November 10, 2008

An event on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of outstanding writer, scientist and pedagogue Mir Jalal Pashayev was held at the UNESCO Office in Paris

Event was held November 10 at the UNESCO Office in Paris on the 100th anniversary of outstanding representative of Azeri literature of XX century, scientist, pedagogue Mir Jalal Pashayev.


First Lady of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva attended the jubilee event held on the UNESCO level.


Marking the 100th anniversary of Mir Jalal Pashayev, who had exceptional services in Azeri literature and science of XX century, at the UNESCO indicates first of all the importance and value set on the international level to science, culture and literature of Azerbaijan. Inclusion of the name of Mir Jalal Pashayev in the decision of UNESCO on marking jubilees of world-scale events and persons in 2008-2009 is the obvious sample of cooperation between UNESCO and Azerbaijan. Large and fruitful activities of First Lady of Azerbaijan Mehriban Aliyeva as the UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador in this sphere make huge contribution to development of relations between this organization and Azerbaijan.


Mehriban Aliyeva was sincerely welcomed at the UNESCO Office by Director General of the Organization Koichiro Matsuura and other officials. 


Koichiro Matsuura and Mehriban Aliyeva were familiarized with the exhibition on life and actions of Mir Jalal Pashayev. Photographs of the prominent writer and scientist of Azerbaijan taken in different years reflect the very interesting moments of his rich life and actions in meetings with outstanding intellectuals of his time and with members of his family. The exhibition presented works by the writer published in Azerbaijan and abroad.


Works by the prominent writer have played essential role in education, enlightenment of several generations and formation of their outlook on life. Mir Jalal Pashayev possesses special place in the history of thinking of Azerbaijan as a scientist, teacher and intelligent. This is why, celebration of the jubilee of this great intellectual on the UNESCO level is of big sense and specificity.


Opening the event UNESCO Director General KOICHIRO MATSUURA said:


Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva!


Dear guests!


Ladies and gentlemen!


This evening I would like to greet you all in the event dedicated to the 100th anniversary of famous Mir Jalal Pashayev.


I have special pleasure to see here Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva, granddaughter of Mir Jalal Pashayev. I welcome also 4 children of Mir Jalal. Along with Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva and her father, other 3 children of Mir Jalal Pashayev are here this evening. His 2 daughters and 2 sons are present in this hall. I once again sincerely greet 4 children of Mir Jalal Pashayev, outstanding writer of Azerbaijan. 


After greeting I would like to cordially congratulate President of the Republic of Azerbaijan His Excellency Mr Ilham Aliyev on his re-election as president. I have sent the letter of congratulation on this occasion, but I again request Mrs Aliyeva to deliver my sincere congratulations to the head of the country.


I remember the visit I paid this May to your country to attend the regional conference on literacy in Europe and Central Asia held in Baku. President Aliyev kindly received me. I am much grateful to the leadership of the country for works done in this field. I am informed over the last years Azerbaijan is the top country in the world with economic growth of over 30% annually. This is quite amazing rate of development. I would say it is higher even than record. I congratulate you on this occasion.


I am very glad cooperation between UNESCO and Azerbaijan enlarges in all spheres our organization functions – science, culture and education. I express my gratitude to Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva for contributions to these works. UNESCO-Azerbaijan cooperation has dynamically been developing and covered a lot of spheres since she was appointed the ambassador.


Of course, we must know President of Azerbaijan Mr Ilham Aliyev has personally supported action of Goodwill Ambassador Mrs Aliyeva in the Organization. I again thank him for this. I wish to continue our joint work with President Aliyev in the next years and UNESCO-Azerbaijan cooperation to deepen in main spheres.


I once more express my gratitude to Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva for giving contribution to our organization as the Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO since she was appointed in 2004. She has acted quite intensively not in field of education only but in cultural sphere too.


I want to mention Mrs Aliyeva has organized several events on the dialog of civilizations and cultures. In these events special importance was attached to the role of the youth in the dialog of civilizations and cultures. Mrs Aliyeva held a conference this June on the role of women in this field. Unfortunately, I could not attend this event despite I was invited, but I sent my colleague. That was quite successful event.


I want to mention twice the special significance of the dialog of civilizations and cultures not in regions we live only but all over the world. I therefore express my deep thanks to Mrs Aliyeva for essential contribution she makes to that sphere. Besides, she is very active in field of education.


In addition I want to say Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva plays special role in protection of intangible cultural heritage. She is very active in promotion of mugham, the ancient tradition of music of Azerbaijan. There are new achievements in safeguarding of tangible and intangible cultural heritage. We have adopted new convention on promotion of tangible and intangible cultural heritage. Azerbaijan possesses very rich tangible and intangible cultural heritage. The center dedicated to mugham, the masterpiece of important intangible cultural heritage of Azerbaijan, will soon be opened. I am going to visit Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, next year to attend the opening of the Mugham Center. During my visit this May I saw construction of the Center is about to be completed. Now, Mrs Aliyeva told me construction of the Center is over and that is ready for official opening. I am going to pay a visit to your country next year to attend opening of the Center with President Aliyev and his spouse Mrs Aliyeva.


I know that Mrs Aliyeva will provide information in her speech of actions of her grandfather, his contributions. I just want to say there is photoexhibition in the lobby on life and actions of Mir Jalal Pashayev. Photographs of his family, children, also pictures taken with father of Mrs Aliyeva are displayed there.


We are much delighted for organization of this evening and exhibition on the 100th birthday of Mir Jalal Pashayev. I am grateful to Mrs Aliyeva for showing initiative to organize such an event.


I will not speak a lot about achievements of Mir Jalal Pashayev, but let me repeat a phrase he used to say often which I like much. He has said: ‘The biggest achievement in my life is my family!’. It is so indeed. Please see those photographs if you have not done yet, and you will see how much he loved his family. They are amazing. I would like to repeat that phrase twice: ‘The biggest achievement in my life is my family!’.


Thank you so much.


Addressing the event Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva said the people of Azerbaijan that possesses rich literary heritage has raised the generation of great scholars. Touching on Mir Jalal Pashayev`s works she said they reflected a picture of a whole epoch, adding as a pedagogue, he educated thousands of open-minded students for the Azerbaijan society.


Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva expressed her deep gratefulness to the UNESCO leadership and all who contributed to holding of the jubilee event.


Then, film on life and activities of Mir Jalal Pashayev was shown.


The event was continued by a concert “Music full of soul” of the Azerbaijan State Symphonic Orchestra conducted by Rauf Abdullayev performing works of Azerbaijani and European composers.


Former Speaker of the French Senate Christian Poncelet, who was present in the event, congratulated Mehriban Aliyeva on the 100th anniversary of Mir Jalal Pashayev, noting high impressions he received of the event lifted his respect to Azerbaijan.


After the concert, an official dinner was given on behalf of Azerbaijani First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva in honor of participants of the event.