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2000th anniversary of Derbent (Russia)
an article by Vestnik Kavkaza (abridged)

In 2015 Russia will mark the 2000th anniversary of the city of Derbent. In late March Premier Medvedev signed an order on establishing an organizational committee on celebrating the anniversary. The committee is headed by the presidential plenipotentiary envoy in the North Caucasus Federal District Alexander Khloponin; his deputy is temporary acting head of Dagestan Ramzan Abdulatipov.

click on photo to enlarge

“Derbent is thought to be the most ancient city of Russia. Derbent is the most ancient Christian city of Russia, Derbent is the most ancient Muslim city of Russia; Islam came to Russia through Derbent. Derbent was the last south point attended by Peter I 300 years ago when he accepted Derbent into Russia,” the deputy envoy of Dagestan under President of RF, Vali-Magomed Magatayev, says. “Derbent has a big historic, cultural value. It possesses a unique monument – the citadel of Naryn-Kala which is preserved by UNESCO. The city is unique not only by its architecture, but also by its city life culture, communication between people when representatives of various confessions and nations live together for many centuries, protecting the communication culture and good relations. These relations must be spread in other cities of Dagestan.”

“When I came to Derbent for the first time, it impressed me so much,” Vsevolod Bogdanov, the chairman of the Union of Journalists of Russia remembers. “You look at its historic past, and it seems you are taken in 2-4 centuries ago. The idea of celebrating the 2000th anniversary will return to us the feelings, emotions, relations which used to be in the Caucasus. I remember the times, 30-50 years ago, when the best poetry, the best art, outstanding hospitality were connected with Dagestan. We were proud to tell everybody how many different peoples and nations live like a common nation in the small territory. We provided Dagestan as an example of spiritual kinship. I had friends among Dagestani poets. Any meeting was an event. We were glad to meet in Moscow and the Caucasus and talk about the most precious and valuable – art which unites, a desire to express what you think and feel. Nobody could imagine what would happen years later and how the sacred relations between people would be insulted. Of course it was not caused by an accident or because of common people who live there today. So, we should use this anniversary. We can organize the remarkable festival which could be a festival of the culture of peace and trust between all of us.” . . .


Question(s) related to this article:

How can culture of peace be developed at the municipal level?,

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Latest reader comment:

International Cities Choose Peace

J. Fred Arment

International Cities of Peace, an association of global cities of peace, is using the U.N. Culture of Peace tenets as the guideline for forming initiatives. To date, thirty-one cities are part of the association. Some are grassroots organizations, others have the firm commitment by resolution or proclamation from the city council.
International Cities of Peace include the following:
• Dayton, Ohio, U.S.A.
• Eugene, Oregon, U.S.A.
• Unity Village, Missouri, U.S.A
• Coventry, England
• Bradford, England
• Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico
• Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo
• Mataki, Philippines
• Pathuthani, Thailand
• Fizi, Democratic Republic of Congo
• Lake County, California, U.S.A.
• Aba, Abia State, Nigeria
• Nagpur, India
• Reno, Nevada, U.S.A.
• Bujumbura, Burundi
• Mzuzu and Lilongwe, Malawi
• Tunis, Tunisia
• Tuolumne County, California, U.S.A.
• Bihac, Bosnia, Herzegovina
• Yaounde, Cameroon
• Freetown, Sierra Leone
• Nyala, Darfur, Sudan
• Bujumbura, Burundi
• Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
• Nakuru, Kenya
• Calgary, Alberta, Canada
• Kathmandu, Nepal
• Detroit, Michigan, U.S.A.
• Egg Harbor City, New Jersey, U.S.A.
• Warrake, Nigeria
• Kalamazoo, Michigan, U.S.A.

To start an initiative, go to the association's website for resources and tools.

This report was posted on May 5, 2013.