Canadian Hockey Legend Ken Dryden Speaks at UCA Naryn Campus

Date: 31 May 2017
Members of Team Canada and I learnt much from the 1972 Summit Series, which had a positive impact on the way professional hockey is played in North America.” These comments were made by the Honourable Ken Dryden, a former Canadian Minister and renowned member of the NHL Hall of Fame, at his public lecture delivered yesterday at the University of Central Asia (UCA) Main Campus in Naryn. The Lecture, organised by the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) and Global Affairs Canada, was attended by over 100 invitees, including the Naryn leadership, students and faculty from UCA and Naryn State University and general public. A Canadian delegation led by H.E. Shawn Steil, Ambassador of Canada to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan, and currently in country to review AKDN-Canada development programmes, was also present.

In his lecture, Mr Dryden underlined the similarities between Canada and Kyrgyzstan, which “ran beyond a similar topography, climate and population density.” The thread linking the two countries, he noted, was epitomised by the movement of goods and peoples on the Silk Road. Alongside trade, these interactions fomented knowledge and innovation and fostered significant advancement across a large expanse. This historic transformation was akin to the one that contemporary university students were experiencing, a result of their own interaction with other individuals from different backgrounds. This, Mr Dryden remarked, seemed especially true of UCA given its diverse student body residing in its new purpose-built facility.

This public lecture is part of the broader collective efforts, led by the Government of Kyrgyzstan and supported by the AKDN, to foster the transformation of Naryn into a knowledge and creativity hub.

Mr Amanbay Kayipov, Governor of Naryn Oblast, in his welcome remarks noted, “On behalf of people of Naryn Oblast, I extend my warm welcome to the visiting delegation and express my sincere appreciation to the organisers for hosting this event in our town. I am confident that engagement with such prominent individuals from diverse geographies will provide our youth exposure to stimulating ideas, which will further inspire them to make positive contributions to their country.”

AKDN highly appreciates the support from Kyrgyzstan in our collective efforts to improve the quality of life in the country. We are delighted to partner with Canada to promote broad-based, inclusive growth in many parts of the world, in particular here in Central Asia. This event reflects our shared commitment to human development in the region, in particular enhancing the prospects for social and economic prosperity amongst the youth”, noted Dr Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, AKDN Diplomatic Representative in Kyrgyzstan and Chairman of UCA Board of Trustees.