CAIRO – Bishkek, the capital city of the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, has been declared the capital of Islamic culture in 2014, hosting five month activities to mark the event.
The announcement was made last Wednesday when Kyrgyzstan's deputy prime minister, Kamila Taliyeva, hosted a meeting to arrange events held between May 20 and October 19, World Bulletin website reported on Thursday, March 13.
The events include art exhibitions, film festivals, workshops, conferences and a trade fair.
After the meeting, a government press statement said that the activities would be aimed at promoting and developing Islamic culture as well as strengthening cultural ties between the countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation.
Bishkek has several historical buildings and museums, and boasts vast expansions of natural heritage.
It is considered one of the most famous economic, cultural and tourist centers in the country, and one of Central Asia’s best cities to live in, due to its ability to create balance between its old traditional heritage and modern aspirations.
The name of Bishkek is thought to be derived from Russian “bishkek”, which means the churn used to make fermented mare's milk (Kumis), the Kyrgyz national drink, ISESCO website says.
The city was founded in 1878 on the ruins of the Russian Pishpek Fortress built in 1855. Hence, the name “Bishkek” was given to both the fortress and the neighboring city.
In 1926, the city was given the name of Frunze, after the Bolshevik military leader Mikhail Frunze.
The city regained its name in 1991, when the Republic of Kyrgyzstan achieved its independence.
Muslims make up 75 percent of Kyrgyzstan's 5-million population.
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