Mehriban Aliyeva at opening of Azerbaijani Village in Paris (PHOTO)
Baku, Azerbaijan, Sept.20
An official opening ceremony of the Azerbaijani Village was organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in the Place Joffre square close to Eiffel Tower in Paris.
Azerbaijan's first lady, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva attended the event.
The event participants also included well-known public and political figures of France.
The host of the event said the Azerbaijani Village aroused great interest in France.
Rachida Dati, mayor of the 7th arrondissement of Paris, where the Azerbaijani Village opened, praised the opening of the village in the district, expressing hope that it will help people of France learn more about Azerbaijan. She hailed Azerbaijan's achievements in “excellently” hosting a number of prestigious international events, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation's contributions to the development of relations between the two countries, and described Azerbaijan as “a modern country with an ancient history”.
Mehriban Aliyeva made a speech at the event. She warmly welcomed the event participants and thanked them for their participation in the opening of the Azerbaijani Village.
She noted that this project has already been successfully implemented for three years in Paris and contributed to “the strengthening of friendly relations between the two countries and our peoples' better knowing each other”.
Mehriban Aliyeva expressed her gratitude to the Mayor of the 7th arrondissement of Paris Rachida Dati and all employees of the Mayor's Office for their contribution to the opening of this village.
The first lady noted that Azerbaijan, whose independence history spanned 25 years, has made great strides over this period. She described Azerbaijan as the regional leader. "All large-scale projects which are carried out in the South Caucasus involve, and in most cases, are initiated by Azerbaijan."
She also hailed multiculturalism and tolerance in Azerbaijan, saying representatives of different religions, nationalities and cultures have always lived in peace and as one family in the country.
The first lady also paid tribute to victims of terror attacks in France.
She hailed French-Azerbaijani cooperation and bilateral relations in economic and cultural areas.
Mehriban Aliyeva praised France's role in the settlement of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.
Speaking at the event, President of the Association of Friends of Azerbaijan Jean-Francois Mancel noted that the event has attracted the attention of all the Parisians. He described Azerbaijan as a model of tolerance for the whole world. Mansel hailed the importance of the soonest resolution of the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.
Mehriban Aliyeva expressed gratitude to Jean-Francois Mancel for promoting the Azerbaijani realities in France.
Acclaimed American photographer, author of the book "Culture of Azerbaijani cuisine" Peter Lippmann, who lives in France, highlighted the publication of the book.
The event participants then viewed the village. There are carpet weaving, copper and networking, wood carving, pottery, kalagayi making and other workshops in the village.
The Kids' zone is another innovation in the village.
There is also a museum which showcases exhibits on ancient and rich history and culture of Azerbaijan, including copper products, national clothes, musical instruments, carpets and other works of arts.
The exhibition section of the village features "In the footsteps of a partisan" exhibition dedicated to Ahmadiyya Jabrayilov, participant of the Second World War, prominent representative of the French Resistance Movement.
Azerbaijan's First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva met with Ahmadiyya Jabrayilov's son Javanshir Jabrayilov who thanked the first lady for respect for his father's memory.
Another exhibition as part of "Under one sun" project demonstrates photos and a promotional film on the traditions of multiculturalism and tolerance in Azerbaijan. The photos and films featured in the exhibition were shot in different parts of Azerbaijan. These photos and footages reflect the history and traditions of 20 ethnic minorities living in the country.
The other exhibition "Ganja and Gabala: two cities seen through the eyes of French photographers" presents the beauty of Azerbaijan's nature, as well as its unique culture and traditions.
For this exhibition French photographers Samuel Gratacap and Jean-François Rauzier visited Azerbaijan's Ganja and Gabala cities and took photographs of the landscapes, monuments and daily life of both cities.
The village also presents "Center of Tourism" project for the first time which provides information about Azerbaijan's tourism regions and routes.
The event also saw the launch of "Culture of Azerbaijani cuisine" book.
An international art festival "Maiden Tower" was also held for the first time as part of the event.
Visitors can view the first official gift and souvenir brand "I Love Baku" and the Association of Friends of Azerbaijan stands here.
First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva signed the guest book of the Association.
A restaurant in the village offers delicious dishes of the Azerbaijani national cuisine.
The model of Icherisheher is also on display here, offering visitors a visual tour of the Azerbaijani old city.
Then a dinner reception was given on behalf of Azerbaijani First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva in honor of the participants.
Mehriban Aliyeva addressed the reception.
The village will remain open until September 25.
The Heydar Aliyev Foundation organized the first Azerbaijani Village in 2014.