On July 21, in Bolgar, Tatarstan President Rustam Minnikhanov took part in the opening ceremony of the Izge Bolgar Zhyeny holiday dedicated to the Day of the official adoption of Islam by Volga Bulgaria.
Every year, a large-scale festival brings together several tens of thousands of Muslims from all over Russia and other countries. About 1,100 delegates from 70 Russian regions and 28 countries attended the event this year.
“We have gathered in this sacred land to pay tribute to our ancestors. In 922, a historic event took place here. Volga Bulgaria adopted Islam. This land is sacred to us," Minnikhanov said in his speech.
He noted that the ancient city of Bolgar is changing more and more every year. Tatarstan President thanked the Revival Foundation and personally Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation, State Counsellor of the republic Mintimer Shaimiev. "Its activities are aimed not only for the benefit of our republic, but for the whole country. The results of work are astonishing. As early as 2014 the ancient city of Bolgar was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, bringing it prestige and glory around the globe,” Minnikhanov stressed.
He noted that new infrastructure facilities are built in the city. The Bolgar Islamic Academy is the last project implemented. "Today, we held a meeting with Muslim religious figures at the Academy. A meaningful dialogue was held on topical issues relating to the development of Islam and Muslim religious education in Russia,” Tatarstan President said.
Shaimiev added that the programme of archaeological exploration of the territory of the Ancient Bolgar was organized at the highest level and is already ending. According to him, it is planned to organize various projects for the youth in the sphere of education and culture in future there.
After the opening ceremony, Minnikhanov, Shaimiev and other guests of honour took part in the collective midday prayer at the Cathedral Square.