February 2, 2008

Heydar Aliyev Foundation`s Representative Office in Russia expands its activity

Saint Petersburg is ready to support every humanitarian project of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation’s Representative Office in Russia and promote its active operation in the northern capital of Russia.


These words were said by Governor of Saint Petersburg Valentina Matvienko in the meeting with Leila Aliyeva, head of the Representative Office of the Foundation in Russia, February 2.


V.Matvienko said: ‘We are ready to take the very active part in joint action attaching special importance to humanitarian cooperation – in projects in field of education, culture, study of history and other spheres. We would like Saint Petersburg to be the ground of support to future activity of the Foundation, there is huge potential for it’.


In the meeting in which were present Azeri Ambassador to Russia Polad Bulbuloglu, consul general of Azerbaijan to St Petersburg Gudsi Osmanov and chairman of the national and cultural autonomy of Azeris in St Petersburg Vagif Memishov the Governor highly assessed the action of Heydar Aliyev Foundation and its Russia Office led by Leila Aliyeva. According to her, Russia and Azerbaijan have sincere friendly ties that were founded by national leader Heydar Aliyev and protected and enlarged by President Ilham Aliyev. V.Matvienko highly valued the action of Azeri diaspora in St Petersburg.    


Head of the Representative Office of Heydar Aliyev Foundation in Russia Leila Aliyeva said in the meeting: ‘Heydar Aliyev Foundation’s action expands and covers all the world, but relations with Russia are of special importance. When we understood that the action of the Foundation cannot be limited with Azerbaijan and it must be widened, of course, Russia was one of the first places to cooperate’. Giving detailed information L.Aliyeva noted for last years the Foundation initiated construction and repair of nearly 300 schools in Azerbaijan, and this process is underway. The Foundation’s offices have been opened in France, Romania, Great Britain and Turkey. The Foundation keeps on enlarging its geography. The Foundation implements several essential projects in field of health, specially to fight serious diseases such thalassemia and diabetes. Thalassemia Center is under construction on initiative of the Foundation, some other projects are realized to help ill children. On February 10 the Foundation will organize a charity concert for disabled children in Moscow.  


Leila Aliyeva mentioned Heydar Aliyev Foundation performs a number of projects in field o culture as well. Mugham Center is under construction, talented youth, artists are supported. Actually, much has been done during 4 years of existence of the Foundation and we feel all the responsibility of our action.


Singing the agreement of cooperation between Heydar Aliyev Foundation and Russian National Library became very significant event in cultural life of St Petersburg and Azerbaijan. The agreement was signed by Leila Aliyeva and director general of the Library Vladimir Zaytsev. L.Aliyeva presented the Library with Azerbaijani books published due to support of Heydar Aliyev Foundation. She said the Foundation gives huge importance to publication of books, finds it necessary specially now when internet and electron mass media have developed, lots of people have given up reading fiction. ‘Due to such wonderful libraries the youth continue reading book and it is not secret that we get the biggest knowledge in life from books’ Leila Aliyeva said.


Talking to journalists of importance of the document signed L.Aliyeva valued it as necessary agreement. She mentioned the Foundation and its office opened in Russia only a year ago develop the cultural dialog between Azerbaijan and Russia. Leila Aliyeva said: ‘Cultural dialog is important specially for youth. I think via this library we will achieve expansion of cultural dialog. This is very rich library. It is good that there are so many books here in Azerbaijani language and they are carefully safeguarded. I hope our relations with this library will be developing, we will be exchanging books, send new publications here. The first issue of ‘Baku’ magazine was released a month ago. This publication will be available for Moscow and St Petersburg readers too. The Magazine will provide more information on our country to them. There have always been very good cultural relations between our countries. People of Azerbaijan has always known well and loved the Russian culture, Russian literature. Russian language is being learned in Azerbaijani schools in a complete volume’. 


Azeri Ambassador to Russia Polad Bulbuloglu highly valued the document signed, calling that an important event for both countries. He recalled national leader of Azeri people Heydar Aliyev presented in 1994 more than 400 publications from his personal library to National Library named after M.F.Akhundov, showed the example of care to books. The Ambassador said ‘This tradition is continued today by granddaughter of Heydar Aliyev, head of the representation of the Foundation named after him’.


Vladimir Zaytsev noted the Library has been collecting the Azeri literature yet before the revolution but there was a break in this field last years. ‘Signing of this agreement is the new phase in entry of the literature in the Library. This will allow the Azeri diaspora in St Petersburg to read book in native language’ Vladimir Zaytsev said.


Leila Aliyeva and Vladimir Zaytsev opened the Azeri Literature Exhibition at the Russian National Library. Head of the Russia Office of Heydar Aliyev Foundation was familiarized with the exhibition including the unique samples of Azeri books.


The same day, a concert of Azeri music was organized at the Oktyabrsky Big Concert Palace in St Petersburg. Azeri and Russian pop singers performed at the concert organized by the Russia Office of Heydar Aliyev Foundation due to support of the Youth Affairs Committee of the Saint Petersburg Administration.


