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language: English
Title Ode to Samarkand in 62 Languages  
Subtitle  
Date 23. Oktober 2013  
oraganization International Museum of Peace and Solidarity  
Author Mr. Director Anatoly Ionesov  
Museum The Samarkand Peace Museum Project, Uzbekistan, Samarkand  
Short version 5 Words  
Long version 1974 Words  

 Short version

Book Launch Party in Samarkand

 Long version

A Poetic Homage to Samarkand in 62 languages

The calendar of independent Uzbekistan includes a lot of holidays, from the national to the professional and nation-wide. However, there are holidays which are not marked in red on the calendar, but in some special way they bring people together, unite them into one large, multi-ethnic and friendly family. The Day of the City of Samarkand belongs to just such solemn dates.
To mark this delightful holiday, on 17 October, 2013 the presentation of the new book "Ode to Samarkand” by Russian poetess Irina Alekseyeva was held at the Theatre of Historical Costume “El Merosi” in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. This multilingual book has been recently released by “Unost” Magazine Publishing House in Moscow (A5 format, 92 pages plus 8 pages of illustrations).
The name of Irina Alekseyeva is familiar to poetry lovers in our country through various publications in the media: "I think that any person, who has visited Uzbekistan, will never forget this country, it will beckon and by its kindness to a guest, and by a flavor of local bread, and by cool ditches and by grape bunches, riddled with the generous sun. Every guest cherishes in Uzbekistan something special for him/herself, hidden in the reserved area of one’s heart. For me, it’s Samarkand. It appeared in my life in 2006 as an embodiment of the unconscious dream of the Ancient City, which suddenly became a reality... Remembering Samarkand, admiring its beauty, I warmly think of its residents and from the bottom of my heart I wish the people of Uzbekistan, to all my friends in Samarkand, to all the poets who kindly contributed their translations for this book, to all our readers and to all the people in the world – all the best and peace!... The evening, when I wrote "Ode to Samarkand”, I will probably never forget...".
The poetess presented her poem "Ode to Samarkand" to the Museum of Peace and Solidarity as a contribution for its international project "Samarkandiana". This poetic hymn to the ancient city has had an amazing life: it has flown around the world and has been translated into many languages. The book presents 71 translations into 62 languages (including two versions by different authors in nine languages). The poem has been translated by 70 poets and writers from 50 countries.
This unique anthology is a result of some three years of laborious work. The translations have been collected and prepared for publication by the book editor and compiler Anatoly Ionesov, the author and coordinator of Samarkandiana-project, the founder of the Samarkand Peace Museum (Uzbekistan). It is worth noting that in this cross-cultural project the international language of Esperanto has played an important role as an effective intermediary language and a kind of linguistic bridge between different languages and cultures.
Alongside the translations of the poem, the book includes an article by Anatoly and Vladimir Ionesov "Samarkandiana: Uniting the World through Culture", an essay by Irina Alekseyeva "I sing of you, oh, Samarkand!", brief biographical information and photos of the Russian poetess and translators, thank-you page, 4 inserts with colour pictures of the "Rome of the East"... The publication has been also provided with a brief summary in English, German, French, Italian, Uzbek, and Esperanto.
The presentation ceremony was opened by the introductory speech of the Chairman of the Samarkand Regional Branch of the Russian Cultural Center of the Republic of Uzbekistan Mr. Yuri M. Ognev. On the theatre stage, Irina Alekseyeva introduced her poem "Ode to Samarkand" in the Russian language. Then the local poets presented their translations of the poem: Olqor Damin (Uzbek version), No'mon Mahmudov and Saida Qayumova (Tajik), Bahodir Habibov (Persian). Associate Professor Ma Cuiling (PR China) pathetically read the Ode in Chinese, Susanna Harutyunyan in Armenian, Ulzhon Melikova in Korean, Julietta Araratyan in Japanese, Parviz Karimzoda in Azerbaijani, Kristina Ayrapetova in Spanish, Bahodir Habibov in English, French and Arabic, Amriddin Shoimov in German, Anatoly Ionesov in Esperanto...
At the book launch party Irina Alekseyeva also read some new poems dedicated to countries and cities in which translators of "Ode to Samarkand” live as well as her poem "The Ballad of Samarkand Bread". The Moscow guest spoke about her creative work, new publications and projects, she also answered questions from the audience.... The participants at the meeting had an opportunity to get an autograph from the poetess.
The book presentation party was graced by the impressive performance of the Samarkand Theatre of Historical Costume "El Merosi", which introduced a few fragments of its theatrical-historical art show "The Moments of Eternity".
Addressing the event, the Head of the Samarkand City Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport Mrs. Rita Z. Mahmudova and the Scientific Supervisor of the Theatre of Historical Costume "El Merosi" Professor Yusuf N. Abdullayev expressed their sincere appreciation to the author of “Ode to Samarkand” Irina Alekseyeva, to all translators and organizers of this international cross-cultural project that contributes to mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation between nations and peoples of the world.
