“For nations to wake up to the way of the culture, they need to overcome four steps, such as literature, science, trade, art, and politics.

Nations can live only if they have these four elements. And none of these can be replaced by something else … “

The meeting on the Interdisciplinary Seminar “MODUS LEGENDI: THE FUTURE OF UNION” devoted to the 100th anniversary of the tragic death of the Crimean Tatar leader, a writer and a chairman of the National government of the Crimean People’s Republic, Tauride Mufti Chelebidzhihan Noman(1885-1918) took place on February 23  in the Scientific library of Lviv National Ivan Franko University.  

During the event, the presentation was presented by the librarian of the Scientific Library Zulfiyye Agyayeva, the leader of the union of combatants “The Combat Association”  Timur Barotov, Ernest Abkelyamov, the representative of the Spiritual Administration of Muslims in Crimea. It should be noted that the honoring the memory of Noman Chelebidzhihan in Lviv took place for the first time. In the premises of the oldest library of Ukraine gathered not only the representatives of the Crimean Tatar community but also those for whom the figure of N. Chelebidzhihanis still little known.

Vasily Kmet’, the director of the library, delivered introductory remarks and noticed that the events of 1917-1918 gave the world a whole range of political figures, including Noman Chelebidzhihan. But one should think about the fact that the absolute majority of politicians of that time were only 25-35 years old. They were young educated people, often without political experience. However, a sense of responsibility and respect for national traditions and values were the main point for them.

“It is interesting that events in the Crimea and Ukraine of 1917-1918 years are being synchronized quite clearly – from the ideas of cultural and political autonomy to the ideas of independence,” – said Vasily Kmet’.

Historian Ernest Abkelyamov dedicated the report “Crimea. Non-existing century, 1918-2018” to the life’s road stories and the milestones of Noman Chelebidzhihan’s work.

The speaker appealed to the historical realities of 1918, as well as contemporary events, which forced thousands of people to leave their homes and seek shelter outside the Crimea. According to the speaker, the understanding of a century-old  tragedy today gives us a clear understanding that “only a fair recognition of the rights of peoples to their historical territories and the right to self-determination can create an objective picture of the past and the future.”

Speaker Timur Barotov compared Noman Chelebidzhan with the figure of Taras Shevchenko because, within the ranks of the national leaders of the Crimean Tatar people, Chelebidzhihan played the same significant role as Shevchenko for Ukrainians. However, T. Barotov focused primarily on the tragic events of September 23, 1918, in Sevastopol, as well as ideological mystifications that actively sought to implement a totalitarian regime. In the context of the February 23, the speaker also mentioned the forced eviction of Chechens and Ingush to Central Asia in 1944. Today, history has made a symbolic circle – like a hundred years ago, the enemy remained the same. A minute of silence was attended by honoring the memory of all those who died in a confrontation with the Soviet regime occupation and those who laid their lives in the current war with Russia.

Analysis of source materials on the monuments, stored in the university library, was performed by Zulfiyye Agyayeva. According to her, the Lviv press reacted quite actively to the events taking place in the Crimea. In particular, the newspaper “Dilo” often covered the political life of the Crimean peninsula. Articles and notes often include the names of the supporters and apologists of Noman Chelebidzhihan, including the figure of Jaffer Seidamet. A separate thematic block is the documentary sources which stored in the library as a result of the activity of the Department of Oriental Studies of Lviv University. The funds of the Scientific Library also preserves such publications: “Przegląd Islamski”, “Życie Tatarskie”, “Z Dziejów Krymu. Polityka – Kultura – Emigracja » by Abdulli Zikhni Soisaly and others.

At the end of the seminar, the audience had the opportunity to watch a movie based on the story of N. Chelebidzhikhan “Prayer of the swallow”. The film was announced in Ukrainian with the help of the TV company ATR and on the initiative of  Zulfiyye Agyayeva, with the participation of directors Alexander and Darina Balabayev, as well as representatives of the youth organization of the Crimean Tatars Eldar Osmanov and Enise Ibrahimova. The final chord of the event was the anthem of the Crimean Tatars  written by  Noman Chelebidzhihan.