Featured Item »» Inauguration of the Naryn Campus of the University of Central Asia (Naryn, Kyrgyzstan)
- 19 October 2016
- Sources: Primary
- Categories: Aga Khan IV ·· Audio/Video ·· Development Strategies ·· Education ·· Knowledge & Intellect ·· Kyrgyzstan ·· Partnerships & Collaboration ·· Pluralism ·· Poverty, Access, Opportunity & Equity ·· Published ·· Regional Focus ·· Research & New Knowledge ·· Speeches ·· Spirit of Adventure, Confidence ·· University of Central Asia (UCA)
Students of world history remind us how Central Asia, a thousand years ago, “led the world” in trade and investment, in urban development, in cultural and intellectual achievement. This was the place that leading thinkers from around the known world would look to for leadership. What were the latest breakthroughs in astronomy or mathematics, in chemistry or medicine, in philosophy or music? This was the place to find out. This region is where algebra got its name, where the earth’s diameter was precisely calculated, where some of the world’s greatest poetry was penned.
Why did this happen then? Why did it happen here? Above all, I would suggest, it was because of the quality of “openness.” By that I mean openness to new ideas, openness to change, and openness to people from many backgrounds and with a variety of gifts. The people of the cities here, even all those centuries ago, joined hands with the people of the steppes, and together they reached out to people who were far, far away. That kind of openness can again be the key that unlocks the doors to the future.