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Azerbaijan’s first lady becomes nominee for honorary title ‘The Great Woman of 21st Century’

20 August 2009 [17:12] - TODAY.AZ
Azerbaijan’s First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva has become a nominee for honorary title ‘The Great Woman of 21st Century’.
First lady of Azerbaijan, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, UNESCO and ISESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva was nominated to the award of “Great Woman of the 21st century”.

The candidacy was nominated by Atis Bankas, professor of Toronto Royal Conservatory, Artistic Director of Music Niagara and the Niagara International Chamber Musical Festival, Nina Kogan, professor of Moscow Conservatory, Vice President of “Silk Road” Committee of the Niagara International Chamber Music Festival, Laureate of International Competitions, Ismayil Hajiyev, President of the “Silk Road” Committee of the Niagara International Chamber Music Festival, chief coordinator and artistic director of Toronto Silk Road Chamber Orchestra and Virginia Mainprize, Managing Director of the Niagara International Chamber Music Festival, who applied to Mr. J.M. Evans, President of American Biographical Institute.

The letter reads: “Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva, the first lady of Azerbaijan and President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation was designated UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Oral and Musical Traditions in September 2004 in recognition of her action to promote traditional music, literature and poetry, her role in the promotion of musical education and international cultural exchanges, and her dedication to the Organization`s ideals.

A qualified physician, Mehriban Aliyeva is actively engaged in the areas of culture, education and sport. Since 1995, through her charitable foundation “Friends of Azerbaijan Culture” she has helped to increase knowledge of her country`s cultural wealth, while working to ensure its conservation at national and regional levels through such manifestations as festivals, exhibitions, cultural events and concerts. Mrs. Aliyeva has initiated the establishment of a Mugham Center in Baku in order to promote the traditional classical music of Azerbaijan. Mugham is a form of Azerbaijani folk music.

At the international level Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva has initiated the large-scale cultural event in Niagara - “Days of Azerbaijani Mugham”, which became an exciting event in the cultural life of North America. Mrs. Aliyeva was the initiator and inspirer of the opening the Committee of “ Silk Road” within the organizational structure of Niagara Festival, the purpose of which is to promote the great music and cultural heritage of the countries lying on the ancient Silk Road, as a symbol of spiritual unity and understanding of humanity. Upon her recommendations the Ministry of Culture, Embassy of Azerbaijan in Canada, Governmental Committee on relations with the Diaspora, and other relevant organizations in Azerbaijan supporting annually the sponsorship of Niagara International Festival for the realization of this very important event, which serves a convergence and integration of the cultural riches of the East and West.

Given all these merits and achievements the Niagara Festival honored Mrs. M. Aliyeva with the highest award of the festival “World Golden Rose Award” which is an ancient symbol of a human pursuing a high spiritual and evolutionary mission to the convergence and integration of world cultures and civilizations in order to achieve universal peace and prosperity throughout the world.

Mrs. Aliyeva has also received many prizes and awards both from the leadership of UNESCO and ISESCO as well as from many other prestigious international organizations for her special services to the global culture, in establishing a permanent cultural and political dialogue between the civilizations of East and West. In her role as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Mrs. Aliyeva supports the Organization`s activities for the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage, especially oral traditions and expressions, performing arts and traditional craftsmanship.

Mrs. Aliyeva has also been the initiator and organizer of many international conferences on the dialogue between different faiths striving for their understanding, and peaceful coexistence. A striking example of the tolerant co-existence and relationship to each other by the representatives of different faiths is now in Azerbaijan, where all religious faiths coexist and live in harmony.

Mrs. Aliyeva is also concerned by the problems of children. Her commitment and charitable works in this domain include the renovation and modernization of an orphanage in Azerbaijan as well as opening of a music school and the provision of treatment for children suffering from diabetes. Mrs. Aliyeva has regular moral and material assistance to homes for the elderly, getting them the necessary medical supplies of the latest achievements of world medical science.

Mrs. Aliyeva helped to preserve the world heritage. For example, the Foundation has funded reconstruction of 5 window lattices at the 14th century-Strasbourg Cathedral in France. These windows of 1320-1340 reflect life of St. Mary and Jesus.

The reconstruction of St. Mary`s Catholic Church in Baku as part of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation`s “Azerbaijan-Home to Tolerance” project has also been completed. The church was reconstructed in accordance with the memo of cooperation signed between the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and Catholic community of Rome.

The Heydar Aliyev Foundation has been funding reconstruction of religious monuments across the country since 2006. Last year a mosque in Buzovna, catholic and orthodox churches in the country were reconstructed as part of the “Azerbaijan-Home to Tolerance” project.
Last year, a bust of a visionary leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev was opened in Art Gallery of the city of Niagara-on-the-Lake. The city became a cultural bridge between Canada and Azerbaijan thanks to Mrs. Mehriban Aliyeva`s support. Mrs. Aliyeva a worthy recipient and deserves recognition for the tireless activities”.

Eminent women, including Queen Elizabeth II, mother Teresa, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, were awarded the title of “Great Woman of the 21st century”.


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