Family values are deep-rooted in Azerbaijan, and have been passed down from generation to generation since time immemorial. Care of youngsters, and respect for the elderly are cherished traditions in our country.
On May 31, a meeting took place in Astrakhan with representatives of regional offices of the Azerbaijani Youth Organization of Russia (AYOR).
Vice-president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, chairperson of AYOR Leyla Aliyeva attended the meeting.
Leyla Aliyeva addressed the meeting:
- Esteemed guests and dear friends.
I am glad to welcome you to the meeting with AYOR members and pleased to have this meeting on the friendly Astrakhan soil. Every time I come to Astrakhan, I feel the mysterious energy and beauty of the city. I want to thank Alexander Jilkin for creating possibilities and his support for having this meeting in this city. I want to also thank our ambassador Polad Bulbuloghlu. He has always supported all our initiatives.
Long years’ friendship links Astrakhan with Baku. Six years ago, the Friendship Bridge linking the Heydar Aliyev Park with the Peter the First Square in the city, which was constructed with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, was inaugurated. Fortunately, there are many such bridges between our cities. Four years previously, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev and governor of Astrakhan region Alexander Jilkin opened the kindergarten constructed with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation. In 2013, inauguration of a monument to Prince Vladimir took place here. It is a very valuable and beautiful monument. I want to thank everybody who have worked on this project.
As you know, friendship and kind neighbourhood relations have existed for long years between our countries. We share a common history and culture. What is most important is that our peoples have kind and sincere relations. Nothing can shake and destroy this. The Russian language, literature and culture are approached with great love in Azerbaijan. It is a gratifying fact that education in Russian has been preserved in our country in full, and teaching in over 300 schools is conducted in Russian. All higher schools have faculties teaching in Russian. Branches of two leading higher schools of Russia – the Lomonosov Moscow State University and the Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University – have been opened in Baku. Insha’Allah, a branch of one of the best higher schools of Russia – the Moscow State International Relations Institute – will be opened in Baku. In May this year, the 25th anniversary of establishing the Russian Community of Azerbaijan - a public organization, was celebrated in Baku. This community unites over 120 thousand Russians living in Azerbaijan. It is very pleasing that our youth take active part in strengthening of the Russia-Azerbaijan relations. With such skilful and energetic youth, our future seems to be brighter.
The state programme “Azerbaijani youth in 2017-2021” has been adopted in our country. This programme provides possibilities for a young generation of Azerbaijanis with technical knowledge to take active part in the country’s life. Opening of business-incubators, industrial parks is envisaged in the framework of the youth programme. It is obvious that impact of technologies have been and will be very significant in our life, and therefore, we support all initiatives in this sphere. Of course, one should not forget leading a healthy lifestyle and engaging in sport. A great deal of work has been carried out in Azerbaijan to promote a healthy lifestyle. I have always participated with great pleasure in openings of sports grounds in the framework of the project “Our courtyard”. This project gives people a chance to be out in the fresh air, have intercourse and be acquainted with people. In 2018, a marathon, which brought together over 19 thousand people from 41 countries, took place in Baku and had great success. I invite all of you to participate in the next year’s marathon. There is very positive aura and energy there. It has been for the third time that the Formula 1 races are taking place in Azerbaijan, which attracts people from all over the world. AYOR also participates in these works. We have done a great deal of work for the advancement of sports among the youth. Foe long years, we have held mini-football competitions for the Heydar Aliyev Cup. We have also been holding the competitions “What? Where? When”, various games, and contests. Without a doubt, when people have intercourse with others while in the fresh air, in movement, they get to know each other better, they even may make friends within a matter of two minutes.
Dear friends, 9 years have passed since the 1st forum of AYOR. Over the course of these years, we have carried out a great deal of work in various fields, such as education, science, culture, healthcare, and charity. I want to congratulate you on the 100th anniversary of establishing the Azerbaijan Democratic Republic. It was celebrated on May 28. Azerbaijan has been building its future according to traditions and values of democracy declared 100 years ago. Of course, the contemporary youth has been playing a great role in this.
