Your Excellency the Governor Pulat Majidovich, Your Excellencies, Honourable Ministers, Distinguished guests
It is with delight and appreciation that I open in the city of Samarkand, this fifth prize giving ceremony of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture. To be able to join with all of you to celebrate architectural excellence in this magnificent setting, a setting of unrivalled importance to the history of architecture in the Muslim world, is the realization -- for me -- of a long cherished hope for the Award and its mission.
The Aga Khan Trust for Culture in 1990, in collaboration with the Union of Soviet Architects and the Union of Uzbek Architects, launched an international architectural competition for ideas on the Ulugh Beg Cultural Centre in Samarkand, USSR. The project is part of a larger programme aimed at the revitalization of the historic Core of Samarkand - the location of some of the finest examples of monumental Islamic architecture in Central Asia.
President Islam Karimov, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, personally received Mawlana Hazar Imam and Prince Amyn Mohamed at Tashkent International Airport on their arrival in Uzbekistan on September 17, 1992. He then invited Hazar Imam and Prince Amyn Mohamed to the Presidential dacha for lunch, where they had discussions. At the luncheon reception, President Karimov placed a ceremonial Uzbek robe and hat on Mawlana Hazar Imam and Prince Amyn and warmly welcomed them the Uzbekistan.