Photo: The British Ukrainian Society (c) 2014
British writer Lily Hyde presented her book ‘Dream Land’ in Kyiv
14 May 2014
14 May saw a major cultural event held at the Mystetskyi Arsenal National Cultural-Art and Museum Complex which was dedicated to commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the deportation of the Crimean Tatar people from their historic homeland. The Duliby Publishing House presented a Ukrainian language edition of a novel by Lily Hyde called ‘Dream Land’, with its storyline unfolding against the backdrop of the repatriation of the Crimean Tatars and reflections about their deportation. The British Ukrainian Society was the benefactor and co-organiser of this event, with the other co-organisers including the Duliby Publishing House, the Mejlis of the Crimean Tatar People, the Community of Crimean Tatars in Kyiv, and the Mystetskyi Arsenal National Cultural-Art and Museum Complex.
This event was also a charitable initiative, as the majority of the proceeds from sold copies of the book were donated as the inaugural benefaction aimed at establishing a workshop for the Crimean Tatar arts and crafts under the leadership of Rustem Skybin, a prominent Ukrainian and Crimean Tatar artist.
The event drew considerable interest from the general public, the media, diplomatic corps, politicians and civic activists. Around 300 people attended the presentation, including representatives of Georgian, Slovenian, Turkish, Iraqi, Palestinian, Italian, German and Polish diplomatic missions, as well as the Spiritual Administration of Muslims in Ukraine, and prominent figures from the literature and arts scenes. It was also attended by representatives of 46 media outlets.
Igor Ostash, a prominent diplomat, politician and civic activist, anchored the presentation, while its various prominent speakers included the writer Lily Hyde, the Ukrainian MP and Chairman of the Fatherland party faction Sergiy Sobolev, Chairman of the Kyiv City State Administration Volodymyr Bondarenko, Deputy Minister of Culture of Ukraine Oles Zhuravchyk, Member of the Advisory Board of the British Ukrainian Society Anthony Fisher, and Acting Chairman of the Community of Crimean Tatars in Kyiv Alim Veliullah. The guests of the event were also treated to Crimean Tatar songs of the Distinguished Artist of the Republic of Crimea Lenara Osmanova, and Lenmar Abdulayev. Mustafa Dzhemilev was another prominent guest, who appeared at the very end of the presentation.
‘Such major interest in this presentation is testament to the growing concern among the Ukrainian public about the threats facing the Crimean Tatar people,’ outlined the anchor of the presentation Igor Ostash. ‘All of us should unite at this difficult moment. By publishing this book by Lily Hyde and holding this charitable action in support of Crimean Tatar initiatives we express our solidarity with the Crimean Tatar people, as well as our protest against human rights abuse’, stressed Maryna Grymych, Director of the Duliby Publishing House.
Anthony Fisher, Member of the Advisory Board of the British Ukrainian Society, underlined that Ukraine celebrates all of its various ethnicities, and respects different views. ‘And it is through the experience of the Crimean Tatar people that we can see in Ukraine a modern country that is united in shared values. The country protecting the rights of all of its citizens,’ stated Mr Fisher, while also delivering the following final message to all Crimean Tatars and other Ukrainians. ‘You are not alone. You have literally millions of friends around the world, who will do everything in our power to make sure that the international community gives you its full support. And we will do whatever is necessary to ensure that the Crimean Tatars have a voice and are heard.’