Kazakhstan Independence Day in Israel
Kazakh and Russian have equal status as national languages in the Republic of Kazakhstan, and were clearly the dominant languages among the elegant guests at the reception hosted by His Excellency the Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. Doulat Kuanyshev, and Mrs. Gulmira Mamytbayeva, at the David Intercontinental Hotel in Tel Aviv last Thursday.
The hotel ballroom was decorated with Kazakh themes, including at the entrance a beautiful cake adorned by the country’s flag. Guests from Israel’s diplomatic corps, Kazakh society, Israeli VIPs and others had ample opportunity to greet and meet as drinks were served. Among the special guests were M.K. Sofa Landver (Minister of Immigrant Absorption), Ambassador Shlomo Morgan (Israeli Foreign Ministry), Ehud Olmert (former Prime Minister), Hezi Bezalel ( businessman and honorary consul of Rwanda), Yair A. Stern (Director General, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra) and Stella Yudko (concert producer).
After the ceremonial part of the evening the guests were treated to a range of exotic entertainments by Kazakh musicians, dancers and singers. Flowing costumes, mysterious melodies, and unusual musical instruments all made for interesting performances.
His Excellency Ambassador Kuanyshev opened his address to the guests with a very warm welcome to all who came to honor the Republic of Kazakhstan on its national day celebrations. He made special mention of the guests of honor who graced the occasion: Avi Gabai, Minister of Environmental Protection of the State of Israel; Michael Brodsky, Ambassador-designate of the State of Israel in the Republic of Kazakhstan; Ambassador Meron Reuben, Ambassador Zvi Rav-Ner; and Olzhas Suleymenov, writer and poet, who was for many years ambassador of Kazakhstan to UNESCO. The Ambassador spoke of the economic spheres is his country, diversification of the economy and improving the economic climate. “On the personal note, for me this was the first year working in Israel. In this connection I would like to thank for the support and sympathy from Israelis, allowing me quickly get accustomed here and to feel so at home.”
He continued: “I would like to express special gratitude to my Israeli compatriots repatriated from Kazakhstan, and also to all compatriots from the former Soviet Union. We celebrated the 70th anniversary of Great Victory together with them. I am also glad to meet with those Israelis whose ancestors were not the citizens of the USSR, but who had to be evacuated to the Kazakh land during World War II. They comprise refugees from such countries as Poland, Romania, etc. Their children and grandchildren built Israel, but they remember those who saved the lives of their grandparents.
“In 2015 our relations were heightened. We hope to conduct a series of important bilateral events next year. They include the 7th session of Inter-Governmental Commission, signing of the convention on avoiding of double taxation. We also look forward to the visit of the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, to Kazakhstan. In this context, we hope to bring commercial and economic cooperation and tourist and cultural connections between our countries to a new level. Also we expect to solve two key issues: visa-free trips and restarting of direct air links.
“In conclusion, I would like to thank again our guests for their warm congratulations on the occasion of the Independence Day.” The ambassador sent his warm greeting to the people of Israel for the Chanukah holiday.
In responding on behalf of the Government and the State of Israel and its people, Minister Avi Gabai thanked the Ambassador and sent warm greetings to the President of Kazakhstan its people of their anniversary.
“When Israel and Kazakhstan established diplomatic relations between them in 1992, a cornerstone was laid for close and important relations which developed and expanded with the passing of time. Israel was among the first countries to recognize the independence of Kazakhstan. Over more than two decades, the strong relations between the two countries have been based on mutual respect, common values and close cooperation.
“The broad and deep cooperation between the peoples and the states encompasses many fields: political, economic, cultural, academic interreligious, tourism, development issues etc. … The deepening of the cooperation in those areas was discussed and advanced during the political dialogue between Israel and Kazakhstan last month in Jerusalem.
“We will forever remember and be grateful to the Kazakh people for the shelter and salvation they provided to thousands of Jews who fled for their lives from the horrors of the Holocaust.
“Mr. Ambassador, allow me to thank you personally for your efforts to promote the relations between our two nations. Please convey to President Nazarbayev and the people of Kazakhstan our warm greetings on the occasion of 24 years of your independence. May the future bring with it prosperity to your country and a strengthening of the links of friendship between Israel and Kazakhstan.
Long live the friendship between Israel and Kazakhstan.”
The event took place during the Jewish Festival of Lights – Chanukah. The hosts graciously invited religious authorities to be present with the traditional nine-branched chandelier / candelabrum. In a moving ceremony, the correct number of candles was lit, with an honor of lighting accorded to His Excellency the Ambassador, while the appropriate blessings were recited. A tradition of thousands of years.
A fine buffet dinner accompanied the entertainment that followed.
Photo by Mark krugliak