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On 12 April, the New Identity of Kazakhstan programme was launched at the London Book Fair alongside the publication of classics of Kazakh literature which have been translated into English for the first time. The event was attended by heads of international publishing houses, management of the British Council, literary agents and journalists.
In his welcoming address, Ambassador Idrissov provided attendees with a detailed overview of the state programme 'New Identity of Kazakhstan', which was launched one year ago at the initiative of President Nazarbayev. This programme is part of a large-scale reform of Kazakhstan and aims to modernise the public conscience of the citizens of the country.
Mr Idrissov informed guests about several substantial projects being implemented as part of the New Identity of Kazakhstan programme. In particular, attendees were given an overview of the reforms which are taking place to switch the Kazakh language to the Latin alphabet, alongside other projects such as 'Homeland', 'Spiritual Holy Sites of Kazakhstan', 'Modern Kazakh Culture in the Global World', and '100 New Faces of Kazakhstan'.
The Ambassador also introduced the project 'New Humanitarian Knowledge - 100 new textbooks in the Kazakh language' to the audience. This project is one of the key elements of the New Identity of Kazakhstan programme. As part of the project, the National Translation Bureau, under the leadership of Mr Rauan Kenzhekhanuly, has already translated and published 18 leading textbooks on history, political science, sociology, philosophy, psychology, culture, economics and linguistics from English, French and Russian into Kazakh.
The textbooks translated by the National Translation Bureau include 'Ancient philosophy' and 'New History of Western Philosophy' by Sir Anthony Kenny, an English philosopher and 'Economics' by American scholars Gregory Mankiw and Mark Taylor, alongside others. Over the coming years there are plans to translate up to 100 of the world's greatest textbooks on humanitarian sciences into Kazakh to provide national universities with quality textbooks.
One of the landmark events at London Book Fair was the launch of the books by classic authors of Kazakh literature - 'Beauty in Mourning' by Mukhtar Auezov (1897-1961); Selected Works by Herold Belger (1934-2015) and 'The Man Deer and other stories' by Oralkhan Bokeev (1943-1993) translated in English by British experts Simon Geoghegan and Simon Hollingsworth in association with Kazakh PEN-Club.
According to Mr Geoghegan and Mr Hollingsworth, Kazakh writers whose works were presented as part of the London Book Fair, can stand up on their own literary merits and may justly claim a place alongside some of the best-known writers of the 20th century. These writers, their works, like Kazakhstan itself, deserve greater attention and recognition from the international community. It is through Kazakh culture and literature that the Western world has to truly understand and understand modern Kazakhstan.
Kazakhstan is taking part in the London Book Fair for the first time. The Kazakhstan National stand included works and publications by renowned Kazakh authors Mukhtar Auezov, Oralkhan Bokeev and Herold Belger, as well as various books on the history and culture of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan was represented by the publishing houses 'Almaty Kitap', 'Mektep' and the National Translation Bureau.