MADRID – The Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AECID) inaugurated on Thursday the Kazakh Literature and Culture Center at its library in Madrid.
The event was presided by the Kazakh Ambassador to Spain, Konstantin Zhigalov; the National Academic Library of the Republic of Kazakhstan’s General Director, Umutkan Munalbayeva; AECID Library Director Maria Araceli Garcia, and AECID Cultural and Scientific Relations Director Miguel Albero.
Zhigalov said that one of the main objectives of the modernization of Kazakhstan was to be “among the 30 most developed economies in the world by 2050.”
The diplomat pointed out that at present “Kazakhstan is a well-known and respected member of the international community,” and considered “the promotion of Kazakh culture abroad” an important task.
In this context, with the support of Spain’s Ministry of Culture and the Cervantes Institute, “it is scheduled next year to publish two volumes of an anthology of poetry and prose in Spanish,” the ambassador said.
In addition, Zhigalov said that the inauguration “will be important to the development of cultural collaborations between our countries.”
“I am convinced that the Kazakh literature and art corner in the agency’s library will allow Spanish people to better understand our culture, literature, art, customs and religions,” he added.
Since 2016, the National Academic Library of the Republic of Kazakhstan, together with the Central Asian country’s Ministry of Culture and Sports, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and embassies, has carried out an international project to open Kazakh Literature and Culture Centers in libraries around the world.
Since the start of the international project, centers have opened in 23 libraries in various countries such as the United States (Library of Congress, New York Public Library), Hungary, Turkey, Korea, Finland, Russia, Armenia, China, Malaysia, Georgia, France, Japan, Sweden, Macedonia, Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Iran, the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), Italy, Kyrgyzstan, among others.
Munalbayeva stressed that the signing of a memorandum between the two libraries was a historic day, as it was “an opportunity to open a Kazakh literary corner in the center of Madrid, in this library.”
She also explained that “the act was a tribute to two important holidays: First President Day and Independence Day of the Republic of Kazakhstan.”
“We have brought more than 200 books of classic Kazakh literature and I think it is the first step in the collaboration between the two countries,” she said.
Munalbayeva indicated that the objective was “that through literature that we have brought here readers can learn about our culture.”
Garcia spoke of the cooperation in culture between different countries. “Our library is a good example of this because it contains international culture with a vocation for knowledge from all countries, and Kazakhstan was already represented.”
“We have received many books that represent and expand the collection there was on Kazakhstan,” the AECID Library director said.