I want to mention that AYOR’s activities have been very successful last year, as they have always been so. I want to thank all of you for that. AYOR was a member of the National Preparation Committee of the 19th World Youth and Students Festival held in Sochi enjoying full rights. In the course of five days, talented and creative youth participated in subject trainings, master classes, fairs, presentations, business meetings and sports competitions in the school. Insha’Allah, there will be more such meetings. Each year, following AYOR’s initiative, commemoration ceremonies are held in Russian cities to remember the bloody 20th January events of 1990, and the Khojaly genocide of 1992. We will always remember those perished. We believe that the world society would give a just assessment of these tragedies. I believe the world will become a better place. Such events should never again occur in any country of the world.
Recently, we have celebrated the 25th anniversary of establishing diplomatic ties between Azerbaijan and Russia. Our youth marked this historical event by planting trees in the Botany garden of the Moscow State University. Fortunately, our countries have common holidays and significant days that we have celebrated and I am confident will celebrate together. In May 2017, AYOR organized a historical and cultural conference called “Heirs to the Victory” on the Poklonnaya Gora. Azerbaijanis have played an important role in the Great Patriotic War. Tens of thousands of Azerbaijanis fought against the enemy in the Soviet Army. Such meetings unites us, preventing our past from being forgotten. What is most important is that we, first of all, are humans and, regardless of our nationality and religion, share one single planet. I think it is of paramount importance to do good and help each other. Of course, our free blood donation action, the project “Blood has no nationality”, is also about it.
I would like to mention also about our projects concerning ecology and environment. As you know, unfortunately, this issue becomes more urgent day in and day out. Forests are cut down in large areas, water in rivers, lakes, seas become contaminated, endangered animal species die out, every hour one elephant, and 11 thousand shark are killed by poachers. 90 percent of the ocean has already been destroyed. What do we have to leave for our children, grandchildren? IDEA has been doing great works. We have planted over 5 million trees in Azerbaijan. The organization has been engaged in protection of such rare animal and fish species as the Caucasian leopard, sturgeon, arranging forums, shooting films. Nevertheless, I think there is no time left, we should start acting now. Today, I am very glad to be in such a green city. I know that most of you are not indifferent to the problems of the environment. IDEA and AYOR are ready to support all your initiatives in this filed. What is most important, every human being should not forget that he or she might contribute to the protection of the planet. Together, we can perform miracles.
Dear friends, I would like to once more thank you for today’s beautiful event. I want to thank those who have overcome a long way to come here. I am confident we will be more benevolent and strong. I would like us to have opportunity to have an exchange of opinions in today’s forum, ask questions, and set tasks we could solve today or tomorrow. Nothing is accidental in this world. Every human being has one world and endless potential within him-/herself. I wish you to study well, reach great achievements, and never lose courage. Do not forget that all hardships make us stronger and better. AYOR (AMOR in Russian) means love. Love is the highest and unshakable force.
First, a documentary about the works carried out by AYOR towards strengthening the Azerbaijan-Russia friendship relations was shown. In the film, AYOR is named one of the most active organizations of Russia. Eminent public and political figures of Azerbaijan and Russia highly appreciate AYOR’s activities and emphasize the significance of the works carried out by the organization.
Leyla Aliyeva addressed the meeting.
Then, chairperson of the State Committee for Diaspora Affairs Fuad Muradov talked, in his speech, about the role of AYOR and the youth in the strengthening of the relations between Azerbaijan and the Astrakhan region.
Azerbaijan’s ambassador to Russia Polad Bulbuloghlu thanked Leyla Aliyeva and led by her AYOR for the works carried out towards deepening the relations between Azerbaijan and Russia. The ambassador called on the Azerbaijani youth to be more active in Russia.
Thereafter, activists of AYOR’s regional sections spoke.
At the event, AYOR chairperson Leyla Aliyeva presented diplomas to activists of the organization.
In the framework of her visit to Astrakhan, Leyla Aliyeva participated, together with the region’s governor Alexander Jilkin and members of the delegation, in the ceremony of releasing young sturgeons into Volga River.
Leyla Aliyeva and the Azerbaijani delegation in Astrakhan paid a visit to the monument erected to Prince Vladimir in Astrakhan, following President Ilham Aliyev’s initiative and with support from the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
Then, a gala concert with participation of Azerbaijani and Russian masters of art took place in Astrakhan Opera and Ballet Theatre.
The event ended with fireworks.