Home Literature VII Interregional Music and Poetry Festival ‘Handshake of the Republics’ will be held on April 20

VII Interregional Music and Poetry Festival ‘Handshake of the Republics’ will be held on April 20

VII Interregional Music and Poetry Festival ‘Handshake of the Republics’ will be held on April 20

The festival will take place in Yoshkar-Ola. This year the festival will be dedicated to the 225th anniversary of the birth of Pushkin.

The Handshake of the Republics festival is a work for the future: Ashraf Aboul-Yazid

On April 20, the VII Interregional Music and Poetry Festival “Handshake of the Republics” will take place in Yoshkar-Ola. This year the festival will be dedicated to the 225th anniversary of the birth of A.S. Pushkin. The program includes two poetry concerts, a round table “Family of the Volga Region” as part of the Year of the Family in Russia. And as part of World Book and Copyright Day, which is celebrated on April 23, an event will be held to donate books to the National Library named after S. G. Chavain of the Republic of Mari El.

Artists of the Kazan Poetry Theater “Dialogue” will present two musical and poetic compositions: “Oriental motifs in the works of classics and contemporaries”: “Bakhchisarai Fountain” by Alexander Pushkin and “Turkish Tales” by Olga Levadnaya.

Handshake-Festival“Handshake of the Republics” is confidently reaching the international level. Poets from the BRICS countries will take part in the online cultural forum. A video bridge with Cairo took place at the Kazanskie Vedomosti editorial office. The organizer of the festival, poet Olga Levadnaya, chairman of the Kazan city organization of the Tatarstan branch of the Union of Russian Writers Alexander Voronin, journalist, film and television director Shamil Fattakhov, who took on the mission of translator, and President of the Association of Publishers and Distributors of Printed Products of the Republic of Tatarstan, editor-in-chief of the Kazanskie newspaper Vedomosti” Venera Yakupova spoke via videoconference with the famous writer, journalist, translator, president of the Eurasian Journalists Association Ashraf Aboul-Yazid.

Ashraf Aboul-Yazid has a long-standing friendship with Tatarstan. The authoritative magazine “Al-Arabi” published a whole series of his materials about the history, culture and traditions of Tatarstan, Sabantuy (The traditional Harvest Festival), the Kazan International Muslim Film Festival, and the theater festival of Turkic peoples “Nauruz”. Central Kuwait Television broadcast a series of programs and interviews about our republic, including about the first President of Tatarstan, Mintimer Shaimiev.

Handshake-Festival-Sindh CourierAshraf Aboul-Yazid translated Tukay’s fairy tales “Shurale” and “Goat and Sheep” into Arabic, published them with and sent them to children in the Arab world. Each book was published in a circulation of 127 thousand copies. In 2011, declared the Year of Gabdulla Tukay in Tatarstan, Ashraf Aboul-Yazid was recognized by the government of Tatarstan as the philanthropist of the year.

The video bridge was opened by the editor-in-chief of Kazanskie Vedomosti, Venera Yakupova:

– Mr. Ashraf, we are glad to welcome you! I would like to know your opinion, what is unique about the “Handshake of the Republics” festival?

– I have been to Kazan, Tatarstan many times, and I feel that the people of Kazan are my family. I gladly agreed to take part in this online meeting. I am very glad to see my old friends! – Mr. Ashraf shared his impressions. – The idea of the Handshake of the Republics festival is great – uniting people through music and poetry. Everyone understands that music is a universal language that does not need translation. Music and poetry passing through music can be compared to flying on a large, beautiful, fabulous magic carpet. A person in this flight is free, there are no boundaries for him. It is no coincidence that we have all loved to sing since childhood, because songs give us energy and a good mood. Music and poetry really unite people. This is the important task that the festival performs. Such joint work of poets and musicians to develop intercultural dialogue between representatives of different regions and different countries is work for the sake of the future.

