Though Lola Karimova now spends her time between Europe and North America, her connection to her homeland remains strong. Promoting Uzbekistan’s rich cultural heritage is one of her passions.
Recently, Lola Karimova Tillyaeva opened the doors to La Maison de l’Ouzbekistan, a gallery located in downtown Paris. Having served for many years as Uzbekistan’s permanent delegate to UNESCO, Lola never grew tired of seeing how Uzbek art and culture captured the attention of visitors. Thus, she launched La Maison de l’Ouzbekistan. The gallery displays a wonderful array of hand-made homewares, finely crafted silks, fine timber furniture and unique ceramic pieces, all of which are inspired by Uzbek culture. Lola envisages the gallery to serve as a portal that promotes Uzbekistan in Europe, calling it “a cultural bridge between Europe and Central Asia”.
Lola and her team work hard to display each item at La Maison in its correct cultural context. This offers visitors the chance to learn about the country’s culture and traditions, and also allows them to take a few pieces home. Galeria Joseph staff who visited La Maison said:
“Just push the door of “La Maison de l’Ouzbékistan” in the heart of the French capital to be transported to a fascinating country. An open window to this country’s rich culture and artisanal ways, the Central Asian gem offers a total change of scenery through the objects and books it offers.”
Lola and her husband, businessman Timur Tillyaev have also undertaken other projects to promote their homeland. The couple co-produced a feature film, published a colouring book and have organized exhibitions. In March 2020, they organised a fashion show called: “Fashion in Uzbekistan: Yesterday and Today.” The event showcased the evolution of Uzbek fashion from the 1960’s through to the present day.
Lola Karimova Tillyaeva´s commitment to Uzbekistan can also be witnessed in the philanthropic work she undertakes. Along with her husband, she operates several charitable foundations in the country. The couple’s longest-running charity is You Are Not Alone. The organization helps orphans and other disadvantaged youth in Uzbekistan through providing them education and healthcare. In partnership with The Educational Centre, another of the couple’s initiatives, You Are Not Alone has had a major impact on the lives of many young Uzbeks. Not only does it encourage children to stay in school, it allows them to dream of a better life. You Are Not Alone also supports gifted children all the way through university. Lola is also a prominent figure in groups promoting interfaith dialogues in both Uzbekistan and the wider region. For her contributions to humanitarian and charitable initiatives, Lola Karimova Tillyaeva was made a Dame of the Royal Order of Francis I.
While La Maison de l’Ouzbékistan raises the image of Uzbek culture globally, Lola and Timur remain equally committed to the people of Uzbekistan and ensure young underprivileged Uzbeks are provided the opportunities they need to thrive.