Bishkek, 17 October 2016 — Mawlana Hazar Imam arrived in Kyrgyzstan this evening, ahead of the inauguration of the University of Central Asia’s Naryn campus. He was accompanied by Prince Aly Muhammad.
Her Excellency Elvira Sarieva, Minister of Science and Education received Mawlana Hazar Imam on behalf of the Kyrgyz government. Aga Khan Development Network Resident Representative for Kyrgyzstan Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, who is also the Executive Chairman of the UCA Board Executive Committee, and Dr Mahmoud Eboo, Chairman of the Ismaili Leaders’ International Forum, welcomed Hazar Imam on behalf of the institutions and the Jamat.
In a gesture of traditional hospitality, Hazar Imam was presented with an offering of non (bread) by two students from the Aga Khan School in Osh.
As Chancellor of the University of Central Asia, Mawlana Hazar Imam will preside over the inauguration of the first of its three residential campuses in Naryn on Wednesday, 19 October. The ceremony is due to take place at 11:00 AM Kyrgyzstan Time (GMT+6) and will be webcast at TheIsmaili.org/live.
Founded in 2000 by an international treaty between Mawlana Hazar Imam and the Presidents of Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, and Kazakhstan, the UCA is a secular and private university dedicated to the socio-economic development of Central Asia, and particularly its mountain societies.
The Naryn campus welcomed its first class of 71 undergraduate students in September. They come from Tajikistan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. UCA residential campuses in Khorog, Tajikistan and Tekeli, Kazakhstan are anticipated to open in 2017 and 2019 respectively.