A photo exhibition "Azerbaijan through the eyes of foreigners" organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and UN Development Programme (UNDP) opened at the Museum of Modern Art in Baku on July 12.
Azerbaijan's First Lady, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, UNESCO and ISESCO goodwill ambassador, MP Mehriban Aliyeva , her daughters - Vice-President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Leyla Aliyeva and Arzu Aliyeva .
The exhibition features over 90 color and black-white photographs made by foreign diplomats and businessmen working in Azerbaijan. More than 600 photographs made by citizens of nearly 30 countries were presented for the competition based on the UNDP's appeal to all diplomatic structures and foreign businessmen operating in Azerbaijan with the initiative to hold such an exhibition. These photographs, showing a panorama of nature and lives of ordinary people, enables to see Azerbaijan's magical beauty through the eyes of foreigners. Currently, the Museum of Modern Art exhibits 96 pictures received the most points from the jury.
Leyla Aliyeva addressed the event.
"First, I would like to welcome all, who came to the new Museum of Modern Art to see and appreciate the beauty of our Baku depicted in various photographs made by diplomats visiting our city," Mrs.Aliyeva said. "This exhibition demonstrates how the well-known diplomats visiting our country see and understand Azerbaijan. Azerbaijan is not only beautiful and great country of the Caucasus. It also differs with beautiful scenery and friendly people, customs and traditions, rich cultural heritage and enchanting music of the East. Moreover, the eastern and western values cross here."
She said one can see historical monuments, religious sanctuaries, distant villages and natural beauty of our country, as well as urban skyscrapers and very interesting buildings at today's exhibition.
"I believe this exhibition enables to recognize and appreciate Azerbaijan's beauty and all its features, for which we are grateful to it. You will also be able to see a lot of pictures on the Azerbaijani nature at this exhibition. You probably know that 9 of 11 climatic zones of the world pass through our country and Azerbaijan can be proud of this," Leyla Aliyeva said.
"Our common duty is to protect the nature not only in Azerbaijan, but also all over the world. I would like to take the advantage of this and announce that the youths began a global environmental campaign titled IDEA (International Dialogue on Environmental Action).
The IDEA campaign envisages conducting a number of actions called to attract the attention of young people and the international community in environmental issues and the need to protect the environment.
Moreover, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation will closely work with the UN Baku Office on various projects on the environment in 2011-2012," she said.
"One of these projects on the national scale is a photo exhibition entitled "A new look at my surroundings," Aliyeva said.
"Dear friends, I would like to note with pride that Azerbaijan has achieved great successes and achievements in various fields over 20 years of our independence. As you can see, we have a lot of projects, plans and ideas to realize. I would like once again to express my gratitude to the organizers and participants, as well as visitors, of this event. I know that some of the guests visit our country for the first time. I hope that this event will be interesting to you and you will be satisfied with the tour of Azerbaijan. Thank you very much and wish you all success," Mrs.Aliyeva said.
Then, Mehriban Aliyeva, Leyla Aliyeva and UN Resident Coordinator Fikret Akcura cut the ribbon to open the exhibition and viewed the exposition.
The exhibition "Azerbaijan through the eyes of foreigners" glorifies the colorful and ancient culture, rich architectural traditions of Azerbaijan and its socio-economic development in recent years. The exhibition's interesting feature is that it demonstrates only amateur photographs from private collections of foreigners.
This exhibition is an important cultural event in terms of popularization and propaganda of Azerbaijan. The exposition is evidence to the endless beauty of Azerbaijan that has contributed to the formation and development of human culture. It talks about the unique nature and centuries-old culture of this magical region. Another idea of the exhibition is to highlight the attention and care to Azerbaijan's cultural richness. The photographs clearly show that Azerbaijan and its capital, Baku, located in the crossing of East and West, have always made a worthy contribution to the world cultural heritage. This process is continuing. Baku is seen as a western city, which absorbed all the beauty of East, or an eastern capital, reflecting the attractiveness of a Western.
The officials of the Azerbaijani state and government, representatives of foreign countries and international organizations in the country, as well as public representatives, who visited the exhibition, viewed the exposition with great interest.