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From the Treasury of World Civilization

Samarkand will host August 28 an international conference ‘Central Asian Renaissance in the History of World Civilization.’ In this connection, we offer you to get acquainted with the view of Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor Mirzohid Rahimov on this academic issue. He is deeply convinced that the historical heritage of the thinkers of Uzbekistan and Central Asia is a factor in strengthening the modern inter-civilization dialogue.
 
The modern world system represents a variety of processes of interaction and mutual influence. There are different opinions about the development of world processes. Thus the concept of inter-civilization dialogue has a whole complex of relations - from political-economic to cultural aspects and is aimed at expanding cooperation. Without a doubt, the adoption of a civilization distinction is a prerequisite in the modern development of relations between different countries and regions of the world. In the context of complex globalization processes, historical legacy and international humanitarian cooperation - a key aspect of national, regional and global dialogue and sustainable development, are of great importance.
 
Uzbekistan and Central Asia have the richest and unique cultural heritage that is part of the treasury of world civilization. Thinkers of our region played a huge role in the development of mutual exchange by the achievements of the material and spiritual culture of the peoples of the East and Europe. An important condition for the spiritual revival of Uzbekistan turned the use of the legacy of outstanding educators who lived in the period of the Eastern Renaissance. The whole world knows the outstanding discoveries in the field of mathematics, astronomy, geodesy, mineralogy, pharmacology, medicine, social science of our great ancestors including Muhammad Al-Khorazmiy, Abu Rayhon Beruniy, Abu Ali ibn Sino - Avicenna, Mirzo Ulughbek and many others. Thus, with the name of Khorazmiy, the invention of the concepts of the ‘algorithm’ of the decimal system and ‘zero’ is connected. The work of Abu Ali ibn Sino ‘Canon of Medical Science’ for 500 years was used in the most famous European universities as a textbook for all students. Mirzo Ulughbek is the astronomer who, in the 15th century, built an observatory in Samarqand and created a celestial map.
 
Possessing encyclopedic knowledge, Abu Rayhon Beruniy could conduct a deeply scientific discussion with a specialist in any branch of science - from mathematics and astronomy to poetry and history. He even predicted the existence of the American continent 500 years before its discovery. Beruniy perfectly spoke in Arabic, Persian, Sogdian, Sanskrit, Syrian, Hebrew, Greek and other languages. All his works about the traditions, culture and history of other peoples are permeated with the spirit of the highest respect for them. The famous modern American scientist Professor S. Frederick Starr notes that Beruniy was a bridge between the ancient world and European researchers; he made his discoveries through the systematic and rigorous application of logical reasoning, being not limited to religious dogmas and secular concepts.
Further, Frederick Starr says that for several centuries Central Asia was the intellectual hub of the world. The thinkers of the Central Asian region played a huge role in the development of mutual exchange of achievements in the material and spiritual culture of the peoples of the East and Europe. The works of Plato, Aristotle, Archimedes, Socrates, and Hippocrates were translated into Arabic. In turn, the works of Muhammad Khorazmiy, Ahmad Farghoniy, Farobiy, Abu Ali ibn Sino who hugely contributed in the medieval achievements of the West - mathematics, astronomy, medicine - were translated into Latin. According to the well-known economics historian Professor Andre Gunder Frank, Central Asia has for many centuries been an important link between different parts of Asia, as well as between this continent and Europe, which defines the region as Centrality of Central Asia. German scientist Adam Metz notes that the humanism of the medieval European Renaissance would not have been possible without an early ‘outbreak’ of philosophy in Central Asia. All this, of course, proves the inconsistency of various one-sidedly oriented concepts of the development of East and West and confirms the unity and interconnectedness of historical processes in various regions of the world.
 
It should be noted that the theory and practice of the state and society was also the subject of discussion among many thinkers and statesmen of Central Asia. So, Al-Farobiy was the first of the medieval thinkers to develop the doctrine of the features and structure of social life. In his work ‘Treatise on the views of the residents of virtuous city’, he noted that the art of government presupposes both theoretical knowledge of general laws of government and practical activity in this sphere. Governance of the state, in his opinion, is of two types: the first leads the citizens of the state to true happiness, the second - to the illusory, the false. The great statesman of the Seljuk state, Nizomulmulk, described in detail the principles of state government, the rules of upbringing, the moral qualities of rulers and officials, and the outstanding medieval poet Alisher Navoi, the qualities of ‘perfect man and ruler.’ Many historical sources report on the need to educate the high spirituality and education of diplomats, their devotion to the service of their state, which testifies to the high requirements in those days for the training of personnel in the field of diplomacy and interstate relations. The views of Farobiy, Nizomulmulk, Navoi and other thinkers of Central Asia had an important influence on the creativity and views of a number of European statesmen and scholars, such as Machiavelli, Vambery, Hegel, Dante, Nietzsche and others.
 
The great Indian statesman and thinker Jawaharlal Nehru notes that the dynasty founded by Bobur played a huge role in the history of India’s development. Indeed, the Boburids made a great contribution not only to the development of statehood, but also to the strengthening of inter-ethnic and inter-confessional tolerance in India. The commonality of historical processes is an important factor in the development of international relations between Uzbekistan and many Asian countries.
It is also important to note that for many centuries the ancient land of Uzbekistan remained the focus of education and science, one of the centers of world civilization, and the desire for knowledge has always been an integral part of the mentality of our people.
 
It should also be noted the outstanding achievements and skillful diplomacy of Amir Temur, which contributed to the unification of a number of European and Asian states in a single space of civilizational dialogue, which was a unique phenomenon for medieval times. The words of Amir Temur, “The counsel, prudence, deliberation are ten times more useful in politics than the force of weapons”, are not only the quintessence of all his activities, but also relevant for the present, since they contain the principle of preventive diplomacy, when disputes and conflicts are resolved through political dialogue. These principles are taken as the basis for the activities of UN and other international and regional organizations, and their subsequent implementation on a global scale will be of great importance in international relations.
Modern Uzbekistan continues the tradition of developing intercultural and inter-civilization dialogue. For many centuries of coexistence by representatives of different faiths, traditions of mutual respect and tolerance were established here.
 
Uzbekistan and other countries have become active participants in various projects for the revival of the Great Silk Road, which stimulate economic and political cooperation of young states in Central Asia among themselves and the developed states of Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.
Thus, for many centuries Uzbekistan and Central Asia have been the most important focus of education and science. The greatest merit of the great thinkers of the Medieval is that they promoted the ideas of humanism, enlightenment and mutual respect. Scientists from the Central Asian region were distinguished by high academic mobility, playing a huge role in world civilization.
Modern complex world and regional processes require the search and deepening of dialogue and cooperation and in this process the role of the historical heritage is enormous.
 
(Source: «Uzbekistan Today» newspaper)
 
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