The topical issue of the quality of translations of works of poets and writers into other languages was touched upon by Alexander Voronin:

– Art unites. Glory to the Almighty that we are all different, we all speak different languages. Readers will recognize the work of poets who write in their native language, thanks to the work of translators. What do you think is the problem with translating poetic texts?

– It is important for a translator not only to know the source language. For example, when we translate from the Tatar language, we must definitely learn the culture and history of the republic, because this is very important for the quality of the translation. I propose: if we want to receive high-quality translations of the works of Tatar poets into Arabic and other languages, we must make sure that the translator has the opportunity to come to Tatarstan and live there for at least a few weeks. This is necessary for him to personally become acquainted with the Tatar culture and hear what the living Tatar language sounds like. Yes, translation is a complex and delicate matter. For example, I did not translate Tukay’s fairy tales from the Tatar language, but relied on English translations that were made in different years by other poets. The most difficult task was to maintain the poetic meter in which Tukay’s fairy tales were written. To do this, I listened to recordings of “Shurale” and “Goat and Sheep” performed by Tatar actors.

Handshake-Festival-Sindh Courier-1Olga Levadnaya suggested that Ashraf Aboul-Yazid, together with Kazanskie Vedomosti, as part of the Handshake of the Republics festival, organize and conduct a series of video bridges with young talented poets and musicians from Eurasian countries. This will be especially relevant on the eve of the BRICS summit, which will take place in Kazan in the fall. Mr. Ashraf supported this proposal:

– The idea of connecting videos with bridges of poets and musicians from different countries is wonderful. The festival must develop. I believe that it should not take place once a year, but be permanent. Modern communication technologies make it possible to hold such meetings regularly. Let’s communicate more often!

At the end of the video of the bridge, Ashraf Aboul-Yazid was in for a pleasant surprise – Olga Levadnaya reported that for the BRICS summit, which will be held in Kazan in the fall, the Dialogue Poetry Theater is preparing a performance consisting of theatrical miniatures based on poems by poets of the world. And one of the miniatures is “Egyptian Nights” based on Mr. Ashraf’s poems from his book “Cairo Street” translated into Russian by their mutual friend Eldar Akhadov. The play does not have a name yet. But after Mr. Ashraf’s words, music and poetry with a fabulous carpet – an airplane, the idea came up to call it “Magic Carpet”.

– Thank you! This is a real surprise! – Mr. Ashraf sincerely thanked Olga Georgievna.

Historical reference

The interregional music and poetry festival “Handshake of the Republics” was created in 2016 on the initiative of the laureate of the Republican Prize named after. G.R. Derzhavin, Literary Prize of the Republic of Tatarstan named after. S. Suleymanova and a number of international awards, Honored Worker of Culture of the Republic of Tatarstan, poet, essayist, Ambassador of Peace, member of the Eurasian Assembly Olga Levadnaya. The purpose of the Festival is to strengthen the creative and friendly ties of writers and readers of Russia, to create a unified interregional literary space.


The first three Festivals took place on the site of the House of Friendship of the Peoples of Tatarstan. The IV festival took place in 2020 in an online format on the official pages of the A.S. Cultural Center. Pushkin. In 2021, the festival took place in Kazan and Chistopol. It was held under the auspices of the Year of Native Languages and National Unity in the Republic of Tatarstan. In 2023, the festival was hosted by the capital of the Chuvash Republic, Cheboksary. This year, “Handshake of the Republics” meets Yoshkar-Ola. Organizers – Russian National Cultural Association, Regional branch of the Russian Union of Writers of the Republic of Mari El, Mari regional branch of the Russian Literary Club, Tatarstan branch of the Union of Russian Writers.

“Handshake of the Republics” brings together creative people from Tatarstan, Bashkortostan, Mari-El, Mordovia, Udmurtia, Chuvashia, and the Republic of Crimea, the Donetsk People’s Republic, the Arkhangelsk and Ulyanovsk regions.

Read: First ‘Kazan – Cairo’ Teleconference Held


Published under the International Cooperation Protocol with The AsiaN, Seoul, Korea (Arabic) 



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