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The Head of State takes part in the unveiling ceremony of the bust of Al-Farabi in Beijing

October 17, 2023

Beijing, China

President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev attended the opening ceremony of the bust of medieval philosopher and scientist Abu Nasr Al-Farabi at the Beijing Language and Culture University.

The opening ceremony was also attended by Wang Guangyan, Vice Minister of Education of the People's Republic of China, Ni Haidong, Secretary of Party Committee of the University, Duan Peng, Rector of University, Liu Shiqin, Professor of the University, as well as Wu Weishan, Director of the State Art Museum of China and author of the bust.

In his speech, the Head of State focused on Al-Farabi's contribution to the intellectual rise of world civilization.

- A great thinker of the East who made a significant contribution to the development of the entire world civilisation, Al-Farabi was born and grew up on the territory of Kazakhstan. He travelled many countries in search of knowledge, played an outstanding role in the formation of mathematics, natural science, astronomy, philology, and carried out research in other areas of science. His contribution to the development of mankind is immeasurable. In his philosophical works Al-Farabi emphasised the idea of Justice. He attached special importance to the formation of a merciful society and harmonious state, defended moral and spiritual values. The scientist studied such arts as music and calligraphy," - the President said.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev noted that contemporaries called Al-Farabi, who had encyclopedic knowledge, "The second teacher" after Aristotle. The Head of State emphasised that the scientist's works are always relevant and do not lose their value.

- His works are a treasure that has entered the golden fund of world scientific thought. The 1150th anniversary of Al-Farabi, which was celebrated in 2020, was included in the global list of UNESCO anniversaries. International scientific symposia and conferences have been organised. Monographs and collections have been published. Documentary films have been made. All this allowed a deeper understanding of Al-Farabi's works and opened up opportunities to popularise his rich heritage. Now a number of scientific works dedicated to the philosopher will be available to Chinese scholars and young people. I am glad that first of all teachers and students of Beijing Language and Culture University will be able to familiarise themselves with these valuable materials," - the Kazakh leader said.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev recalled that he had once studied at this institution, so the unveiling of the bust of Abu Nasr Al-Farabi is a great honour for him. The Head of State expressed confidence that the heritage of the great thinker will be comprehensively studied here, thus contributing to the strengthening of cultural ties. He also expressed gratitude to the Government of China, the Beijing Language and Culture University, the State Art Museum of China and prominent sculptor Wu Weishan for supporting the initiative.

The President also had a warm conversation with Professor Liu Shiqin, who taught Kassym-Jomart Tokayev at the Beijing Linguistic Institute during his internship.

- I am very pleased to be back in the walls of my university after 40 years and to meet you in good health. I would like to emphasise your perseverance, patience and cheerfulness. The knowledge you shared with your students is invaluable. All this confirms your professionalism, diligence and love for your work. I know that you are on a well-deserved rest. Despite this, you continue to participate in the social life of the university and make a great contribution to the development of intercultural relations, - indicated the Head of State.

Kassym-Jomart Tokayev thanked Liu Shiqin and wished him good health and long life.

After the conversation, the Head of State was shown archival documents about his studies at the university.

At the end of the event, the President presented a portrait of Abu Nasr Al-Farabi to the Beijing Language and Culture University and met with Kazakh students studying at the institution.

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