Speech of H.E. Vladimir Norov,
Ambassador of the Republic of Uzbekistan to Belgium,
at the conference, dedicated to 670th anniversary of
Amir Temur (Tamerlan)
April 4, 2006, Brussels

Chère Madame Anne Cahen-Delhaye,
Vos Excellences, chers collègues,
Mesdames et Messieurs,
Chers amis,

Tout d’abord, permettez-moi de vous exprimer ma vive reconnaissance pour votre participation au travail de la conférence, consacrée à la célébration du 670-ème anniversaire d’Amir Temur, notre grand ancêtre, homme d’état grand stratège.

Il est symbolique que cette conférence se déroule à Bruxelles, la capitale de l’Europe, aux Musées Royaux d’art et d’histoire, où sont collectés les objets précieux du passé, de l’art et de la vie des grands hommes de Belgique, qui ont contribué beaucoup au développement de ce pays et de l’Europe.

Saisissant cette occasion, je tiens à remercier particulièrement Madame Anne Cahen-Delhaye, directeur général du Musée, pour son soutien de l’organisation de cette conférence, et le professeur Lucien Kehren, président de l’Association des Timurides à Paris, pour sa bonne volonté de faire la communication sur la vie et l’activité d’Amir Temur.

Dear Mrs. Anne Cahen-Delhaye,

Excellencies, Dear colleagues,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

First of all let me express sincere gratitude to all of you for your kind participation at today’s conference dedicated to the 670th anniversary of our great ancestor, statesman and commander – Amir Temur.

It is very symbolic that this conference is taking place in Brussels, capital of Europe, and in the Royal Museum of Art and History, where invaluable objects of history, art and the life of great people of Belgium are collected, those people who contributed enormously to the development of their country and Europe as a whole.

Taking this opportunity I would like to express our highest appreciation to the Director of this Museum Mrs. Anne Cahen-Delhaye for assistance in organizing this conference, as well as to the prominent French scientist, head of the Temureeds society in Paris, Professor Lucien Caren for his readiness to make a report today about the life and activities of Amir Temur.

Exactly ten years ago in Paris, during the celebration of 660th anniversary of Amir Temur in the headquarters of UNESCO, where opening of the exhibition dedicated to the Temureeds era took place, Professor Lucien Caren was awarded with high Government reward by the President of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov for his many years’ fruitful scientific research of life and activities of Amir Temur and the rich spiritual values of Temureeds.

We in Uzbekistan appreciate the fact that in many European countries interest to the personality of Amir Temur has never been weakened. As early as in the 15th century the truth about the life and history of Amir Temur was written in the dairy of Ambassador of Spanish King to the Palace of our great ancestor – Ruy Gonsales de Claviho. The famous English poet and dramatist Christopher Marlo wrote the play “The Great Tamerlan” in 1587.

The image of Amir Temur also attracted attention of West European opera art of 17-19 centuries. The outstanding master of Neapolitan opera school Alessandro Scarlatti presented in 1706 in Rome his opera “Ilgramm Tamerlano”. Other Italian composer Gaspirini created opera “Tamerlan”, which was presented to the public in Vienna theatre in 1710. In general Temur’s opera has a rich history. The famous European composers, including Vivaldi, Scolari, Saccini, Gendel and others, wrote operas about Amir Temur, which had a great success in many European capitals.

The interest to the personality of Amir Temur was nonrandom. We should not ignore the fact that it was just Amir Temur who at certain time stopped aggressive expansion to Europe. The historical mission of Amir Temur was also great due to the fact that, probably, for the first time in history thanks to his deeds the states of Asia and Europe have found themselves in single geopolitical environment.

This was expressed not only by huge economic advantages but also in newly developed ways for unhampered traveling of traders, scientists and travelers. At the end of 14th and the beginning of 15th centuries numerous caravan ways linked the core of the vast empire of Amir Temur – Maverounnahr – with major cities and countries of Europe, Middle and Far East. These historically established ways promoted development of interrelations between countries, which were different from each other by religion, state of economy, the people’s living and cultural standards.

