August 26, 2013

“Woman, who made a difference”

Pakistan’s influential English-language newspapers “Pakistan Observer” and “Metro Watch”  and Urdu-language “Daily Azkaar” and “Kashmir Post” newspapers, as well as “DNA News” information agency and “Centreline” magazine have published an article entitled “Woman, who has made a difference” written by well-known journalist Farhat Nur, the Executive Director of Pakistan’s Peace and Diplomacy Institute.


In the article devoted to Azerbaijan’s First Lady, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva, it is emphasized that for centuries there have been women that made efforts to make the world better, took initiatives to open a way to others and played a key role in society. It is stated that Azerbaijan’s First Lady, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, UNESCO and ISESCO Goodwill Ambassador, MP Mehriban Aliyeva is among women that were able to change society for the better by influencing it, and conquer peoples’ hearts.


The author writes that Mehriban Aliyeva’s family members – Azerbaijan’s well-known intellectuals Mir Jalal Pashayev, Arif Pashayev and Aida Imanguliyeva – have since her childhood taught her to approach human values with respect, love poetry, culture  and music and be loyal to the nation. This is why Mehriban Aliyeva has devoted her life to her people’s well being and development of the national and world cultural heritage.


It is stated in the article that Mehriban Aliyeva has been leading the Foundation named after Azerbaijan’s national leader Heydar Aliyev. Saying that the Foundation’s objective was to support the country’s social, economic and cultural development, Farhat Nur emphasizes that schools, hospitals, a thalassemia centre, concert halls, music lycée, mosques have been built in the country following Azerbaijan’s First Lady’s initiative. It is further stated in the article that children and elders’ homes are provided material and moral support, summer camps created to integrate disabled children into the society and programs on blood donation and distribution of insulin implemented.


The works done in the field of culture, one of the priority directions of the Foundation’s activity, international contests and concerts, the Mugham Centre built in recent years and the days of mugham held in Niagara, as well as other numerous music festivals, publications about Azerbaijan’s culture, music and history have also been covered in the article.


Saying that Azerbaijan’s First Lady was the initiator and organizer of international conferences on dialogue among religions and representatives of all religions are peacefully living in Azerbaijan, the journalist underlines that a number of religious temples, sanctuaries and churches have been rebuilt, following Mehriban Aliyeva’s initiative.


Farhat Nur has also informed of the works done by Mehriban Aliyeva towards preservation of the world heritage, and cited among them the reconstruction of the Strasbourg Cathedral, foundation of  the Islamic Art Centre at the Louvre Museum and repair works at the Versailles Palace. Further it is stated in the article that the Heydar Aliyev Foundation has provided material support to repair cultural sites in Haiti, and to the French Terror Victims Association.


The article has also talked about the holding of international competitions on gymnastics in Baku in different times due to the influence of Mehriban Aliyeva, the President of the Azerbaijan Gymnastics Federation, her care for sport and the Heydar Aliyev Foundation’s rewarding winners of Olympic and Paralympic games.


Pakistani journalist Farhat Nur underlines that Mehriban Aliyeva led “Eurovision-2012”, the most influential song contest of Europe, and says that numerous tourists coming to Baku were amazed at the high-level organization of the contest, the beauty of Baku and the Azerbaijani people’s hospitality.


In the article “Woman, who has made a difference”, it is informed that Mehriban Aliyeva was honoured with the title of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for her activity in preservation of the Azerbaijani folklore and music heritage, and ISESCO Goodwill Ambassador, for her large-scale activity in various spheres of life.


Large portion of the article talks of the projects implemented in Pakistan following Mehriban Aliyeva’s initiative. The author states that a modern building has been constructed by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation for a girls school in the city of Muzaffarabad, which had suffered from an earthquake in 2007 and, in 2012, major repair works have been carried out at the school and it was named after Mehriban Aliyeva.  Moreover, following Azerbaijan’s First Lady’s initiative, in 2012-2013, a number of projects have been implemented in public health, education and humanitarian spheres in Pakistan, inoculations have been carried out at “Edhi Home” orphanage, “Akbar Care” Institute, Cerebral Palsy Clinic and Lakki Marwat children and woman hospital against hepatitis “B” and medical examinations performed, and the Saif Foundation was provided aids. An ambulance equipped with special blood transfer laboratory and thousands of blood transfer packages have been donated to Hamsa Charitable Foundation in the city of Peshawar, which is dealing with examination of blood diseases. Within its humanitarian projects program carried out in Khyber Province of Pakistan, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation has also allocated financial support to the construction of a new building for the eye clinic functioning under the Khyber Eye Foundation. It is stated in the article that Iftar meals have been organized for orphans in all provinces of Pakistan in Ramadan in 2012 and 2013, following the initiative and support of Mehriban Aliyeva,  and hundreds of sacrificial animals have been cut during the Gurban Holiday and distributed among poor strata of population in Lakki Marwat region.


The author emphasizes that the charitable activity of Azerbaijan’s First Lady serves the strengthening and extending of relations between the two brotherly countries. It further states that for the projects implemented by Mehriban Aliyeva in Pakistan, in 2012 she was honoured by this country’s Women Volunteers Organization and “Daily Times” newspaper with the award “The Symbol of Humanism – the Person of 2012”.  


In her article, Farhat Nur has also mentioned that Mehriban Aliyeva has been decorated with orders and medals of a number of countries for the works she did towards preserving the world’ s cultural heritage.