On March 24, the leading scientists, as historians, regional ethnographers, archaeologists, religious scholars, public figures and representatives of religious organizations from Poland and Ukraine (Crimea, Kyiv, Odesa, Kharkiv, Donetsk) participated in a round table discussion devoted to the 350th anniversary of the research mission-travel throw the lands of the Crimea and southern regions of Ukraine, made by Turkish historian and geographer, Evliya Çelebi.
Olexander Stepanchenko, a well-known local historian, suggested the idea of holding this event. The organizers of the event were the Ukrainian Center for Islamic Studies, All-Ukrainian Association of Social Organizations "Alraid" and the Odesa Regional State Administration. In the building of the latter, the event took place and the audience was discussing the scientific heritage of Evliya Çelebi.
Odesa was chosen as the place of this event not by chance: the current Odesa region and Crimea had repeatedly been the subject of studies of Turkish scholar: in his ten-volume work "The Travel Book" ( "Seyahatname"), Çelebi wrote the description of culture, traditions, customs and beliefs of the people who inhabited these lands three and a half centuries ago.
During the discussion, the participants touched upon the issues of the continuity of the knowledge about the history — both, general history and the history of the relationship between Islam, Christianity and the other religions in the southern region of Ukraine. They spoke about the necessity to revise the outdated teaching programs in secondary schools. Tetyana Krupa, representative of V. N. Karazin Kharkiv National University, among others, bitterly noted that the teaching program of the Ukrainian history at schools is the poor copy of the programs of the Soviet pattern, with a rough replacing ideas of the civilizational role of "big brother", "Pan-Slavism", where there was no place to other nations.
The presentation of the new book "Islam in Ukraine. History and Modern Times" by Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Theology, Mykhaylo Yakubovych (Ostroh Academy), was also launched during the round-table discussion. This book is covering the period from the Middle Ages to the present day.
Presenting the book, the head of the Ukrainian Center of Islamic Studies, the mufti RAMU "Umma", Said Ismagilov, notes:
— Ukraine has a special destiny. Our country is situated not only at the crossroads of all roads, on the border of Europe and Asia, where the story ends and the legend begins, but also at the meeting place of Christianity and Islam. [...] Islam is the deep-rooted traditional religion for Ukraine, which greatly influenced the development of our country, the formation of mentality, character, culture and even language.
The Bishop of Odesa and Balta, Mark (UOC-KP), attending the round-table discussion, also noted in his speech that the representatives of many religions have been coexisting in our land, for centuries, so such objective historical researches and the meetings of the scientists contribute to the formation of the healthy society, in which the people respect the religious feelings of each other.
At the end of the meeting, all those present were presented with the gift books about Islamic Studies, including the just published work "Islam in Ukraine. History and Modern Times" by Associate Professor of Religious Studies and Theology of the National University "Ostroh Academy", Mykhaylo Yakubovych.