On the occasion of the book launch, the Samarkand Peace Museum has received numerous greetings and congratulations from around the globe. To briefly expose the feelings of the participants of this project, I’d like “to give the floor” to some of the translators who kindly sent in their messages for the event: “I wish that I could be present on this Day of the City of Samarkand! I should love to visit this place, one of the most historical in the world. Just to say the word "Samarkand" conjures up so many exotic images in my mind. I hope that the multilingual book "Ode to Samarkand" will enjoy a wide appreciation in every part of the world, and I send my fraternal greetings to all those who have taken part in this project. - Beverly Barbey, France. “Dear Friends, I am happy and proud I could contribute to the celebrations of your great historical town Samarkand by translating into my native Estonian the fine, beautiful poetic homage to Samarkand by Irina Alekseyeva. Long live Samarkand! My cordial congratulations to the city. I have traveled a lot in the world. However, I still have two important cities to visit: Rome and Samarkand. I hope one day my dream comes true. My warm regards from Estonia to you all!” - Professor Jüri Talvet, Estonia. “It is quite exciting that this project is coming to fulfillment. It has made me want to visit Samarkand… Lucina Kathmann and Selene González, who translated the Ode to Samarkand to Spanish, send our felicitations, hoping for great success for the book. We regret that we cannot be present on this occasion; we would very much like to visit Samarkand some day”. - Lucina Kathmann and Selene González, Mexico. “…Good to hear that you have been successful with the book. Greetings from Samiland, where we got our first snow this autumn last night (9-10.10.2013). Words and poems are like snowflakes. They travel far and cover big areas with their messages. I wish you all the best!” - Ima Aikio-Arianaick, Finland. “Thanks for bringing me this good news… My salutations are as follows: Go n-éirí go geal leis an seoladh: May the launch go well. And Comhghairdeas, a Samarkand, ar an lá spesialta seo: Congratulations, Samarkand, on this special day. Best, - Celia de Fréine, Ireland. “I am glad to know that the book has been printed. I would like very much to come to wonderful Samarkand to participate in the event, but Uzbekistan is not exactly around the corner... Dear Irina, It gives me immense pleasure to convey my felicitation on successful occasion of the Day of the City of Samarkand for the official launch of “Ode to Samarkand”. May the Fate be benevolent with you & grant you many more such greetings. Best regards, - Professor Franco Viviani, Italy. “This is very exciting news about the book… Here is my message of salutation: Au les toi tout le bon. Merci beaucoup - Wish you all the best. Thank you very much”. - Denise Labrie, "The Creole Poet", USA. “Dear Anatoly-san, I am happy to know that everything is going well for publishing the book and the official launch is already the next week! I will not be there, but I would like to share such a wonderful moment with all the participants there by sending the message below. Congratulations on publishing the book, “Ode to Samarkand". It was a great honor for me to translate the poem into the Japanese language. I wish many people in the world will read the poem and feel the eternal beauty and dignity of the city of Samarkand. Best wishes for the great success of the ceremony”. - Yuriko Taki, Japan. “Congratulations on the successful completion of your round-the-world circle of global friendship. It has brought so many opportunities for us to pause to focus on the special friendships we have made in this ever shrinking world… Best, - Alice Diamond, USA. “I am happy to greet all of you at the presentation of the book. I wish you great success and luck. I hope this multicultural project will be the beginning of great friendship among people throughout the world. I will be happy if you make the presentation of the book in my country as well. Take my best greetings from Rustavi, Georgia. With great respect - Galina Dugashvili, Georgia. “I would like to thank Irina Alekseyeva and Anatoly Ionesov that they have involved me in this amazing project. I am honored to have been able to contribute with my translation of "Ode to Samarkand" into Sicilian dialect and I am happy to be side by side with many prominent poets and translators from all over the world. Long live the people of Uzbekistan and Samarkand and best regards to all, - Marco Scalabrino, Sicilia, Italy. “Our warmest congratulations for the successful completion of the project "Ode to Samarkand"! This is the brief message of salutation by our good friend Chus Pato: "From Galicia, one of the ends of the world, greetings for Samarkand, the heart and way". Once again, thank you very much for your kind invitation. All the best for you and for Ms Alekseyeva, Chus Pato and Professor Arturo Casas, Galicia, Spain. “It's very good news to hear that the book is appearing. My message: It would have been good if we could have met, but to have understood is better yet. Best wishes, Dr Grahame Davies, Wales, UK. “Dear Anatoly, It is a very good project you have been working on, and I am happy to hear, that you have succeeded in finishing the book and that you are able to present it in your beloved town Samarkand. I hope you will take some photos and write a little bit about the celebration. We would like to bring it in the magazine “International Teacher-post”. My salutation: Irina Alekseyeva wrote a great poem about a magnificent city and Anatoly Ionesov got a great idea about making this poem international. I have enjoyed reading the poem and translating it into Danish. I do more than ever wish to go to see this city, Samarkand. Oh, Samarkand! Long live, bloom And be glorified for good deeds! Fly to meet eternity And forever stay with us. Have a nice celebration. Best wishes, Jytte Svendsen, Denmark…
The book has been just released bringing this project to its completion. But we are now thinking of its continuation and perhaps of a new fully illustrated edition with more language versions and more translations. In this sense, the project is still going on. If you wish to join us, your cooperation will be welcome.

Anatoly Ionesov,
Author and coordinator of Samarkandiana-project




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