Mehriban Aliyeva: example of dedication
On February 21, Mehriban Aliyeva was appointed to the post of first vice-president in the history of Azerbaijan, whose residents are very fond of Mehriban Aliyeva. Until now, she has been the first lady of the country, but she always played an important role in the political life of Azerbaijan, the state which is the connecting link between Asia and Europe, and it was the first Muslim country that allowed women to vote in 1918.
It has always been obvious that Mehriban Aliyeva, who serves for the benefit of her people and especially of its women, has high intellect. Being a medical doctor, Mehriban Aliyeva has been a member of the country's parliament since 2005, as well as deputy chairman of the New Azerbaijan Party. The Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO and ISESCO (Islamic Organization for Education, Science and Culture) and organizer of the largest sports competitions, she has led the Gymnastics Federation of Azerbaijan since 2002, was the head of the organizing committee of the First European Games in Baku, which were held in the capital of Azerbaijan in 2015 with great success.
In addition, Mehriban Aliyeva is organizing the Islamic Solidarity Games, which wil be held in Baku in June. For the promotion of Olympic values, she was awarded the International Olympic Academy Olympic Excellence award. Mehriban Aliyeva is also the president of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, which was created in accordance with the will and desire of the people of Azerbaijan to pay tribute to the former president of the republic and the national leader Heydar Aliyev. The Fund takes an active part in the construction of a modern society and contributes to the social and economic development of the country through the implementation of various projects in the fields of education, health, culture, sports, science and technology, environmental protection and many others.
The Heydar Aliyev Foundation is well known in the Vatican and Italy thanks to its activities aimed at restoring cultural monuments and strengthening our cultural values. The cooperation between the Fund and the Holy See has began on June 22, 2012, when a bilateral agreement was signed between the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the Pontifical Commission of Sacred Archaeology on granting the restoration of the Roman catacombs. In 2015, a meeting was held between Aliyeva and Pope Francis as a token of gratitude from the Holy See for the work done by the Foundation, as well as for the successful development of multiculturalism in Azerbaijan and the role of the country in intercultural and interfaith dialogue. Thanks to the Foundation's activities, we saw the restoration of Christian monuments of architecture and culture in this Muslim, but institutionally secular country. The Heydar Aliyev Foundation allocated funds for the restoration of frescoes in the Roman Catacombs of Marcellinus and Peter, and is currently implementing new projects.
Besides, various cultural events took place in different cities of Italy with the participation of Mehriban Aliyeva, which is very important for raising the level of knowledge about the rich historical and artistic heritage of Azerbaijan, which is a friendly country to Italy, and also helps to bring our peoples closer through culture, art and music. As for the geopolitical situation in the region where Azerbaijan is geographically located, the model of multiculturalism adhered to in the country is simply amazing, which again speaks about the high international significance of this republic.
Aliyeva's appointment as first vice-president of Azerbaijan also proves that the state pays much attention to the role of women in the life of the country, which cannot but arouse interest and admiration, because it shows the example of purposefulness, reliability and professionalism to the female inhabitants of Azerbaijan. Undoubtedly, this appointment will give a new impetus to the process of development and advancement of Azerbaijan, as well as the strengthening of relations between this remarkable Caucasian country and both Italy and the Vatican.