April 3, 2014

The exhibition “Azerbaijan – The Land of Tolerance” in Moscow

On April 3, the exhibition “Azerbaijan – The Land of Tolerance” was inaugurated at the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre in Moscow, with the organizational support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the Embassy of Azerbaijan in Russia and the Jewish Museum and Tolerance Centre.


Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva attended the event.


Leyla Aliyeva addressed the ceremony.


Address by Leyla Aliyeva:


- Today we are presenting you works by well-known photographer Reza Deghati devoted to the theme of tolerance, one of the most pressing subjects of the contemporary world. These works reflect the photographer’s sincere and objective view of the tolerant environment dominating in Azerbaijan. Characters of his works are Christians, Jewish and Muslims. They together create a single picture of a multicultural, contemporary and multilateral space called Azerbaijan. People related to various nations, cultures and traditions have always lived in this ancient land - Azerbaijan. Each of them has made its own contribution and left its trace in the history.  Today the Christian, Muslims and Jewish live in our country in conditions of peace and tranquillity. The notion of tolerance is not an achievement, it is a norm and lifestyle, and we have never lived otherwise. Judaism in Azerbaijan has a 2400-year history, while the first church in this land dates back to the 4th century, and the oldest mosque was built in the 8th century. The Christian, Muslim and Jewish considered this old country as their homeland. Today, one can see synagogues, mosques, Orthodox and Catholic churches, as well as a fire-worshiper’s temples in the country. There are 21 non-Muslim communities in Azerbaijan. Traditions of tolerance are cherished by our people, and, in fact, this is the greatest treasure of the people of Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan has been advocating international dialogue and cultural dialogue. It’s been already a few years that our country has been hosting an International Humanitarian Forum, World Intercultural Dialogue Forum bringing people from all over the world, as well as sport competitions, scientific discussions, and readings. The Heydar Aliyev Foundation attaches much importance to this subject. Some 20 mosques, synagogues and churches have been built in Azerbaijan with the support of the Foundation. The Foundation has been engaged in this activity not only in Azerbaijan, but also beyond its boundaries. The Heydar Aliyev Foundation has repaired a church in France related, which dates back to the 10th century. In addition, it has provided support to restoration of monuments and churches in Strasbourg, Versailles and Vatican.  Recently, at the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, a monument was erected to Prince Vladimir in Astrakhan.


Today we are holding such an event in Moscow, Russia’s capital. Russia is a multinational country. About one hundred nations are living here in peace and tranquillity, and have faith in various religions. Azerbaijan and Russia are tied with long years of friendly relations. Today the notion of multiculturalism is, unfortunately, cast doubt on. Many conflicts, sometimes, occur because of not understanding each-other. Therefore, today it is of utmost importance to preserve belief, mutual understanding, respect and love. 

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