By Laman Ismayilova
Set up in 2004, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation has been actively involved in multiple projects aimed at contributing to education, public health, culture, sports and other spheres in Azerbaijan.
Led by Azerbaijani First Vice-President Mehriban Aliyeva, the charitable foundation is named after Azerbaijan's national leader Heydar Aliyev.
Over the past years, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation has successfully implemented a number of projects which cover many areas.
Restoration of monuments in liberated territories
Hundreds of cultural, religious, and historical sites were destroyed or seriously damaged as a result of Armenian vandalism.
The Heydar Aliyev Foundation is currently working on the restoration of monuments in Azerbaijan's territories liberated from the Armenian occupation which lasted almost three decades.
The restoration has been carried out in Ashaghi Govhar Agha Mosque, the Yukhari Govhar Agha Mosque and the Saatli Mosque in Shusha.
Designed by architect Karbalayi Safikhan Karabakhi (Garabaghi), the mosques are included in the list of historical and cultural monuments of national importance.
The restoration is currently underway on liberated territories.
Among the cultural monuments are the statues to prominent cultural figures, the Mausoleum of Molla Panah Vagif, art galleries and other sites.
Khari Bulbul Music Festival
The foundation also organizes and holds large-scale festivals in liberated lands.
After 29 years, the Khari Bulbul Music Festival once again welcomed talented musicians in Shusha, the cultural capital of Azerbaijan.
The music festival was organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation upon President Ilham Aliyev's instruction.
The large-scale event gets its name from the flower Khari Bulbul which grows only in Shusha.
This flower has a unique appearance which makes it look like a nightingale or bulbul in Azerbaijani.
This spectacular event was held in May, bringing together incredibly talented musicians.
Musical creativity of different peoples living in Azerbaijan was successfully presented as part of the concert themed "Multiculturalism in Azerbaijani music".
The festival's guests also enjoyed a stunning concert with the participation of People's Artists Rauf Abdullayev, Yalchin Adigozalov, Honored Artist Fuad Ibrahimov and the Uzeyir Hajibayli Azerbaijan State Symphony Orchestra conducted by Murtuza Bulbul, the Azerbaijan State Choir Capella under the artistic direction of People's Artist Gulbaji Imanova.
The gala concert featured works by prominent national composers Uzeyir Hajibayli, Fikrat Amirov, Gara Garayev, Alakbar Taghiyev, Tofig Guliyev, Vasif Adigozalov and many others.
Vagif's Poetry Days
Vagif's Poetry Days have been solemnly held for the first time in the poet's native city after its liberation from the Armenian occupants.
Organized by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, the cultural event gathered folk poets, mugham singers and many other cultural figures in Shusha.
Vagif's Poetry Days 2021 were remembered by eye-catching performances, colorful exhibitions, literary symposiums and heart-touching poetic composition "From Nizami to Vagif".
The large-scale event ended with the patriotic song "Karabakh, native land".
Building of intercultural and inter-religious dialogue
Throughout its activity, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation contributes to building intercultural and inter-religious dialogue at the global level.
The foundation pays special attention to monuments and holy places of other religions.
In 2020, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation completed the work to restore the bas-relief of "The meeting between Pope 1st Leo and Hun Emperor Attila" in the St. Peter’s Basilica.
The initiative was carried out under the agreement signed in February 2019 between the Heydar Aliyev Foundation and the St. Peter’s Basilica.
In 2016, the foundation started to restore the St. Sebastian catacombs in the Vatican.
Two years later, First Vice-President, President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation Mehriban Aliyeva took part in the opening ceremony of the catacombs. The catacombs have a rich history and are important for the entire Christian world.
Moreover, the Albanian Church of Saint Virgin Mary opened in Gabala's Nij settlement last year after restoration.
The Albanian Church of Saint Virgin Mary was restored by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in the framework of the project "Azerbaijan - Address of Tolerance".
This was the second church repaired by the Heydar Aliyev Foundation in Nij settlement. In 2006, the Jotary Alban-Udi Church was repaired as well.
Renovations in France and Germany
Guided by the principles of cultural diversity, tolerance and mutual respect, the Heydar Aliyev Foundation continues to implement projects aimed at supporting the cultural heritage all over the world.
The Heydar Aliyev Foundation has supported several projects in France.
It played a significant role in the creation of new halls dedicated to Islamic art in the Louvre Museum in Paris.
In 2012, President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva took part in the opening ceremony of the museum's new halls dedicated to Islamic art.
A year later, the foundation assisted in the restoration of seven churches in France.
In 2011, the foundation donated funds for the reconstruction of the Berlin City Palace. The former royal palace was one of Berlin’s largest buildings.
Trapezitsa Architectural Museum-Reserve in Bulgaria
In 2016, the Trapezitsa Architectural Museum-Reserve was successfully restored with the support of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation.
Conservation and restoration work in the reserve, which is one of the centers of historical tourism in Bulgaria and Eastern Europe, lasted ten months.
The walls of the historical sites were restored, the Center for Cultural Heritage and tourist alley were created as well. The foundation also repaired the medieval churches located on this territory.
The project contributed to the strengthening of bilateral ties between Azerbaijan and Bulgaria.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz