Mehriban Aliyeva – proud image of contemporary Azerbaijani woman
The most important principle of life in the family of the national leader of our people, Heydar Aliyev, has been to serve his people and ensure faithfulness. From this viewpoint, we will not be wrong if we evaluate the purpose of President Ilham Aliyev to serve the statehood and people as a family tradition.
The policy pursued in all the fields under the leadership of our head of state is characteristic of realization of the ideas of the great leader and successful continuation of the political course that he determined. The lifetime friend of the President and his best comrade-in-arms in this cause is the First Vice-President, the First Lady of Azerbaijan and the President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Mehriban Aliyeva. Self-devotion for the sake of the motherland and people, activeness in the dynamic development and resolution of social issues in Azerbaijan, loyalty to national and moral values, boundless kindness, mercy and empathy make up the essence of the life philosophy of Mehriban Aliyeva. She also makes invaluable contributions to the development of education, culture and healthcare in our country and works hard towards the protection of our national interests in the international arena, including promotion of inter-civilization and intercultural dialogue.
Mehriban Aliyeva, who is the author of many projects aimed at the social wellbeing of our people, carries the name of the First Lady with honor and presents to the world the proud image of the contemporary Azerbaijani woman. The Washington Times writes about Mehriban Aliyeva, who creates a pleasant atmosphere around herself with her humbleness, sincerity, kindness, nobility and a good aura: “Azerbaijan’s first lady is an exemplary image of the woman for Muslim women.”
AZERTAC is taking a look at the meaningful and honorable life, multidimensional sociopolitical activities and charity mission of the First Vice-President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, Mehriban Aliyeva.
“Mehriban Aliyeva is a professional, knowledgeable, experienced and principled person and, at the same time, a kind person. It is not accidental that the people of Azerbaijan treat her with a lot of sympathy and love” – these words by President Ilham Aliyev very accurately express the working and human capabilities of Mrs. Aliyeva. Indeed, she has become a light of hope and an address of charity in the hearts of the millions.
The Heydar Aliyev Foundation, which started operations under the leadership of First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva in 2004, provides unparalleled services towards the realization of the ideas of the National Leader and the recognition of the rich heritage of statehood of this genius personality in the entire world. Revival and increased scale of our people’s traditions of charity have been possible based directly on the personal example provided by the President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. She is national with all of her decisions: she serves the progress of her motherland and works tirelessly for the sake of development of his country’s culture, education and sport. The schools, healthcare and medical facilities that were built or renovated even in the most outlying parts of our republic through the Heydar Aliyev Foundation can be an example of this. A lot of programs and projects have been implemented for this purpose. The Foundation has been taking an active part in increasing the international reputation of the Republic of Azerbaijan.
At the same time, Mehriban Aliyeva makes a great contribution to the resolution of such vital issues as formation and strengthening of international peace, security, and an environment of intercultural and interreligious dialogue and protection of historical cultural heritage. She has been working tirelessly to bring to the international community the history and cultural heritage of Azerbaijan and the truths about our country over the past 18 years. It was due to her efforts that the Old City of Baku, including the Palace of Shirvan Shahs and the Maiden’s Tower, the rock inscriptions of Gobustan and the historic center of Shaki city together with the Palace of the Khan were included into UNESCO’s World Heritage List. In addition, our Mugham and Ashig craft, the heritage of Dada Gorgud, development of the Kamancha stringed musical instrument and its mastery and the craft of making silk kerchiefs were included into UNESCO’s Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Besides, Azerbaijan successfully hosted the 43rd Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in July 2019.
The appointment of Mehriban Aliyeva as the First Vice-President on 21 February 2017 is considered to be a logical outcome of her rich and devoted activities for the sake of development and strengthening of Azerbaijan’s statehood, as well as her high organization capabilities.
We remember the words by Mehriban Aliyeva at that time: “The responsibility on me is extremely big. I have to justify the trust of the President and, most principally, the trust of people who hold faith and hope.”
Nowadays, we can say with full confidence that working in a supreme government post, Mehriban Aliyeva justifies quite well the trust of both the President and the people who have belief and hope for her. She takes the criteria of humanness, mercy, mutual respect and kindness in her daily activities, builds her activities around these principles and always holds national and moral values high. The entire life she has had is an example of service to the motherland and people in the true meaning of the word.
Taking a noble mission and new commitments for attaining national goals for the sake of the economic development of Azerbaijan and wellbeing of our people when appointed as the First Vice-President, Mehriban Aliyeva’s activities are especially noted for the resolution of the problems of vulnerable strata of the population, including internally displaced people, families of martyrs and war veterans. It is not by accident that she dedicated her first meeting in the new high post to the improvement of lives of refugee and IDP families. Immediately after the meeting, an appropriate plan of action was developed and real work started. The housing and household conditions of hundreds of thousands of refugees and IDPs were improved within a short period of time.
The Heydar Aliyev Foundation always keeps in focus and takes care of the families of military servicemen who were killed in the Patriotic War and war veterans. Our military men who were wounded in the battles were sent to Turkiye for treatment and rehabilitation and a group of soldiers and officers who were disabled were provided with prostheses.
The political and moral support for the fight for the liberation of our lands, the addresses and calls, which invited our people to national solidarity and motivated our glorious army for victory, multiple visits to Karabakh with the head of state in the post-war era, the wide scale constriction and restoration works in the territories liberated from occupation and the organization of the splendid Khari Bulbul music festival in Shusha, which echoed in the world, take a special place in the activities of the First Lady.
At this point, we remember the touching words in Mehriban Aliyeva’s address to people in the first days of the Patriotic War: “May the Almighty God let every Azerbaijani kiss the holy land of Karabakh!” This sacred wish came true within 44 days. Our native Karabakh became free thanks to the inviolable will of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, the might of our army and the unity and solidarity of our people.
The goal of modernization of our country’s education system and its integration into the world’s education system occupies a special place in the wide scale programs and projects initiated by the First Lady of Azerbaijan. The programs on “the development of children’s homes and boarding schools”, “the new school for renewed Azerbaijan”, “support for education”, “development of pre-school education facilities” and other programs play an important role in the development of education. Within the framework of the “new school for renewed Azerbaijan” program, which started to be implemented in 2005, more than 500 schools for more than 100,000 schoolchildren have been constructed or renovated. Within the framework of the “the development of children’s homes and boarding schools” more than 40 children’s homes have been overhauled.
As for the healthcare of the people, such unrivalled projects as “highest care for children with diabetes”, “for the sake of life without thalassemia” and “restoration and development of healthcare facilities” and many charity actions are treated with a great deal of sympathy and are producing good results. Within the framework of these projects, the modern Thalassemia Center, the Rehabilitation Center for People with Down’s Syndrome, the Rehabilitation Center for children needing special care, the Psychoneurological Child Center and other healthcare facilities have been built or overhauled and put into commissioning.
Always keeping low-income families and people who need special care in focus, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation regularly implements different projects in this direction, too. Besides laying a social-philosophical foundation with her charity activities in this area, Mehriban Aliyeva is showing the main contours of a noble way for future generations. Nowadays, the charity institute, which is regarded as a special division of social life in Azerbaijan, is being developed in line with the realities and requirements of the modern era. The leader of the charity institute that revives our historic traditions and creates an effective means for social and moral progress is the First Vice-President, the President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO and ICESCO, Mehriban Aliyeva.
Purposeful work is under way at her initiative to promote the truths about the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict, as well as our culture, traditions of statehood and history in the world. Practical steps were taken in the course of the Patriotic War, which started in September 2020, in the direction of demonstrating Azerbaijan’s fair position and bringing to the international community the attacks targeting civilians by the enemy in rude violation of the norms and principles of international law. Exhibitions, evenings of culture and other events were organized in reputable international organizations and different countries of the world. Days of Azerbaijani culture were held in the headquarters of the European Parliament, Athens and Cannes and the Center of Azerbaijani Culture was opened in Paris.
The Eurovision international song contest, which our country successfully hosted, the First European Games, the Fourth Islamic Solidarity Games, as well as the four games of the European Football Championship, unveiled the fact that Mehriban Aliyeva possesses high organization skills. Azerbaijan caused admiration even in developed countries through grandiose organization of these international events.
The Heydar Aliyev Foundation successfully continues work to restore religious monuments and mosques, which, being the national wealth of the Azerbaijani people, were devastated by Armenians in the territory of Karabakh. The restoration, conservation and renovation of our shrines in that region with the participation of local and international specialists, the Khari Bulbul music festival organized by the Foundation in the Jidir Duzu in Shusha 32 years later, the development of the collection of Eternal Signatures containing the notes of works by outstanding representatives of the school of composers of Azerbaijan and the collection of publications of Karabakh’s cultural heritage are all valuable contributions to the cause of promotion and protection of the moral, historic and cultural heritage of the people of Azerbaijan.
Mehriban Aliyeva’s multi-branched activities are not confined to Azerbaijan only, but crosses the borders of our country, strongly echoing abroad. At her initiative, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation has implemented a number of important projects in Vatican, France, Pakistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Egypt, India and other countries.
The goodwill activities of the First Lady are highly appreciated both in Azerbaijan and internationally: Azerbaijan’s highest state award, the Heydar Aliyev Order, the international Golden Heart award, the Supreme Order of the European Olympic Committees, the French Order of the Legion of Honor, the Italian Knight Grand Cross Order for Services, the Polish Grand Commander’s Cross Order, the Russian Friendship Order, UNESCO’s Gold Mozart Medal… this is not a full list of the awards of Azerbaijan’s First Vice-President. Mehriban Aliyeva believes that the greatest award is the people’s love, belief and trust in her. As she said, “as the years pass by, as new ideas and plans meet us, our purposes change by character, but our main mission – that of serving the people of Azerbaijan remains and will remain unchanged.”
Mehriban Aliyeva continues to write her book of life with this mission and enriches it with new bright and meaningful pages from day to day and from year to year.