Prior to the concert Leila Aliyeva delivered speech for the youth in the Palace and reps of the St Petersburg public, congratulated Azerbaijanis on Day of Youth marked in Azerbaijan on February 2. She said: ‘St Petersburg is strange city, it always amazes. And we have tried to present you a part of ancient Azeri culture, talk of our traditions and habits and introduce our talents to you. Azerbaijan has very ancient history and very rich culture, it is homeland to great poets, composers and writers. Garabagh nightingales sing for every Azeri irrespective of its location, Absheron’s sun shines for it, Caspian waves sound for it. Azerbaijanis are very hospitable, representatives of numerous nations and religions live in peace and friendship in our country. It is very nice that relation between Russia and Azerbaijan are strengthened day by day and these relations have reached the high level in some fields. Azerbaijan is one of fewer countries in which learning of Russian language in schools is continued. There is Slav University, Russian Drama Theater in Baku. Today, there is an issue before us, before the youth living in Russia: to further strengthen these relations and decently represent our homeland’.

Polad Bulbuloglu said in his speech after establishment of the Azeri youth organization in Russia all young Azerbaijanis living in the Russian Federation are coming together. It is very important for future and worthy representation of our people by the youth.


Vice Governor of St Petersburg Sergey Tarasov underlined the cultural ties between two countries go back to centuries. He said the Russia Office of Heydar Aliyev Foundation does very important works specially in field of the youth policy. 


In the concert talented youth were presented honorary diplomas and awards on behalf of the Russia Office of Heydar Aliyev Foundation for contributions to development of cultural ties between Azerbaijan and Russia.


In frame of the visit of Leila Aliyeva to St Petersburg a ceremony took place on February 3 to lay wreath on the monument in Piskaryovo Cemetery where people, including Azerbaijanis died in the siege of Leningrad during WWII have been buried. 


L.Aliyeva laid a wreath on the monument on behalf of Heydar Aliyev Foundation and signed the guest book. Administration of the Memorial Complex said national leader of Azerbaijan Heydar Aliyev also signed the guest book within his official visit to St Petersburg in 2002. The administration of the Complex presented Leila Aliyeva a memorial medal of Piskaryovo Cemetery and a symbolic capsule containing the soil.


Then wreath was laid on the monument of genius Azeri poet and philosopher Nizami Ganjavi in St Petersburg. Representatives of administration and public of the northern capital of Russia, heads of diplomatic missions to St Petersburg attended the ceremony. 


Addressing the ceremony Leila Aliyeva said Nizami is genius poet and philosopher having endowed the world with unique works such as ‘Leila and Mejnun’, ‘Khosrov and Shirin’, ‘Isgandarname’. Nizami will remain as the pride of Azeri people. Setting a monument to this great person in one of nicest cities of the world indicates to the great friendship and mutual respect between Azerbaijan and Russia. 


Azeri Ambassador to RF Polad Bulbuloglu noted national leader of Azeri people Heydar Aliyev and President of Russia Vladimir Putin attended the opening of monument of Nizami Ganjavi in St Petersburg. He valued the monument as the symbol of historical friendship between two nations.


Representatives of the city administration mentioned setting monument to great Nizami in St Petersburg and careful attitude to its own culture lifts the fame of Azeri diaspora and has strong impact on mutual enriching of cultures.


Members of Azeri delegation led by Leila Aliyeva laid flowers on the memorial board of Heydar Aliyev in the Building No 6 in Gorokhovaya Street in St Petersburg. In late 1940s and early 1950s Heydar Aliyev studied at the Managing Staff School of USSR State Security Ministry located at that building.


The main event of the day was the meeting of Azeri youth and diaspora organizations representing 40 regions of RF. They were in St Petersburg on the initiative of the Foundation’s Russia Office and Azerbaijan Youth Organization of Russia. Alliance of youth and lifting its activity in regions were discussed in the meeting.


Opening the meeting Consul General of Azerbaijan to St Petersburg Gudsi Osmanov said Russia Office of Heydar Aliyev Foundation is engaged in active works in Moscow and regions of Russia to coordinate the youth organizations and strengthen positions of youth in their residence.


Leader of Azerbaijani youth movement in Russia Leila Aliyeva called on the youth to take more active part in public and political life of Russia, more closely integrate to the Russian society and at the same time care for, protect and popularize the national culture of Azerbaijan. She said one of major aims of the Foundation is to open Azeri-language Sunday Schools in regions. The Foundation promotes opening of such schools and supports their supply with textbooks and computers. So far the Foundation has helped Sunday Schools in Tula, Tver and Surgut cities. Besides, the Foundation organizes various charity actions, concert ‘We Love Life’ for disabled children, presentation ceremonies of several books. The internet site of the Organization will be opened soon, information on realities of Azerbaijan will be available on the site. Monthly magazine ‘Baku’ aims to assure awareness of the public on culture, art and traditions of Azeri people. Such a magazine lacked, everyone was waiting for that, and now that will be available in Russia too. 


Azeri Ambassador to Russia P.Bulbuloglu emphasized the great importance of the work done by the Foundation’s Russia Representation, said organization of the youth will be useful for both Azeri and Russian societies. Azeri youth should respect the laws of the society they live in, but at the same time not forget their national origin, culture, language and traditions. Youth should come together concerning the national interests.


Representatives of the youth expressed gratitude to Heydar Aliyev Foundation for supporting the youth policy and performing active works in this sphere. They said after the organization led by Leila Aliyeva was established the youth find consider that support to themselves and movement of alliance has been intensified. Speakers mentioned they are ready to support all initiatives of the Foundation and actively cooperate in all projects relating the youth.


Head of the Russia Office of Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leila Aliyeva and participants of the meeting visited the Ekaterina Palace State Museum-Reserve in Pushkin City (former Sarskoye Selo).