Sergey Lavrov can participate in Kazan’s inauguration as OIC youth capital

Representatives of 56 countries will gather in the Tatarstan capital to exchange experience and cultural values

Last November, Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov announced that Kazan was granted the status of the 2022 youth capital of countries of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Different cities and countries have received this status in the project’s history — Turkey’s Istanbul, Iran’s Sheraz, Malaysia’s Putrajaya, Morocco’s Fez, Qatar’s Doha. Now Kazan in whose inauguration Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov can participate is in line. Read in Realnoe Vremya’s report what events the Tatarstan capital will offer to its guests and project members.

“It is not only Kazan but also Russia’s victory”

The project of the OIC youth capital has been implemented since 2016. An observer country’s city will become the capital for the first time in the project’s history this year.

A key symbolising the gates to the city receiving the status of OIC youth capital will be brought to Kazan in March.

“We plan to open the gates of our large country first soon because indeed it is not only Kazan but also Russia’s victory. Today our country is an observer of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. I would like to remind you that it is the second-largest organisation after the United Nations. And our country has a status of observer there,” said Tatarstan Minister of Youth Affairs Timur Suleymanov.

The minister noted that this year is special for our republic — the 1100th anniversary of the adoption of Islam by Volga Bulgaria.


To make sure our vote is counted

Timur Suleymanov said that within this project Kazan developed a very eventful programme. By the way, it turned out to be so big that a special commission even recommended reducing it a bit. So about 10-12 big events in different areas are planned. A Holy Quran recital contest where both men and women from 18 to 30 years can participate will become one of the first events.

“For this purpose, together and under the aegis of the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs we plan to hold a solemn inauguration ceremony of Kazan as the OIC youth capital in March. It is a global summit of OIC countries’ ministers of youth affairs where ministers from 56 countries of the Islamic world are expected. It is sports competitions: for instance, the international OIC horse races for the Tatarstan president’s cup are scheduled for 30 August. An international cybersport championship will also be hosted here in Kazan. It is the Russia — OIC international youth forum, the Muslim culture festival and many other events,” Timur Suleymanov announced the programme.

He said that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov can become the main guest of the inauguration ceremony of Kazan as the OIC youth capital. The golden key handover ceremony will be in Moscow in March, then it will be delivered to Kazan. According to Timur Suleymanov, an international summit of OIC ministers of youth affairs will become the biggest event. For the Tatarstan Ministry of Youth Affairs it is an opportunity to get acquainted with the best interesting world practices in youth politics.

“One should understand that people who deal with issues not only of the present but also the future will come here because they are responsible for the youth and youth politics. This is why for us, for Tatarstan, for Russia it is very valuable to be in the epicentre of these events. It is an opportunity to make sure our vote and our opinion are counted when adopting key strategic documents,” Timur Suleymanov said.

Kazan is important for the whole Islamic world

Most events will be secular and educational. One of the ideas of the project is to show general humanitarian values Islam preaches. President of the OIC Youth Forum Taha Ayhan stressed that a city of the organisation’s observer was chosen as the OIC youth capital for the first time in history and that Kazan in Russia was important for the whole Islamic world.

Taha Ayhan said that Kazan could become the place that would build bridges and unite the youth from different cities, countries, continents. So their vision that the city — an OIC youth forum capital — could become a platform for a year where youth problems would be solved, their interests would be discussed and the ideas the youth have will be successfully realised moreover, in the most peaceful and good neighbourly format. Kazan was chosen as the OIC youth capital because of its diverse, rich, cultural and civilisation heritage, its talented, brilliant youth, innovative institutions in entrepreneurship, innovations, sport, because of its modern, latest and advanced infrastructure. Also, due to its big potential to show the best experience to young people from OIC members, said Taha Ayhan.

According to the OIC Youth Forum president, this programme is a priceless opportunity for young Russians to meet the youth from 56 countries, do cultural training and exchange experience and knowledge. The participants can learn from famous international teachers and experts. The programme of the project is a big opportunity for the city to expand international contacts too.

Taha Ayhan said the population of OIC countries was about 1,6 billion people, a third of them are youth. So it was very important for them to support the platform for interaction of the youth from these 56 countries.

Emil Ziyangirov