Tashkent: Assigned by His Majesty Sultan Qaboos, His Highness Sayyid Haitham bin Tareq al Said inaugurated the new building of Abu Al Rayhan al Biruni Library in Tashkent on Thursday in the presence of Abdulla Aripov, Prime Minister Uzbekistan.
The library building was constructed with the royal grant of His Majesty the Sultan in recognition of the contributions of scholars who played a great role in the service of religion, jurisprudence, history, astronomy, mathematics, algebra and other sciences. The library includes many cultural treasures, old manuscripts and important Islamic and historic documents. The library is named after the scholar Abu Al Rayhan al Biruni who mastered philosophy, physics, chemistry, astronomy, history, mathematics and other subjects.
HH Sayyid Haitham unveiled the commemorative plaque to mark the opening of the building, then they toured the archives hall, reading room, photography and copying room, laboratory and restoration room.
They also viewed the institute’s valuable cultural and scientific contents and the educational and research services it provides for researchers, scholars and visitors.
HH Sayyid Haitham and the attendees were briefed by a presentation on the modern technologies in the new building of the library.
He praised His Majesty the Sultan’s wisdom to build this edifice aimed at achieving scientific progress.
It also serves the researchers in the field of Islamic heritage.
Shaikh Abdullah bin Mohammed al Salmy, Minister of Endowments and Religious Affairs, said that over the past four decades, His Majesty the Sultan has shown a great interest in promoting peace and understanding through patronising a number of initiatives in the East and West.
He said His Majesty sought to make the Omani Renaissance a message for scientific progress across various cities in the world. He noted that His Majesty the Sultan’s scientific chairs as well as cultural and dialogue research centres are good proof for this.
The Chairman of Uzbek Science Academy delivered a speech where he expressed the thanks of the Uzbek government and people to His Majesty the Sultan for building this great building, which will play a key role in protecting Islamic heritage. He said His Majesty’s royal grant for the new building of Abu Al Rayhan al Biruni Library contributed to preserving a number of rare manuscripts that date back to 8th and 9th century.
Director of Unesco Office in Tashkent said that the library has been added to the World Heritage List in recognition of its important role in Islamic culture and as a valuable source for studying the Islamic culture.
He affirmed that there is a great cooperation between Unesco and Uzbekistan in oriental manuscripts and artefacts.
Dr Burham Abdul Hamlimov, Deputy Chairman of the Uzbek Science Academy, praised His Majesty’s royal grant which helped in preserving the valuable manuscripts of the library.
At the end of the opening ceremony, Tashkent Academy of Science and Islamic Studies conferred honorary doctorate degree to HH Sayyid Haitham in recognition of his role in promoting culture. The new building of the Library includes more than 80,000 manuscripts, stone inscriptions and publications.
It is spread over 7,227 square metres It includes research labs, rooms for preserving, renovation and protection of archives, offices for documentation, devices for digital transformation.
Sayyid Haitham Meets Uzbek PM
After the inauguration, HH Sayyid Haitham and Abdullah Aripov, Prime Minister of Uzbekistan held a meeting where they discussed matter of common interest. The meeting was attended from the Omani side by Shaikh Abdullah bin Mohammed al Salmy, Minister of Endowments and Religious Affairs, Sayyid Badr bin Hamad al Busaidi, Secretary-General of the Foreign Ministry, Mohammed bin Said al Lawati, the Sultanate’s ambassador to Uzbekistan, Behzad Yuldashev, President of the National Academy of Sciences of Uzbekistan and Vice-President of the Academy.
HH Sayyid Haitham and the delegation returned to the Sultanate on Thursday after the two-day visit.
PICTURES BY BADER AL BATTASHI