May 13, 2012

Chairperson of Eurovision Song Contest 2012 Organizing Committee, First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva salutes visitors coming to Azerbaijan

The official schedule manual submitted to the journalists that will cover Eurovision Song Contest 2012 contains salutation from Chairperson of the Organizing Committee of the Contest, First Lady of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva. The salutation says:

Dear friends,

Please accept my heartfelt greetings to all participants and guests of the Eurovision Song Contest 2012, a tremendous musical festival bringing together all of you, representatives of various countries, nations and cultures.

A milestone event in the history of music, the Eurovision Song Contest is recognized not only as one of the world’s most popular shows, but also as an important event promoting intercultural dialogue.

This time, this worldwide recognized festival is being held in Azerbaijan, the home of the first opera and ballet in the Muslim East, the cradle of mugham, a unique musical legacy nowadays inscribed in UNESCO’s Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, and the hotbed of the heart-warming music performed by the illustrious Garabagh singers. Historically, this land is known for its rich cultural heritage bringing together motifs of the Orient and Occident, marrying modern rhythms with centuries-old tunes in a very harmonious manner and thus making a tangible contribution to the treasury of the world music.

Traditions of tolerance together with broad avenues for dialogue between various cultures and civilizations have been featured in Azerbaijan throughout its history, with representatives of various ethnic groups and confessions living side by side for centuries, now and forever. Building upon these traditions of tolerance and mutual respect, the forthcoming Eurovision Song Contest will bring together performers, supporters and visitors who, despite differences in origin, religious and political views, will be united through the magical force of music in the hospitable city of Baku.

Dear friends,

The preparation for the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 required a great deal of strenuous effort on our part. However, the pleasure of seeing you all in Baku is a deserved reward for these efforts. I believe the unforgettable impressions of this festival of music and song, bridging our nations and enriching our cultures, as well as the lasting impressions of the host city of Baku and its open-hearted people, will always be cherished in your hearts.


Mehriban Aliyeva

Chairperson of the Organizing Committee of the Eurovision Song Contest 2012

First Lady of the Republic of Azerbaijan

President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation