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Indonesian Delegation in Dagestan

By Ibrahim Abdulaev
MAKHACHKALA : Dagestan | 27 Mar 2011

(IslamDag) - High level delegation from Indonesia paid a courtesy visit to Dagestan from 25-27 March 2011.

The delegation comprised of Mr. Aji Surya, Counselor at Indonesian Embassy in Russia [Moscow], Mr. Mubarok Tolchah, Head of the Bureau for Legal & International Cooperation of Ministry of Religious Affairs and wife, Prof. Dr. Yeni Ratna Yuningsih, Director of International Office, Syarif Hidayatullah State Islamic University Jakarta, Prof. Dr. Ratno Lukito, Director of Postgraduate Affairs Department, Islamic University Yogyakarta and Prof. Dr. Bakhruddin Fannani, Deputy Rector, State Islamic University, Malang.

The visit was organized by Ministry of National Policy, Religious Affairs & Foreign Relations of Dagestan in coordination with Institute of Theology & International Relations, Dagestan.

"The purpose of our visit is to enhance ties and cooperation between our countries and particularly exchange experience and knowledge in the field of Islamic education", - said Mr. Surya. "This is our first visit and we look forward to bringing our cooperation to further heights and enhance business and cultural cooperation between our nations",- he said.

"Although our countries are different and located far apart from each other, Dagestan and Indonesia has many similarities",- said Mr. Mubarok. "Indonesia like Dagestan has many nationalities, languages and faiths. We are ready to share our experience and assist in whatever ways we can to promote solidarity, brotherhood and cooperation between our countries",- he said.

Last year 10 students from Russia were given scholarship by Indonesian Government to study in Islamic Universities in Indonesia. Six of them are students from Dagestan. "This year we are planning to increase intake of students from Russia to 25 students" - said Prof. Fannani.

Prof. Dr. Ratna Yuningsih in her lecture entitled “Role of Women in Indonesia” spoke about equal opportunities available for female in Indonesia to study and work and said she wished among students from Russia would be female students too.
"In Indonesia female can be not only journalist, but also Parliament Member and even the President",- added Mr Surya.

The insightful lecture by Prof. Dr. Ratno Lukito on Islamic Law in Indonesia was an eye opener and had so many questions from students and practitioners of law. The vast knowledge and rich experience that Indonesia has gained in institutionalizing and implementing Islamic law is something that Muslims in Russia are looking for. The interest among Russia’s Muslims to promote Islamic laws is very high but the interest has not progressed further from initial drafts and proposals.

“Indonesian culture is very rich in Islamic Adab [etiquette]”, Rector of Institute of Theology & International Relations, Prof Dr Maksud Sadikov said. “We hope our students will learn not only the knowledge but also the rich cultural and Islamic values of Indonesia", - he said.

Although the visit was very short, the program, however, was very rich in meetings and visits. The delegation held several meetings in Dagestan, including meeting with Mufti of Dagestan Shaikh Ahmad Haji Abdulaev, Mr Bekmurza Bekmurzaev, Minister of National Policy, Religious Affairs & Foreign Relations, meeting students and staff of Institute of Theology & International Relations, visit to ancient Narin-Kala, Unesco Heritage Site, in 5000 years old Derbent, the oldest town and the cradle of Islam in Russia.

Between Nusantara, a local firm and the delegation was reached an agreement to cooperate in the fields of cultural and scholarly exchange, preserving Islamic heritage, translating books from Dagestani languages to Indonesian and vice versa, organizing conferences and training courses on hajj management, halal development, Islamic banking and finance and other activities to promote Islamic culture and cooperation between both countries.