Prof. Ahmad Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and the president of the Muslim Council of Elders was granted an honorary doctorate from the International Islamic Academy of Uzbekistan during the ceremony held by of the Academy to welcome the Grand Imam for his visit, in the presence of senior religious figures and politicians.
The head of the Academy, Prof. Shahrat Yawqatshiv expressed his gratitude for the Imam’s visit, noting that His Eminence is the first person to be granted an Honorary Doctorate by the Academy administration, as a sign for his unique contributions and continuous efforts in presenting the tolerance of Islam and promoting the culture of tolerance and interreligious dialogue.
On his part, the Grand Imam expressed his pleasure for visiting the Academy and his gratitude for the hospitality. His Eminence praised the Academy as a promising scholarly institution that builds on a long history of the Uzbekistani people. He mentioned that during his stay in France, he used to feel happy whenever he passed by one of the University buildings named after “Avicenna”, one of the great scholar from this region, along with al-Bukhari, al-Zamakhshari, al-Maturidi, and al-Samarqandi
The Grand Imam showed that he came from Egypt carrying a recommendation from His Excellency the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt Abd El-Fatah El-Sisi for Al-Azhar to enhance the cultural relations with the Republic of Uzbekistan. Accordingly, the Grand Imam announced that he allocates from 10 to 20 additional scholarships for Uzbekistani students to study at Al-Azhar, either in the university stage or post-graduate studies. In addition, he confirmed Al-Azhar willingness to train the Uzbekistani Imams on the techniques of confronting the radical thought and correcting misconceptions raised and promoted by the extremist groups. He also welcomed the Uzbekistani students at Al-Azhar International Centre of Teaching Arabic Language.
At the end of his speech, the Grand Imam stated: “We stand with you, supporting and encouraging, in return for the favour of our forefathers resting in their graves.” In return, the Mufti of Uzbekistan and the chairman of Uzbekistani Muslim Board Usman Alimov extended his thanks to the Grand Imam for the support and care he provides to the Uzbekistani students studying at Al-Azhar University, and expressed his hope to organize training courses for the students and the lecturers of the Academy at A-Azhar. The ceremony was attended by the accompanying delegation which includes: Prof. Muhammed al-Mahrasawy, President of Al-Azhar University; Judge Muhammad Abd Al-Salam, Legal Advisor to the Grand Imam; Ambassador Abd Al-Rahman Musa, the Grand Imam’s Advisor for the International Students Affairs; Dr. Sultan Al Remeithi, the Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Elders; Ambassador Amany Al-Etr, the Ambassador of Egypt to Uzbekistan.
The Grand Imam has arrived at Wednesday evening at Uzbekistan in a four-day-visit, after receiving an official invitation from the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev, marking the second stop of his external tour that began with Kazakhstan, where he participated in the Conference of the World and Traditional Religions launched with the attendance of His Excellency the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev