Excerpts from statements of participants of the second volume of Ruhnama presentation held in St Petersburg
A presentation of the second volume of Ruhnama by Turkmen president Saparmurat Niyazov has been recently held in St Petersburg. The presentation was initiated by St Petersburg Society of Turkmen Culture "Mekan" and "House of Nationalities" which has been lately set up in the city on the Neva river. Following are the excerpts from statements of some of the presentation participants.
Alexander PARHOMENKO, Chairman of the External Relations Committee of the Government of St Petersburg:
- Today, our city is witnessing a very important and unique event which has the particular importance for St Petersburg citizens who are privileged to get first hand information about the Russian version of the second volume of Ruhnama penned by Turkmen President Saparmurat Niyazov. It is not every year that we have the honor to present a book by a leader of the friendly country, statesman with a unique talent, farsighted politician, extraordinary man with outstanding gift.
I recall a meeting of Saparmurat Niyazov with the academic council, students and teachers of the Polytechnic University, his Alma Mater, in the year marking the 300th anniversary of St Petersburg. I was literally struck by the way the President of Turkmenistan, speaking fluent Russian, grasped for two hours the attention of such highly educated public. He did not simply grasp the attention. Scientists with world reputation listened to the Turkmen leader with great interest. They were clearly impressed by his sincerity, his vision of geopolitical processes in the modern world, patriotism and confidence in the right path of independent development chosen by Turkmenistan.
Later, visiting Ashgabat as a member of the official delegation of St Petersburg headed by Governor Valentina Matviyenko, I could see with my own eyes realization of Saparmurat Niyazov's large-scale plans on turning his country, a former raw material outskirt of the Soviet Union, into a modern state with strong economy, social policy and revived national culture. We still remember with gratitude the warm welcome given to us by every one in Turkmenistan, starting with the president to the ordinary people on the streets of white marble Ashgabat, open doors and hearts.
Some years ago, I read with great interest the first volume of Ruhnama. I am pretty sure that reading the second volume translated into Russian will be also an important event in the process of discovering such beautiful country called Turkmenistan, further acquaintance with its kind and proud people and its centuries old culture.
Jafar PONCHAYEV, Chairman of the Clerical department of Muslims of St Petersburg.
- Today we greet the esteemed President of Turkmenistan, Saparmurat Turkmenbashy, who wrote this amazingly moving book, and congratulate the entire people of Turkmenistan on this occasion.
The head of Turkmenistan has spared no effort to prepare a book that became a genuine address to his fellow countrymen and, first of all, to the young generation. He generalized the experience of Turkmen people in the spiritual-moral sphere and set it forth in his book.
Vadim MASSON, Academician of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Adviser of the President of Turkmenistan on science and culture:
- If the first volume of "Ruhnama" by the honorable president Saparmurat Niyazov can be called a global project which gives a comprehensive picture of peculiarities of the historical path of Turkmens, showing what place the modern neutral state occupies in the world today, then the second volume is devoted entirely to the cultural genesis of Turkmens and aimed into the future of Turkmenistan. I am confident that the second volume will become a perfect lesson of love for Motherland for the Turkmen youth, goodwill in relation to neighbors and environment, tolerance and aspiration to achieve high goals.
Being well-aware of the great job Saparmurat Atayevich does at his state post, I always wonder at his ability to find time for creative work and writing such great books. One can see how lucky the Turkmen people are to have such a gifted and extraordinary man, the real national leader, at the highest state post.
Tamara SMIRNOVA, Doctor of historical sciences, Director of the Scientific Center "Petropol"
I think the presentation of the second volume of the book by the President of Turkmenistan is a very important event, even in the life of our city which is rich in cultural activities. This work stands out against the background of book novelties not only because of its author, the head of state, but also because of figurative language and vividness of historical and philosophical material.
I believe that if the president of state can write such profound philosophical historical books. it is a good characteristic of the people and their leader who also became a spiritual teacher for the younger generation.
