My dear Fernando,
It’s been 11 years since we first met in Medellin. I clearly remember the days I took a plane from Tashkent to Moscow and then from Moscow to New York and from New York to Bogota and then finally to Medellin! That was the longest flight I have ever had! And I remember the warmest welcome by you and your team, as well as lovely poetry readings and live discussion sessions in various institutions, smaller towns and villages. I had had a chance to take a flight on a tiny plane called “Gabriel” to go to a further region in Colombia – that was just an awesome experience! Together with poets from all around the world we had lived heart to heart and soul by soul, thinking and caring about Planet Earth and about how we can help ourselves to make it a better, more open and friendly place for many, many generations to come.
I have learned a lot from you and other poet friends of mine. The most important thing I learned is that to be successful in our lives we always have to share best and useful things with others. With the opening up to the world for the past three years, my motherland Uzbekistan is continuing to join global community in a range of fields, including in literature. In 2018, I opened the first-ever writer and artist residency program in Uzbekistan. That was the initiative aimed to bring creative minds from throughout the world together in a little unknown region of our common world – Central Asia. I believe that viruses or disasters should not stop us to mingle, interact and make friends. Being a true friend and to sincerely support each other has become the most wonderful blessing for all human beings.
I am so grateful to you for inviting me to the 30th Medellin Poetry Festival and I am looking forward to do a presentation and read my poems! I would also like to see you soon in Uzbekistan in our residency program. Good luck with the festival! And I wish you strong health, peace and prosperity!
With all good wishes and love,