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Sofia University Receives Generous Donation to Modernize its Facilities

Ilko Minev

It is the second time that Ilko Minev has made generous donation to Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski; the donation’s aim is to modernize the University’s facilities. He was awarded an honorary charter for his donation during the presentation of his book “The Daughter of the Rivers” which took place at the Egg Restaurant at the Rectorate of Sofia University.

Professor Dr. Anastas Gerdzhikov, Deputy-Rector of Sofia University, Docent Evgenia Benova, Deputy-Rector, Docent Todor Popnedelev, Dean of the Faculty of History, Professor Totko Stoyanov, Mr. Solomon Passy, Mrs Nora Mineva, wife of the writer, Mr. Anton Donchev, Member of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, writers, journalists and friends of Ilko Minev attended the event.

The book “The Daughter of the Rivers” was presented by the writer Deyan Enev.

During the presentation the Deputy-Rector of Sofia University Professor Anastas Gerdzhikov conferred an honorary charter to Ilko Minev to commemorate his donation. He reminded the audience that that was a second generous donation that Sofia University had received from Ilko Minev. Last year lecture theater 187 at the Rectorate of Sofia University was renovated, and a library and a lecture theater were furnished at the Faculty of Classical and Contemporary Philology. Professor Gerdzhikov said that he was expressing his gratitude not only in his capacity as a university official but as somebody using the renovated premises.

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“Ilko Minev surprised us with his new donation which will make it possible for the Faculty of History and the Faculty of Classical and Contemporary Philology to modernize its facilities. I do thank you for all that!” the Deputy-Rector concluded.

Docent Todor Popnedelev, Dean of the Faculty of History, said that he had been deeply touched in two ways: “The University is an institution which keeps the spirit alive yet it needs financial means in order to develop, specifically to develop its science. This is why I would like to thank you that you had given me the opportunity to see people holding high the Bulgarian spirit gathered together!”

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Ilko Minev dwelt briefly on his life and said that he was born literally across the road from Sofia University. He expressed his cordial gratitude to the University and to his professors who had prepared him to overcome the odyssey providence made him go through.

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“It happens that Bulgaria is not my home, yet there is no doubt that here I feel I am at home. This homecoming has been becoming ever more emotional for the past two years when I switched from the hectic life of a businessman to the far more pleasant occupation of writing fiction. In that way I feel I am useful and can repay my motherland the little bit it so generously bestowed on me,” the writer pointed out. He also expressed his joy that his books are given universal acclaim by his readers. Ilko Minev added that he paid tribute to the anonymous heroines from the Amazonian jungle who are armed with machetes and guns, but they could be met anywhere in the world, sometimes holding a broom, a cooking pot, an iron, or even a pen.

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Ilko Minev was born in Sofia in 1946. He completed his secondary education with distinction and started reading German at the Department of German Philology at Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridski. Due to his political activities he had to leave the country and got political asylum in Belgium where he read economics. In 1972 he moved to Sao Paulo, Brazil, and later settled in Manaus, capital of the state of Amazonas. It was there that he became a successful businessman and at the moment he is a shareholder in two companies and employs more than 3000 workers.

Over a period of thirty years, till 2011, he was an honorary consul of Holland. In 2012, being a highly respected public figure and businessman, he was awarded the title “Honorary Citizen of Manaus”. Apart from Bulgarian, he speaks German, English, Portuguese, Spanish, and uses Dutch, Russian and French occasionally.