Hamzat TSOKIYEV, President of the Association of National-Cultural Autonomies of St Petersburg "League of Nations"
- Turkmen people gave the world many original and useful things as well as unique things which is evidence of high culture of this people. As an illustration of this thesis it is enough to cite Akhalteke horses, the pride of Turkmen people, shepherd Alabai bred by this people, karakul and long-haired sheep, Turkmen carpets, melons and other stuff. Today, Turkmen people are famous for their achievements in politics, economy and culture. It should be recalled that Turkmenistan is the only state in the world to get official recognition of its neutral status by the United Nations.
I perused the first volume of Ruhnama, and I have to admit that it gives its readers a powerful spiritual-moral charge. Starting from today, I will enjoy reading the second volume of this work penned by the talented and farsighted leader of the Turkmen people. I am confident this work by the president of Turkmenistan will be of use and helpful to other peoples as well and in demand in every part of the world.
Vladimir CHUROV, Member of the State Duma of the Russian Federation
- It was just recently that we basked in the warm and caressing light of the sun in white marble Ashgabat. Honored by the opportunity to take part in celebrations on the occasion of the 14th anniversary of independence of Turkmenistan together with my colleagues from the State Duma, we observed a military parade and witnessed the generosity of the Turkmen sun. In fact, in my opinion, "Ruhnama" is as much warm and bright as the Turkmen sun in the autumn which doesn't burn people. And it would probably be good for many other peoples and countries to have a book like Ruhnama. I wish the author of this book and the entire Turkmen people new successes and prosperity.
Vladislav NEMCHINOV, Representative of non-profit organization "Russian-Turkmen House"
- Our organization has recently initiated public readings of the second volume of Ruhnama and we can state that the interest in this work by Saparmurat Turkmenbashy is constantly growing. It is quite visible in the regions of Russia where ordinary people want more information about Turkmenistan, and leaders of the republics, districts and regions want to establish reliable and mutually advantageous partnership with Turkmenistan.
A group of Russian schoolchildren, the winners of the first round of the contest about Turkmenistan held by our organization, have visited Ashgabat the other day. They got acquainted with the life of the country, visited museums and theaters, modern enterprises and stayed with Turkmen families. I have to say that they came back with great impressions about Turkmenistan, kindness and openness of the people. Without exaggeration, these few days of stay in the hospitable Turkmen land made them true friends of Turkmenistan for the rest of their lives.
And those schoolchildren who take part in the second round of our contest "Turkmenistan. What do I know about it?" got a new outstanding book by the president translated into Russian. I think this book will become a handbook for all genuine friends of Turkmenistan.
Oleg RODZEVICH, Director of St Petersburg "House of Nationalities"
- The collective of our "House of Nationalities" which was established just recently is proud that we host the presentation of the book by the first and eternal president of Turkmenistan Saparmurat Niyazov. It is a double honor for us. This is, in fact, the first such event in the official biography of our organization. In this connection, we express particular gratitude to the Turkmen side.
As regards our "House of Nationalities", we will make every effort to further strengthen humanitarian ties with Turkmenistan, and we will continue supporting all useful initiatives of St Petersburg society of Turkmen culture "Mekan" that, in our opinion, is very instrumental in uniting fellow countrymen who live away from Motherland but wish to stay in touch with it.
Nurgeldy SEYYDOV, Chairman of St Petersburg Society of Turkmen Culture "Mekan"
- We thank our esteemed president for his titanic work for the good of our Fatherland, for creating works that ennoble the Turkmen people and its spirit and for giving us the honor to participate in the presentation of the second volume of Ruhnama.
On behalf of my fellow countrymen who live in the city on Neva river, Turkmen students studying here, I want to assure that we will not stay aside from that great transformation carried out under the guidance of our leader. Being away from the homeland, we hold sacred all people's sanctuaries, keep our traditions and customs and will be loyal to our flag, state and the president and will never disgrace the honor of Turkmens.
(From the report by the State news agency "TURKMENDOWLETHABARLARY")