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Egyptian University Nur-Mubarak renamed

Egyptian University of the Islamic Culture Nur-Mubarak in Almaty changed its name to Kazakh-Egyptian Islamic University Nur, Tengrinews.kz reports citing the press-service of Kazakhstan Agency for Religious Affairs.

In the beginning of 2011 Kazakhstan's Muslims Union requested to exclude the word "Mubarak" from the name of the university in relation to the clashes in Egypt between the opposition and the supporters of president Mubarak. They addressed this request to Kazakhstan Ministry of Education and Science and the University's management.

"Upon the results of the work of the university's board and in relation to the initiative of the Egyptian party, the decision was made to rename the university into Kazakh-Egyptian Islamic University Nur," the press-service wrote in late November 2012.

The meeting of the board of the Egyptian University of the Islamic Culture was held on November 22-23. The board's co-chairs include chairman of Kazakhstan Agency for Religious Affairs Kairat Lama Sharif and Minister of Egyptian Wakufs Doctor Talgat Afifi. The meeting was also attended by deputy Minister of Education and Science Murat Abenov, the University's president Al-Azhar Usama Al-Abd, Kazakhstan Ambassador to Cairo Berik Aryn, Ambassador of Egypt to Astana Nabila Salama and others.

The buildings of the university built at the cost of the Egyptian party were passed as a gift to Kazakhstan. The board also made several changes into the university's structure. In particular, three schools were opened: Basics of religion and Islamic preaching, Shariah, Arabic philology and Islamic civilization. The university will also have an Abu Hanifa scientific-research center.

According to the press-service, Nur-Mubarak university is acting on the bases of an agreement between the governments of Kazakhstan and Egypt signed in 2001 and educates imams, religious experts and Arabic-philologists.

During the work of the board Kairat Lama Sharif stressed that Kazakhstan strongly needed qualified experts in traditional Islam that also posses secular knowledge. He emphasized that the main work of the Islamic experts and imams was to preach Hanafi Islam (that is traditional for Kazakhstan), research its doctrines from the scientific point of view and introduce them to the Islamic part of the country's population.

In the period from 2004 to 2011 Nur-Mubarak University trained 262 experts in Islamic studies. 163 of them are working as imams and naib-imams of the mosques around Kazakhstan, which is 62.2 percent of all the graduates. 37 experts, i.e. 14.1 percent of the graduates, are teaching in 9 religious schools of the Spiritual Management of Muslims of Kazakhstan.
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