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Gazprom Neft launches an electronic encyclopaedia on the history and culture of the Kurds

Gazprom Neft has published an electronic version of “The Kurds: Legends of the East”. This book, published at the company’s initiative, is the world’s first fully-fledged encyclopaedia dedicated to highlighting the history and culture of the Kurds.

“The Kurds: Legends of the East” includes maps, photographs, illustrations and infographics from collections held in Russia’s State Hermitage, Oxford University’s Bodleian Library, the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, and other Russian and international museums, universities and private collections. The publication covers the origins and history of the Kurds — and their religious life, traditions and festivals, language, folklore and literature — with chapters highlighting the historical connections between the Kurdish people and the Russian Empire, the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation.

Leading experts from the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Oriental Studies and Institute of Oriental Manuscripts worked on preparing the encyclopaedia over a period of three years, with a project team including 17 well-known orientalists, together with an editorial team of 14. The project was curated by the Russian Humanitarian Mission, responsible for running humanitarian cooperation projects throughout the Middle East, Central Asia and the Balkans.

Hard copies of the book are available in Russian and English, as well as in the Kurdish Kurmandji and Sorani dialects, with copies having been donated to academic institutions, universities, libraries and museums all around the world — from Russia’s Hermitage to the UK’s Oxford University. The Russian-language electronic version can be downloaded — free of charge — from leading Russian and international online libraries. An English version will be available for downloading (again free of charge) in 2022.

“Gazprom Neft is a long-standing and committed partner to the government of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. The company is implementing a number of humanitarian projects here, directed at improving living standards through initiatives in education, culture and sport. Our publishing ‘The Kurds: Legends of the East’ represents our contribution to helping preserve — and popularise — the history and culture of the Kurds. The electronic version will help readers all over the world find out about the rich historical heritage of this ancient people”.
Alexander Dybal
Alexander Dybal Member of the Management Board, Gazprom Neft
Notes for editors

Gazprom Neft CEO Alexander Dyukov personally presented copies of “The Kurds: Legends of the East” to leaders of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI), President Nerchivan Barzani and Prime Minister Masrour Barzani, at a meeting in Erbil during Russia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Sergei Lavrov’s working visit to the Republic of Iraq and the KRI in 2019. The KRI leadership had high praise for this Gazprom Neft project, noting the company’s role not just as a reliable partner to the KRI in implementing important social projects in the region, but also in making a major contribution to preserving the cultural heritage of the Kurdish people.

“The Kurds: Legends of the East” is the second book to be published at Gazprom Neft’s initiative: “Storied Land: Kurdish Culture through the Eyes of Russian Explorers” having been published in 2015. Both books have been published by Gazprom Neft as part of an initiative to preserve the cultural and historic heritage of the Kurdish people, and to endorse the company’s role as a socially responsible investor and a reliable partner to the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

WGazprom Neft Middle East is developing the Sarqala field in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.