set plans for the future. Nevertheless, from the viewpoint of economic relations, or education, or peace and prosperity, Kazakhstan will have to play a very important role as a Eurasian country,” he added.
Founded in 1985, the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies, is an independent institution engaged in an in-depth study of all aspects of Islamic culture and civilization, as well as modern Muslim societies, from the standpoint of an interdisciplinary approach.