By Laman Ismayilova
Azerbaijan's First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva met with world-famous Azerbaijani singer and composer Sami Yusuf on October 1.
The First Vice-President presented the singer the honorary diploma of the President of Azerbaijan.
Mehriban Aliyeva highly appreciated Sami Yusuf's participation in the 2nd Nasimi Festival of Poetry, Art and Spirituality held in Azerbaijan from September 28 to October 1.
The First Vice-President recalled the singer's performance at the 43rd Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in June this year, stressing that the concert was organized at the highest level and contributed to the relations between Azerbaijan and UNESCO.
At the meeting, Mehriban Aliyeva said that in accordance with to the Order of the President of Azerbaijan, those who took an active part in the organization and holding of the 43rd Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Baku were awarded with the honorary diploma of the President of Azerbaijan.
The First Vice President then presented the honorary diploma to the singer.
Mehriban Aliyeva wished Sami Yusuf success in his future career. The singer expressed his gratitude for the high award.
Meanwhile, the British musician of Azerbaijani origin has recently presented new music pieces composed within the "Timeless Spirit of Heritage" project, organized by the Azerbaijani Ministry of Culture.
The project brilliantly reflects Azerbaijan's ancient culture and history and features nine compositions - "Gobustan", "Ateshgah", "Nasimi", "A Dancing Heart", "The Garden", "Shirvanshahs' Palace", "Novruz", "Shaki Khan Palace" and "Azerbaijan”.
These works were earlier presented during the 43rd World Heritage Committee session, held in Baku in June-July 2019.
In his official YouTube channel, Sami Yusuf delighted music lovers with some of these compositions - "Shirvanshahs' Palace", "The Garden" and "Nasimi".
"Nasimi" has been written by Sami Yusuf based on the Shur mugham (a traditional Azerbaijani music) and performed by an orchestra and two vocalists - Tayyar Bayramova and Samira Aliyeva. The music piece features famous ghazal "Worlds Can Fit Within Me" by the 14th century Azerbaijani poet and thinker Imadaddin Nasimi.
Sami Yusuf considers “Nasimi” as one of his best works as the piece reflects his spiritual beliefs, love and tolerance. This year was declared the Year of Nasimi in Azerbaijan and the 650th anniversary of Imadaddin Nasimi is being widely celebrated across the country.
The singer performed his composition "The Garden" in a duet with honored Azerbaijani musician Sevda Alakbarzade. Sami Yusuf sang in English while Sevda Alakbarzade performed in Azerbaijani.
All these pieces are included in Sami Yusuf’s new album "Azerbaijan: A Timeless Presence", which is already available in all music platforms. The singer will soon present his other music pieces through social media.
Throughout his career that spans over 15 years, Sami Yusuf has conveyed divine love, and this love shines through in all his musical endeavors.
He believes that all traditions in the world are expressions of the same essential spiritual truth and it is no surprise that the singer turns to traditional music as a means of conveying this message.
The positive message of his lyrics gives voice to a collective yearning for peace and harmony, and his use of global rhythms and melodies united by spiritual vision captivates listeners worldwide.
Sami Yusuf uses his fame to help people through his humanitarian activities such as the World Food Program. In 2014, The United Nations appointed Sami Yusuf the Global Ambassador against Hunger. In 2015 Sami Yusuf promoted the world’s first interfaith anthem, a song called “The Gift of Love”, to mark the World Interfaith Harmony Week.
Through this effort, Sami Yusuf hopes to help people from different traditions recognize that the common values they hold far outweigh their differences and that this understanding can be the starting point for the journey toward a lasting peace.
Laman Ismayilova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Lam_Ismayilova
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