ECOEI organized an International Symposium on Common History, Culture, Education and Civilization in the ECO Region in Ankara

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ECO Educational Institute (ECOEI) in collaboration with the Ataturk Supreme Council for Culture, Language & History; and Turkish Historical Society organized an International Symposium on “Common History, Culture, Education and Civilization in Central Asia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Turkey” on September 27-28, 2019 in Ankara Turkey. The objective of holding this symposium was to generate a dialogue on common historical legacy and interaction among the ECO Member States in various spheres; ranging from science, religion and philosophy to literature.  The symposium also discussed how renowned philosophers, scientists, poets and scholars emerged from this ECO region and made influential contributions to the world cultural heritage.

The symposium in Ankara brought together over eighty international scholars and prominent academicians from 16 countries. A substantial number of participants were from the ECO member countries. Symposium hosted eighteen parallel sessions on various thematic areas, including philosophy, culture, history, politics, economics, science and education.

Prof. Dr. Refik Turan, President of the Turkish Historical Society opened the symposium in the inaugural ceremony. Prof. Turan appreciated the opportunity to engage in such a dialogue where scholars from the ECO region can generate meaningful discussion and spread historical legacy and values of this region to young generation. The generation who forgets its past has no future, he said. Therefore, we need to excel and learn about various cultural and historical aspects of the ECO region to appreciate our old legacy and prestige, Prof. Turan said.

Earlier, Prof. Dr. M. Akif Kireçci, President ECOEI welcomed the participants and gave a brief introduction of the symposium. Prof. Kireçci underscored that this symposium provides a great opportunity for the scholar of the ECO Member Countries to present their work and establish strong linkages and integration to harness the true potential of this region. President ECOEI also highlighted the significance of the ECO region which share common culture and heritage and has made tremendous contribution towards the world cultural heritage. Prof. Kireçci was pleased to share that this symposium was quite unique and one of the largest events ever organized by the ECO Specialized Agencies, which focused on all aspects of the ECO region ranging from philosophy, politics history, culture to education.

During the symposium, University of Isfahan and ECOSF co-organized a session on Opportunities for Economic Cooperation among ECO Member States. Prof. Dr. Vakur Sumer, Director Eurasian Research Institute moderated this session. It is pertinent to mention here that ECOSF facilitated the participation of two eminent economists from Pakistan Institute of Development Economics i.e. Prof. Dr. Musleh Uddin and Dr. Usman Qadir who presented their papers on Economic Modeling of the ECO Member Countries and the prevalent Challenges of Food Security in the ECO region, respectively. The other two panelists in the session included Prof. Dr. Seyed Komail Tayebi and Dr. Zahra Zamani from the University of Isfahan, Iran.

On behalf of ECOSF, Engr. Khalil Raza participated in the symposium and presented his research paper on “The age of Reason and Emergence of Scientific Wisdom in the Ancient Civilizations of the ECO Regionin the session on Science and Education in the ECO Member Countries. This session was moderated by President ECOEI Prof. Dr. M. Akif Kireçci. Mr. Raza underlined that the historical background and reviewed the major contributions to the development of science and technology by medieval empires of the ECO region. He further shared that medieval Persian, Ottoman and Central Asian empires produced phenomenal scientific work and greatly contributed to the Golden Age of Islam during 8th – 15th century.

Mr. Raza highlighted that ECO region has been home to many scientific discoveries and has brought remarkable innovations in the fields of astronomy, medicine, mathematics, cartography and archeology etc. Their contribution to science and technology serves as the foundation for a number of modern engineering and technological applications. While reflecting on current state of science and technology in the Muslim World, Mr. Raza underscored that Muslim world is not investing enough in scientific and technological research. Mr. Raza concluded by emphasizing over exploring the causes that led to discontinuity or slowdown of scientific activity in the Muslim world so that one must not repeat the same mistakes and rather makes serious efforts to regain the lost prestige and legacy of the ECO region.

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