The American scientist Richard Nelson in his speech at the International Conference in Tashkent devoted to the anniversary of Amir Temur indicated that strategic genius of Amir Temur contents in his ability to be the master of geopolitics. Amir Temur was not imposing single imperial culture but, on the contrary, developed merging of cultures, including nomadic and settled, Western and Eastern, and became the first statesman, who personally and strategically evolved Eurasian idea of compromises, which is still exists in our days. According to Richard Nelson it is absolutely clear that Amir Temur was one of the greatest persons, who ever lived or will live in the world.

The lessons of history and culture are very significant issues related to national self-consciousness, a feeling to which most states in the world are paying a lot of attention. The people of Uzbekistan are proud of their huge historical, cultural and spiritual heritage. On the territory of Central Asia, especially in Uzbekistan, high civilizations were flourishing and powerful states developing for many centuries. They left a remarkable trace in the history of humanity.

One cannot count all the great personalities, genius philosophers, scientists, poets, architects, statesmen who lived in our land and enormously contributed to the development of world civilization and became brightest part of the history of our people and proud of our nation. Among them particular place belongs to the greatest son of our people – Amir Temur.

Thanks to Amir Temur the 150 years of destructive rule of Chingiz-khan and his descendants in Maverounnahr was thrown down.

The great and immortal service of our prominent ancestor to his country is worth because he was able in a very hard historical period to reach consent among the people, to raise the banner of freedom and by uniting divided states, peoples and regions he created powerful centralized state, providing development of economy, sciences and culture and promoting international political and trade relationships.

His slogan “The justice is not in power, but power is in justice” was put into practice on the whole territory of Amir Temur’s empire and became moral and spiritual norm.

As part of the great efforts of Amir Temur on providing stability and development of economy we can emphasize, for example, construction of new roads and channels, which ensured caravan exchanges between West and East passing the capital of his empire – Samarkand. Owing to genius of Amir Temur the city of Samarkand developed and became one of the most beautiful places in the world.

People from different countries all over the world considered a big honour to visit flourishing cities of Amir Temur’s state like Samarkand, Kesh, Bukhara, Termez and to make pilgrimage to sacred places there. People in need of science and education from all over the world aspired to come to these cities because they could find there the biggest and richest libraries and universities of that time, a lot of madrasahs, where the most prominent scientists and philosophers practiced.

We are recognizing with pride, that spirit of enlightened Movarounnahr, the golden age of science and art in Timureeds era had beneficial influence to the process of European Renaissance and promoted worldwide progress.

This is not by chance. Even in the deep past, centuries before the Timureeds era, in the very centre of European civilization – in ancient Rome, the following words had been pronounced at first time: “Lux viene dell’oriente!” – “The light is coming from the East!”

Today it is difficult to define exactly to whom belongs this aphorism, but its wise meaning and verity became prophetic, because almost the whole consequent development of culture and arts in Europe was linked to the East in any event.

Ladies and gentlemen,

Uzbekistan in a few months will celebrate 15th Anniversary of its independence.

The years passed since independence became for our young country the time of formation of State system, development of democracy and civil society as well as socially-oriented market economy.

Revival of the great and invaluable spiritual and cultural heritage, which was created during centuries by our ancestors, became the most important task raised by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Islam Karimov to the level of State policy starting from the first days of our independence.

Six centuries later monuments of Amir Temur are now placed in Tashkent, Samarkand and Shakhrisabz and State Museum of History of Temureeds is established in Tashkent. According to President I.Karimov this museum is like a big mirror, reflecting our past, present and great future.

Today we have a good opportunity to hear the Director of the State Museum of Temureeds Dr.Nozim Habibullaev, who makes an important contribution to the collection of historical documents, organizing study and wide distribution of spiritual and cultural heritage of Temureeds.

We hope that today’s conference will promote maintaining of cooperation between Museum of Temureeds and Royal Museum of Art and History, Uzbek and Belgian scientists and specialists, engaged in the research of Temureeds heritage, as well as serve to develop the cultural dialogue between our peoples.

Today we would like to offer to your attention a video film about the life and activities of Amir Temur. Moreover, you will see short presentation of the theatre of historical dresses from Samarkand “Al-Meros” followed by the reception with very famous national meal – pilaf and other unique Uzbek dishes.

I would like also to express appreciation to our sponsors, including insurance company “DSV – Belgium», diplomatic service company «Sunny Europe» and the company from Samarkand «Al-Holding».

Thank you for your attention.