October 22, 2013

International symposium devoted to Azerbaijani thinker Seyid Yahya Bakuvi is held in UNESCO

On October 22, an international symposium devoted to great Azerbaijani thinker Seyid Yahya Bakuvi was held in UNESCO, Paris, following the initiative of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and with organizational support from the State Committee for Works with Religious Entities. The symposium was devoted to the theme of “Seyid Yahya Bakuvi: expression of tolerance”.


At the symposium, reports on Seyid Yahya Bakuvi and the sect of secrecy, of which he was a founder, and their contribution to tolerance and strengthening mutual respect in the world  were heard.


The event was attended by research scientists invited from England, France, Turkey, Algeria, Azerbaijan and other countries, representatives of  diplomatic corps accredited at UNESCO, employees of the Embassy of Azerbaijan in France, representatives of Diaspora, as well as persons of culture.


The symposium started with demonstration of a documentary called “A Space of Tolerance” talking of the efforts made by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and Azerbaijan’s First Lady, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Mehriban Aliyeva towards strengthening multiculturism and dialogue between cultures in Azerbaijan.


Chairman of the State Committee for Works with Religious Entities Elshad Iskandarov emphasized that the legacy of Seyid Yahya has been of special significance in formation of religious tolerance being the foundation of national identity in Azerbaijan. Saying that the traditions of tolerance, which has been formed in Azerbaijan for centuries, are today popularized  by the government, E.Iskandarov cited the announcement by UNESCO of this year as “The Year of S.Y.Bakuvi”,  following the Heydar Aliyev Foundation’s initiative, as an example.


UN Supreme Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations Nasser Abdulaziz Al-Nasser called the announcement by UNESCO of 2013 “The Year of Seyid Yahya Bakuvi” a significant event. Recalling his trip to Baku this year during the 2nd World Intercultural Forum held in Baku, Nasser Abdulaziz emphasized that Azerbaijan had deep traditions in the field of dialogue among cultures and religious tolerance, and that he witnessed continuous activity of the state towards preserving these traditions.


Head of UNESCO Intercultural Dialogue Platform Katherine Stenou also said religious tolerance in Azerbaijan is not just words: “For centuries the people of Azerbaijan has created the best example of mutual respect between cultures and religions.”


At the symposium, which continued its work on the panels “A window opened from Azerbaijan into the world: Seyid Yahya Bakuvi and secrecy”, “Sufism and Bakuvi legacy in Azerbaijan”,  speeches on Seyid Yahya Bakuvi and the founded by him sect of secrecy, as well as the contribution made by them to strengthening of tolerance and   mutual respect were delivered.


At the end of the day, the participants viewed a photo exhibition by world-renowned photographer Reza Deghati called “Azerbaijan – the Space of Tolerance”.


Opening the exhibition, temporary affairs adviser of the permanent representative office of Azerbaijan under UNESCO Anar Karimov said the photos being displayed at the exhibition held with organizational support from the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, UNESCO and SCWRE  reflect, in general, the tolerance environment in Azerbaijan.


At the end, a dinner party took place.