February 1, 2006

Ceremony of donation of the books from the Russian Fund “Pushkin Library” held at Heydar Aliyev Foundation

On February 1, ceremony of donation of the books from the Russian Fund "Pushkin Library" was held at Heydar Aliyev Foundation.

Ceremony was opened by President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, MP Mehriban Aliyeva. 

Then thanking Mehriban Aliyeva for kind and warm words Director General of the "Pushkin Library" Fund Maria Vedenyapina said:

I really think the book is the best gift because "Pushkin Library" Fund works first of all with books and libraries. Secondly I want to say the book is the most goodwill and reliable ambassador in the relations among the countries. That is why I am very glad that this event - donation of the books to Heydar Aliyev Foundation by "Pushkin Library" Fund will start the year of Russia in Azerbaijan. I really think that the main is not to lose the interest we feel towards each other. If there is this factor, if the teachers and students need Russian-language literary we help them with pleasure. This is not a help indeed but a joint project.

I would like to say some words of "Pushkin Library" Fund because I am asked here what kind of links we have with Pushkin house in Saint Petersburg. We are not Pushkin house but we have very good and firm links with that. Major care of "Pushkin Library" Fund is Russian libraries including small libraries in villages and schools and federal and higher school libraries. We replenish the funds, release various catalogues for university and public libraries. We also implement different social projects to support the library work, which is assistance to the science, culture, history. We implement a special big project supported by the federal government. This is 'Rural library' project. This year we started implementation of the project on reconstruction of completion of the school libraries with big problems. Before we used to say we are the nation reading most of all, the book is the best gift. But when the world is covered by new information technologies the book unfortunately loses its prestige. 

We have another program 'Reading Russia' that is directed to support and widen the reading. This is our major project because educated generation cannot be raised without book. That is why I hope much this event will lay the cornerstone of cooperation for welfare of our countries, training of our children as educated and cultured ones.

Chief of the chair at Moscow State International Relations Institute, professor Tatyana Alekseyeva addressed the action. Russian scholar said:

In this event I am book consumer because first of all I represent scientific and pedagogic society. So, I would like to share some of my ideas with you.

As it was mentioned, more than 800 manuals are displayed in this exhibition. I want to emphasize it because even if this figure is influential, it makes think of some problems teachers, scholars face. 800 manuals are many or less? Generally, how many manuals are required to say the task of publishing such literary is implemented, both teachers and students have access to the newest inventories of foreign and homeland sciences? This is of great importance. Very serious discussions are held on this topic in Russia for the last 3 years: what is the manual for new generation. In general, there is another serious problem: is manual necessary at university? According to the university education the student should be familiarized with original works. I am talking about humanitarian sphere. Maybe there is no need for manual here. This is not a simple issue and causes serious disconformities. 

Finally, our scientific community in Moscow decided certain percent of manuals is required. This is another issue whether teachers or students need these manuals. Both opinions have supporters. Regarding students I think everything is clear here. There is certain line, they should have the base of knowledge, to successfully pass the exams the students should be based on any book.

Concerning teachers, the situation is a bit complicated here. Experts of humanitarian sphere know well that we have lost the big part of XX century - we had no chance to have links with scientific schools created abroad, with big works considered values of XX century. Many of teachers started to have familiarization with them in the early 90s. 

What about my field, there are many serious problems here. Only 0,2% of teachers of political theory, political sciences possess foreign languages in the level to read the any text from original. I do not say analysis. This information belongs to 90s. In another word, it was big problem for teaching staff to possess within short time the great world practice in humanitarian field. Many of them were self-studiers. But all are adult and they were to sit at the desk together with students and learn the great literature. Publication corpse of Russia rendered big help starting to implement translations. 

We understand well that these translations, their circulations are less and not enough for those needing these books. New generation manuals problem is created now. They should not lose assets of soviet training and education system and should be completed with the newest inventories that we do not know. I think importance of the funds like "Pushkin Library" Fund is very big in this work.

There are very serious problems before the publishers of manuals - to protect traditions, existing knowledge and skills and critical attitude on what foreign public-political mind proposes to us.

To me, some of manuals presented here are efforts to settle this serious dilemma. I want to say such books must be many, they must be on the tables of teachers. When such books are many we implement comparative analysis and obtain new generation that is more educated than us. 

Then president of ANSA Mahmud Kerimov gave speech:

Taking an opportunity I first of all congratulate President of Heydar Aliyev Foundation, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, MP Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva on being announced 'Man of 2005'. 

Report was recently presented to the community on activity of Heydar Aliyev Foundation. We were informed of the big works done by the Foundation, charity activity, assistance to education, health, children homes. This is really big work and we highly appreciate it. And now we are at the event organized by Heydar Aliyev Foundation. This is very remarkable event, such a nice collection of the books gifted by "Pushkin Library" Fund is presented to us. 

It is difficult to value these gifts. Azerbaijan and Russia are connected with 200-year joint history, firm friendly ties in all fields - economy, education, culture, science. It is not secret people of Azerbaijan had an access to the world and European literature by Russian culture. We surely also know that Nizami, Nesimi, Fuzuli, Mirza Fatali Akhundov had very big impact on formation of the general moral values together with Pushkin, Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Gogol. These traditions are continued today and we have successful relations. This presentation of these books proves this. We value this gift as respect in memory of Heydar Aliyev, to people of Azerbaijan and its culture. 

Today electron-information means are applied in all fields of our life but I think the book has not lose its importance and remains as the source of knowledge, the best gift the closest person can present to you. Book has always been highly valued in Azerbaijan.

President of ANSA noted President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev advanced a goal in World Information Society Summit in 2003 in Switzerland: to change value of oil to value of human. Immediately after coming back from Switzerland he signed Decree on mass publication of books on Latin font. Work is done in this field, hundreds of books each with 25,000 samples have been published. These books are gifted to the republican and school libraries. 

M.Kerimov said gift of "Pushkin Library" Fund is special precious and important while 20% of our territory is under occupation, more than thousand libraries have been burnt, millions of books destroyed. He expressed gratitude to the management and employees of the fund for this precious gift presented to Azerbaijan, as well to the staff of Heydar Aliyev Foundation led by Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva for organization of this event. President of ANSA noted these books have found their holders. Because the staff which they are gifted approach with attention and care to its culture and moral values and that is why appreciates the books and know how to use them. 

I wish this initiative to be supported, developed and this not to be the last gift.

Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva had a look at the gifted books and familiarized the visitors with books Heydar Aliyev Foundation published since start of its activity. 

Famous local scholars, figures of art and culture, MPs were present in the event.